With COVID-19 pretty much over, I decided to take my first vacation since the pandemic started (I’m vaccinated and double-boosted). So, I booked a Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda (Enchantment of the Seas) departing from Baltimore. I got back from that vacation this week, the trip was lovely, as is typical for Royal Caribbean.
Believe it or not, this was my 10th cruise with Royal Caribbean! Normally I would use it as an opportunity to disconnect from the internet and relax offline. This time, however, things were a bit different. You see, I adopted a chihuahua from a shelter a few years ago, and I wanted to keep an eye on her via Wi-Fi cameras. She is a great bitch, but very skittish and skittish. She needed to know that she was okay at all times.
Since there would be little to no cellular connectivity on the cruise ship, I opted for Royal Caribbean’s best “VOOM” internet package called “Surf and Stream.” For about $20 a day, I could only use a device with unlimited data, so I chose my iPhone. While it was surprisingly reliable, I only averaged around 3 Mbps. Yes, Three. Pretty slow, but fast enough to stream video and watch my dog run around the house.
Since I didn’t want Royal Caribbean to monitor my activity, I used a VPN most of the time. My preferred VPN is Surfshark and it worked flawlessly throughout the entire cruise. As a YouTube TV subscriber, I thought maybe I could fool him with the VPN, but no, the YTTV iPhone app was after me: I knew I wasn’t in my home state of New York. That’s fine, as it still worked, allowing me to watch New York TV.
Why would someone on a cruise ship want to watch TV? Shouldn’t he have been enjoying the holidays instead of watching TV? Yes, normally that would be the case, but this was a special circumstance. You see, I’m a huge fan of the New York Mets, and if you didn’t know, that baseball team is having a monumental season and could be destined for the World Series. I try to watch every Mets game.
Fortunately, while I was on vacation floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, YouTube TV worked flawlessly. While he was sitting on a deck chair on top of a cruise ship, he was watching New York Mets baseball, and it was glorious. At one point, YouTube TV displayed a message asking me if I was traveling, and after I selected Yes, the service was still working fine. The SNY television channel continued to broadcast live.
Unfortunately, YouTube TV was down for the entirety of my cruise. Once the ship docked in Bermuda, the YouTube TV app took notice and stopped working. It displayed a message saying that it would not work in this new country. Sigh. While in Bermuda, he couldn’t see the Mets. Even connecting to Surfshark VPN with a New York server didn’t help.
But guess that? Once the ship left Bermuda and returned to the Atlantic Ocean, YouTube TV was back on! At one point I was watching the Subway Series (Mets vs Yankees) while sitting at a roulette table on my way home. While the Mets lost that particular game, I left the casino with about $10, so it wasn’t all that bad. I would have preferred a Mets win, but I digress.
So what are the big takeaways here? If you’re taking a Royal Caribbean cruise, the VOOM internet package is a little pricey and a little slow, but pretty reliable. If you need internet while on a cruise, VOOM is definitely worth it. I was able to watch TikTok, stream Apple Music, and watch my home security cameras with no issues.
More importantly, though, YouTube TV will work in the ocean. That said, please note that once you dock in a country other than the US, it will stop working. I even spoke to YTTV customer service to see if there was any temporary way to watch in Bermuda, and they kindly said no.
Lastly, the cruise line’s VOOM service works seamlessly with Surfshark. While I’m not suspicious of Royal Caribbean, I would highly recommend using a VPN when connecting to none Wi-Fi that you did not personally set up or secure. A quality VPN only costs a few dollars per month and will prove to be indispensable.
For those of you who want to become a YouTube TV subscriber, you can get a $30 credit by signing up here. If you want to sign up for Surfshark, you can get two months to free by clicking here.
Oh…and GO METS!
image credit: ml12nan/depositphotos.com
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