Advances in technology always fascinate me. We are now able to communicate with friends, relatives and business associates from almost anyplace in the world. Specifically, passengers on cruise ships are no longer isolated from the outside world.
Satellite Internet access has been available on cruise ships for a few years but a new advance is available this year. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Carnival Spirit even has a cell phone "tower" someplace on board. GSM cell phones work perfectly every place on the ship. I receive "five bars" signal strength everywhere I walk on board. I can place calls easily. If anyone back home dials my cell phone number, the iPhone on my hip rings a second or two later. I simply say "hello" and start conversing in exactly the same manner as I do when I am at home.
Some people might argue that such lack of isolation is a bad thing, intruding even into our vacations. However, I would argue that many of us are now able to enjoy two-week cruise vacations and other leisure activities that previously would have been impractical. Without business communications with the office and personal communications with home, many of us would be unable to travel for extended periods of time for leisure purposes.
The on-board cell phone international calling rates are expensive; about the same as placing calls while roaming in another country. I won't be chit-chatting for extended periods of time from the Lido Deck. However, the cell phone does allow me to handle even minor emergencies and to "check in" with the folks back home, should I wish to do so.
Modern technology does expand our worlds in many ways, allowing us to do more and more with our lives.