The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
The genealogy cruise season is upon us. One such genealogy cruise will embark next week. If you are one of the several hundred genealogists who will be on a cruise ship in the future, this article is for you. If you ever use any other sort of expensive Internet access, such as connecting through an expensive cell phone connection, you may also find something of value here for you.
Just because you are on a cruise ship doesn’t mean that you have to be isolated from the world back home. To be sure, some isolation might be an enjoyable experience as we leave our cares and worries behind. However, some of us do want to keep track of children or grandchildren, make sure the person watching the house waters the African violets properly, or perhaps check with the office to see if a particular contract has been signed or not. Whatever the reason, most of us wish to remain in contact for those high priority messages.
Unfortunately, communication to and from a cruise ship is outrageously expensive. All communication is by satellite, and that is always expensive. Then the cruise lines add their own surcharges on top of the already high-priced services.
Even more aggravating, the connection speeds on cruise ships are normally very slow. One cruise ship I traveled on a couple of years ago had a 768-kbyte connection speed – if the satellite was overhead and the signal was strong. If the satellite was near the horizon, connection speeds were even slower. Worse yet, twenty or more simultaneous users shared this one connection during busy times of the day. I soon learned to connect only late at night, when contention for the connection was minimal.
I have been amazed to watch other passengers pay these high charges while reading e-mail messages and writing replies online. Even for touch typists, this is a very expensive method of reading and writing e-mail messages. I know one passenger I talked with spent more than $20.00 in online charges the first day at sea, simply by reading four e-mail messages and writing four replies. I’d consider that to be an outrageous charge when calculated on a per-message basis! I've heard other reports of $100 to $150 for Internet charges for a one-week cruise.
When on board a ship, the slowest and most expensive method of reading and writing e-mail is to open a web browser and type everything manually and to read everything while online and paying by the minute. That is I what I witnessed on past cruises with almost everyone in the cruise ship’s Internet café. Almost everyone was using a web browser to read their email, compose replies and new messages, and finally send those messages – incurring charges for all that time online. Using a web browser is the slowest (and most expensive) method I can think of. Of course, the cruise ship company loves it when you spend a lot of money for online time!
With just a bit of advance planning, it is possible to cut those charges by 80% to 90%.
The remainder of this article is for Plus Edition subscribers only. SUBSCRIBE NOW to read this article.
If you have a Plus Edition user ID and password, you can read the full article right now at no additional charge in this web site's Plus Edition at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=18357. This article will remain online for several weeks.
If you do not remember your Plus Edition user ID or password, you can retrieve them at http://www.eogn.com/wp/ and click on "Forgot password?"
If you decide to subscribe to the Plus Edition right now, you will be able to immediately read this article online. What sort of articles can you read in the Plus Edition? Click here to find out.
For more information about subscribing to the Plus Edition of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, visit http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/plusedition.html
To see what others are saying about this newsletter and the Plus Edition articles, go to http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/comments-from-subscribers.html