Royal Caribbean, which owns both Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises, has declared that it will equip its ships with SpaceX's Starlink internet service (via TechCrunch). The company claims their service will significantly improve the quality and stability of internet connections while at sea.
This summer, Royal Caribbean tested Starlink on one of its ships, and on September 5th, the first ship, the Celebrity Beyond, will be equipped with the service for its official debut. The service is expected to be fully implemented across the company's fleet by the beginning of 2023.
The number of Starlink dishes each ship will use or the total amount of bandwidth that will be shared among several thousand passengers are not specified in Royal Caribbean's announcement. However, the firm guarantees access to video chatting and streaming services.
Starlink Maritime, SpaceX's internet service tailored specifically to boats, launched earlier this summer. SpaceX says it plans to cover most of the world's oceans by Q1 2023, but for now it only covers coastal waters in parts of North and South America (including the Caribbean), Europe, and around Australia and New Zealand.
For the time being, SpaceX is extremely busy with its Starlink endeavors. One of its most prominent collaborations is with T-Mobile, in which it will use satellites of the second generation to transmit text messages and phone calls to mobile devices. Delta (and probably others) are also looking into the possibility of implementing similar in-flight Wi-Fi services, and the company is currently collaborating with Hawaiian Airlines and charter carrier JSX to make this a reality. The company has released Starlink for recreational vehicles (RVs), making the service available to those of us stuck on dry land.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the cruise industry has struggled to recover from the pandemic. The cruise industry has experienced staffing difficulties, with some companies even canceling trips. When government officials like Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell say that their efforts to combat inflation will "bring some pain to households and businesses," one has to wonder if the average person will continue to spend money on frivolous things like cruises.