I am sitting on the Lido deck waiting for breakfast. This is the last day of the Artic cruise and still several hours before any of the passengers can disembark, but if I want to use the internet, I have to sign up for a new package. My remaining half hour has disappeared.
There also seems to be a change in the HAL account system. Rather than the customary New User/Returing User prompts is a User Name prompt that wants the code on the back of my debit card (What debit card?) to start a new session. Not a friendly request. At the start of the cruise, I was asked for my first name, last name and cabin number, but I have no idea what the username prompt is about. Possibly an updated system for the next cruise?
The system was probably reset at midnight for accounting purposes. Nice for accountants, but most travellers would like to do some last minute email checking or printing their boarding passes for their flights home. If the passenger had paid for certain number of hours, they should be allowed to use them while still on the ship. To keep the accountants happy, the user should be disconnected when time runs out. They seem to have no problem disconnecting the internet on other occasions.
HAL offers internet service of 100 minutes for $55, more than I pay monthly for unlimited use at home, with speed that made dialup look like DSL. Billing is by the minute so that help eat through the time. I did expect to lose the signal as we disappeared north of the artic circle and was not disappointed. I was not expecting that the internet signal would be lost on the last day as we sailed across the English Channel to Amsterdam.
For the curious ones, fjords up north are another great way to lose the signal (especially the ones that ran east west).
John Marshall… Visio MVP Visio.MVPs.org