If you've tried to use internet access aboard a cruise ship, you know it can be an exercise in frustration -- the connection is rarely speedy or reliable enough to make you feel at home. You might not have that problem on your next pleasure trip, however. Carnival is now rolling out WiFi@Sea, a "smart hybrid" network that automatically switches between satellite data and land-based antennas depending on whichever is quickest. In theory, this leads to service that's not just 10 times faster, but more reliable; you should have an easier time uploading vacation photos, even if you're between ports.
You'll need to time your next voyage carefully if you want to try this speedier service for yourself. WiFi@Sea will be available before the end of the year, but only in North America for Carnival ships headed to the Caribbean; it'll reach Alaskan cruises next summer, and you'll see it in other corners of the globe between 2015 and 2016. That's potentially a long wait, but it beats having to grapple with sub-par wireless while you're traveling the seas.
[Image credit: Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines/Getty Images]