06/22/2006 – MIAMI and ATLANTA, June 22, 2006 â€œ Cruising is oft-cited as the idyllic vacation choice for complete relaxation and escape. The lifestyle of todays consumer, however, often means that to truly relax and enjoy, people want an easy and convenient way to keep in touch with family, friends, or the office. What could be easier than using your own cell phone aboard ship the same as you can at home?
Through an exclusive agreement between Carnival Cruise Lines and Wireless Maritime Services (WMS), a joint venture of Cingular Wireless and Maritime Telecommunications Network, Carnival guests sailing aboard the Å“Fun ShipsÂ can now enjoy a new communications option that allows them to stay in touch with people back home using their personal cell phones while in port or at sea.
Å“Consumers view cell phones as a necessity in todays world. Weve been exploring cellular phone service for some time and have developed a capability that provides unparalleled connectivity and convenience to allow guests to keep in touch with friends, family members and business associates back home,Â said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.
Å“WMS is excited to offer Carnival guests the opportunity to stay connected while cruising worldwide,Â said Leighton Carroll, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wireless Maritime Services. Å“Whether making a voice call, responding to email, sending a picture message, or accessing the Internet to check on local happenings back home, what a great convenience for Carnival guests to enjoy the same features of their wireless service at sea as they would roaming on land.Â
Utilizing WMS state-of-the-art high-bandwidth technology, the new fleetwide service is compatible with any cellular phone and enables guests sailing on Carnival to make and receive calls anywhere in the world from any cruising region. The technology is currently available aboard the Carnival Triumph, with the balance of the lines 21-vessel fleet scheduled to be completed by early next year.
The new fleetwide cellular phone service requires no additional software or special dialing procedures â€œ guests simply make and receive calls as well as transmit text and multimedia messages as they would on land using their personal cell phone. International roaming fees apply to all shipboard cell phone calls.
Consumer benefits to having wireless service while at sea:
Â¢ Connectivity â€œ keep in touch with family, friends and business associates through voice calls, email or text messages. Guests can also share travel highlights while at sea through photo messaging.
Â¢ Convenience â€œ no need to rent a local phone while at port; guests can be reached by the wireless number their friends and colleagues know.
In addition to being able to use their phones on Carnival Å“Fun Ships,Â Cingular customers can also enjoy competitive international roaming rates as well as a greater selection of quad-band devices than any other carrier.