Wireless Maritime Services (WMS) has signed a new four-year contract renewing its relationship with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) to continue providing cellular at sea wireless services to guests and crew on all existing ships across the Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises brands.

The new contract also includes the transition of three Celebrity Cruises ships not previously serviced by WMS, as well as Royal Caribbean International’s next generation of cruise ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, launching in late 2014 and early 2015, respectively.

WMS services allow Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises guests and crew to use their cell phones as they currently do on land while their ship is at sea. WMS provides cellular voice, texting and data services to guests so they can stay in touch with family, friends or business associates back home while at sea.

In tandem with the renewal of its long-standing partnership with Royal Caribbean, WMS is also rolling out two innovative enhancements never before seen in the maritime communications arena.

The first is the deployment of 3G data services, which will allow guests to use their own mobile devices to access email, use applications on their smart phones and surf the web at greatly increased connection speeds.

This is a big leap forward from traditional data connection speeds in a maritime environment, and represents a significant improvement to the onboard user experience. WMS will rollout 3G services, starting with Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas beginning in July 2013.

The second enhancement WMS is launching with Royal Caribbean is the introduction of new retail pricing plans that will substantially lower the cost of staying connected at sea.

On May 22, WMS’s parent, AT&T, began offering its subscribers the choice of three monthly Cruise Ship Packages designed to reduce the costs of communicating onboard and give guests more certainty around their cellular communication costs while on a cruise. AT&T Wireless subscribers cruising on nearly all RCL ships can sign up for one of three Cruise Ship Packages that provide 50 minutes of calling for $30; 50 minutes of calls plus 100 text messages for $60; or 50 minutes of calls plus 100 text messages and100 megabytes of cellular data usage for $120. To sign up or get information about these Cruise Ship Packages, guests either can call +1.916.843.4685 (a free call either ashore or at sea), or visit this link. 

“We are truly honored by the renewal of our long-standing partnership with RCL, and delighted to be able to introduce 3G services with them. Just as Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises have a proven reputation for offering innovative, cutting edge experiences for their guests, WMS is pleased to be the first in our industry to offer 3G technology onboard a cruise ship,” said Pramod Arora, Chief Operating Officer at WMS.

“In addition, we know that cruisers want to use their cell phones and smart devices at sea the same way they do at home. However, international roaming prices have historically made guests think twice before making that call back home to friends or family. With these new plans from AT&T, WMS is able to provide RCL guests the suite of world-class communication services they expect, at more affordable prices.”

“We are glad to work with WMS to offer guests the ability to be connected when they vacation on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises,” said Bill Martin, vice president and Chief Information Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

“As we are constantly innovating the onboard experience and our ship designs, WMS is pushing the envelope of communications at sea. Together, we are helping to provide guests some of the same conveniences they enjoy at home, but on a cruise vacation while at sea.”