Not too many years ago, connecting to the internet while sailing the seven seas on a luxury cruise liner would have cost you a pretty penny. When internet technology was first introduced onto cruise ships, suggesting wireless access would have been a laughing matter. In those days – less than three or four years ago – one had to go to the ship’s cyber café and pay outrageous prices for internet access. Some ships even charged a connection fee and up to one dollar per minute.Nowadays, many of the more popular cruise lines not only offer very reasonably priced or free cyber cafes, but you also have wireless internet access in your very own stateroom. Ships have always used satellite internet technology, but the emergence of new companies has created price competition, making it all the more affordable. Not to mention that wireless technology has also advanced in the last few years and download speeds continue to become faster.Given that the whole world revolves around the internet, or so it seems, wireless access was the next natural step for cruise lines. Once aboard you can head for your room and unpack your things. By the time you are settled in, the ship will have taken off. Next, you can get out your laptop and call your friends and family to let them know the ship has left the port, thanks to the fast connection of satellite broadband. There are all kinds of internet phone services, one of the most popular being Skype. Using these services, you can call anywhere in the world for extraordinarily lower rates than calling cards or roaming charges on your cellular phone.Another benefit provided by the ship’s internet access is that after a day of fun in the sun, you can still head back to the room to catch up on things at home, if need be. Or if the boat is drawing close to the next port of call, you could research and plan what you will do there by taking advantage of the satellite internet access. Sure, that’s the cruise director’s job, but you don’t want to put all your faith in that on-break college student. Explore all you can. The internet is full of ideas and tips for every place in the world. Take the time to do your research the night before and your next day trip off the boat will be nothing short of spectacular.If you forgot your laptop, you can always use the ship’s “business center” or cyber café. What you don’t want to do is spend your time on land using the internet, like people had to do before the usage of satellite internet on cruise ships. Check your email, read the news, do whatever it is you do on the internet before your day on dry land. No matter where you go – Greece, Bermudas, Alaska or Spain – do not waste one minute there surfing the web. Hit the ground running and take full advantage of your carefully researched, pre-planned day of sight-seeing and fun.