Staying connected abroad and aboard MV World Odyssey
Semester at Sea utilizes a variety of technology platforms to enable our shipboard campus network and communications while at sea, and in port.
Technology Onboard the MV World Odyssey
SAS Campus Network
The shipboard network provides access to resources needed for campus use. There is a basic file sharing system, print management, learning management system, and intranet site. Internet access is provided but with restrictions. While aboard ship, do not rely on the internet to access remote files, videos and other resources. We have also created a unique method to assist with limited email communications: Seamail. You should configure your Seamail account prior to embarkation. You’ll have instructions for setting up your access to the ship network once you arrive on the ship, including setting up your campus account/password.
On Board Wireless Network
The MV World Odyssey has wireless access in most of the public spaces, though access in some cabins is a limited. You can access the ship’s free intranet (files and functions that are located on servers on the ship) very quickly. For each course, there is a folder on the intranet that holds electronic readings for that class. The library’s online catalog is available on the intranet. Other documents that require ship-wide access are also available on the intranet.
Internet Access & Policies
The MV World Odyssey is equipped with a satellite dish that allows internet while at sea in most parts of the world. This access is shared with the entire ship and limited compared to what most voyagers are used to. The amount of bandwidth can vary based on a variety of factors. Please be flexible and understand that we provide as much bandwidth as possible. Some academic policies may also change restrictions based on shipboard community needs. Please take this opportunity to meet those people around you and save the internet for when it is needed. Due to the nature of this service it is a best effort service and may be unavailable at times due to program activities or ship conditions. Some internet sites may be restricted or prohibited on the ship. Most video streaming is blocked due to bandwidth requirements. The use of VPN’s is prohibited while onboard. Even if sites are not restricted the quality of service is likely to be incredibly slow.
MVWO Internet Packages Prices
- Complimentary daily allocation of 50 Megabytes per day for students
- $25 for 100 Megabytes of data good for 7 days (25 cents/megabyte)
- $120 for 1000 Megabytes of data good for 31 days (12 cents/megabyte)
- $300 for 4000 Megabytes of data good for the entirety of voyage (7.5 cents/megabyte)
- $512 for 1024 Megabytes of data at the fastest available speed good for 7 days
Technical Specifications of ship internet:
- Shared download speed of approximately 9 megabits/second or 1.125 megabytes/second.
- Shared upload speed of approximately 4 megabits/second or 0.5 megabytes/second.
- Connection shared with ~500 passengers/crew.
Academic Success Center
The Academic Success Center is available for academic use on a 24‐hour basis. There will be IT work studies available during posted hours, who can help with basic IT and campus network issues while at sea. There are a few public computers for academic use. The Academic Success Center is also equipped with a laser printer that are accessible from any of the computers inside the Academic Success Center. You can also find the librarian and snack bar here. Printing has a small per page fee associated with paper use. We encourage less printing to help make your voyage more sustainable.
Voyage Technology Preparation
Complete these steps before you head to the ship!
You should review this section prior to voyage and take actions appropriate to your technology needs. Once aboard the MV World Odyssey, the internet access is restricted and incredibly slow, and it will be significantly more difficult or impossible to configure anything that was not done prior to embarkation.
Setup your voyage email account
This is critical to do prior to embarkation! Approximately 1 month prior to the voyage you should receive details on how to set up your Semester at Sea email account.
Message Forwarding and accessing other emails while on the voyage can be difficult. Please examine settings that may cause your account to lock out if accessing from other countries.
Enable international data/call plans
It is highly recommended that you contact your cell phone carrier and switch to an international plan prior to embarkation if you intend to use your phone while overseas. It is also recommended that you turn off cellular data on your smartphones (iPhones in particular) to avoid a large data bill while on your voyage.
- Check your device authentication. If your device requires 2-factor identification to access, this may not function on the ship if it relies on text messages. Internet based authenticators usually work when internet is available. If you do not currently authenticate on a devices, configure your devices to use a password/code as you will be traveling in many areas that may be less secure than you are used to. Duo and Google Authenticator usually work.
- VPN & Antivirus: You will be connecting to unsecured wireless and cell networks around the world. Please utilize a VPN offship and a trusted anti-virus solution.
- Security updates: Update your devices software/firmware before you leave. Ensure your computer, phone, tablets, etc., have the latest updates, which will help protect your device from security vulnerabilities. While traveling do not update your device from insecure locations as updates can be corrupted.
Insure you have passwords to your devices. If you have a trusted person at home, that may be useful should you lock out your account. Determine how you can set up a recovery/emergency contact to have them assist you.
Device Power and Batteries
Insure you can charge and power your device with spare charging cables and external battery packs. Several highly rated products exist including solar charging. Insure that the charging can be done in the different countries you are visiting with the correct power adapters.
Understand your device.
Review your device and understand how to enable/disable battery using features so that you can make your device more efficient while onboard and in-country. Understand how to make your device use less internet or data when needed to avoid high charges for accidentally syncing all your photos.
Verify your battery health, and make sure your chargers work.
Check that you have proper power adapters that meet the standards of countries you may visit and onboard the ship. Do not plug a U.S. power cable in without the proper adapter, as this can cause permanent damage to your device. The ship utilizes European power plugs.
Data Storage and Backup
Check your device storage space.
You will be taking plenty of pictures so make sure you don’t run out of space! If your device can take extra storage, bring a spare.
Know and test how to back-up the data on your device to a storage device you are taking on the voyage.
You should plan to back-up your data often so that you decrease the risk of losing all of the photos/videos you’ve captured. If you are using cloud based backup, you will need to plan this when in ports with better internet access! A backup is something that exists in more than one place. A second external hard drive is a very inexpensive way to keep your memories safe.
Check your computing device for highly sensitive information that you may not need to travel with.
Backup all the data and consider moving sensitive data off the device prior to leaving for embarkation.
Ship & Travel Apps
When traveling keep in mind that not every country has cell service, or uses the same transit services you may be used to. Check the ports you will be traveling to, get the appropriate apps for those areas. Pre-download the maps. Get a translator app, pre-download the languages. Get a ride hailing app for the countries you may need. Invest a a trusted VPN solution that works with your device, and verify it works where you are going. A currency rate app for understanding the exchange rates. Messaging apps that work over wifi and encrypt your communications are a great way to stay in touch. Pre-load your family and friends, emergency contacts, add your important contacts you meet on the ship as you go. Ensure that your banking app will work. Offline readers and listening apps for listening to music, podcasts, and audio books can be great if you have some downtime on or off-ship. Ship/SAS IT does not provide support for device apps, please take the time to understand these prior to embarkation.
- Ship systems now have some integration with mobile apps: Moodle LMS, Nextcloud, Seachat uses a XMPP compatible message app (Astrachat as an example).
- Travel recommendations from alumni voyagers: Whatsapp, Wechat, Google Maps, Translate, My Currency, Grab, Uber, Didi, MyTaxi, GoEuro, Signal.
- For independent travel: Orbitz, Kayak, Skyscanner, AirBnb, Agoda, AllTrails, Rome2rio, FlightAware, Hopper, Maps.me, TripAdvisor
- Offline content suggestions: Pocket Casts, Audible, pre-download shows with Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Video.