Q – I am in the restaurant business and your site has pretty much convinced my wife and I to try a river cruise. My only question is whether or not I can use my laptop onboard for business two or three hours a day. I have to be in contact with our various franchisees even when I’m on vacation. Appreciate all the information without the nonsense and the ads.
A – Bad news we’re afraid. Internet service aboard river boats in Europe is notoriously spotty. This has less to do with the European broadband networks than the fact that internet service is usually turned off when a boat is passing through a lock, an event that can happen from 50-80 times per sailing depending on your itinerary. The good news is that you will be off the boat virtually every day and you will have access to internet cafes with excellent service. The crew generally knows where these internet cafes are located since many of them are gamers and they use the internet to communicate with family and friends at home. But have limited expectations for internet speed and service aboard your boat. River boat executives do understand that this is a current need and there are now two major companies that have developed the technology to fix most of the current problems. We think that you will see vast improvements in 2014 as well as a younger age group going on river cruises.