Working Around the World
They say if you love your job you never work a day in your life, and I guess you could put Doug and me in that category! On our last cruise, I replied to an email from a client, and she wanted to know why I was working on vacation. I told her that with free Internet it was very easy but my ocean office had a much better view!
I remember years ago when we carried this huge satellite phone with us and we would have to face the correct direction to try to get a signal. I specifically recall standing on the back deck of the Crystal ship talking to a client about booking a world cruise! So even though the phone was big and heavy, we were in awe of being able to communicate from a ship in the middle of the ocean.
Oh, how far we have come! With the technology today, staying in touch is a foregone conclusion. When Doug was practicing law, we used to cruise to disconnect from the world. Now we are able to travel more often because we can literally work from anywhere that has an Internet connection. And of course, that is the good and the bad of it because you are never really “off” but then again, if you are working from the balcony of a ship, how bad can it be?
We do have a number of clients who would not be able to travel to the extent they do without being able to take their work with them. Most of the luxury cruise lines and river cruise lines have complimentary Internet. But even on a mass market cruise, the cost of an Internet package for a week is well worth it. Because the Internet can be slow, we highly recommend purchasing an unlimited package rather than by the minute. I know 250 minutes sounds like a lot, but it is kind of like watching the taxi meter go round and round as you sit in traffic! Very nerve racking!
While the Internet makes it a breeze to stay in touch by email, the cell phone is another matter entirely. Depending on your carrier, using your cell phone on a cruise ship can be downright dangerous...trust me on that! If you are docked, be especially careful to look at the top of your phone and see who the carrier is. If it is Cellular at Sea, it is being routed through the ship’s satellite and the cost can be very high.
As we are getting ready for a trip, I call AT & T to ask about the best package to be able to talk and text, but I always seem to return home to an outrageous bill. One time I sent the office a beautiful picture of a villa we were at...that photo cost $46! Now I am much more careful and have found that the absolute safest way to stay in touch for FREE is to leave my phone in airplane mode and have people contact me by email through Wi-Fi. I can also text from iPhone to iPhone through the Internet, but if I take the phone off airplane mode and try to go through cellular data, it always costs me money.
As for calling, What’s Ap or Skype works great through the Internet. We know of many families who Skype their grandchildren on a regular basis while onboard. It does make being away over a special occasion much easier.
The bottom line is that with the technology of today, it is totally possible to work from pretty much anywhere in the world. You can stay in touch with family and friends so no matter the distance between you, you are always close!