What happened on cruise ships used to stay on cruise ships -- at least until the boat reached the next port.
One of the remaining Internet-free places on the planet, passengers could spend days wallowing in isolation unless they spent serious cash on a telegram or ship-to-shore call.
Then, in 1999 Norwegian Cruise Lines introduced the first on-board Internet café.
And nothing much changed.
Because, even though cruise lines have been rolling out connectivity at sea ever since, coverage has been frustratingly patchy, slow and expensive.
It's changing now though.
Over the last few years, cruise lines have been improving their satellite technology to boost connection speeds and working out ways to accommodate different budgets.
Year ago when I started cruising, one of the attractions was that I was able to disconnect and my job could not get hold of me on the ship. I still remember calling home to check in using the telephone in the cabin and the $19 charge for the three minute call.
In this day and age, it is almost impossible to disconnect entirely (and most people do not want to). The speeds are getting much better on board and also more reliable. Cost is still a factor and for some the internet packages are still costly. If you belong to a cruise line loyalty program, check to see if there is a discount available. I also like what Carnival Cruise Lines and MSC Cruises have done for people who basically want social media access. The costs for these plans are very attractive and cover quite a few of the most popular social media applications.