Cruise Ships are Occasionally Connected

Most of the time when you hear about Occasionally Connected applications, it’s in the context of airplanes. These days, with cellular data available in most cities, for most people who need to be connected, the only time they’re not is when they’re on an airplane.

We’re going on a cruise next month, my first time, and I’ve been looking at connectivity options. We’re sailing on the Norwegien Gem, a fairly new ship, which has WiFi available throughout the ship. Cool, right?

Wireless Internet on the ship costs $0.75 per minute, or $45 an hour. You can buy blocks of time to bring that down a bit, but the point is, it’s expensive. Interestingly, it’s billed by the minute, and not by the amount of data transferred, which would make more sense given that bandwidth to shore is the expensive part.

So I’m quite happy to see that in addition to having offline support in Google Reader, Gmail this week added offline support. Both of these use Google Gears to establish an offline database of items, and Gmail even goes so far as to give you an an icon you can put on the Dock on the Mac that will bring up Gmail when you’re offline.

So my plan is to get online, sync both of these, and then get back offline. Read, respond to emails, and then sync again. How’s that for Occasionally Connected?

Yes, it’s a vacation, so I’m not going to be compulsive about checking my email. I might forget altogether. But it’s nice to have the option.