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First cruise ship offering bow to stern Wi-Fi debuts
Posted: 14-Dec-2004 [Source: Carnival Cruise Lines]

[Carnival Cruise Lines new ship, Carnival Valor, makes US debut featuring 802.11g Wi-Fi connectivity availability for notebook computers in all public areas and all staterooms of the 110,000-ton ship.]

Miami -- Carnival Cruise Lines' new cruise ship, Carnival Valor, which is making its U.S. debut in Miami today, is the first cruise ship to offer "100 percent bow to stern" wireless Internet access, providing guests unparalleled opportunities to surf the Web, check e-mail, and obtain stock quotes and news updates from anywhere aboard the massive 2,974- passenger SuperLiner. Carnival Valor sails on its inaugural voyage Dec. 15.

Unlike other cruise ships that have designated Wi-Fi hotspot areas, Carnival Valor will feature ship-wide wireless Internet capability, enabling guests to use laptop computers to access the Internet from every public area, including all lounges, bars and pool decks, as well as any of the ship's 1,487 staterooms.

"Wi-Fi is a huge consumer trend, appearing in more places than ever and Carnival Valor's new ship-wide wireless Internet service offers our guests unprecedented convenience and connectivity at sea. This multi-million-dollar investment places Carnival at the forefront of this new technology," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Carnival Valor's new Wi-Fi system complements the ship's Internet cafe, "The Web," which provides guests with high-speed Internet connectivity via private flat-panel workstations.

The new system works with any Wi-Fi-enabled laptop. Laptops and Wi-Fi cards are also available for rent on board for a nominal fee; charges apply for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Carnival Valor's new "bow to stern" Wi-Fi system is part of a pilot program that may be expanded to other Carnival ships, all of which currently feature Internet cafes and wireless Internet access in select areas.

The new system, which was installed during construction by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, was designed by Carnival's in-house network engineers and San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc. The capability to provide highly secure Wi-Fi access throughout Carnival Valor was accomplished with Cisco Aironet 1230G Series IEEE 802.11b/g Access Points (AP) compliant with the 802.11g 54 mb/s standard. For the ship-wide Wi-Fi Hotspots, Cisco Catalyst 6509 Series Switches provide switching capability at the core while Catalyst 3750 Series Switch with Power over Ethernet connect the Cisco Aironet APs to the network.

Carnival Valor debuts with a two-day Bahamas cruise Dec. 15-17, 2004, then begins year-round seven-day cruises from Miami, alternating weekly to the eastern and western Caribbean, Dec. 19.

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