Silversea Cruises Introduces Live TV News and Free Movie Streams
The beautiful Silver Cloud at sea
Once upon a time, cruisers escaped at sea. Really escaped. Unless we were on a world cruise, snail mail never got to us on time. Sure, you could make a scratchy phone call - but it was highly unsatisfactory and cost nearly as much as the cruise. Before we had internet, we never received emails from children asking for money, or friends with updates on newly diagnosed illnesses. And pre-cell phone, we were text-free. No "pings" from employers or employees, with answer-this-instant questions, or moms forgetting the name of your favorite cookie for when you next come to visit. We were blissfully unaware and unconnected, and yet, everyone survived.
Now, in a time when it's common to receive texts for the teeniest concerns or commentaries, we often feel too connected and long to unplug. But technology moves ever forward. And so, Silversea Cruises - in an industry first - has launched complimentary streaming movie and live television news broadcasts to guests' mobile devices onboard Silver Cloud.
The movie library is extensive, including classic and recent Academy Award-winning feature films. Impressively, more than 80% of the movies are offered in five languages: English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. This, of course, speaks to Silversea's international clientele.
By late 2013, the streaming service will be available on four additional ships: Silver Shadow, Silver Wind, Silver Whisper and Silver Galapagos. Silversea Cruises is currently testing adding an extensive selection of international newspapers to its menu of streamed media offerings.
If Silver Cloud guests lack smart phones, e-book readers or iPads to stream movies and live TV news (doubtful, because if guests can afford this six-star ship, they surely have multiple mobile devices), Silver Cloud is offering a limited supply of iPad minis for passengers to borrow during the voyage.
I can't figure out if this technological advancement is good news or bad. I'm sure many cruisers who are compelled to stay plugged-in - for personal or professional reasons - will applaud this constant connection at-sea. It might well influence their ability to take a cruise.
And yes, if a major world event unfolds, I want to watch it in real-time on television news. And to read global newspapers that minute, rather than the versions printed the following day. Plus, on a less dramatic note, if I'm sailing to a faraway country like Australia, I would treasure reading their newspapers on the voyage there.
And I will admit, I love the idea of lounging on a verandah or poolside (while a server pours me a drink) and watching Iron Man 3 on my iPad instead of in a common room or cabin (or suite, on all-suite Silversea) TV. That's pretty cool. But usually, once I shift into cruise mode, I am most happy shutting down my iPhone, gazing at the drifting clouds and listening to the sound of the sea. That is the essence of cruising to me. ( silversea.com)