YouTube TV let me watch New York Mets games from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean while on a Royal Caribbean cruise
With COVID-19 pretty much over now, I decided to take my first vacation since the pandemic started (I am vaccinated and double-boosted). And so, I booked a Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda (Enchantment of the Seas) that left from Baltimore. I returned from that vacation this week -- the trip was quite lovely, as is typical with Royal Caribbean.
Believe it or not, this was my 10th Royal Caribbean cruise! Normally, I would use it as an opportunity to unplug from the internet and relax offline. This time, however, things were a bit different. You see, I adopted a chihuahua from a shelter a few years back, and I wanted to keep an eye on her by way of Wi-Fi cameras. She's a great dog, but very scared and skittish -- I needed to know she was OK at all times.
Since there would be little to no cellular connectivity on the cruise, I opted for Royal Caribbean's top "VOOM" internet package called "Surf and Stream." For about $20 a day, I could use only one device with unlimited data, so I chose my iPhone. While it was surprisingly reliable, I only averaged about 3 Mbps. Yes, three. Quite slow, but fast enough to stream video and watch my dog run around the house.
Since I didn't want Royal Caribbean monitoring my activity, I used a VPN most of the time. My VPN of choice is Surfshark, and it worked flawlessly the entire cruise. As a YouTube TV subscriber I thought maybe I could trick it with the VPN, but no, the YTTV iPhone app was on to me -- it knew I was not in my home state of NY. That is OK, as it still worked, allowing me to watch New York TV.
Why would someone on a cruise want to watch TV? Shouldn't I have been enjoying the vacation rather than watching television? Yes, normally that would be the case, but this was a special circumstance. You see, I am a huge New York Mets fan, and if you didn't know, that baseball team is having a monumental season and could be World Series bound. I try and watch every Mets game.
So thankfully, while on vacation, floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, YouTube TV worked flawlessly. While sitting in a chaise lounge atop a cruise ship, I was watching New York Mets baseball, and it was glorious. At one point, YouTube TV displayed a prompt asking if I was traveling, and after selecting yes, the service still worked fine. The SNY TV channel kept streaming live.
Sadly, YouTube TV would not work during the entirety of my cruise. Once the ship docked in Bermuda, the YouTube TV app became aware and stopped working. It displayed a message saying it would not function in this new country. Sigh. While in Bermuda, I would not be able to watch the Mets. Even connecting to the Surfshark VPN with a New York server did not help.
But guess what? Once the boat left Bermuda and returned to the Atlantic Ocean, YouTube TV worked again! At one point, I was watching the Subway Series (Mets vs Yankees) while sitting at a roulette table while heading home. While the Mets lost that particular game, I left the casino up about $10, so it wasn't all bad. I would have preferred a Mets win, but I digress.
So what are the big takeaways here? If you go on a Royal Caribbean cruise, the VOOM internet package is slightly pricey and a bit slow, but quite reliable. If you need internet while on a cruise, VOOM is absolutely worth it. I could watch TikTok, stream Apple Music, and watch my home security cameras without issue.
More importantly, however, YouTube TV will work while in the ocean. With that said, please keep in mind, once you dock at a country other than the USA, it will stop working. I even chatted with YTTV customer service to see if there was any temporary way to watch in Bermuda, and I was politely told no.
Lastly, the cruise line's VOOM service works flawlessly with Surfshark. While I don't distrust Royal Caribbean, I would highly suggest using a VPN when connecting to any Wi-Fi that you didn't personally set up and secure yourself. A quality VPN only costs a few bucks a month and will prove to be indispensable.
Oh... and LET'S GO METS!
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