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Community Member

Cruise Ship WIFI VPN Issue

Hello, I am going on a cruise this week and was wondering if there would be any issues with accessing my online lectures and assignments during my week away. In the wifi package I am planning on purchasing they included that "VPN connections are not supported - discuss your VPN limitations with your company’s IT department if you are planning to work while sailing. We are not able to change your settings onboard." I didn't know whether Canvas would be affected by this, so any help or knowledge would be appreciated. I just don't want to lose points because I am unable to access my courses. Thank you.

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3 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @rapolina , a VPN is a virtual private network used to access and share private information over the internet. Normally these are used more for people who are trying to work remotely - so trying to access their company’s data/information while not in the office. As far as I’m aware there is no reason you would need a VPN to access Canvas while on your cruise. For more on this see the following - VPNs.

Yet, I’ve been on a couple of cruises and even the paid Internet has never been that great - super slow (video doesn’t really work) and things don’t always load correctly. Because of this I’d recommend doing as much of your work (and get directions/readings/etc for your assignments) prior to embarking. In addition, in many cases it seemed to be easier to use the Internet when at a Port. I paid extra from my cell company to be able to use it while traveling out of the US and often there are Internet cafe’s where you can pay to use the Internet for a certain period of time. 

Hope this helps and have a great time on your trip!


Community Team
Community Team

Hi,  @rapolina ‌. You're very wise to be asking this question, and I am so glad to see that you're planning ahead for the possibility of spotty internet service. I agree with  @kona ‌. On one of my cruises I tried to access both my Canvas courses (I was teaching) and the Canvas Community through the ship's wifi. Whether I used the workstations provided on the ship or my own devices, the results were the same: pages are slow to load, if they load at all, and it's common to encounter outages and errors. So that was an exercise in frustration, truth be told. It's not a problem with Canvas, which is available anywhere there is good internet: rather, it's a function of how the ship provides its internet access (via satellite, I think).

Here's my tip: I took advantage of the ports of call when I desperately needed to access a course, if only for a few minutes. Depending on where your cruise is headed, there's almost always a Starbucks or other franchise with free wifi close to where the ship docks. I found the wifi at those locations to be excellent. That said, I wouldn't want to be a student whose grade depended on finding those locations, nor would I want to spend my vacation time in exotic places hanging out at a Starbucks.

I advised my students who were planning a vacation during the semester that they were free to do so as long as they made arrangements to complete their assignments ahead of time, as anything can happen during a vacation, and you might consider discussing this with your instructor. Again, kudos for planning ahead, Rachel, and I hope you have a wonderful time! 

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @rapolina 

You did not tell us where you were going, nor if your cruise includes stops in other countries; but if it does, you may also want to check out 

I will also put on my teacher's hat and offer this advice - talk to your teacher in advance of the trip. Let them know that internet access may not always be available or reliable. Teachers can often be quite accommodating when they are given a heads-up!

I hope this is helpful, and enjoy your cruise!