Will Tinder Work On A Cruise Ship?

After a long and interesting discussion on Tinder and TechJunkie coverage, one of the team asked if you could use it while on a three-week Caribbean cruise in the summer. They wanted a friend, you know. So will Tinder work on a cruise ship?

There are two potential issues that can interfere with the dating app while at sea. What location would you set and will you be able to connect to the internet in the middle of the ocean?

What Tinder location to set when at sea

As you probably know, Tinder is location-based. It takes your location from your Facebook profile and lets you set a range from that location to sweep matches into your potential pool. You can change your location on Facebook, but only as a city or town. There is currently no ‘at sea’ or ‘ocean cruise’ option. This can create problems.

One way to get around this is to pay for Tinder Plus, which offers Passport. This is an option where you can set your location. Features allow you to manually specify a city or use your phone’s GPS to determine your location. We don’t know if it will actually work in the ocean until we take our friend to sea and test this option.

An upcoming feature called Places is currently being tested by Tinder, which could change how location works. It looks like it will allow much better control over where you appear, a bit like Snap Map Location Settings. This may be daunting for some, but beneficial for others.

Can you connect to the internet while in the middle of the ocean?

The second part of running Tinder on a cruise ship has to do with internet access. Internet access can be either fast and uninterrupted or slow and frustrating, depending on the cruise line you use and even the ship you’re on. Most cruise lines offer internet access for a fee.

Many only allow access through their own apps behind a paywall. Some charge per day, while others charge per minute. It can be discarded for free for more expensive ticket holders. You need to check your terms and conditions to see it.

For example, Royal Caribbean has a tiered service. One layer for general browsing or sending pictures home, and another for streaming and social networking. Carnival Cruise Line also uses tiered packages. There are many cruise ships and various internet packages available on this page.

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You will need to check what is included in each package before purchasing. For example, Carnival Cruise Line has a specific Social internet plan, but does not allow many social apps. Terms and Conditions says:

‘Social offers access to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SnapChat and popular airline websites. Note: The plan does not include in-app calling, Facetime, iMessage, or access to other sites or apps.’

There is no mention of Tinder or other dating apps in this list. The Restrictions box states, ‘Access to certain sites, such as adult or violent content, is denied’. While Tinder is an app, it’s meant for mature audiences, so it might fall under this restriction.

Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines are more open about what you can do with your internet access. It has two packages, Surf and Surf + Stream. It doesn’t limit what you do with your connection, but charges you more for the privilege (at $9.99 per day).

Using a VPN on a cruise ship

Some cruise lines block VPN access to prevent you from circumventing their limitations. If you’re using a VPN for work, you should check with your carrier to make sure your VPN isn’t blocking the ports it needs to connect. If you want to use a VPN to access Tinder or other apps, you will need to do your research before you go overboard.

Using a built-in VPN also has a technical limitation. Cruise ships use satellite internet with some latency. The distance traffic has to travel from ship to satellite, to the base station, and then back to the internet backbone means that connections can be too slow to establish a VPN connection. Newer ships have faster connections but latency is still an issue. A TCP connection should adequately handle the latency, but if your provider uses UDP you may find that it doesn’t work.

The best thing to do is research VPN providers and find one that will work on a ship or using a satellite connection. Most offer free trials and have good customer service so you can ask the question before signing up or sort through some free trials to see which works best.

Moyens Staff
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