I can no longer recommend Ripple. As more complains come in from several cruise lines, it seems like most cruise lines are implementing blocking methods. If you still feel the need to try it out for your upcoming cruise, try looking for reviews for that specific cruise line.
As of today Carnival has blocked Ripple on several of their vessels. I have also heard of issues with Disney Cruise Line, but I cannot confirm that. My Original review stands true for MSC Divina, I suggest you look into other sources to confirm if the application is having issues with your particular cruise line.
Ok, so let’s talk Ripple Cruise Communicator. I was able to test this new iOS application right after it came out, on my MSC Divina cruise. At the time of this review the application costs $0.99. Overall I was very impressed with the application. Up until now we have been relying on cruise line–specific ways to communicate on the ship, and Ripple offers a completely new way to communicate.
How it works
I spoke directly with the creators of Ripple and they explained to me that the application works on a peer-to-peer connection. It is very simple; once you board the ship you set the phone on airplane mode and activate the Wi-Fi connection. Next you connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi—please note that you do not have to pay for this. You are able to connect to the Wi-Fi for free, they start charging you once you establish an Internet connection. Once you are on the Wi-Fi, you click on new cruise and then add your friends. Simple as that, the application starts working immediately.
Ripple offers video chat, call and texting options. I found myself using mostly the text feature, it is the most unobtrusive one, it works perfect when someone is on a show and you can just set your device to vibrate. The calling feature works great as long as the device has a strong WiFi signal, if the signal is weak in that part of the ship then the call quality deteriorates.
This is a new application, and as with everything new there are a few problems. The first one is that for some reason when you launch iTunes it interferes with the application and you have to start Ripple again by selecting new cruise. The developers told me that in order to remedy that you should only need to bring ripple up to the foreground again before locking your phone after playing music. They are looking into ways to fix this permanently, but it may take sometime before they are able to do it. We also found that for some reason the application was losing connection to the other devices after an extended period of time. To fix that I simply selected new cruise each morning and it usually lasted for the entire day.
I was never charged extra money by the cruise line or by my cell phone provider for the use of Ripple. You simply pay for the cost of the Application to iTunes and then just go from there. I cannot wait to see how this application evolves and grows from here.
Overall Opinion 3.8/5 Stars
This application will revolutionize the way we communicate on cruise ships. I was very happy with the overall performance of the application. Granted it does not work flawlessly at the current time, but I am confident that with time these small bugs will be fixed. Having this application made this cruise so much easier for me, and it allowed me to relax even more when I knew that I could communicate with my mom at any time to check on her. I highly recommend this product; it definitely beats all the other options available to us right now. The Android version is on the works.