Get a laptop with built in wireless. It's hard to find one today without it.
Hot-spots are available everywhere, but about 90% of them are not free. Wireless at airports runs about five bucks an hour. Some coffee shops (you know the big one) are not free either. You have to shop around. And I'll almost guarantee wi-fi on the ship is not free. But who knows? All you have to do is ask.
To use these hot spots, you open your browser and the laptop will find the signal. It'll ask you if you want to use this network. You say yes. The laptop will then open a page for the provider's network. And give you the cost for using the service. You enter your credit card information. Done.
All those people you see surfing are paying for it. The only exception I've found is in a hotel where it's part of the room cost.
i am looking into buying alaptop which i want to take it on a cruise and need to know what i really need for it. i want to go wi-fi would i be able to get a signal anywhere without paying for service from the ship i see a lot of people at airports using comp. what do they have to get onlinte thank you very much cruiser