HAL-Holland America Line provided free WhatsApp access for its crew on all 14 ships in the fleet. All the crew members throughout the fleet can now chat on WhatsApp at no cost. Following this news, HAL also launched CSS (Crew Self-Service) giving crew free access to personal employment information.
Via CSS shipboard employees can easily access their contract details, see rotation schedules, port details, and more. An announcements board within Crew Self-Service enables Holland America to communicate directly with officers and crew electronically even in case they do not have a Holland America email address.
In recent years more cruise companies started to offer free internet services for their crew. Disney Cruise Line released the free texting package for the crew members on October 31, 2019. Bahamas Paradise offers free Internet for the crew daily from 9 am to 5 pm. The internet onboard Viking Ocean ships is also free of charge for their crew. AIDA Cruises provides a total of 500 megabytes monthly free Internet (per crew) when the ship is in port. Virgin Voyages also gives their crew free Internet.