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View Full Version : Sprint says it is free to use their cell service at sea (cruise to the Bahamas)


YorkieMommyKandis
September 15th, 2007, 03:45 PM
Is this true???? Or does Sprint just have customer service agents who aren't very helpful (this is the feeling that I get). I had to make at least 5 different calls, after having someone give me an alternate number to call, then that number not working, calling back, getting transferred to someone I couldn't hear, etc., etc. I finally get through to someone who tells me that I have free roaming and that includes free roaming on the cruise ship. Is this true??? I don't want to get a thousand dollar phone bill. They acted like they didn't know the cost when I called, but I guarantee you after I made the calls they would know exactly what they charge. I tried looking on their website, but it said to call the number for more information on rates. Why are they so secretive?

jleq
September 15th, 2007, 04:10 PM
I have no idea what the cost is when you get to the Bahamas itself. That, you have to take up with your provider. While you're on the ship itself there is a $2.49/minute charge...plus any charge added by your phone company. Even if they add nothing, you're charged the $2.49 by a company that isn't Sprint.

chrisp83
September 15th, 2007, 06:05 PM
I work for T-Mobile USA in Georgia. What the sprint customer service rep told you is partially true. Sprint will not charge you in addition to the roaming rate that Wireless Maritime Services (WMS) charges you.

The industry standard rate on ships is $2.49 / minute. Some carriers are a little cheaper, and some are more due to roaming agreement between the carriers and the satellite provider.

Please keep in mind if you have a PDA or any other device that uses data over network to provide you email, internet etc you will be charged more. For example if you have a PDA, make sure you leave the battery out of it! Most PDA's, while even turned off still sync with the network to provide you with up to date email messages, news, etc.

Have a great time cruising!
P.S. I've always told people that I am on vacation, my cell is turned off! If they need me bad enough they can pay the $9.00 per minute to contact Carnival, and they will route the call to your room.

Chris

glrounds
September 15th, 2007, 06:10 PM
Have a great time cruising!
P.S. I've always told people that I am on vacation, my cell is turned off! If they need me bad enough they can pay the $9.00 per minute to contact Carnival, and they will route the call to your room.

Chris

I love that ! ! Great idea ! ! I'll have to use that in the future. :D

TracersQQ
September 15th, 2007, 06:22 PM
I have Sprint and did the western Caribbean in January 2007. I asked about roaming and ship rates and nobody at Sprint knew anything about ship rates. They suggested that I get the international roaming added for slightly less than $5/month and then cancel it when I get home. That is what I did and my Sprint bill was only $5 more than it usually is. There were no additional charges on it. I understand that the international roaming is a discounted roaming rate (it's not free romaming). I had to use my phone several times (I had to keep calling the airlines because they lost our luggage), so I had a few outgoing calls, plus checking my voicemail and a few text messages. I was scared my bill was going to be over $100 from all this, but it was only $5 (for the international roaming) more than usual.

virginiab
September 15th, 2007, 08:55 PM
Do you remember whether you made your calls while the ship was in port or while the ship was at sea?

JonnyCruiser
September 15th, 2007, 10:12 PM
I just spent two days working on this issue and I found that a good place to begin is at http://www.wirelessatsea.com/. While there, click "For End Users" then click "Sprint".

Call the number at the bottom of the Sprint page and you will be told that calls made or answered while at sea will cost you $2.99 per minute, while calls made/answered in port will fall under the international roaming plan (for the Bahamas) or, in my case, Nationwide Calling (San Juan PR and St Thomas VI).

Mandygal
September 15th, 2007, 11:50 PM
I called Sprint last week and was also told it was $2.99. So, just to be sure I understand it is $2.99 per minute from Sprint plus $2.49 per minute from someone else?

cherylandtk
September 15th, 2007, 11:56 PM
Mandy, its not clear, since Sprint is the only one who does not post the rate on their website. IF I had to guess, I would say that the 2.99 is the total rate; 2.49 for WMS and 0.50 for Sprint. But check to see if that is with or without the 5.00/mo Int'l roaming plan.

Mandygal
September 16th, 2007, 12:09 AM
Thanks, Cheryl! The person at Sprint said that the International plan has no bearing on the ship rate. It is the same with or without the plan. They did suggest adding the plan so that I can call from Costa Rica and Panama for around 25 cents per minute.

jer630
September 16th, 2007, 12:20 AM
FYI - I have a personal phone that's Sprint/Nextel and a work phone that's AT&T. I just got off the Legend last week (Grand Turk, Cayman, etc.) and my Sprint phone said "no service" the entire trip, wheras my AT&T phone read "Cellular at Sea" the entire trip. Could have just been my phone (it's older), I don't know.

libram
September 16th, 2007, 12:24 AM
I have Sprint with roaming included in my plan. On our cruise in April we had service the entire cruise including text messaging. In Jamaica I received a text from Sprint saying welcome to Jamaica. The Caymen Islands I noticed my phone said "digital roaming" I did not make any phone calls because I was afraid I might get a charge for the calls. In Mexico I had no service but once I was back onboard I had service.
Another passenger said I was picking up from the ship's tower and was going to be billed. When I received my next bill I had no extra charges for that month

henepup
September 16th, 2007, 01:16 AM
I have Sprint, on my last cruise 1/2007 on NCL I used my phone at sea. Someone called me and I talked for 5 minutes, the bill was $14.00 more than my regular bill. My phone said it was in digital roaming, that was the only time it said any thing different. I did use it in St. Thomas and Naussa with no problem.

JonnyCruiser
September 16th, 2007, 07:25 AM
FYI - I have a personal phone that's Sprint/Nextel and a work phone that's AT&T. I just got off the Legend last week (Grand Turk, Cayman, etc.) and my Sprint phone said "no service" the entire trip, wheras my AT&T phone read "Cellular at Sea" the entire trip. Could have just been my phone (it's older), I don't know.

Most Sprint accounts are configured with International Roaming disabled by default. You must call Sprint before leaving and ask them to "throw the switch" which enables international roaming. Note that this has nothing to do with rate plans - it merely allows your phone to access these networks. Similar to the way many phones allow the user to disable regular roaming.

For purposes of network identification, the at sea cellular service counts as international roaming, however as to cost there are no "free" plans which cover at sea service. As has been pointed out, the Wireless At Sea folks are going to get their $2.49 per minute (charged to your cell bill) and, in the case of Sprint and some others, that rate will be boosted to give the your cell provider a cut of the action.

ParrotRob
September 16th, 2007, 07:30 AM
Is this true???? Or does Sprint just have customer service agents who aren't very helpful (this is the feeling that I get). I had to make at least 5 different calls, after having someone give me an alternate number to call, then that number not working, calling back, getting transferred to someone I couldn't hear, etc., etc. I finally get through to someone who tells me that I have free roaming and that includes free roaming on the cruise ship. Is this true??? I don't want to get a thousand dollar phone bill.

There's a simple solution to that - leave the thing turned off.

browneyedgirlmo
September 28th, 2007, 01:06 PM
I will be on the Destiny. I called Sprint and my phone will work at Puerto Rico and St thomas same rates as home if you have long distance.
If you use the phone on the ship it is 2.99 a minute total. I sometimes takes a couple of months for the charges to show up on you bill.
Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua do not have service.

eggy5404
September 28th, 2007, 02:31 PM
I have Sprint with free roaming including Digital Roaming.. I called customer service before I left on my cruise this past July and was told that if I got service on my phone, the calls were included in my plan... (I didn't have intl rates included on my plan)

I got my bill late Aug and it was $795. (Family plan is usually $105 a month) I was livid.. I called Sprint to complain, was told that I was charged intl rates at $2.95 a min which includes incoming and outgoing calls.

I was charged intl rates the first day we left ft. Lauderdale but according to the rep, I must have been in intl waters, but I didn't get charged for calls made in the bahamas...

Eventually, they agreed to remove all the charges however I was told to buy the intl plan for the month and cancel when I got home.. Lesson learned, no cell phone calls at all while on vacation....

JonnyCruiser
September 28th, 2007, 02:42 PM
I have Sprint with free roaming including Digital Roaming.. I called customer service before I left on my cruise this past July and was told that if I got service on my phone, the calls were included in my plan... (I didn't have intl rates included on my plan)

I got my bill late Aug and it was $795. (Family plan is usually $105 a month) I was livid.. I called Sprint to complain, was told that I was charged intl rates at $2.95 a min which includes incoming and outgoing calls.

I was charged intl rates the first day we left ft. Lauderdale but according to the rep, I must have been in intl waters, but I didn't get charged for calls made in the bahamas...

Eventually, they agreed to remove all the charges however I was told to buy the intl plan for the month and cancel when I got home.. Lesson learned, no cell phone calls at all while on vacation....

As I said in another thread, "Well, I am more convinced than before that either no one (no "official" source, that is) really knows the answer, or they are deliberately obfuscating the truth."

See http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=626645

ruskatab
September 28th, 2007, 02:58 PM
I have Sprint and have used it on my cruises. I pay the 5 dollars for the international plan. First the phone must be on analog roam mode. Then I get the country codes and use them to call and its like 99 cents a minute. its free in St. thomas and puerto rico.

JonnyCruiser
September 28th, 2007, 03:07 PM
I have Sprint and have used it on my cruises. I pay the 5 dollars for the international plan. First the phone must be on analog roam mode. Then I get the country codes and use them to call and its like 99 cents a minute. its free in St. thomas and puerto rico.

The most authoratative answer I received came in at $2.99 per minute. I did run up about 10 minutes of airtime while aboard the Miracle last week; I'll try to remember to post when I receive my bill and see the actual charges.

Wennfred
September 28th, 2007, 03:30 PM
Is this true????

Hi YorkieMommyKandis,

If you are one of those that like to yap on the phone, well get ready for that bill when you return from your cruise. :D Some on here have received their bills from $300 to $800 duckies.

Just turn it off and lock it in your safe.


Fred

lovetocruise444
September 28th, 2007, 03:32 PM
One thing you might not be aware of -

If the ship is in port (even in Miami) and you use your phone you could be charged from the ship if the ships antenae (sp?) is the one that picks up. I used my phone from the ship but while in the states and got charges from Carnival. They told me that you must physically leave the ship to not get charged by them

Wennfred
September 28th, 2007, 03:34 PM
One thing you might not be aware of -

If the ship is in port (even in Miami) and you use your phone you could be charged from the ship if the ships antenae (sp?) is the one that picks up. I used my phone from the ship but while in the states and got charges from Carnival. They told me that you must physically leave the ship to not get charged by them


That sucks because the MTN System is suppose to be shutdown while in port. They must of forgot to turn it off.


Fred

sea_u_onboard
September 28th, 2007, 05:56 PM
This is new to me. I used in onboard in July (Alaska and Vancouver) and it's 2.49 a minute, please I needed international roaming.

Call the INTERNATIONAL department and talk to them. The regular reps don't have a clue what they are talking about. I'm not saying that what they told you is wrong - but I wouldn't chance it.

Try a tracfone - I hear they work great.

bakechef
September 28th, 2007, 06:03 PM
This is new to me. I used in onboard in July (Alaska and Vancouver) and it's 2.49 a minute, please I needed international roaming.

Call the INTERNATIONAL department and talk to them. The regular reps don't have a clue what they are talking about. I'm not saying that what they told you is wrong - but I wouldn't chance it.

Try a tracfone - I hear they work great.

Recent post have said that tracfone may have wised up, and may not work on ships any longer.

MAC

sea_u_onboard
September 28th, 2007, 06:04 PM
This is new to me (about free). I used it onboard in July (Alaska and Vancouver) and it was 2.49 a minute, plus I had international roaming.

Call the INTERNATIONAL department and talk to them. The regular reps don't have a clue what they are talking about (I called 4 different times). I'm not saying that what they told you is wrong - but I wouldn't chance it.

I was told the same line of bull as the prior poster about having roaming, and international, yahdah yahdah yahdah and I would be fine. NOT - I got hit with a big bill. I called and complained and they took everything off - including the calls I made in Vancouver. Now it did take me 5 phone calls and working my way through 2 supervisors. It was very time consuming also. I would not risk going on the verbal word of someone - make them send you something in writing.

I told them that there is no way I would have made the calls if I had know. Many of the calls were to my sons phone, that is on our plan and would normally be free, and I was charged - he was on the boat with us. I told them I didn't have STUPID tatooed on my forehead and that I believed the reps when they told me I was all set.

Try a tracfone - I hear they work great.

cpprinttom
September 28th, 2007, 08:21 PM
You can call Sprint 8 times, and talk to 8 different people, and get 8 different answers about anything you ask them. :confused:

sea_u_onboard
September 29th, 2007, 12:33 AM
Sorry about the double post - my first one didn't show up (at least that's what I thought - so I posted again with additional info.

I hate to hear that tracfone may have wised up. I was hoping to use it when I go.

ronrythm
September 29th, 2007, 06:27 PM
There have been other threads where posters have stated it has taken 3 months for the charges from while at sea to show up on their bill, so keep checking your bill after you get back for a while. Personally, I tell people to call me at the $9.00 a minute line and then I will turn on my cell and call them back. This makes sure it is important.
Enjoy
Ron

luna_goddess
October 2nd, 2007, 04:38 PM
I used my Sprint cell phone last year (in port only) in Puerto Rico & St. Thomas.

Sprint reps had confirmed that PR & St. Thomas are included in the "nation-wide sprint pcs network" and i had absolutely no additional charges on my bill or subsequent bills. :D

bettyboop42413
October 2nd, 2007, 04:43 PM
I couldn't make calls from the Bahamas or the ship for some reason :confused: People could call me though. I even called information and asked what to do and nothing worked......anybody else have this happen? I have AT&T/Cingular.

JonnyCruiser
October 11th, 2007, 08:47 AM
The most authoratative answer I received came in at $2.99 per minute. I did run up about 10 minutes of airtime while aboard the Miracle last week; I'll try to remember to post when I receive my bill and see the actual charges.


Update: I just received my Sprint bill covering the period of my Miracle cruise (9/16 - 9/24). I made 11 minutes of at-sea calls for which I was charged $2.49 per minute, $27.39 total.

jmaze
October 11th, 2007, 10:15 AM
I have Nextel/Sprint (they seem to keep separating themselves but bill as Sprint). I want to have my phone available for an emergency (kids, dogs etc.) but don't plan to make any calls myself. So, am I understanding that when we go to the Western Carribean on the Legend next month I will be charged $2.99 a minute to check for messages or to return a call, and an amount from the ship. I don't think I have free roaming and everything I have read has started to get confusing? I will only use my phone to check for a message about kids, dogs and to return the call if there is a message. Thanks for saving me the $$$:D