Do you call friends and family from ports or the ship?

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#1
61 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
I have to make a very important long business related phone call from one of my first ports of call during my European trip. I have two options: Call from the ship and pay $7.95 per minute, or call from one of those payphones I usually find at the dock and yell over the crowd. (I don't own a monthly rate cell phone) And why do they pick such noisy locations for the bank of payphones?

Recently I have noticed a general decrease in phones at Internet cafes at the various ports of call that have telephone booths. It is getting harder and harder to find any phones at all at many ports of call.

Why do they make it so hard to call home while cruising? What do you do if you need to make important longer calls back to America while cruising?
#2
New Brunswick
39,132 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by librarygal
I have to make a very important long business related phone call from one of my first ports of call during my European trip. I have two options: Call from the ship and pay $7.95 per minute, or call from one of those payphones I usually find at the dock and yell over the crowd. (I don't own a monthly rate cell phone) And why do they pick such noisy locations for the bank of payphones?

Recently I have noticed a general decrease in phones at Internet cafes at the various ports of call that have telephone booths. It is getting harder and harder to find any phones at all at many ports of call.

Why do they make it so hard to call home while cruising? What do you do if you need to make important longer calls back to America while cruising?
I have to confess - I take my cell and buy a package to cover the long distance calls (especially from Europe). I think that is why you are seeing fewer pay phones. If confidentiality is an issue and you need quiet - you may have no choice but to call from the ship.

Have you thought of using Skype if you are taking a computer? That might give you the perfect balance. Internet usage is a lot cheaper than a phone call on the ship. Just a thought.
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#3
104,685 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
You are finding that there are less telephones everywhere.

That is because more and nore people are taking their cell phones, computers, netbooks, etc.

If your ship is only charging $7.95 per minute -- that is cheap as compared to HAL -- $16 per minute.
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#4
USA
206 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by librarygal
I have to make a very important long business related phone call from one of my first ports of call during my European trip. I have two options: Call from the ship and pay $7.95 per minute, or call from one of those payphones I usually find at the dock and yell over the crowd. (I don't own a monthly rate cell phone) And why do they pick such noisy locations for the bank of payphones?

Recently I have noticed a general decrease in phones at Internet cafes at the various ports of call that have telephone booths. It is getting harder and harder to find any phones at all at many ports of call.

Why do they make it so hard to call home while cruising? What do you do if you need to make important longer calls back to America while cruising?
You aren't finding payphones because they are out of style with most people having cell phones, ipads and laptops with them while traveling. Simple as that supply and demand less demand for public phones the less they will have on the streets. Why they put them in the locations they do is simple because its were the people are.

I don't know what you do for a living but might the company have cell phones for business calls that you could take with you and only use for work. For my old company we had satellite phones for people leaving the country on company trips or personal vacations who may need to call the office for meetings.

If privacy and silence is needed your best option IMO is from the ship - maybe you could have the company reimburse you for cost of the call??
#5
Vancouver, BC
1,282 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Pay phones are difficult to find anywhere now. The cost of upkeep is prohibitive. And, if one can find a pay phone, it's usually been vandalized and out of order anyway.

More and more people are disconnecting their home phone as well.

As the above poster suggested, Skype is a good option.
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#7
10,911 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
What port will you be calling from? I think you'd be better off to find a hotel and use a pay phone there; it will be quieter and larger hotels still seem to have at least a few pay phones.

If you tell us the port I'm sure someone can suggest a quiet location.
#9
Church Point AKA Cajun Country
10,754 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
We only call our nearest living relative who is our brother. And, this is only to let him know we are in our cabin and that the ship will be leaving our home port in X number of minutes or hours.

If we have an emergency then we will call him. Until then we are on vacation and try to leave our worries (if we have any) behind.
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#10
Toronto, Canada
3,842 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by librarygal
I have to make a very important long business related phone call from one of my first ports of call during my European trip. I have two options: Call from the ship and pay $7.95 per minute, or call from one of those payphones I usually find at the dock and yell over the crowd
Another option is finding an internet cafe - they might have pay phones, or the ability to Skype (if Skype is an option for you). And there should be several close to the port. Or, if it's going to be a longish call, you could also consider buying a local SIM card for your cel phone with included minutes, if it's unlocked - in many places they are very cheap.
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#11
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
20,986 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Skype usually does not work thru the ship's wifi. Non-video calling thru Skype might work but video takes up too much bandwidth.

OP- I feel your pain DH calls the office at lease once a day when we are on vacation.

Check to see what your pay-as-you-go cell phone has in terms of overseas travel.
#12
Boca Raton, Florida
2,910 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
12 years ago I used my T-Mobile GSM cell phone to call a business associate when 12 miles off the coast of Italy on Celebrity Millennium. Wasn't too expensive back then.
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#13
6,358 Posts
Joined May 2009
Have you considered purchasing and AT&T pre-paid international calling card sold at WalMart ? You would still have to locate a phone preferrably not at the dock. The problem with the phones at the dock is that there are usually long lines of ship personal waiting to make calls.

Another option would be is to purchase a prepaid cell phone such as a T-Mobile To Go Phone that has no contract. Rather you buy a pre-paid card . $100 card gives you 1000 minutes. Of course that's in the USA so yyou would have to take into consideration roaming charges from the country you're calling.

With both options you would need to get to obtain country code number to dial to access the USA.
#14
SF Bay Area
1,432 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
If your call can wait until you reach port I would go with Skype. There's a Skype app for the iPhone too. If the other caller has Skype, Skype to Skype calls are free. BTW when you use Skype on an iPhone, make sure its via wi-fi and not the cell service.