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  #1  
Old January 7th, 2012, 07:24 PM
winchesterdog winchesterdog is offline
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Default Iphone - imessage - cruise

Hey guys! I have a new twist on an old question but with the Iphone OS 5 release I wish to pick your brains a bit. I am going on my first cruise in Feb to Aruba on Princess Grand - anyway my family all got new Iphone 4s for Christmas and with them is the new IMessage app - Now with the OS 5 release enabled Iphone users (those with OS 5.0) to basically text to other OS 5.0 devices (Iphones and IPADs) without using there phone carriers text plan. This is done over a wifi connection and only works between OS 5.0 users and devices - (any text to or from your pals android debits your text plan) - heres my question: With the new Imessage do we now have the ability to buy a wifi package on ship and fundamentally have a way to text or communicate to each other and friends back home for cheaper than the 50 cent per message cell service plan. I know its about 20 bucks a mb of data but how much data does a text sent and recieved really use? I guess to summarize does the new OS system for the Ipod and IPADS change things for communicating while cruising?

Thanks
Kevin
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  #2  
Old January 7th, 2012, 08:00 PM
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cherylandtk cherylandtk is offline
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I use a data plan to text (different system) but it works much like your iPhone. Each message is less than 1Kb.
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  #3  
Old January 7th, 2012, 08:33 PM
1025cruise 1025cruise is offline
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One thing to keep in mind, the internet plans on ships are charged by the minute, not by message size. You can be logged in, doing nothing on the internet, and still be billed.
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  #4  
Old January 7th, 2012, 11:07 PM
kitty9 kitty9 is offline
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Anything done via Wifi will be more expensive because it's done per minute, not per text. And there's no such thing as partial minutes even if you only use 35 seconds, you're charged for a minute. Most wifi plans are more than 50 cents a minute. Also remember, iPhones are insanely expensive if you don't put it on airplane mode, which won't allow texting. If you don't disable the data roaming, you're going to be charged phone charges of $2.49 per minute. Lots of people don't realize this and come home to bills of $600 and up to over $1500.
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  #5  
Old January 7th, 2012, 11:46 PM
winchesterdog winchesterdog is offline
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Ok so I was unaware of the per minute data rate - so if I can clarify... I would be billed from the point of being logged on the internet - not for the amount of data transfered? So say I was logged in with my iphone for 7 days non stop and just checked my e-mail a couple of times and maybe scanned a few sports scores I would owe like a million bucks? WOW!

OK so data is out - if I may go further - Say I have ATT and sign up for their international plan (for Port calls). I decide to keep my phone with me on ship and let in roam on the Ships cell service I NEVER recieve a call or make a call - or recieve a text or send a text would my bill then be zero?
Last question.. assuming the above information - I make a one minute call , recieve a 1 minute call. send a text, and recieve 1 text - I would then have a bill around 7 bucks give or take?

Sorry for being so detailed about this I just want to make the right choice.

Kevin
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  #6  
Old January 8th, 2012, 12:26 AM
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Oshawapilot Oshawapilot is offline
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You have to buy your minutes up-front. You'll get a code that must be input on the front-page that shows up when you try to connect to the ships WiFi. When you run out of prepaid minutes, you get booted, end of story.

The second you connect, the clock starts. If you use 1KB or 1MB (or whatever) it's indifferent - the clock counts minutes, not megs.

It's important to take note that there is a very specific method required to ensure you are logged out before you "finish" using the WiFi as otherwise it's entirely possible you'll use your entire allotment of minutes perhaps without even having your device turned on.

I'm familliar with iOS5 and iMessage (we have 4 iOS5 devices in our house) and although your idea is fundementally sound from a technological perspective (and honestly will probably still constitute a saving versus sending and receiving texts the traditional way via the ships Cellular connection) it will still by no means be low-cost.

If the messages are not urgent, wait until you find WiFi at your ports of call and send/receive all your messages then. Heck, I even made a Facetime video call back home from St Maarten at one point - the "eat your heart out" factor was off the charts when I stood on the beach panning the camera around as my relative back home sat in a snowstorm.
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Last edited by Oshawapilot; January 8th, 2012 at 12:26 AM.
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  #7  
Old January 8th, 2012, 12:31 AM
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Regarding the second half of your question (sorry, missed that the first time) you should clarify REALLY carefully about your cell carriers policies on cruise ship cellular options. Have all parts of the conversation documented on your account by the rep you are speaking to so that if there is any "confusion" afterwards with billing you have a leg to stand on.

I think $7 for everything you quoted is very unrealistic unless your carrier has extremely good roaming rates. Again, check to be absolutely positive sure.

One last thing to keep in mind about leaving your phone turned on aboard the ship (not in airplane mode) but simply not using it is this - you can't control when someone texts you. Even uninvited, the texts will arrive..and the bill may come as a surprise.

Lets put it this way - if there is some compelling (AKA, Emergency!) reason to leave your phone on with no intention to otherwise use it, that's a risk you take..but otherwise, just put it in airplane mode and stay safe. Don't forget, if anyone needs to call you urgently (or otherwise) they can call the ship at their expense and reach you right in your stateroom on your phone. If it's urgent nobody is going to question the per minute cost of calling the ship to get ahold of you..but your friend who forgets you're on vacation and texts you 50 times about how she just had a fight with her boyfriend/spouse/dog/etc while you were out of your stateroom could end up costing you a fortune.
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Last edited by Oshawapilot; January 8th, 2012 at 12:33 AM.
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  #8  
Old January 8th, 2012, 08:40 AM
winchesterdog winchesterdog is offline
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Excellent answer and advice - thank you very much for the clarification. Love the face-time idea.

Kevin
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  #9  
Old January 8th, 2012, 03:55 PM
kitty9 kitty9 is offline
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If you keep your phone on with roaming, but don't turn off data roaming, your phone will keep scanning for things like emails and you're going to be charged by the minute. If you keep data roaming off, you can still use your phone, but you won't get the internet charges. Again, regardless of international calling plan for Verizon, you will be charged around $2.49 a minute for any international calls both on and off the ship. The only places where you won't get international roaming are San Juan and St Thomas, as those are considered part of the US.
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  #10  
Old January 10th, 2012, 10:15 AM
Kroozen Kroozen is offline
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I'd be wary of using the iPhone (or any smartphone) on the ship at all. I forgot to put my iPhone in airplane mode, and I received a HUGE phone bill the next month. I tried to fight in, but in the end, I had to pay. When I called Apple, they told me that when the iPhone (or any smartphone) is in a cellular coverage area, it will constantly update itself (weather, stocks, email, etc).
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  #11  
Old January 10th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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attilamom1217 attilamom1217 is online now
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For what it is worth, i turn my phone off (powered down) and keep it in the safe. When we get to a port, i will check for messages, then turn it off again. Family back home has the ship information to call for an emergency. Otherwise, they send an email and we will answer the email (if the response can't wait for our return) using the computers onboard and pay for minutes.

Our first cruise, we had a situation with our dog (who passed away a couple of weeks after our return) and paid $2.50 per minute for roaming charges at each of the ports.
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  #12  
Old January 12th, 2012, 01:40 AM
Gordie Howe Gordie Howe is offline
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Default Cruising with your iPhone

Quote:
Originally Posted by winchesterdog View Post
Hey guys! I have a new twist on an old question but with the Iphone OS 5 release I wish to pick your brains a bit...I guess to summarize does the new OS system for the Ipod and IPADS change things for communicating while cruising?

DO NOT even think of communicating with anyone "back home" via anything but the ship's WiFi ($$) or from a WiFi location in port. Trust me! Otherwise it will co$t you BIG TIME.

Here is something I posted a while ago, read it, please. I have been doing it this way and NEVER have I spent a penny on communicating "back home," other than the ship's Internet/WiFi costs and maybe a few bucks at an island Internet cafe, but usually a purchase will suffice at the cafes.

<< I personally do not trust the "Airplane Mode." I always remove the SIM card and that removes all of my worries. I'll just use the iPhone's WiFi capabilities during that time.

In Airplane Mode your WiFi becomes disabled. But you can go back to Settings and restart WiFi - but - also realize if you do indeed flip back out of Airplane Mode, out of your network, look out because your phone will begin roaming and any/all texts and incoming/saved/VM calls will download with their associated roaming charge$$.

But be safe, remove the SIM card and rest easy. If need be, use Skype or Viber for VoIP calls from either the ship ($$) or the nearest computer/WiFi/internet locale (free) when you hit a port. The crew members always know the best locales.

And my experiences with the ship's sea phones - very expensive and voice quality is bad at best, with an extremely bothersome voice delay. Not worth the time, hassle nor expense.

Of interest:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0
and
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...5#post31718155
and
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...2#post31713312
and
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...8#post31659148 >>


Also think about getting the cross-platform app called WhatsApp. (http://www.whatsapp.com/) It's free (via WiFi) to text anyone else with the app, bypassing AT&T all together, for those that may not have the lastest iMessage app.

And also - using your iPhone, don't read mail online using the cruise ship's Internet/WiFi. Log on, download what is needed, log off, then read what you downloaded. Compose mail to send back if needed, log back on, upload and log off. Saves some serious time/$$, trust me.

Last edited by Gordie Howe; January 12th, 2012 at 01:53 AM.
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  #13  
Old January 12th, 2012, 07:07 AM
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Oshawapilot Oshawapilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordie Howe View Post
<< I personally do not trust the "Airplane Mode." I always remove the SIM card and that removes all of my worries. I'll just use the iPhone's WiFi capabilities during that time.
Rather than go through the hassle of removing the SIM, and the possibility of breaking the sim tray or loosing both the SIM and the tray (it happens), for anyone freaking out about the chance of inadvertently roaming while traveling, it's a lot easier to just call your cellphone carrier and have them block international roaming and ship-roaming on your account.

With a few keystrokes they can ensure that no matter what, your phone won't connect to any foreign cell networks, including the ships cellular connections.

In these sorts of "it could cost me a crapton if someone screws up" situations, ALWAYS ensure to have the customer service rep from your cellphone company document on your account what they did, and what they promised you...that way if you get back and end up with a massive bill because they screwed up and didn't disable it properly, you will just end up with a credit on your account.

Don't ask me how I know that.
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  #14  
Old January 12th, 2012, 02:47 PM
Gordie Howe Gordie Howe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oshawapilot View Post
Rather than go through the hassle of removing the SIM, and the possibility of breaking the sim tray or loosing both the SIM and the tray (it happens), for anyone freaking out about the chance of inadvertently roaming while traveling, it's a lot easier to just call your cellphone carrier and have them block international roaming and ship-roaming on your account.

With a few keystrokes they can ensure that no matter what, your phone won't connect to any foreign cell networks, including the ships cellular connections.

In these sorts of "it could cost me a crapton if someone screws up" situations, ALWAYS ensure to have the customer service rep from your cellphone company document on your account what they did, and what they promised you...that way if you get back and end up with a massive bill because they screwed up and didn't disable it properly, you will just end up with a credit on your account.

Don't ask me how I know that.
But how would that help anyone make calls. Plus, does anyone really trust AT&T (assuming he has AT&T) to do the right thing?

And also, what if, in that remote need, he would indeed have to make an international call. With the international block, he would basically be SOL.

I look at it this way. For years I have been actively removing my SIM with no problems. For years I have been actively involved with AT&T, any problems???

SIM removal is basically a no-brainer on the iPhone. The earlier models even included the little pin to facilitate the 3-second removal. I just place the removed SIM card in a tiny plastic container and lock it up in the in-room safe. Yeah, it may be a chore to pop it in and out (U.S.V.I. stops vs. non-U.S.V.I. stops) but the peace-of-mind knowing that AT&T will not collect any more $$ from me helps me sleep.

The Airplane Mode could work while still having access to WiFi if used properly. But, like my link to the Apple site, sometimes the Airplane Mode does have a mind of its own.

My money is still on the SIM card removal with no worries.
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  #15  
Old January 12th, 2012, 10:00 PM
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m$m7 m$m7 is offline
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Question

What is a safe way to use your iphone 4 if you have Verizon & no sim card to remove Is airplane mode enough with your data & call roaming turned off?

I would like to use it in port when I can get some free wifi to check emails but not make any calls or text. I can turn these things off in settings & turn just wifi on in airplane mode. Do I understand correctly that this will work & keep me from getting an outrageous bill

Thanks for any help.
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  #16  
Old January 12th, 2012, 10:20 PM
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Oshawapilot Oshawapilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m$m7 View Post
What is a safe way to use your iphone 4 if you have Verizon & no sim card to remove Is airplane mode enough with your data & call roaming turned off?
Yes...some people here forget that not every phone out there has a SIM card, including the Verizon iPhone.

Turn on airplane mode then go into settings and turn WiFi (and ONLY WiFI) back on if you want (presumably) to be able to utilize either the ships WiFi, or WiFi hotspots in ports - double check airplane mode is still on afterwards.

Then go into settings/network and turn Data roaming off just to be sure.

Without airplane mode data roaming settings MAY not be good enough alone as the ships Cellular-At-Sea connection may not appear "foreign enough" to your cellphone to be blocked....in other words, your cellphone may see it too much like home to consider you roaming. Airplane mode will fix that as it completely disables the cellular radios.

I would still call your carrier and turn off international roaming if you want to be double safe. Those freaking out about the potential safety hazards of doing that need not worry - 911 will still work no matter what. Even a completely unactivated phone (SIM or not if designed for such) will still be able to dial 911 - required by law.
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Last edited by Oshawapilot; January 12th, 2012 at 10:20 PM.
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  #17  
Old January 13th, 2012, 01:53 AM
Gordie Howe Gordie Howe is offline
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winchesterdog Kevin, Don't know what ship you're as you've not said, but... Carnival just last week introduced a fleet-wide in-room phone rate of $1.99 per minute for domestic and international calls.
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  #18  
Old January 13th, 2012, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordie Howe View Post
winchesterdog Kevin, Don't know what ship you're as you've not said, but... Carnival just last week introduced a fleet-wide in-room phone rate of $1.99 per minute for domestic and international calls.
Interesting...very reasonable rates - people would actually use their phones for non-emergency reasons at those rates - $1.99/Min is within the range of "Hey, I'm calling you from the middle of the ocean just because I can, Woohoo!" reasoning.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 08:07 AM
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Oshawapilot
Thank you for the information. It is much appreciated. No one needs to get a shocking bill after vacation
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