iPhone data usage on board

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#1
Arizona
73 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
I've seen several cell phone questions on here. However, I've not seen any about the iPhone and Verizon service.

I am sailing out of Vancouver N/B in May and was wondering what mode I should put my phone in while on the ship or if it is best to leave it off until we are in port?

Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
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#2
24,495 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
On the ship, it goes in Airplane Mode and is powered off (just in case).

Off the ship, I use it in all the Alaskan ports like normal (Whittier can be iffy - voice worked but not voice mail and data was barely useable).
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#4
Arizona
73 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by Keith1010
Make sure your data roaming is off.

Other than that you are set.

Keith
I just looked at my roaming status and it was already turned off. Who knew? So I guess I am all set then.
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#5
85,151 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
You are.

Some will say to put it in airplane mode but that is not necessary. If you are going to do that just as well turn the phone off.

Keith
#6
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
28,376 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
That is probably your international data roaming. The last couple of years many new phones- including most ATT phones- come with a default setting of off. You want Airplane mode to protect you on the ship.
#7
85,151 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
In terms of airplane mode it really comes down to whether or not you want someone to reach you such as in an emergency.

If you don't make phone calls or answer your phone you will not pay for calls by having the airplane mode on.

Verify with Verizon but if you receive a text there should be no cost. There would be a cost to send it.

If you want to use the phone to connect with the internet you would go through the ships wififi and pay for that via the ship.

If you are in doubt contact Verizon but I have not had a problem.

Keith
#9
24,495 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by Keith1010

Verify with Verizon but if you receive a text there should be no cost. There would be a cost to send it.
My mom has a simple Verizon phone with no data plan. I accidentally left her phone on when sailing and she receive 3 text messages that were spam. We were charged for all 3 of them.

I called Verizon before our 3 cruises to Alaska this summer (technically 2 to Alaska and a coastal) and they told me to put it in Airplane Mode (my iPhone) and turn it off to be sure.
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#10
85,151 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Coral
My mom has a simple Verizon phone with no data plan. I accidentally left her phone on when sailing and she receive 3 text messages that were spam. We were charged for all 3 of them.

I called Verizon before our 3 cruises to Alaska this summer (technically 2 to Alaska and a coastal) and they told me to put it in Airplane Mode (my iPhone) and turn it off to be sure.
In the end it really comes down to whether or not you need the phone on for an emergency at home. If you do I keep the phone on. If you are charged for any texts I would just followup and obtain a credit.

Again, if you don't need the phone then by all means just turn it off.

Keith
#11
322 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
Originally posted by Coral
My mom has a simple Verizon phone with no data plan. I accidentally left her phone on when sailing and she receive 3 text messages that were spam. We were charged for all 3 of them.

I called Verizon before our 3 cruises to Alaska this summer (technically 2 to Alaska and a coastal) and they told me to put it in Airplane Mode (my iPhone) and turn it off to be sure.
Thanks for posting this. We will put the phone in Airplane Mode while on the ship.

Do you know if charges in port carry roaming fees if we make a call while in Alaska?
#12
24,495 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by fireflymd
Thanks for posting this. We will put the phone in Airplane Mode while on the ship.

Do you know if charges in port carry roaming fees if we make a call while in Alaska?
With Verizon - I made phone calls from Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Whittier with no extra charges. Whittier I had some issues getting voice mail and using my data plan (sporadic). AT&T seems to have better coverage there (Whittier).

No problems using data plan in Ketchikan, Juneau or Skagway.

I have called home from Vancouver and Victoria and I did have extra charges, but that was expected.
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#13
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
28,376 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by fireflymd
Thanks for posting this. We will put the phone in Airplane Mode while on the ship.

Do you know if charges in port carry roaming fees if we make a call while in Alaska?
Depends on your plan. If you have free roaming within the US, well, last time I looked, Alaska was a US state....
#14
85,151 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by fireflymd
Thanks for posting this. We will put the phone in Airplane Mode while on the ship.

Do you know if charges in port carry roaming fees if we make a call while in Alaska?
You will not be charged for calls to and from Alaska as this is part of the USA.
You would pay international rates for call to and from Canada.

Keith
#15
322 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
Originally posted by Coral
With Verizon - I made phone calls from Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Whittier with no extra charges. Whittier I had some issues getting voice mail and using my data plan (sporadic). AT&T seems to have better coverage there (Whittier).

No problems using data plan in Ketchikan, Juneau or Skagway.

I have called home from Vancouver and Victoria and I did have extra charges, but that was expected.
Originally posted by Keith1010
You will not be charged for calls to and from Alaska as this is part of the USA.
You would pay international rates for call to and from Canada.

Keith
Thanks to both of you. Do either of you know why there would be roaming charges while on the cruise even when the cruise is in US waters? Or have I read this incorrectly?
#16
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
28,376 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by fireflymd
Thanks to both of you. Do either of you know why there would be roaming charges while on the cruise even when the cruise is in US waters? Or have I read this incorrectly?
When you are on the ship, using the ship's cell service, it is always considered international, and costs large dinero. Doesn't matter if you are in US waters. It uses satellite communications, which have nothing to do with US waters.
#17
Tennessee
797 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
If you are close enough to a US shore, you will see your service provider change to Verizon or AT&T or whoever. You should be fine to use it then. But if it changes to Cellular and Sea, you will be charged.
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#18
24,495 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by fireflymd
Thanks to both of you. Do either of you know why there would be roaming charges while on the cruise even when the cruise is in US waters? Or have I read this incorrectly?
It is only when the ship is starting to dock in port, the switch over to Verizon (or whoever) takes place. At that point, they turn off the ship's cell towers.
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#19
Anchorage, AK
16,557 Posts
Joined May 2004
FYI, Verizon is moving into Alaska. I know they started building their building (they bought land right behind one of the local telephone companies (competition), who sold it to them) last spring. So, I'm figuring, more than likely by no later than the summer, they should be here. But, I can't confirm that for sure.

Susan in Anchorage
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#20
N. Carolina
78 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Putting your phone in airplane mode allows you to continue using the phone for an iPod, allows you to connect to available WiFi hotspots but will prevent any cellular service (data roaming, text messaging, voicemail & calls), and will allow you to iMessage onboard if you have WiFi available.

If you keep your phone on while on ship and someone calls and you let it go to voicemail, you will be charged 1 minute (i think its $2.50/min on a cruiseship) if you keep your phone on and someone texts you it will be free only if you have an existing text package on your account (ie-unlimited messaging). if you do not have a plan normally, then you are charged as an international text. any text you send while on board is an international text and you will be charged accordingly.

Turning your phone off, obviously makes it a brick!

One thing I would be careful about is if you planning on driving to the Yukon. You will change from US to international during the drive and it is possible that your cell phone will pick up a Canadian tower even though you're still in the US. Be careful--that happened to us once and our bill was ridiculous!
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