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

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 01:31 AM.
#1
98 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
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?
#2
Southern California, USA
6,188 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#3
90 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
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
#4
High Desert, California, USA
5,910 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Originally posted by chrisp83
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Gary

Question with boldness . . hold to the truth . . . speak without fear.
LIMITED government . . . INDIVIDUAL freedom . . . FREE markets


Cruise Pics at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wearyeagle/sets/


Final good bye to the SPLENDOR February 24, 2018
Carnival Breeze - Cozumel,Belize,Honduras
Carnival INSPIRATION X2 - can't beat these prices, folks. Gotta do it again.
Carnival IMAGINATION X3- Ensenada, Catalina again
it never gets old. (26 miles across the sea)
PRINCESS STAR - Alaska, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Victoria, B.C.
Carnival MIRACLE X3- So Caribbean, Grand Turk, La Romana, Dominican Republic, Curacao, Aruba and Mexican Riviera
Carnival SPLENDOR X 3 - Mexican Riviera BF & AF, sister of the Costa CONCORDIA
Carnival SPIRIT lower Mexican Riviera, Acapulco,Zihuantenejo/Ixtapa,Manzanillo
Carnival VICTORY X 2 Halifax, Nova Scotia - Cozumel, Panama, Montego Bay

Carnival LEGEND - Eastern Caribbean
Carnnival PRIDE X 2 Mexican Riviera PLATINUM !
Carnival GLORY X 2 Western Caribbean & Eastern Caribbean
Carnival ELATION X 3 Mexican Riviera
Carnival JUBILEE X 3 Mexican Riviera
Carnival TROPICALE X 3 Mexican Riviera
NCL SEAWARD Western Caribbean
PACQUET LINES (French ship disaster) LA to Vancouver
#5
Pittsburgh, PA
493 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
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.
#7
134 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
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).
#8
Overland Park, KS
67 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
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?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Mandy

Carnival Dream - October 27, 2012 (Exotic Western Caribbean)
Carnival Liberty - October 25, 2011 (Exotic Eastern Caribbean)
Carnival Liberty - September 29, 2007 (Exotic Western Caribbean)
Carnival Victory - March 2, 2003 (Western Caribbean)
Carnival Paradise - October 13, 2002 (Eastern Caribbean)
Carnival Paradise - December 16, 2001 (Western Caribbean)
#9
New Mexico
14,676 Posts
Joined May 2004
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Been There Done That:Crown Princess Jan 2017 Cape Horn, Regal Princess Sep 2016, Diamond Princess Feb-Mar 2016, Royal Princess Oct. 2015, Africa Sept. 2015, Caribbean Princess Dec. 2014, Ruby Princess Dec. 2014, Crown Princess April 2013, Crown Princess Oct/Nov 2012, Grand Princess Dec 2011, Sapphire Princess March 2011, Emerald Princess July 2010, Maui by Kayak March 2008, Grand Princess March 2007 (Man Overboard Cruise) Carnival Spirit March 2006, Golden Princess June 2004, Star Princess July 2002, Ryndam June 1998, Nordic Prince 1986, Norway 1984
#10
Overland Park, KS
67 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Mandy

Carnival Dream - October 27, 2012 (Exotic Western Caribbean)
Carnival Liberty - October 25, 2011 (Exotic Eastern Caribbean)
Carnival Liberty - September 29, 2007 (Exotic Western Caribbean)
Carnival Victory - March 2, 2003 (Western Caribbean)
Carnival Paradise - October 13, 2002 (Eastern Caribbean)
Carnival Paradise - December 16, 2001 (Western Caribbean)
#11
Greer, SC
43 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Carnival Valor - 9/2013
Carnival Fascination - 8/2012
Carnival Pride - 4/2012
Carnival Dream - 9/2011
Carnival Splendor - 9/2009
Carnival Legend - 9/2007
Fantasy - 8/2006
Fascination - 7/1994
Horizon (Celebrity) - New Years '93
Ecstasy - 6/1991
Celebration - 8/1988
#12
Atlantic City,New Jersey
2 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
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
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Till I Sail

Carnival Victory 2007
Carnival Legend 2004
Carnival Spirit 2003
Carnival Fantasy 1996
Carnival Mardi Gras 1987
#13
Northen Kentucky
2,432 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Henepup



#14
134 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by jer630
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.
#15
1,160 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by YorkieMommyKandis
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Tahitian Princess - Sometime in 2008?
Carnival Fascination - 12/24/07
Carnival Triumph - 3/10/07
Carnival Victory - 7/15/06
USS Abraham Lincoln - CVN72 - 2001
#16
Springfield, MO
46 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature





Carnival Conquest -February 2011
Crown Princess- Jan 2009
Carnival Destiny- Sept 2007
Carnival Fantasy- Jan 2006
#17
Baldwin NY, United States
72 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
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....
#18
134 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by eggy5404
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
#19
new braunfels,tx
2,392 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Splendour of the Seas - 3/04
Sovereign of the Seas - 10/04
Mariner of the Seas - 10/05
Mariner of the Seas - 10/06
Carnival Conquest - 4/22/07
Carnival Valor - 8/12/07
Carnival Destiny - 5/04/08
Carnival Liberty - 8/29/09
Carnival Fantasy - 09/19/09
Carnival Spirit - 05/04/11
Carnival Magic - 05/05/13
Carnival Sunshine - 2/23/14
#20
134 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by ruskatab
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.