Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Ports of Call > Australia & New Zealand
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old September 28th, 2009, 07:13 PM
golfer14 golfer14 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1
Default cell phone/internet usage in south pacific

Does anyone have any info on cell phone coverage (Verizon) on a cruise from Hawaii to Australia? All Royal Caribbean could tell me is that their satellite supports most cell phones. Also, is an internet connection fairly reliable throughout the course of a day? Thanks for any info!
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #2  
Old September 28th, 2009, 07:17 PM
PennyAgain PennyAgain is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: more or less in TX
Posts: 10,380
Default

fairly reliable, very slow and very expensive.

If you really must stay in touch consider buying a satellite telephone so you are independent but be sure there is satellite coverage on your route.

It is not unusual for at sea cell service and internet service to not work at all for periods of time. In all cases verify costs and see what plans the cruise company offers especially related to the catagory of room you buy for the trip. Some companies offer free and/or heavier discounter internet service to suite passengers.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old September 28th, 2009, 08:31 PM
rdowney rdowney is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 288
Default

The Verizon Wireless web site lists cruise ships on which service is available. We had Verizon service on Celebrity in Australia and New Zealand last year so Royal Caribbean is probably supported as well. However, you will not have service on land in Australia unless you have a global phone that supports GSM instead of a standard Verizon CDMA phone. I can't comment on the reliability of on-board cell service in the middle of the South Pacific, but I had a consistent signal between Sydney and Auckland.
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old September 29th, 2009, 01:27 AM
kenish kenish is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The OC
Posts: 5,314
Default

A few FYIs- We are with Verizon and they have a great phone rental program. It's called the "occasional traveler" plan and they rent you a phone for 30 days max. Shipping both ways is prepaid, the cost is $9.99 for the whole thing. The rate is $1.29/min for Australia, or for $5 extra the rate drops to 99c/min. There were no hidden gotchas or fees. Your cell number in the USA travels with you, and Verizon will transfer your contacts to the rental phone. I told family, friends, and colleagues not to call unless it was urgent. All other calls showed up on Caller ID and I rejected the ones I didn't want to receive. Also voicemail worked fine.

The plan is great if you don't plan to use a lot of minutes. Other rental places may be better if you do because the rental is higher ($50-$100) but the per minute rates are lower. Beware though, many give you a number in a third country (usually the UK). Then US and Aussie callers have to place a call to the UK.

Last option is purchasing a phone outright either on eBay or overseas. Be sure they are "unlocked" so you can use a SIM card wherever you travel in the future. Also be sure they are "tri-band"....even if a US phone is GSM (e.g. AT&T or T-Mobile) it won't work in other GSM systems unless it's tri-band.

Friends cruise a lot and we stay in contact via email. South Pacific is the worst area...when they are down there I don't bother emailing them. They have stopped buying internet "packages" on South Pac cruises; the connection is so poor they often can't use all the minutes.

BTW, global phones are truly that...work from pole to pole on the same general concept as GPS satellites.
__________________
====================
Chandris Ellenis, Mediterranean- July 1978
X Infinity, Baja- October 2005
Carnival Paradise, Baja- January 2007
HAL Zaandam, Alaska- July 2008
HAL Oosterdam, Sea of Cortez- April 2010
X Summit, Southern Caribbean Part 1- November 2012
X Summit, Southern Caribbean Part 2- November 2013
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old September 29th, 2009, 09:50 AM
rdowney rdowney is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 288
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenish View Post
BTW, global phones are truly that...work from pole to pole on the same general concept as GPS satellites.
Verizon, however, uses the term "global phone" to refer to their combination CDMA/GSM phones. We upgraded to one before going to Australia because it was a five-week trip.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old September 30th, 2009, 04:25 PM
aussiedisneyfan's Avatar
aussiedisneyfan aussiedisneyfan is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 4,867
Default

If I remember correctly we had cell coverage nearly all of our trip from Australia to Hawaii. I can't comment on sea service around New Calidonia and Vanuatu as the Aussie ships didn't have cell service when I sailed with them. I found it cheaper for people to ring me than me ring them. However Aussie phone co's charge much more than USs, especially roaming. Texting is cheaper for a short "I'm ok, feed the cat".
__________________





Email me
Some of my Travel Photos


Pacific Sky - P236B - 5 December 2002
Pacific Sky - P421 - 6 July 2004
Pacific Star - R603 - 19 January 2006
Pacific Sun - N605 - 5 February 2006
Summit Southbound Alaska - 27 May 2006
Pacific Star - R635 - 25 October 2006
Mercury - Mexican Riviera - 6 April 2007
Pacific Sun - N722 - 15 July 2007
Mercury - New Zealand/Australia - 6 January 2008
Volendam - New Zealand/Australia - 19 December 2008
Rhapsody of the Seas - Sydney/Hawaii - 13 April 2009



Volendam - New Zealand/Australia - 20 December 2009
Volendam - South Pacific - 6 January 2010
Volendam - New Zealand - 2 January 2011
Volendam - South Pacific - 16 January 2011
Rhapsody of the Seas - Nowhere - 3 November 2011
Zaandam - Asia - 23 December 2011
Pacific Sun - N204 - 25 January 2012
Sun Princess - S206 - 1 March 2012
Oosterdam - New Zealand - 19 December 2012
Voyager of the Seas - New Zealand & South Pacific - 13 January 2013
Pacific Jewel - J318 - 24 May 2013
Arcadia - LA/Sydney - 2 February 2014

Rotterdam - Canary Islands - 21 December 2014
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

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
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:02 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.