Using SKYPE to call a ship??? Can it be done?

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#1
1,167 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Some family members are getting ready to leave for a New Zealand cruise. Trying to figure out the easiest and most cost effective way to keep in touch. Hmmm... I know they can't use SKYPE on board to call me, but could I call the ship; have them transfer me to their cabin, using SKYPE on my end (here in the U.S.)?
#2
Franklin Square Ny,Usa
1,387 Posts
Joined May 2001
Originally posted by dcsam
Some family members are getting ready to leave for a New Zealand cruise. Trying to figure out the easiest and most cost effective way to keep in touch. Hmmm... I know they can't use SKYPE on board to call me, but could I call the ship; have them transfer me to their cabin, using SKYPE on my end (here in the U.S.)?
I thing the most cost effective way is via email. On my last cruise their was a guy using SKYPE on his laptop to make outgoing calls. For you to call the ship would be very expensive. Probably somewhere in the area of 8 dollars a minute.
#3
Northern Illinois
550 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
The internet connection is much less....try using yahoo messenger voice...I think you both have to have (free) yahoo accounts, but then you sign in at an appointed time, and can talk via the computer connection...or simply use the chat function to type to/fro on that or someting like AIM. With some of the instant messaging functions, you can also use video, if your laptop has a built-in camera..and they have a built-in or separate camera as well (about $20 at a mass market store like Target or Walmart).
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#4
1,167 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
We do use SKYPE to SKYPE and it's free. Plus, we're able to 'chat' via an email like process through SKYPE. We just returned from Mexico. I was able to call family here in the States for 2 cents per minute. I don't want to call their cabin from our home phone. I'm hoping somebody out there has used SKYPE to call a ships cabin. Just don't know if it's possible. Sure would beat the 8.00/minute fee. I can't see why it WOULDN'T work - just seeing if somebody know for sure.
My husband also talks to his best friend over in Denmark (from the U.S.) for 2 cents/minute.
Suggestions?
#5
Florida
5,298 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
We're sailing on a ship that offers us free internet service. I speak to a friend in London 3 times a week on SKYPE and plan to do so while on the ship. I just wonder about the connection while at sea.
#6
1,167 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
I heard that even if logged on to the ship's wireless, you can't use SKYPE. But what I'm talking about is calling the ship (and having them transfer to the cabin) that's in New Zealand FROM here in the United States; using my SKYPE program on my computer
#7
23 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Disclaimer - I haven't done it personally, but I do understand how Skype works.

What you're describing is what is known as "Skype Out" service where a Skype caller dials out to a landline. The service fees are generally set by Skype's contract with the landline-end country's telephone service. Some countries add on taxes/tarriffs/etc which is what drives up the price. Same thing on cruise ships. So, I don't think that there's any way around the $8/min fee when calling into the ship from the outside, regardless of where you're calling from (US Landline, CAD Landline, Cell phone, skype, etc). I'd be surprised if the call would even go through from the Skype-Out service.

I think your best bet is to fire up the laptop on the ship, use the internet service and do a skype-to-skype call. The bandwidth of the Internet service on the ship will dictate whether this will work or not. Expect long delays (500ms+) as the ship uses a satellite internet service. Also expect calls to drop, etc., as the ship moves and lock on the satellite may not be perfect.

Best of luck!
#8
Maryland
10,215 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by dcsam
I heard that even if logged on to the ship's wireless, you can't use SKYPE. But what I'm talking about is calling the ship (and having them transfer to the cabin) that's in New Zealand FROM here in the United States; using my SKYPE program on my computer
When you call from shore to ship they will ask for a credit card number before they connect you to a ship and they charge you a very high rate per minute. Calling from Skype on your computer in the United States won't bypass that $16 a minute fee.
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Charles
#9
1,167 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Thank you. That's the kind of info I was looking for. Trying to scope out all the different (and most economical) ways to keep in touch
#10
Sacramento, CA
1,645 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
I understand this was not the OP question, but to be clear, you cannot use Skype to call out when onboard. HAL has it blocked. I usually wait for an internet connection in a port and use Skype from my iPhone. Works great.

Gafy
#11
Eden Prairie, MN
116 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I do know that the crew use Skype to call home, but I am not sure if that is only in port or while at sea. It is a good lifeline for them - Bali is a long way from the Caribbean, and many we talked to have families and children at home. They are usually on the ship for 8-9 months and home for 3-4. One of our cabin stewards said he was quite surprised one time when he went home - his wife greeted him with their new baby.
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