iPhone use on the ship

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#1
Qualicum Beach BC
34 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
A while back I posted that I would like to be able to use my iPhone on the ship just to text members of my family who are with me on the ship, but didn't want the phone to be searching for data via the ship's satellite, which would cost me big bucks. I received several answers indicating that if I kept my roaming turned off, I could text without accessing the internet, and other conflicting information. I could not find the answer on NCL's website either.

So I contacted my cell phone service provider and received an answer that makes total sense. I am posting it for others' information who haven't been able to find it out. My cell phone provider is Telus Mobility in British Columbia, Canada.

(BTW, I guess I will be keeping my iPhone in airplane mode and just use it for games and music.)

"If you are going to be aboard a cruise ship, your iPhone 4 will have service. The standard roaming rates for cruise ship satellite signal is $7.00 per minute, $0.60 per message and $25 per megabyte. If you wish to keep your roaming turned off, then you would have no signal at all and will not even be able to text. So in order to have signal for texting, you will need to have the roaming turned on.

The cruise ship will forward all charges for usage on your cellular phone to TELUS, which in turn will show up on your next invoice from TELUS Mobility."
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Joan
#2
Montreal, Canada
178 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
iPhone Settings -> General -> Network -> "Data Roaming" (not simply "Roaming")

That's what you need to set to Off. You can still call and text, but you won't connect to a data network. Messaging will go through GSM (standard cellular) networds, not 3G, EDGE, or whatever and you won't have GB charges.
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Holland America Westerdam - Sailed on February 27th, 2010
NCL MS Leeward - Sailed on November 30th, 1998
#3
Qualicum Beach BC
34 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Yes, I meant "data roaming". But I would still have to use the ship's satellite to text, and according to Telus Mobility, if I turn off data roaming, I won't get any signal at all on the ship and wouldn't be able to text. Is GSM available on the ship?
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Joan
#4
Arizona
376 Posts
Joined May 2011
Why don't you connect to the ship's internet and use the iPhone to send e-mails. You can have data roaming off but the WiFi on. More cost effective that way, just don't forget to log off after sending an e-mail or you will run up the minutes.
#5
Qualicum Beach BC
34 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Yes, I could do that, but all my family members will be with me on the ship, so there's no one else I want to email, and I wasn't going to buy an internet package. I think we can think up another way to keep in touch on the ship besides texting. Thanks.
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Joan
#6
Montreal, Canada
178 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Here's a basic breakdown of how data roaming works: http://mobileoffice.about.com/od/bus...ng-charges.htm (this also explains why some people say their data roaming has mysteriously turned back on when they thought they were safe from charges...)
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Holland America Westerdam - Sailed on February 27th, 2010
NCL MS Leeward - Sailed on November 30th, 1998
#7
Nashville, TN (we moved, again)
20,385 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
First off, most people responding will ASSUME you have a U.S. based phone carrier. Take all replies with a grain of salt, and always include which carrier you are on.

Next, I believe the person on the phone may have not only mispoken, but also confused things.

Cell phone texting uses the PHONE CHANNEL and not the DATA CHANNEL. (channel might not be the right term). In any event, you can have data roaming turned off, but have the phone on to send a text. Of course, you might also get a phone call at that time as well, which will cost at least $2.49 a minute and maybe the $7 you were quoted. No idea.

Or, you can just log onto the internet with your phone in wireless mode (not data romaing) and pay the $.40 to $.75 per minute and use email, instant messaging like Yahoo, etc.
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#9
Montreal, Canada
178 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by garycarla
First off, most people responding will ASSUME you have a U.S. based phone carrier. Take all replies with a grain of salt, and always include which carrier you are on.
The OP is from BC, and mentioned Telus. I'm in Canada as well so went with my personal experience.

Cell phone texting uses the PHONE CHANNEL and not the DATA CHANNEL. (channel might not be the right term). In any event, you can have data roaming turned off, but have the phone on to send a text.
Exactly. Texting (SMS) is old technology, around long before data plans, and is limited to 160 characters per text message.
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NCL MS Leeward - Sailed on November 30th, 1998
#10
Qualicum Beach BC
34 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
I am getting so frustrated with my Telus Canada provider. I called again and got a totally different answer regarding texting. What I am going to do is take my iPhone and before I even turn it on, I will visit the Internet Cafe and talk to one of the guys there. They should have the correct information.

Thanks to all who answered.
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Joan
#11
Boston Burbs
667 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by joaniedee
I am getting so frustrated with my Telus Canada provider. I called again and got a totally different answer regarding texting. What I am going to do is take my iPhone and before I even turn it on, I will visit the Internet Cafe and talk to one of the guys there. They should have the correct information.

Thanks to all who answered.
If you are looking to text phone-to-phone on the ship without using cellular phone or data service, I don't think cell phones work that way. You'll have to either pay for cell service, or ship internet (for email) service to use your cell phone on the ship. Your phones won't recieve any texts or calls, without connecting to a cellular service. Even from other phones on the ship. Someone else correct me if I'm wrong.

Test it at home.....set your phones to airplane mode and try texting each other.
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#12
Qualicum Beach BC
34 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
cruiser1955 - you're right; in airplane mode you can't use either cell phone or internet; I knew that already. I'm just trying to find an answer as to whether I can use the ship's cell phone service, and pay for it, and still turn off the data roaming so I won't use their internet.
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Joan
#13
780 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Does NCL still rent on ship phones? There basicly cell phones but only interconnect thru the ship. I heard about em in 2009 but havent heard since. Its like $12 a day but you can call rooms or other ncl cells directly thru the ship. No outgoing beyond the ships range (i think it was a 2mile radius max from the ship.
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#14
Boston Burbs
667 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by joaniedee
cruiser1955 - you're right; in airplane mode you can't use either cell phone or internet; I knew that already. I'm just trying to find an answer as to whether I can use the ship's cell phone service, and pay for it, and still turn off the data roaming so I won't use their internet.
I see what you mean now. I may be wrong but, NCL's service would still be beaming up to a satelite, then back down to the ship. Once your signal hits the satelite, you get hit with roaming charges.
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#15
Oregon
1,019 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
We've always been fortunate enough to sail in a suite, and have always had at least one "ship's" phone available to us, but quite frankly, we've never used it.
Even when travelling with a herd (10 of us) we've quickly found a favorite spot on the ship (almost always on the deck next to the central pool) where we tend to congregate.
We leave our cell phones, our ship's phone, and our "walky-talkys" in our cabin, and just thoroughly enjoy our week at sea.

Actually, it's a tiny bit fascinating (although a bit irritating) to watch others yelling into their walky-talkies while trying to communicate with other family members.

The ship is not that large people! Just find a spot that suits your fancy, and arrange to meet there!
#16
Qualicum Beach BC
34 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Yes, downsized, I think that's what we'll do. I don't want to use walkie-talkies, frankly I'd feel silly. We are all on the same deck, so I think we can arrange to meet daily somewhere and compare notes. My husband says we'll be running into each other all the time, anyway.
He says he'll either be in the cabin or the casino, so we won't have any trouble finding him!
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Joan