NCL & Verizon Wireless

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#1
Rockland County, New York
273 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I just got off the phone with a Verizon Wireless rep. We are going to be on the Spirit next Saturday (May 3) and I was inquiring about roaming charges. I was told that on board the ship it is $2.49 a minute. Even if we are in port in NYC...if we are standing on the deck of the ship, we will be charged the $2.49 a minute even though we are still in NYC.

Does anyone have any info on this ??
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#2
8 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Baloney, I have verizon and when I was in port in NYC and Florida I was not charged anything addl. I did however dial in network.
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#3
Conroe, TX
47 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Does anyone know if Verizon will work on the Star in Alaska or does NCL charge the 2.95 per minute?
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#4
Liberty, MO
2,175 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
If you go to Verizon's website (http://b2b.vzw.com/international/Roa..._coverage.html) you can see the ships listed that Verizon has coverage on.

As for roaming charges in port in NYC - NO. I was just on a cruiseship in June and in NYC there were no add'l charges. In fact, the only place I paid "extra" was in Bermuda. I called home to check on the kids in San Juan and Bermuda.

If you call Verizon, they will set you up for international calling (no charge) and you do the *228 on your phone. This will also make a difference.

Go to the above site and look not only at the cruiseship information, but to the different countries you will be going to.
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#5
NY-NJ area, USA
935 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
I believe, by law, when they are in port or near port for cell range they have to shut down the on-board system. We used T-Mo on the Star all over Alaska and never got a charge for ship-use. We also turned the phones off when the service switched from T-Mobile to the ship's service.
#6
Maryland
3,976 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I think that Verizon is covering their butts just in case you use your phone in port and there ends up to be a charge.

You will be charged if the ships tower is turned on. Since it would be the closest tower, your call will go through there and therefore, be the $2.49 charge. However, having said that, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone being charged while in an American port such as NY. They must be pretty good about shutting the tower down when they are within range of a regular tower. On our last cruise out of Miami, we used our phones right up until the time we sailed and almost immediately once we came back into Miami....no extra charges.
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#7
12,049 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
As far as I know, Verizon has no control over what the cruise line charges for cell phone use when the ship's tower is on. That's between you and the cruise line and/or whichever company they've partnered with.

It's correct that they are required to turn off the ship's cell tower when the ship is in port, so that any service you find is from a land tower. There have been reports from time to time of ships leaving the tower on when in port and pax being charged. OTOH, if the ship has left port and is under way, I'm always going to assume that the ship's tower is on and is the default, even if there is still land service in range.

beachchick
#9
NY-NJ area, USA
935 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Just watch your phone to see what service is showing up. GSM phones CLEARLY show a different service from T-Mobile and AT&T. When you are in port, you'll see the familiar service. As long as you have that even as you sail, you'll be phoning "on land". When it changes, you are now on the ship's tower.
#10
1,277 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by pugaddict
When we sailed from ny to Bahamas , I used it all the way down the coast and was never charged a cent.
Keep watching your bill unless you were usung a prepaid phone Once they leave port an turn on the onboard cell service you will not pick up shore based services.
#11
Raleigh, NC
2,300 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
With Verizon if your screen banner reads "Verizon Wireless" or "Extended Network" the calls will be included in your plan, if your banner reads "Roaming" you will be charged (this is what your phone will say in foreign ports and when connected to the ships cell service).

In Alaska, there is domestic service available for just about every cell provider, but when the ship is underway, you will likely pay the ships roaming if your banner reads roaming.

MAC
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#12
suburbs of Detroit
1,810 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by kk2008
Does anyone know if Verizon will work on the Star in Alaska or does NCL charge the 2.95 per minute?
KK2008--
I was on the Star to Alaska in 2006 and used my cell phone (Verizon) at every port without any additional charges. I made sure I was far enough away from the ship just in case their cell tower wasn't off and had no problems at all! I called both cell and land-lines!

Enjoy Alaska!
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#13
Trenton, MI
125 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by wolfcel
I just got off the phone with a Verizon Wireless rep. We are going to be on the Spirit next Saturday (May 3) and I was inquiring about roaming charges. I was told that on board the ship it is $2.49 a minute. Even if we are in port in NYC...if we are standing on the deck of the ship, we will be charged the $2.49 a minute even though we are still in NYC.

Does anyone have any info on this ??
You will not be charged while in port. By law the ships cellular equipment must be turned off while in port. You will connect via land based towers. The ships service is only turned on while at sea.

The cellular service is not operated by NCL, it is operated by Wireless Maritime Services. Their website is: www.cellularatsea.com, click on "Ships in Service" or "For end Users" for more infomation. The following was copied directly from their website.

On the Open Seas
When the cruise ship is sailing out of port, our system will turn itself on. When the cruise ship is approaching port, the in-ship system will turn itself off. Once in port, you can connect to local roaming networks as permitted by your home carrier.
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#14
Maryland
3,976 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by linwood77
The cellular service is not operated by NCL, it is operated by Wireless Maritime Services. Their website is: www.cellularatsea.com, click on "Ships in Service" or "For end Users" for more infomation. The following was copied directly from their website.

On the Open Seas
When the cruise ship is sailing out of port, our system will turn itself on. When the cruise ship is approaching port, the in-ship system will turn itself off. Once in port, you can connect to local roaming networks as permitted by your home carrier.
Thanks for this clarification. I always wondered who the guy was who was responsible for flipping that switch off when approaching port. Can you imagine the flack he'd get when he goofed and didn't turn it off?
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