How much does it cost to text while on a cruise?

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#1
cleburne,texas u.s.a.
2,123 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
We were thinking of getting a cheap trac phone for our kids and texting each other to keep in touch while on the ship. We have AT&T, anybody know how much it would cost us for each text? We have 2 way radios (walkie talkies) but they don't work well and we've tried several different types so now we are looking into the cheap little trac phones. We know the cost of phone calls is outrageous while on a cruise ship so we only plan on using them for texting each other. Has anyone done this before?
#2
Richardson, TX
71,140 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Tracfones dont work while on a cruise, I have one, so Im sure, hasnt worked when I tested it 3 different cruises.

Some phone services work on the ship as little as 50 cents per text, you might look into what international costs for your regular service.
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#3
Chicago
291 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
January of 2009, texting with AT&T was 50 cents per message, incoming or outgoing!
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#4
Tampa, FL
74 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I have an iPhone with AT&T and it is 0.15 to receive and 0.50 to send texts while on the cruise.

I got the information from their website and I called 2 different people at AT&T just to make sure

That does not include sending a pic or video though, then the price depends on what you send and would probably be outrageous
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#5
cleburne,texas u.s.a.
2,123 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
My husband and I both have iPhones and we really don't want to give such expensive phones to our kids so they can keep in touch with us. We were hoping to get some type of inexpensive phone that could be temporarily used for texting to keep in touch while on the ship. Any ideas?
#6
Dayton,Ohio
2,491 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by cruisinqt
My husband and I both have iPhones and we really don't want to give such expensive phones to our kids so they can keep in touch with us. We were hoping to get some type of inexpensive phone that could be temporarily used for texting to keep in touch while on the ship. Any ideas?
What type of walkie talkies did you use in the past. While I dont use them, tablemates in the past said they worked great. I know some arent they great because they seem to share the same channel.
#7
cleburne,texas u.s.a.
2,123 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Every time we found a good frequency someone else would find it too and I got constant chatter on my walkie talkie from strangers, which was especially bad when we were near the pool area. The biggest problem was when I would be in our cabin and the other person would be on an upper deck like the Lido deck, because we couldn't hear each other at all. We don't have cheap walkie talkies either, they cost over $50.
#8
Finally in FLORIDA!!! :)
614 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I was wondering the same thing, and being the type of person that detests talking on the phone with a CSR, waited till the last minute and called this evening. I have Sprint. My ports are Montego Bay, Grand Cayman & Cozumel. Voice rates are 1.99/m, 1.99/m & 1.49/m respectively. On the open sea, 2.49/m. Texting for me, from or to a US based number cost me nothing. Nothing coming in, nothing going out, as long as it's within my specific text package of course, which it is, as I have unlimited texting. I had the international calling ability put on my phone about 3 yrs ago when we went to Mexico and apparantly it was still there though I thought I had changed it. My thought is that now that I know my texting will cost me nothing (IF it goes through, which the CSR emphasized), this is the way I will be keeping in touch with those unlucky enough to have been left back home w/ 5 feet of snow.
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#9
Leander TX
1,284 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I checked into this (I'm with Sprint) and they told me that they don't guarantee that texting will even work outside the US... in fact, here's what they sent me when I signed up for international dialing on my cell:

Texting
Texting is not yet available while roaming outside of the US. Although you
may receive a welcome message upon arrival in a country, all other messages
will be held for 48 hours to be delivered upon returning to the Sprint network.
Messages that can not be delivered will be deleted after 48 hours. Messages
that go through will be rated based on your texting plan or $0.20 per
message if you do not have texting plan.


The person at customer service said depending on where you are, text messaging is hit or miss- Bahamas is so close to US it might be okay, other areas, you never know.[/font]
#10
23 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I also just spoke with Sprint and they gave me the same answer (no charge for texts to/from US numbers.

She did say something I found odd... She said that if my phone is on and someone leaves me a voicemail I could be charged a minute or two @ 2.49 per minute.
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#11
washington
501 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Tmobile is .35 cents to send on ship and if you have a texting plan the texts you receive are pulled from plan.
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#12
Roanoke, VA
840 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Someone posted a thread about walkie-talkies a few weeks ago and someone responded with a link to Bass Pro Shops where they were selling multi-frequency walkies for around $100 that ALSO would send text messages to the other walkies on that frequency. I'll keep looking and see if I find it, I am not going to get them for my cruise but I was very, very impressed with that functionality.
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#14
Near Chattanooga Tennessee
912 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
If you have at&t and use only to text and dare people to call you lol, do you incur roaming charges while leaving the phone on while on the ship?
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#15
181 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by timjonesjr
I also just spoke with Sprint and they gave me the same answer (no charge for texts to/from US numbers.

She did say something I found odd... She said that if my phone is on and someone leaves me a voicemail I could be charged a minute or two @ 2.49 per minute.
The voicemail charge is true, at least on AT&T. The reason is that, when someone calls your cell, the first thing that happens is that the call is transferred from your home carrier (AT&T or Sprint, or any other in the U.S.) to an international carrier to connect your incoming call to your cell. ([email protected], the carrier that services the ships, is considered international.) Then your phone rings. If you answer, the call is connected, and the meter starts running. However, if, after a certain amount of time, you don't answer, the call goes to voicemail. To make this happen, the call must be forwarded to your voicemail deposit number, which means that the international carrier places a call back into your home carrier's network to allow the call to go to voicemail. Naturally, the carrier wants to be paid for completing this call, which is why you're billed. That call will last for as long as it takes for your caller to hear your greeting, leave a message, and hang up.

I believe the OP mentioned that they had iPhones. Whatever you do, DO NOT take those with you. iPhones are notorious for using data, as are any smartphones, so you can rack up massive data charges without even realizing it. Your e-mail client will be checking your mail in the background, downloading anything that comes in. Visual voicemail will do the same, and you may also receive picture messages, which will also use data. Believe me, you don't want that nasty surprise when your next bill comes.
#16
181 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by itchin2cruz
If you have at&t and use only to text and dare people to call you lol, do you incur roaming charges while leaving the phone on while on the ship?
If your phone doesn't ring, and you don't use any data, then no. However, read my post above this one to see how you could get charged.

I'm about as big a cell phone junkie as you'll find (OK, maybe not THAT big), but, when I cruise, the phone is turned off and placed in the safe.
#17
Australian
300 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I will be bringing my iphone from Australia on my caribbean Cruise next month but I will be getting a AT&T prepaid sim and plan while in the US and on the cruise. Data roaming on my current service here will be charged at $15USD per meg.

i will also be turning off Data Pushing and only allowing wifi to acess apps.

Lastly I will be bringing 3 Australian UHF Walkie Talkies with me which I believe are on different frequencies. So unless they correspond to the maritime freq over there I should be safe.
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#18
seattle
4,665 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Even though we have text packages at home, when we were on the cruise there was a per text charge. It was 50 cents to send a text, and cheaper to receive - I think 5 or 10 cents.
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#19
Nevada
1,374 Posts
Joined May 2008
I have Sprint and when we were on our cruise in Oct we used the texting and sometimes it took 2 days for us to recieve an incoming text lol... And some of the texts that i sent out they didnt recieve until we got back into the US so please dont depend on those to keep in contact with anyone on the ship....
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#20
282 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I have my service through Verizon, and I've got the Blackberry Storm. I have an unlimited data plan and 250 texts for xyz amount - all of that being said, will any of this mean a thing once I'm far from shore or out of the states? (I'll be in the Bahamas)