Pocket WiFi Italy

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Windstar Cruises
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#1
Maryland, USA
14 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Has anyone tried using pocket WiFi while on a Windstar cruise in Italy? We are cruising the Amalfi Coast and Sicily next month and are considering that option.
Thanks in advance
#2
Seattle, WA
54 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by MikeeH
Has anyone tried using pocket WiFi while on a Windstar cruise in Italy? We are cruising the Amalfi Coast and Sicily next month and are considering that option.
Thanks in advance
Are you on the October 7th sailing? If so, that's the same trip we'll be on. I am a business owner and there are a couple of things that I need to do that week that will require a decent internet connection. In addition to the on-ship internet package I made arrangements to rent an XCom Global mifi and upgraded to LTE service. I am not confident that the xcom mifi will work while on the ship but it should work in both Greece and Italy while in port.

It's been about 3 years since I've been on a cruise and what I remember is that the internet service while at sea was almost unusable for anything more than maybe just checking emails. We've never done a Windstar cruise so I can't speak to the quality of their internet service but to be fair, most cruise ships are all using the same technology.

Thanks,
Sandy
#3
Maryland, USA
14 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Sandy,
Thanks for the reply. We are on the October 3 cruise (Amalfi Coast and Sicily). I rolled the dice and ordered a unit from ExpressoWifi. Their rates were good and they were very responsive to email inquiries. Their rep told me to expect pretty much the same service limitation you expressed so we'll just have to work with that. Our travel agent recommended that we not purchase the onboard Wifi service because its unreliable and "not worth it". So, there you go. Your info from experiences 3 years ago seems to remain the norm.
Have a great trip!
Mike
#4
Burlington, ON (near Toronto)
149 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
We rented a device from CelloMobile in May for a 2 week, 7 country tour in Europe. It was fantastic. Charges it at night, tossed it in my bag during the day. Supported up.to 5 devices and had unlimited data. Perfect since we were travelling with my 19 year old niece. They do have a pkg that works at sea but it is very expensive. Land package was about $100 for 2 weeks.
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#5
Seattle, WA
54 Posts
Joined May 2009
Thanks for the information on Cello Mobile. I checked the plan and athough they offer service in all of the countries we'll be visiting, they don't have the LTE option available like XCom Global offers for their mifi. We're paying $175 for the two weeks we're traveling though I opted not to include Dubai in my package since LTE is not available in that country.
#7
573 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I think I've likely posted this before, but for those who travel frequently I can't recommend the T-Mobile simple choice package highly enough. The plans have changed a bit, but we pay about $110 per month total for 2 phones/lines and that includes unlimited data, texts, and very inexpensive phone service, essentially worldwide, with tethering included. So when I need to do some power work I just use my laptop tethered to the phone. I wouldn't want to watch a movie on it, but it works perfectly for textual stuff and I remote desktop over it all the time. The limitations are that you need cell service, which in the Med means most of the time since you're often close enough to shore to pick up a signal. The one you want to avoid is Onwaves, which is the shipboard service (not included in SImple Choice and $$$$$) but I've disable that from my phone. I tend to be an early riser, so I go up top while the ship is coming into port, etc. Signal is strong and I have a couple hours to plow through work before Mrs. Milepig is ready for breakfast. The speed is also good enough to do things like google directions, addresses, etc. in the course of a day while touring or walking around. I love the freedom on not being billed by usage.
#8
Barcelona
3 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Hi, I did a cruise in italy in June and I rented a local pocket wifi via web before my arrival in the airport.
I received the pocket wifi in Malpensa airport.
My experience was good, the coverage was almost always continued, also in the open sea.
The Witourist staff told me that the signal would have had to be present up to 20 miles from the coast...so it was.
I saved a lot of money because the onboard wifi was very expensive!...the data packages sold on the cruise ship were up to 15$ a day!...I paid 3€ a day for all my family!
I suggest ask witourist for more information.
#9
Maryland, USA
14 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Thanks, Roy. We are departing this Saturday so I had already ordered my Pocket WiFi from Espresso WiFi. 6€ a day. Their representative said that reception at sea is dependent on available cell signal so your 20 mile limit sounds right. Hopefully, our experience will be as good as yours. I'll report back.
#10
Tucson, AZ
343 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
For overseas travel, we have added the TravelPass to our Verizon iPhones. If we use the phone overseas there is a $5 charge for Mexico or Canada, $10 in other countries for any day that the phone is used for data, voice, or texting. If we will be somewhere for more than a few days, I buy a local sim card that usually costs less than 25 euros and provides enough data (and a hotspot for tethering) for a month. Recently, the EU changed regulations so that there are no longer any roaming charges if the service is used in a European country different from the one in which it was purchased.

Crystal and Viking, the two cruise lines we are currently using, provide unlimited "free" wifi on board.
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Ed And Mary Ellen from sunny Tucson, AZ



#11
Barcelona
3 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Originally posted by Lobes1
the EU changed regulations so that there are no longer any roaming charges if the service is used in a European country different from the one in which it was purchased.

Crystal and Viking, the two cruise lines we are currently using, provide unlimited "free" wifi on board.
Pay Attention!...Just to clarify...The EU law now permits to European users to use their domestic data plans all over the countries, without roaming charges...it is right...but nobody says what happen when the domestic limits are exceeded.
Obviously, a extra data traffic is charged by consumption and the medium rates are is about 0,20€/Mb.
It is still too expensive!
Considering that usually a domestic data plan for a smartphone is not over 10 GB/month, if you need for a massive connection shared with all your family for 10 or more days, an European SIM card surely is not a quiet solution.
#12
Tucson, AZ
343 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by Roy40
Pay Attention!...Just to clarify...The EU law now permits to European users to use their domestic data plans all over the countries, without roaming charges...it is right...but nobody says what happen when the domestic limits are exceeded.
Obviously, a extra data traffic is charged by consumption and the medium rates are is about 0,20€/Mb.
It is still too expensive!
Considering that usually a domestic data plan for a smartphone is not over 10 GB/month, if you need for a massive connection shared with all your family for 10 or more days, an European SIM card surely is not a quiet solution.
Unless you are streaming video, you are unlikely to need over 10GB during two to four weeks. Wireless in Europe is much less expensive than in the US, and there are providers who offer unlimited voice, data, and SMS for less than €20 a month.
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Ed And Mary Ellen from sunny Tucson, AZ



#13
Barcelona
3 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Often I'm in Italy for business, I perfectly know what the market offers there..You have to pay the SIM activation, for not less of 10€ + the prepaid traffic to charge on...+ a 4G option, which almost always providers offer separately.
It is not easy to go out from the store having paid less 30€, also for 2 weeks of service.
Instead, in my case, for the same rate, I get a witourist by rental, which allows me unlimited data, shared with all my family with the same performances of a fixed connection and without losing time looking for a store.
#14
Tucson, AZ
343 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I was also underwhelmed by what was offered in Italy. In Italy, I paid the $10 a day to use my Verizon internet. In the UK, however, unlimited data, voice and SMS were offered for about £10-15 for a month’s service. In Germany, similar service was offered for about €15. There seemed to be a wireless store on every corner. YMMV
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Ed And Mary Ellen from sunny Tucson, AZ



#15
396 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
I was on the Star Breeze in April for its transatlantic cruise from Aruba to Tenerife. The internet on board was good enough to check email and do research. I had to stay in touch with work and it was perfectly fine for that. No, it’s not fast. Unlike Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, which do have fast internet now (sufficient for video streaming and VoIP calls) Windstar is using older tech and is slower.

As for EU SIM cards, I use a 3UK sim and simply top up the account before leaving. It offers unlimited data in the UK and 12GB elsewhere, and they cover over a hundred countries. If you want an Italian sim, I used TIM and 3 (Italia) earlier this year...where I was TIM had better coverage but both are good.


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