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Do most people take laptops or notebooks on their cruises? Is there a charge to use them on the ship? I am not very tech savy. What about cell phones? In the past we have just used computers in the explorers lounge to print out our boarding passes and turned off our cell phones when we boarded but now we are looking at a longer cruise so wondering about options.

Thanks

Marcia

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To use a computer, no charge. To connect to the internet on their WiFi, yes they charge for that.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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To print a boarding pass you have to use the ship's computers and printer. This means you have to pay for ship's internet service. I confirm my airline reservation online using non-ship internet before going to the airport then print the boarding pass at the airport. Also I find that the IPad mini suits me. It fits in a fanny pack and I have maps and internet to use when on shore.

 

Peter

Edited by SFO PETER
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Using a cell phone aboard a ship can be very expensive, especially if it's a phone that's constantly downloading data.

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Using a cell phone aboard a ship can be very expensive, especially if it's a phone that's constantly downloading data.

If you're going to have your cell phone on at all while on the ship, make sure it's in airplane mode.

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We take our computer to download photos and do some editing on sea days. We also make notes for things we want to remember of tours and interesting places we visit. Depending on how far the port buildings are from the ship, we may take it ashore to download emails.

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We cruise a lot and I've found a little gadget that really helps with obtaining internet access. It's called GLOCALME and essentially it finds a cell tower in the area you are located in (typically at port cities) and connects to it. One then connects your WIFI device to the GLOCALME device and internet access is obtained. It's not a good device to watch movies or upload or download hi res pictures. But it's terrific for checking email, FB, and I use it to update my daily blog. The device is about $100 on Amazon and data costs about $0.01 per megabyte (Super cheap). I've used it and it's predecessor all over the world for the past 4 years with great success. If anyone would like a full description of how I use this very helpful device, I could put together a longer post.

 

As far as what other electronic devices we take, we both use our iPhone 6's as our primary communication device and camera. I use my iPhone as my primary input device for my daily blog. We also bring Kindle Fires for reading and a backup internet device. I also bring a bluetooth keyboard, a nice point and shoot Canon camera with a 50x zoom, a waterproof NIKON camera and a GOPRO camera along with the required chargers and cables and multiple backup batteries. I also bring a multi-outlet light duty extension cord so we can charge multiple devices. Starting in 2018, I'll be bringing a very lightweight laptop to help in picture management and a backup internet device.

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T-Mobile subscribers have data and text access for free in most foreign countries. We have used that for about one year now. We pay $70/math for two lines. Note: the access does not include access while at sea.

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T-Mobile subscribers have data and text access for free in most foreign countries. We have used that for about one year now. We pay $70/math for two lines. Note: the access does not include access while at sea.

 

Thanks for this info. Have you been able to use the phone from the ship while in port, or do you have to get ashore well away from the ship?

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Thanks for this info. Have you been able to use the phone from the ship while in port, or do you have to get ashore well away from the ship?

 

We only use it for data/texting. Calling is available for $.20/minute I believe. As far as where you can use it, we can use it on the ship while in port and occasionally while at sea if we are very close to land. You have to look at who the provider is when at sea, we don’t use it when is Cellular at Sea or a bunch of numbers, only when it’s a land based provider. They actually send you a text when you are within range, a “Welcome to __________ country”. We have never encountered the problem some report with other carriers that charge them a premium while in port because they used the Cellular at Sea network. Ours always goes to the T-Mobile affiliate in port. I guess it’s possible there maybe an exception to that in some remote place but again, I always look at the provider (easy on an iPhone, it’s upper left on screen”.

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We only use it for data/texting. Calling is available for $.20/minute I believe. As far as where you can use it, we can use it on the ship while in port and occasionally while at sea if we are very close to land. You have to look at who the provider is when at sea, we don’t use it when is Cellular at Sea or a bunch of numbers, only when it’s a land based provider. They actually send you a text when you are within range, a “Welcome to __________ country”. We have never encountered the problem some report with other carriers that charge them a premium while in port because they used the Cellular at Sea network. Ours always goes to the T-Mobile affiliate in port. I guess it’s possible there maybe an exception to that in some remote place but again, I always look at the provider (easy on an iPhone, it’s upper left on screen”.

Thanks, very helpful !

 

Tom

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Btimmer, I would love to know more about GLOCALME when you have the time. That is very kind of you.

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Do most people take laptops or notebooks on their cruises? Is there a charge to use them on the ship? I am not very tech savy. What about cell phones? In the past we have just used computers in the explorers lounge to print out our boarding passes and turned off our cell phones when we boarded but now we are looking at a longer cruise so wondering about options.

Thanks

Marcia

 

Most ports you will find free wifi somewhere. Or free if you make a purchase. If you follow the ship's crew you will find it. If you need access during sea days then you will need to purchase the ship's wifi. Also check with your cellular provider to see what's available to you. (Disclaimer: I have never followed the ship's crew. That is creepy. Maybe just ask them. lol)

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Thanks for this info. Have you been able to use the phone from the ship while in port, or do you have to get ashore well away from the ship?
The ship's cell "tower" should be turned off whenever it is within range of a shore signal, so you won't have to get off or away from the ship to avoid Cellular at Sea.

 

It's called GLOCALME and essentially it finds a cell tower in the area you are located in (typically at port cities) and connects to it.
Can't you just use your iPhone as a hotspot instead of carrying an extra gadget? Or would that be more expensive? Edited by catl331

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Do most people take laptops or notebooks on their cruises? Is there a charge to use them on the ship? I am not very tech savy. What about cell phones? In the past we have just used computers in the explorers lounge to print out our boarding passes and turned off our cell phones when we boarded but now we are looking at a longer cruise so wondering about options.

Thanks

Marcia

As you are self-describing as not tech savvy, may I suggest you have a chat with someone from the company that provides the device you plan to use? It is beneficial to know how to turn off background connections and updates if want to keep roaming data (on land) and ship Wi-Fi cost down. For example, stop by the Microsoft store and ask (it’s easy, but hidden in W-10) or have a chat with a genius at Apple (several things to turn off in iOS), or your cellphone store.

 

I turned off all background refresh and was on and off ship Wi-Fi in 2-5 minutes and ended a 2 week cruise with only using 50 minutes. This was email and a few trips to my website.

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As you are self-describing as not tech savvy, may I suggest you have a chat with someone from the company that provides the device you plan to use? It is beneficial to know how to turn off background connections and updates if want to keep roaming data (on land) and ship Wi-Fi cost down. For example, stop by the Microsoft store and ask (it’s easy, but hidden in W-10) or have a chat with a genius at Apple (several things to turn off in iOS), or your cellphone store.

 

I turned off all background refresh and was on and off ship Wi-Fi in 2-5 minutes and ended a 2 week cruise with only using 50 minutes. This was email and a few trips to my website.

Great info. I just dug into this for our devices and found how I can mark our WiFi connections as "metered" and how to expose the hidden-by-default "Data Saver" switch.

 

This message may have been drafted using voice recognition. Please forgive any typos.

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Thanks for this info. Have you been able to use the phone from the ship while in port, or do you have to get ashore well away from the ship?

 

Ships have to turn off their cellular operations so as to not conflict with locals. So if at the dock, you can use your phone on local cell towers.

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Btimmer - I'm another one who would like to learn more about your data saving device, please.

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The ship's cell "tower" should be turned off whenever it is within range of a shore signal, so you won't have to get off or away from the ship to avoid Cellular at Sea.

 

Can't you just use your iPhone as a hotspot instead of carrying an extra gadget? Or would that be more expensive?[/font][/color]

 

 

 

Data costs WAY more on my cellphone than this device. And both my wife and I can connect to it (password protected). We only use it to connect to shoreside cell towers.

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I’ve created a little blog post on how I use our GlocalMe device. It can be found at https://timmerglocalme.blogspot.com

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

WOW. Thank you for the thorough and comprehensive review. This was both invaluable and enlightening.

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If this was mentioned, please forgive me, but they have a situation now where you can log onto the HAL wi-fi for limited HAL use for free. So you can see the day's menus and activities, and make reservations for certain things, like specialty restaurants. I enjoy having my ipad with me to do this stuff from our stateroom.

 

Of course, I use it for other things, too, but wanted to mention this convenience.

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If this was mentioned, please forgive me, but they have a situation now where you can log onto the HAL wi-fi for limited HAL use for free. So you can see the day's menus and activities, and make reservations for certain things, like specialty restaurants. I enjoy having my ipad with me to do this stuff from our stateroom.

 

Of course, I use it for other things, too, but wanted to mention this convenience.

 

I agree and like the Navigator (which is what they call it). We recently used it extensively to book restaurants and shore excursions. In addition to the above you can send messages back and forth to other guests. Additionally one can read the NYTimes and peruse the HAL website.

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It is good that we have different needs and there are several choices. You are already splurging for your cruise. With that said - I am not going to waste anymore of my time looking for free WiFi. Been there - done that and not going to do that again! I now use Keepgo. It works for me because I use cell phone in US without data. Keepgo will provide data (not phone) all over the world (well almost - not recently in Gambia but connected in Luanda and So. Africa cities) with an expiration of one year and remaining data is not lost if you renew at any amount before year is over. It cost more than others but it is affordable. If you download your maps before you travel and don't upload/download large pics your data use for email, surfing web and Google Maps use will be insignificant. I use IPad Mini. See below.

 

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Edited by SFO PETER
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In addition to the above you can send messages back and forth to other guests. Additionally one can read the NYTimes and peruse the HAL website.
And check your account as often as you like.

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