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AKJonesy

Phone over WIFI on Rotterdam

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If you have an iphone with ios9 or better you can try this.

Go to Settings

Scroll down to Phone

You'll see Wi-Fi Calling

Tap the Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone

 

The next few screens will require you to confirm you want to enable Wi-Fi calling, as well as opt-in to the service. The biggest warning is in regard to emergency services. You'll also be asked to verify the address where you plan on primary using Wi-Fi calling, again, for emergency purposes.

As for placing or receiving a call over Wi-Fi, you don't have to do anything different. Your iPhone will handle it for you; just pick up the phone and dial.

This information is from https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-enable-at-t-wi-fi-calling-on-ios-9/

 

I haven't tried this. Seems like it might work for you.

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You have choices:

1. As stated, enable wifi calling on your phone.

2. Use skype or a calling app

Both of these use purchased wifi from Hal or a solid signal ashore where available (terminals, starbucks, etc)

3. Use carrier on board calling, like AT&Ts $60 for the entire cruise. Unlimited calling and text (no data) https://www.att.com/offers/international-plans/passport.html

The last one uses the ship's cell (sea satellite) but there is no charge except for initial one time fee. This ends up being far less expensive than buying the ships wifi.

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You have choices:

1. As stated, enable wifi calling on your phone.

2. Use skype or a calling app

Both of these use purchased wifi from Hal or a solid signal ashore where available (terminals, starbucks, etc)

3. Use carrier on board calling, like AT&Ts $60 for the entire cruise. Unlimited calling and text (no data) https://www.att.com/offers/international-plans/passport.html

The last one uses the ship's cell (sea satellite) but there is no charge except for initial one time fee. This ends up being far less expensive than buying the ships wifi.[/quote]

The OP was most concerned when at see, from the link provided:

Passport rates don't apply at sea but will keep you connected on land.

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And finally... Test this at home to make sure you can get it to work. (Airplane mode On, then WiFi On.) Otherwise, you'll never know if any problems are on your end of the ship's.

 

That is the best piece of advice I've seen so far. If you never tried out the WiFi calling on your phone, then you should definitely figure it all out when your at home when its easy and you have access to the carriers tech support.

 

I've found WiFi calling to be pretty reliable over the years. Remember that Sea Days are when the passenger side of the bandwidth available on the ship get the hardest work out. Your best connections might be in the wee hours of the night/morning, which depending on where your cruise is in relation to where your calling might work out best over all anyway.

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POA1 and TAD2005, Thank you. I am glad I started this thread and think this information will be helpful to anyone in similar situation. Karen
You're welcome. Any time you post something like this, try to provide your carrier, your phone type and your operating system. You can might want to tell us if you have a prepaid or post paid account. Most carriers have different international roaming rates for one vs the other.

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Depending on the circumstances, I might have to go Premium. I mean, if that's what it takes for piece of mind, then that's what it takes. Thanks for that link.

I read somewhere SKYPE is not supported, so I'd probably be looking to use Adroid's "Hangouts" app which works great everywhere on land in WiFI cafes, etc. . What I think I'm getting here is that depending on the IP Address, SOME apps are not supported. I'm not teckie enough. I guess I might also have to consider using a Sat phone, but geez, I don't want to get into that. They don't always work either...there are dead areas.

 

If your smartphone supports it,

If your cellphone carrier allows it,

If your smartphone is logged onto a ship internet plan

If you have Airplane Mode on, and have turned WiFi back on...

 

Enabling "WiFi Calling" will route incoming and outgoing calls and texts over the

ship's WiFi --in port or at sea-- for "free" instead of it's piratical-rate cell tower.

 

I'd recommend a visit to support at your cellphone carrier's store so they can

walk you through it, and verify the setup over the store's WiFi.

 

Be careful, though, because north of Seattle / Southampton, ships don't always

buy enough uplink bandwidth to allow voice connections at peak times. That was

the case aboard Eurodam in Alaska back in May, even with "premium".

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Wouldn't it be better to use cellular at sea and let them call you than you pay for wifi per package upon package to keep your phone online 24/7 to call you?

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Wouldn't it be better to use cellular at sea and let them call you than you pay for wifi per package upon package to keep your phone online 24/7 to call you?

 

If you're talking about buy-the-minute plans and a particularly important incoming call at an unpredictable time? Yep.

 

Otherwise, otherwise. ;)

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Thanks to all. My head is spinning a little, but I will re-read everything here again and figure out what I think will be best for my circumstances. I didn't know about Cellular Service at Sea, and I will read up on that. I don't think it is so much that I need the folks to call me as it is for me to remain in contact with them everyday. I did read about the agreement with Wireless Maritime Services, but I can't be sure that every HAL ship is on that particular service. I did read HAL is migrating to one type of service by Dec 2018.

 

I think this information is great for anyone who may be in a similar situation, and thanks for all the responses. You guys are the best. Karen

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What’s App has always worked well for us, on several different cruise lines. We’re sailing for the first time with HAL Oct 13 and I imagine it will work the same. Great for text and phone calls. You just have to have the app on your parent’s phone.

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I tried wifi calling while on Amsterdam earlier this year. The wifi calling working intermittently. When it did, the connection was OK but not great. You also have to take into account that there may be a delay in your parents hearing what you said and when you hear their reply. I wasn't able to speak continuously with the people I called as you would on a regular phone call connection.

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I tried wifi calling while on Amsterdam earlier this year. The wifi calling working intermittently. When it did, the connection was OK but not great. You also have to take into account that there may be a delay in your parents hearing what you said and when you hear their reply. I wasn't able to speak continuously with the people I called as you would on a regular phone call connection.

 

Where on Earth your ship is and whether it is using MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) or GEO (Geosynchronous)

satellites *matters*.

 

If you are north of Seattle / Southampton or if the ship doesn't have antennae that can track MEO satellites

as they move across the sky, you're stuck with GEO satellites.

 

Those satellites' uplinks are 10x more expensive than the MEO satellites, so ships buy much less bandwidth

when they have to use them = lousy VoiP calls. And since they orbit much higher they have much more

pronounced time-of-flight issues (½ second vs ¼ second) as you wait while the other person hasn't even

heard your last word yet.

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I feel now I am part of the discussion and not the OP. :) Hangouts works also. I was surprised my son called me using Hangouts in the middle of some park in the some little town in NZ. He and I both had hangouts, and it kind of works like Skype to Skype. You can do video or no video calling using the app. I didn't even have a serviced plan; just a Google Voice telephone number. You just need a WIFI signal.

Edited by AKJonesy

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Wifi phone while on board - especially for outbound calls - is amazing in more and more parts of the world. Inbound calls require a little more set up for applications, etc. I require connectivity while traveling (personal/family and business) and with HAL's new plans find it generally acceptable - much more so than in their past archaic plans of the past!

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