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RMLincoln

First time cruising with a smartphone... help?

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We live a rural area that had no cell phone signal so we were slow in purchasing a smart phone. We are learning how to use the one we have now, a samsung GS9, and just finished a 6 week road trip during which we found it very helpful for email and text, google maps, weather forecasts, finding commercial establishments.   We are on Verizon, have't requested a Travel Plan so I think we will be Pay-as-You-Use.  I know making calls form the ship is $2.99/min so we don't plan to do that. 

We will be cruising in the Caribbean on Koningsdam starting Nov 11, 21 nights; we don't have any specific needs for the phone but I do want to avoid the pitfalls.  I'm not sure if we'll be able to do much with the phone in the ports.  I hope ot use it for HAL Navigator.  If you can offer any advice, it's most welcome.  Many thanks, m-- 

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We've also been slow to adopt the latest in phone technology. While I can't provide any specifics about your phones I will tell you that we looked at what we had prior to our Norway cruise last summer and decided to upgrade our phones and switch providers. Our old (feature) phones didn't have a SIM card that we could swap while in Europe so I picked up 2 (used) iPhone 6 devices and changed our plan to the 55+ on T-Mobile. This allowed us to have internet while in port which we used to touch bases with family back in the States. You will probably want to connect to Koningsdam's network to view your daily charges (they no longer provide you with a paper receipt for drinks/purchases in the various lounges) and it will give you access to any on-board photographs that may be taken of you. The network connection on-board also provides a very backward messaging system so (for example) you could message your spouse in the spa while you were poolside HOWEVER there is no notification - you both have to open the site and check for messages. It isn't an app that is downloaded - it is just a website but you do have to register/login. I can't understand those who pay for the on-board internet - it is expensive and slow. Connecting to the HAL site on-board is free.

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When you get on board, the first thing you want to do is put it in airplane mode.  Do this in the settings display accessed by sliding down from the top.  

 

Next, you will want to turn back on WiFi.

 

Setup this way, you won't incur any sort of roaming charges, but you will be able to access the ship's WiFi network to be able to access the Navigator app and the free sites HAL allows.  Additionally, when you get to a port, you can find a WiFi hot spot (a little hint: ask a crew member where the best spots are for the port), and access the full internet this way.

 

And, when you get back to the US, just turn airplane mode back off to access the cell network.

 

Hope this helps!


Mark

 

 

Edited by fusion927

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You should contact  your carrier and discuss this issue with Verizon.  I did that several years ago on found them very helpful.  They did not try to sell me a plan, in fact, after our discussion of how I use the phone, Verizon recommended that I shouldn't get one of their plans.  They sent me a one page set of instructions on how to set up my phone to avoid excess charges.  BTW, they didn't recommend 'airplane mode'.  They said I only needed to "turn data off".  That procedure was in the instructions they sent. That recommendation depends upon your phone and carrier, so call Verizon to verify the best way to operate. 

 

We also informed our friends/relatives/neighbors that we would be on a cruise and would not be receiving calls.  If they needed us, they should send a txt message.  If it was important enough, we would call them back, ie, our house is on fire.  Otherwise, text messages would suffice.  Verizon charges fifty cents to send a text and a nickel to receive.  You shouldn't run up a big charge relying upon text messages.  

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You received some good advice above about Airplane Mode, which turns cellular roaming off.

If you follow those instructions, you will be able to access HAL's onboard Navigator so you can see information about the cruise while you are on-board. 

 

However, if you do wish to use your phone for emails, texts, or browsing the web, weather forecasts, etc. you may want to look into Verizon's International Travel Planner  https://www.verizonwireless.com/solutions-and-services/international-travel/

 

We have T-mobile where the international plan is free (except phone calls) pretty much anywhere in the world, and it really is handy to use, especially if you cannot connect (or do not want to connect to an unsecured public wifi hotspot).

 

Have a great cruise.

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I put my phone in Airplane mode last summer for Canada/New England.  I also enabled wifi calling.  I was able to call my dad every day and check up on how he was doing.   I did not incur any roaming charges during that time.  I did have the ship's wifi for the Navigator and I also bought the ship's plan as I needed email on a daily basis for work.  

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3 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

..We also informed our friends/relatives/neighbors that we would be on a cruise and would not be receiving calls.  If they needed us, they should send a txt message.  If it was important enough, we would call them back, ie, our house is on fire.  Otherwise, text messages would suffice.  Verizon charges fifty cents to send a text and a nickel to receive.  You shouldn't run up a big charge relying upon text messages.  

 

Texting generally requires a phone signal unless one has a special wifi texting software like WhatsApp set up for both the sender and receiver.  Email works best if one is entirely dependent on internet wifi.  The easiest and cheapest way to keep in touch is to find free or "buy a cup of coffee" wifi while in port.  Any Starbucks will do.  You don't have to waste time in port reading and writing emails; just do a  send/receive while wifi is available and then read/respond to the email messages later on.

 

igraf

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, RMLincoln said:

We live a rural area that had no cell phone signal so we were slow in purchasing a smart phone. We are learning how to use the one we have now, a samsung GS9, and just finished a 6 week road trip during which we found it very helpful for email and text, google maps, weather forecasts, finding commercial establishments.   We are on Verizon, have't requested a Travel Plan so I think we will be Pay-as-You-Use.  I know making calls form the ship is $2.99/min so we don't plan to do that. 

We will be cruising in the Caribbean on Koningsdam starting Nov 11, 21 nights; we don't have any specific needs for the phone but I do want to avoid the pitfalls.  I'm not sure if we'll be able to do much with the phone in the ports.  I hope ot use it for HAL Navigator.  If you can offer any advice, it's most welcome.  Many thanks, m-- 

Thank you for asking this question.  We have only used the ship's wifi if it is offered free.  We are on the Koningsdam in January and intend to follow the advice given to you on this post.  It is amazing how much information I have gleaned just by following other's posts.  

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We are on Verizon.  While in port at San Juan, Puerto Rico, and  in Saint Thomas ( both US territories) any cell phone use was considered domestic calls, Internet data use and texting, the same as if we were in the mainland US and not on WiFi at our house.

 

In other ports,  and other non-cruise trips, the Verizon Travel Pass is what we have used.  Best to call VerizonWireless Global and talk with them. Don't call the regular Verizon support number.  Call the Global division. 

Edited by Walfam

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4 hours ago, fusion927 said:

When you get on board, the first thing you want to do is put it in airplane mode.  Do this in the settings display accessed by sliding down from the top.  

 

Next, you will want to turn back on WiFi.

 

Setup this way, you won't incur any sort of roaming charges, but you will be able to access the ship's WiFi network to be able to access the Navigator app and the free sites HAL allows.  Additionally, when you get to a port, you can find a WiFi hot spot (a little hint: ask a crew member where the best spots are for the port), and access the full internet this way.

 

And, when you get back to the US, just turn airplane mode back off to access the cell network.

 

Hope this helps!


Mark

 

 

You made that easy enough for me to follow!  I wouldn't have thought i had to turn WiFi back on, so easy when you know how.  Much appreciated!  m---

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3 hours ago, dfish said:

I put my phone in Airplane mode last summer for Canada/New England.  I also enabled wifi calling.  I was able to call my dad every day and check up on how he was doing.   I did not incur any roaming charges during that time.  I did have the ship's wifi for the Navigator and I also bought the ship's plan as I needed email on a daily basis for work.  

Good to hear that this worked for you, this is my plan while on board.  I think as long as it is in airplane mode nothing will be updating and incurring charges. 

Sounds like you called your father through the ship's WiFi, using the ships internet package.... I hadn't thought of that, but of course that is how we use the phone at home without any cell signal here.  This is a great tip!!! Thanks so much, m-- 

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4 hours ago, just_cruising_along said:

You received some good advice above about Airplane Mode, which turns cellular roaming off.

If you follow those instructions, you will be able to access HAL's onboard Navigator so you can see information about the cruise while you are on-board. 

 

However, if you do wish to use your phone for emails, texts, or browsing the web, weather forecasts, etc. you may want to look into Verizon's International Travel Planner https://www.verizonwireless.com/solutions-and-services/international-travel/

 

We have T-mobile where the international plan is free (except phone calls) pretty much anywhere in the world, and it really is handy to use, especially if you cannot connect (or do not want to connect to an unsecured public wifi hotspot).

 

Have a great cruise.

Verizon's Intentional Traveler Plan started at $70, and had 0.5GB of data for the month, or $130 for more...  I went with the Travel Pass which is $10/per each day of use... and I don't plan to use the phone except on WiFi unless it's an emergency, then $10 is Ok, and is capped at whatever our usual plan will supply - unlimited talk and text, 2 Gb data.  So that's will work.  And we'll be able to use Navigator in Airplane mode with no worries!  All good, thanks, m--.  

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36 minutes ago, RMLincoln said:

Verizon's Intentional Traveler Plan started at $70, and had 0.5GB of data for the month, or $130 for more...  I went with the Travel Pass which is $10/per each day of use... and I don't plan to use the phone except on WiFi unless it's an emergency, then $10 is Ok, and is capped at whatever our usual plan will supply - unlimited talk and text, 2 Gb data.  So that's will work.  And we'll be able to use Navigator in Airplane mode with no worries!  All good, thanks, m--.  

 

Glad you have figured what works for you.  :)  Enjoy your cruise!!!

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Talk to Verizon about the best plan for you. One of their plans is called Go Unlimited for $40 per month. that plan includes unlimited talk, text and data., USA , Canada and Mexico plus other features

.

 

 

 

goG

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7 hours ago, lazey1 said:

Talk to Verizon about the best plan for you. One of their plans is called Go Unlimited for $40 per month. that plan includes unlimited talk, text and data., USA , Canada and Mexico plus other features

.

 

 

 

goG

 

Go Unlimited at $40 per month requires 4 phones, so it is really $160 per month (or part of).  That is on top of what they are charging you for your plan at home.

 

I don't know why people are so eager to pay so much to use their phones.  I travel to Chile for weeks at a time and hardly spend anything to use my phone.  That includes good quality video calls every day with WhatsApp.   Like I said previously, just a cup of coffee at Starbucks gets me all the wifi I need at an airport and everything else is on free wifi at my hotel and work site.  

 

Learn how to use wifi for data, messaging, voice and video calls.  You can practice at home.  You can also do a lot with no data service at all, including translating foreign languages and navigation.

 

igraf

 

 

Edited by igraf

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6 hours ago, igraf said:

 

Go Unlimited at $40 per month requires 4 phones, so it is really $160 per month (or part of).  That is on top of what they are charging you for your plan at home.

 

I don't know why people are so eager to pay so much to use their phones.  I travel to Chile for weeks at a time and hardly spend anything to use my phone.  That includes good quality video calls every day with WhatsApp.   Like I said previously, just a cup of coffee at Starbucks gets me all the wifi I need at an airport and everything else is on free wifi at my hotel and work site.  

 

Learn how to use wifi for data, messaging, voice and video calls.  You can practice at home.  You can also do a lot with no data service at all, including translating foreign languages and navigation.

 

igraf

 

 

Yes, cost of a smartphone was a deterrent to us getting one and now we have a very basic plan, still $55/mo.  I want to learn navigation without data if you have any suggestions.  Thank you!  m--

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16 hours ago, RMLincoln said:

 I went with the Travel Pass which is $10/per each day of use... and I don't plan to use the phone except on WiFi unless it's an emergency, then $10 is Ok, and is capped at whatever our usual plan will supply - unlimited talk and text, 2 Gb data.  So that's will work.  

Be aware that although your monthly data plan applies, Travel Pass is limited to a .5 GB data/day.  At that point, it is throttled to a verrry slow speed or one can purchase more data if needed.  Downloading docs & loading emails  for work won't happen.  Eh, don't ask how we know that.  🙄  We now use a VPN for WiFi while in foreign countries and ports.

Edited by Walfam

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On 11/8/2018 at 5:41 AM, RMLincoln said:

Yes, cost of a smartphone was a deterrent to us getting one and now we have a very basic plan, still $55/mo.  I want to learn navigation without data if you have any suggestions.  Thank you!  m--

 

With Google Translator I was able to download the Spanish language (or at least most of it) before I left home.  Likewise, with Maps.Me I am able to download maps for a given country prior to leaving on a trip.  I heard that Google Maps will also do this though I have not personally tried it.

 

igraf

 

 

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On November 7, 2018 at 12:59 PM, igraf said:

 

...You don't have to waste time in port reading and writing emails; just do a  send/receive while wifi is available and then read/respond to the email messages later on...

 

igraf

 

 

 

 

I have never been able to find out how to read/respond to emails while offline, or how to download received emails so I can read them offline. I use an iPad; any tips? :classic_unsure:

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14 hours ago, PSR said:

 

I have never been able to find out how to read/respond to emails while offline, or how to download received emails so I can read them offline. I use an iPad; any tips? :classic_unsure:

 

You can practice at home by turning Airplane Mode on and off to simulate loss of coverage. The terminology in my instructions below are for a typical Windows email client, but it should be similar for your iPad.

 

1.  Turn on Airplane Mode (disable signal) and then write an email to yourself or your spouse. 

2.  Send the message.  You will see it in the "Outbox" (or "Draft") folder, but not in the Sent folder.  Or, your email client may simply complain that there was a problem sending the message.

3. Turn off Airplane Mode (enable signal) and then click on Send/Receive (or similar titled) button. Or, just wait until the email is refreshed automatically.  The message will now be in the Sent folder.  This step may take a few minutes as you have to wait for both a send and a receive from your server. 

4.  Look for the message in your (or your spouse's) Inbox folder.

5.  Turn on Airplane Mode and then read the message.  This is to pretend that you are off-line.

 

Again, Airplane Mode is just being used to simulate no signal. You would not be turning Airplane Mode on and off when doing this for real.  You can also turn cellular data and/or wifi on and off manually for simulating a no signal situation.

 

igraf

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6 hours ago, igraf said:

 

You can practice at home by turning Airplane Mode on and off to simulate loss of coverage. The terminology in my instructions below are for a typical Windows email client, but it should be similar for your iPad.

 

1.  Turn on Airplane Mode (disable signal) and then write an email to yourself or your spouse. 

2.  Send the message.  You will see it in the "Outbox" (or "Draft") folder, but not in the Sent folder.  Or, your email client may simply complain that there was a problem sending the message.

3. Turn off Airplane Mode (enable signal) and then click on Send/Receive (or similar titled) button. Or, just wait until the email is refreshed automatically.  The message will now be in the Sent folder.  This step may take a few minutes as you have to wait for both a send and a receive from your server. 

4.  Look for the message in your (or your spouse's) Inbox folder.

5.  Turn on Airplane Mode and then read the message.  This is to pretend that you are off-line.

 

Again, Airplane Mode is just being used to simulate no signal. You would not be turning Airplane Mode on and off when doing this for real.  You can also turn cellular data and/or wifi on and off manually for simulating a no signal situation.

 

igraf

 

Thank you for the information. I tried it on my desktop first, but since it doesn't have an"airport mode" I turned off my wi-fi home signal. I couldn't follow your directions since I got a "technical error" from my browser (Safari) when I tried to send it.

 

I tried it on my iPad and the message didn't go to my "draft" folder, but DID disappear. When I turned off the airplane mode on my iPad, the message DID appear as "sent", so that worked, however I hoped it would appear somewhere (like in "draft" as you described) so I could check it once again before sending for the final time.

 

Appreciate your help! Penny:classic_smile:

 

 

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I just sent this on my iPad. Airplane mode is on, wifi is off. Email is in Outbox until wifi is enabled. 

 

Cheers, Denise 

20290D48-5089-4982-BF96-16F6D026296C.jpeg

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When we get an internet package on a cruise, here's what I do.  Turn on Airplane mode (and turn on wifi to get the onboard Navigator).  For emails I have to go into Navigator to access the wifi we've purchased.  We can take turns using the wifi, using my password.  If the internet is working, emails will appear, they need a little time to download completely - if you get out too soon, you won't get them all!  Then, when I'm sure everything has downloaded, I "log out" of the internet.  I can read the messages off line, and respond to them, and I press send for each email.  Of course they just go into my draft box.  Then I have to get back onto the internet, and sometimes the emails go immediately, but sometimes I have to go into my drafts and resend.

 

If you have the 24/7 internet, of course you don't even have to go offline at all, but some people have said that it can be slow, if everyone stays online all the time!

 

I have to say, I just love my iPhone on a cruise.  I have books and games on it, and I don't even bother to take a camera any more - the iPhone takes better photos than my camera did.  I take my iPad, too, but that is for the room, and to do jigsaw puzzles!  Also, it is synched to the iPhone, so photos move over, and I won't lose them if my iPhone were to be stolen.

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