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One service Viking is lacking

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If you are like us, being able to text others in your party while on board to arrange meeting, etc. is a very simple way to communicate. At this point in time, texting on board with most phones (mine anyway) requires you to go through cell service and incurs a shipboard roaming fee from your carrier if you don't have wifi texting capability.  As I have learned, having wifi calling does not necessarily mean your text messages will also be wifi (although I am aware that some phones can be set to do this).  To my point, in looking into texting on board I discovered that many other cruise lines provide texting apps for there pax (NCL, RCL, Carnival, Disney...).  Given that Viking already provides free wifi, providing texting capabilities, perhaps making an app available or building it into the Viking Voyager app could provide us with a needed service without significant investment.  I know there is WhatsApp and other apps to do this, but having it "built in" with Viking like other mainstream cruise line would make more sense to me.  Since Viking seems to monitor this forum, if you are interested in this service, perhaps you could post here to let them know there is a demand.

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We used WhatsApp using Viking Wi-fi. Our phones stayed in airplane mode.

Simple, effective, no cost group communication.

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Not something we would use.

 

Got rid of the infernal cell phone on retirement and haven't used one in over 6 years. Texts - even when using cell phones, I never sent a text or received one, so unlikely I'll start using them now.

 

Even on larger mainstream line ships we had no challenges communicating, so don't envisage any challenges with Viking.

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28 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Not something we would use.

 

Got rid of the infernal cell phone on retirement and haven't used one in over 6 years. Texts - even when using cell phones, I never sent a text or received one, so unlikely I'll start using them now.

 

Even on larger mainstream line ships we had no challenges communicating, so don't envisage any challenges with Viking.

Haha, I think I know where I would find you most times.....

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2 hours ago, aimhigh said:

We used WhatsApp using Viking Wi-fi. Our phones stayed in airplane mode.

Simple, effective, no cost group communication.

 

Ditto!  Plus we use it to communicate with our 'kids' back home, usually text messages and baby photos but it also does phone calls. And it is one less app on my phone.

Edited by Peregrina651

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Ok, since this is resulting those that don't want it rather than those who might, let it die.  Sorry I posted

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2 minutes ago, ropomo said:

Ok, since this is resulting those that don't want it rather than those who might, let it die.  Sorry I posted

 

Don't give up so quickly! You've only heard from a few people--and you haven't even given the West Coast a chance to get home from work, it is past bedtime in the UK and I think the Aussies are just getting out of bed. A good conversation takes time to develop.

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Yes you are right, but I asked for people to express their interest in this, not that they wouldn't use it.  So in effect those posting to this thread that they don't want it are saying that it should not be provided for those that might and is contrary to the original request that I made (if you are interested in this please post).  I pointed out in my original post that I am well aware of WhatsApp and other internet based apps, but they have some downsides.  I am particularly interested only in on board communications.  I do not text at home, text to family/friends at home, etc.  On our last cruise in trying to communicate with my wife on board, we continually ran into problems due to sketchy internet access due to latitude and geography (on board wifi network was fine but no internet access, there is a difference).  As example, a text my wife sent me before dinner as where to meet arrived after we went to bed when internet came back.  With a Viking app hosted on board by their server, the service would not be subject to satellite or internet availability and would be a local network app.  So if folks want to post to this thread stating an interest, great, if you don't want it, fine, move on to the next thread.

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I think you’ve made a great suggestion.  We used WhatsApp during our 8 weeks on Orion and it generally worked great with DW, friends and others on the ship.  But, you are right that there were some times when the internet-based service was very slow. 

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we always texted on the ship via WiFi....no charge worked fine and timely!  But I would certainly like another option if the wifi became an on-going issue!

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We will be taking our first ocean cruise this summer (Viking or otherwise), and quite honestly, I hadn't considered an inability to text. We did a river cruise a couple years ago, where it wasn't an issue.
We've already installed the Viking app on our phones, but no idea what all its features are, because it doesn't do anything unless you're on the ship's wifi. I think maybe I was assuming it had a messaging feature, because I've heard some lines' apps do.

I agree it's a feature that would be nice to have added to the app to enable communication between you and mutually identified "friends" on your cruise.
That said, it's not a mega ship, and no one has kids to try to keep track of. So its far from a must-have feature. And you'd still need something more than the Viking app to message someone off-ship anyway, so probably a wifi messaging app might overall be a more effective solution.



Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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4 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Haha, I think I know where I would find you most times.....

Jim - Surely you are insinuating that I could be found at an enrichment lecture or viewing heavenly bodies with a sextant and not one of the excellent refreshment parlours, providing complimentary hopped beverages. :classic_biggrin:

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I suppose it would be nice if Viking provided a texting app ... and I wouldn't be surprised if one day soon we find that they add it to the mix. 

 

I have AT&T service and use their International Day Pass plan which allows me to use my phone as I do at home in any of more than 100 countries for $10 a day ... no charge on days it is not used.  It is a nice way to keep in touch with DH who is home with the pets.  My daughter can text anytime and any place via the WIFI (she has T-mobile) so we can use that on sea days.  I have used What's App and it's a great way to keep in touch when in countries that are not included in AT&T's plan (eg: Algiers) and sea days ... will have four of them this summer on the Midnight Sun!  

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I am really glad you brought this subject up. There are 6 of us going soon. We will be gone from home about a month. We using texting for the kids at home but for each other, it is nice to know that WhatsApp withdrew without WiFi. I will have to practice that. Good suggestion for Viking to consider a intra-ship communication method. 

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WhatsApp works very well, but it implies that everybody's logged in all the time.  Does Viking support this?  Many cruise lines, even with open-ended internet plans, ask that you log out except when you're using it.  So a wifi-based app might not be very useful.

 

The phone in your cabin might be more use, and messages are easy to leave.

 

As for regular SMS text messages, our cell carrier charges $.75 for a text message, coming or going, anywhere in the world, so it can get expensive, and of course, at sea, you often wonder if the texts are going to get delivered in a timely fashion.

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It might have changed since last Spring but when you close your laptop or other device and it goes to "sleep" you have to log in next time up.  Not always, but often.  Not sure how they work it.  I usually power down the laptop when not in use anyway when traveling. 

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Sure--it would be nice for Viking to add the texting to their app. But my guess is that most people don't need it. I think that most people who travel extensively have already figured out how to either use WhatsApp or use WiFi for texting and calling. I have Sprint and texting and data is free pretty much worldwide. Phone calls incur a per minute charge if you use cell coverage, but my phone has WiFi calling feature so I would hardly ever need to use cell coverage.

The other issue is due to the small size of the ship and the low number of passengers, having a texting app is not as important as on a large, mass market line. Actually, I don't think I ever texted DH on our cruise--but we did not have a large group.

Send your request to Viking---if they add it to the app then perhaps people will use it.

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A ship board texting capability is a good suggestion. If Viking is seeking (adult) family groups, or affinity groups like birders, it might be very useful for meet up events, reminders of lectures, bar talks, etc.

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We will be sailing on Viking Sun from London in May. We will also spend 5 days in London before boarding the  ship.

Question on using WI-FI  in London and on board  We will have free Wi_Fi in our hotel. There is free Wi_fi in most of the tube stations.  We have ATT service with Samsung S7 phones.  If we set our phones to airplane mode, will we be able to receive/send calls and or text messages without incurring extra charges such as the $10 per day Passport from ATT?

We want family to be able to contact us while we are traveling.

 

Thanks for the help with our cell phones

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1 hour ago, MSEm said:

If we set our phones to airplane mode, will we be able to receive/send calls and or text messages without incurring extra charges such as the $10 per day Passport from ATT?

 

Yes, if you use something like WhatsApp.  This will allow you to send and receive texts and calls via WiFi, not your cell service.

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1 hour ago, MSEm said:

We will be sailing on Viking Sun from London in May. We will also spend 5 days in London before boarding the  ship.

Question on using WI-FI  in London and on board  We will have free Wi_Fi in our hotel. There is free Wi_fi in most of the tube stations.  We have ATT service with Samsung S7 phones.  If we set our phones to airplane mode, will we be able to receive/send calls and or text messages without incurring extra charges such as the $10 per day Passport from ATT?

We want family to be able to contact us while we are traveling.

 

Thanks for the help with our cell phones

Provided you have an unlocked phone, suggest looking for a UK SIM card. Even for 5 days it will be cheaper than paying any roaming charges. DW picks up one on arrival and only pays for 1 month. At present they also work in the EU, but that might change after March 29th.

 

Usually costs about UKP 10 to 15 and provides UK & International calls and texts. Even includes small amounts of data.

 

 

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We used imessaging as it is free with wifi, but of course you have to have an iPhone.  We sent text a lot onboard, back and forth to each other and back home to kids with iphones.  Wifi drops you constantly, so we had to keep checking and get back on otherwise we missed messages.  I agree it would be nice to have texting onboard between phones that are not iphones. 

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If your service provider allows "WiFi Calling", you can enable that feature on your phone (Android; not sure about iPhones), and then both calling and text messaging works when the phone is in Airplane Mode (cellular and mobile data turned off) with WiFi turned on.

 

You should be able to try it at home - I just did, and it worked fine.

Turn on Airplane Mode (which typically turns all radios off), then turn on WiFi (with WiFi Calling enabled), then try sending a text or placing a phone call to your SO.  If it works, you're good to go.

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5 minutes ago, just_dont said:

If your service provider allows "WiFi Calling", you can enable that feature on your phone (Android; not sure about iPhones), and then both calling and text messaging works when the phone is in Airplane Mode (cellular and mobile data turned off) with WiFi turned on.

 

You should be able to try it at home - I just did, and it worked fine.

Turn on Airplane Mode (which typically turns all radios off), then turn on WiFi (with WiFi Calling enabled), then try sending a text or placing a phone call to your SO.  If it works, you're good to go.

 

Yes, but that only works if you have reliable internet.  The point of this post is to provide an onboard method to communicate regardless of internet access or speed.  Experience shows that on a Viking ship, it may be hours or the next day before a text is delivered to the receiver on the same ship.

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9 minutes ago, ropomo said:

 

Yes, but that only works if you have reliable internet.  The point of this post is to provide an onboard method to communicate regardless of internet access or speed.  Experience shows that on a Viking ship, it may be hours or the next day before a text is delivered to the receiver on the same ship.

That is surprising, as I've heard quite positive reviews of Viking's WiFi service, including at least one post showing quite impressive speed test results.  Makes me wonder whether it has less to do with the "internet access or speed" and more about how well the mobile providers are handling the WiFi Calling feature.  Even if both phones are connected to the same ship's WiFi, the texts do still have to ultimately go through the carrier's land-based network.

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