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janazaz

WiFi & Keeping Up With Teens and Pre-Teen

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Posted (edited)

I thought I was smart enough to figure this out by reading past posts, but I guess I'm not.  So, I'll just ask in simple terms.  I need to keep track of teenagers on Harmony.  I know about the RCI app that's FREE for texting purposes but it's my understanding it doesn't have "push notices" and isn't all that reliable.  If the kids have an iPhone what does Royal offer for WiFi while on the ship....is that VOOM? How does all of this work that makes sense and doesn't end up costing a ton of money.  Not interested in streaming, FB or any of the social media stuff...just need to make sure these teen girls can communicate back and forth by texting me when needed.

Edited by janazaz

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Voom is just their name for internet service.

 

From what I've read, there's a "glitch" in the app that allows iMessage to work (i.e. normal texting between any iPhones, onboard or not) for free.  You should all be able to text each other as you would at home.

 

If you don't want to try to take advantage of the glitch and don't need streaming, you'll want a Surf package (Surf & Stream is the more expensive one with more bandwidth for streaming videos and whatnot).  To use multiple devices simultaneously, you're need a package for X number of devices.

 

Also, FWIW, and this doesn't guarantee future success, I've been about to stream video and use facetime with just Surf as recently as 2017 on Oasis in the Caribbean.

 

Hope this helps.

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43 minutes ago, OCSC Mike said:

From what I've read, there's a "glitch" in the app that allows iMessage to work (i.e. normal texting between any iPhones, onboard or not) for free.  You should all be able to text each other as you would at home.

From what I've read - only on some ships, and those that it's open for still use the old Royal IQ app, not the new app.  I can't keep them all straight, I know Anthem is still on RoyalIQ, if the OP is talking about free texting between passengers on the Royal app on the Harmony then that ship is on the new app since RoyalIQ texting is a for-fee feature.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, hallux said:

From what I've read - only on some ships, and those that it's open for still use the old Royal IQ app, not the new app.  I can't keep them all straight, I know Anthem is still on RoyalIQ, if the OP is talking about free texting between passengers on the Royal app on the Harmony then that ship is on the new app since RoyalIQ texting is a for-fee feature.

 

Someone on Harmony right now (about to disembark) doing a live review reported the glitch working with the new app.

Edited by OCSC Mike

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I am in a similar situation.  I cannot use the room door boards since my kids leave the cabin in the mornings and are out basically until it is time to go to bed.  They do not live on their phones at all, but they do use them from time to time, or at least I need them to have them so I can reach them if I need to.  We always meet up around the ship, almost never at the cabin during the day.  I just bit the bullet and got the voom surf and stream for each of us.  it is expensive, but I needed something that was guaranteed to work and I didn't want each of us kicking each other off by sharing an account.  I looked at the cheaper voom but it was only about a $1 or 2 cheaper per day when there are sales and I have heard that it is marginally better than dialup speeds at times.  So I went with the more expensive Voom Surf & Stream package.

 

Also, and I am still after all this time not clear on it, but generally saying "Texting" can be tricky.  For me, sending text message from an International location (especially a ship) will cost me $.25 to $.50 cents per text outbound even if I have Voom.  That really adds up.  So I make sure that all of us stay in Hangouts or WhatsApp (or similar) and leave our phones in airplane mode.  No phone calls unless the phones and ship supports wifi calling.  

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30 minutes ago, fscool said:

  For me, sending text message from an International location (especially a ship) will cost me $.25 to $.50 cents per text outbound even if I have Voom.  

That should only happen if you aren't airplane mode. If you simply put it into airplane mode when step on the ship the first time and don't take it out of airplane mode till you step off the last time you leave the ship, you should have no charges from your carrier.

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One note about using Royal’s app and not purchasing voom, obviously your phone needs to be connected to WiFi to send or receive messages through the app. I found our iPhones had to re-login to the “free” connection periodically in order to use the Royal app. Often when I brought up the app, it would show no connectivity. I would need to go through the voom login page to reconnect to the free WiFi. If you are depending on the receiving phone to notify the user of an incoming message, that won’t happen if that phone’s free WiFi connection has been dropped or timed out.

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Another option that also works for Android phones (i.e., Samsung): install WhatsApp on each phone and pay for wifi for each device.  My family then will use wifi to message me, call me, or pass me their pictures or funny memes. All phones stay on wifi only the entirety of the cruise, so no extra charges.

 

WhatsApp will also allow me to turn on my GPS and share my location for a set period of time. If my husband or teenager needs to track me down, they merely push the button for my current location. It won't work perfectly, but it should tell the difference between cabin, spa, and Solarium. I am the only early riser in our family, and I need my coffee. I will go ramble and not worry about being out of contact all day because we didn't talk before I headed out.

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Lower decks are great for port intensive cruises. Once back on board, just a quick walk up a deck or two rather than waiting for an elevator. 

 

If I book an OV or INT cabin, I don’t care about the deck. I am more concerned about forward or aft as we generally have a preference towards aft rather than forward cabins. 

 

Enjoy

 

m

 

 

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1 hour ago, LadyShiva said:

Another option that also works for Android phones (i.e., Samsung): install WhatsApp on each phone and pay for wifi for each device.  My family then will use wifi to message me, call me, or pass me their pictures or funny memes. All phones stay on wifi only the entirety of the cruise, so no extra charges.

 

WhatsApp will also allow me to turn on my GPS and share my location for a set period of time. If my husband or teenager needs to track me down, they merely push the button for my current location. It won't work perfectly, but it should tell the difference between cabin, spa, and Solarium. I am the only early riser in our family, and I need my coffee. I will go ramble and not worry about being out of contact all day because we didn't talk before I headed out.

Unfortunately WhatsApp doesn't work on all the ships...my daughter is currently crew on Symphony, and we haven't found an android message app that works on that ship, seems they've closed that back door.  We had been using that app successfully for years now,  until she was assigned to SY.  So far she hasn't found one that works, so I have to wait to hear from her when she gets into port and finds a free WiFi spot.

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Nanci, I also specified buying an internet package.  You mentioned the backdoor being closed; if WhatsApp (or Message+) work for you both when she is off the boat, she may need to use her internet to make my strategy work.

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4 minutes ago, NanciRDH said:

Unfortunately WhatsApp doesn't work on all the ships.. ....

 

Just to clarify, I think you are saying that WhatsApp does not work for free on Symphony.  However, it would work if it was used with  VOOM access, correct?

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5 minutes ago, NanciRDH said:

Unfortunately WhatsApp doesn't work on all the ships...my daughter is currently crew on Symphony, and we haven't found an android message app that works on that ship, seems they've closed that back door.  We had been using that app successfully for years now,  until she was assigned to SY.  So far she hasn't found one that works, so I have to wait to hear from her when she gets into port and finds a free WiFi spot.

We use GroupMe on board ships, it only requires Wifi access.  I think Whatsapp is a similar application that you need to buy Wifi access to use.

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25 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Just to clarify, I think you are saying that WhatsApp does not work for free on Symphony.  However, it would work if it was used with  VOOM access, correct?

Sorry, yes.  It does work with Voom, I meant the sneaky backdoor to use it, and similar messaging apps, without having to buy WiFi.  Crew WiFi is more expensive than guests lol. 

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So, what I'm understanding is on HOTS we all have to buy RCI's WiFi (Voom) for iPhone/Android if we want make absolutely sure text messaging goes through in order to stay in communication.  

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3 hours ago, janazaz said:

So, what I'm understanding is on HOTS we all have to buy RCI's WiFi (Voom) for iPhone/Android if we want make absolutely sure text messaging goes through in order to stay in communication.  

Yes, but very likely it will also work without buying VOOM. 

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4 hours ago, janazaz said:

So, what I'm understanding is on HOTS we all have to buy RCI's WiFi (Voom) for iPhone/Android if we want make absolutely sure text messaging goes through in order to stay in communication.  

 

My understanding was that the RCI App supported free texting on Harmony, no VOOM needed.

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We bought the drink package that included VOOM while on Allure this week.  Yes, the internet was an extra expense.  But with my teenager running around it gave me piece of mind. We could easily touch base, keep track of who was where, and I could tell him to get back to the room without hunting him down. We have iPhones and we easily were able to iMessage with no problems.  We tried using the messaging in the app for hubby and his non-connected self but he didn't always get the messages.

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4 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

 

My understanding was that the RCI App supported free texting on Harmony, no VOOM needed.

 

Mine as well.  I also posted earlier in this thread that someone who just got off today reported they were able to use iMessage for free via the glitch.

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12 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

 

My understanding was that the RCI App supported free texting on Harmony, no VOOM needed.

Correct.  Harmony and Allure are the 2 ships that have the free texting enabled on the Royal App.

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So does this only work on certain ships I understand?  Is it possible to use imessage to text in the Radiance?

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38 minutes ago, wgeo said:

So does this only work on certain ships I understand?  Is it possible to use imessage to text in the Radiance?

 

Not for free, you'd have to purchase Voom.

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1 hour ago, wgeo said:

So does this only work on certain ships I understand?  Is it possible to use imessage to text in the Radiance?

 

The free iMessage was only reported from Quantum class ships and Harmony.

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