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mskitty1

Cell phone service while cruising

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Back to T-Mobile, the Magenta + (for Europe) is an extra $15 a month. You can just turn it on and off. Pay the extra for just the months out of country. The one up above is not the +

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I have a question. Someone said to put the phone in airplane mode when on the ship. We have the T-Mobile plan and I was told by T-Mobile to turn the phone off when on the ship. They said if someone left us a voicemail message we would be charged either $4.99 or $5.99 (can’t remember which) if our phone was on, even in airplane mode. They said to be away from the ship before turning the phone on. So wondering about others experiences.

 

We will be in the Mediterranean in a couple of weeks and hope everything works when we need it. Mostly thinking to contact those we have reservations/bookings with if needed. Also hoping the Find Friends app works overseas cause DH is a wanderer!

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24 minutes ago, Kittie Ladie said:

I have a question. Someone said to put the phone in airplane mode when on the ship. We have the T-Mobile plan and I was told by T-Mobile to turn the phone off when on the ship. They said if someone left us a voicemail message we would be charged either $4.99 or $5.99 (can’t remember which) if our phone was on, even in airplane mode. They said to be away from the ship before turning the phone on. So wondering about others experiences.

 

We will be in the Mediterranean in a couple of weeks and hope everything works when we need it. Mostly thinking to contact those we have reservations/bookings with if needed. Also hoping the Find Friends app works overseas cause DH is a wanderer!

 

Interesting. I will be curious to see what others say. I know we kept our phones on (but in airplane mode) when we were on the ship. Turning the phone off would mean you could not use the camera, listen to music, play games, or use any of the apps.

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On 7/15/2019 at 5:33 PM, AryMay said:

 

We switched over to T-Mobile from Sprint about a year and a half ago and couldn't be more satisfied. Coverage in the U.S. has increased a great deal and in our area is great.

 

We have had T-Mobile service for several cruises now and whenever we reach a port we turn our phone off of airplane mode and immediately get a text message from T-Mobile saying "Welcome to ----------- (fill in the blank with whatever country). You have unlimited data and texting." Voice calls from other countries are also reasonable (~ .25/minute). Service in Mexico and Canada is no different than in the U.S. (unlimited calls, texting & data.)

 

We are on the senior plan (over age 55) and although the price has gone up slightly we were grandfathered in on the original price...$60 (including ALL taxes and fees) for two lines. Here is a screen shot of the benefits of this plan:

 

I don't need to be connected 24/7 when we cruise, but I do appreciate being able to check in with family when we reach a port.

We had flip phones up to Feb. 2018 that would no longer be useful in Puerto Vallarta Mexico where we go each year.  So we were pulled "kicking & screaming" into the smart phone market.  So after researching all the carriers we did the same thing, selected T-Mobile to change to.  But we missed the $60/mth for 2 lines by 1 1/2 weeks....darn!!!  So we pay $70/mth with autopay on the acct.  We've been very happy with T-Mobile and use it nearly the same as you with the same results.  We use voice very infrequently but when needed, worked well on a couple ports in Europe last year by calling private excursion companies.  On our last cruise in the South Pacific we had a couple islands were we did not have coverage, but no big deal since we got coverage on a future island. We also turn the phone to Airplane Mode as we leave the dock and have had no extra charges accessed to our account. This way we can also use the HAL Navigator app.  T-Mobile's coverage map has improved over the last 3-4 years which was one of our concerns in leaving Verizon.  Have had no problems on coverage with T-Mobile

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Posted (edited)
On 7/21/2019 at 9:33 PM, Kittie Ladie said:

I have a question. Someone said to put the phone in airplane mode when on the ship. We have the T-Mobile plan and I was told by T-Mobile to turn the phone off when on the ship. They said if someone left us a voicemail message we would be charged either $4.99 or $5.99 (can’t remember which) if our phone was on, even in airplane mode. They said to be away from the ship before turning the phone on. So wondering about others experiences.

The T Mobile guy doent know what he is talking about. If your phone is on Airplane mode you can not send or receive any calls, email, texts or use data. AM is the same thing as having your phone off to any one trying to contact you. If someone does call while it is in AM the caller will go to your voice mail and can leave a message but you will not be notified until you take the phone off of AM. HAL uses Cellular At Sea for onboard cell usage and it is expensive but it is turned off in all ports so when is a port you have regular land cell service available even while on the ship.

 

I just got off an Alaska cruise and our phones were in AM until we went ashore in the US stops and on our regular cell plans however I did keep my internet on while the phone was in AM. Here is why, I purchased an internet package #2 for $89 for the 7 days from HAL and was able to use internet calling on my cell phone for receiving and sending calls, texts and emails through the HAL internet package. I have ATT and my Samsung smart phone has the Wi-Fi calling feature.

Edited by terrydtx

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5 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

The T Mobile guy doent know what he is talking about. If your phone is on Airplane mode you can not send or receive any calls, email, texts or use data. AM is the same thing as having your phone off to any one trying to contact you. If someone does call while it is in AM the caller will go to your voice mail and can leave a message but you will not be notified until you take the phone off of AM.

 

I just got off an Alaska cruise and our phones were in AM until we went ashore in the US stops and on our regular cell plans.

 

terry,

 

Did you use the Navigator app while on board?  We plan to try Navigator this Sunday when we board the Westerdam.  We will stay in airplane mode and turn the wi fi on manually to connect to Navigator.

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6 minutes ago, przyk said:

 

terry,

 

Did you use the Navigator app while on board?  We plan to try Navigator this Sunday when we board the Westerdam.  We will stay in airplane mode and turn the wi fi on manually to connect to Navigator.

Yes we did use Navigator and you have to have the wi fi on to use it. After you turn on Airplane mode manually just turn on the wifi to use the Navigator app. This is the same thing for any tablets that are connected to you cell plan as well.

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5 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

Yes we did use Navigator and you have to have the wi fi on to use it. After you turn on Airplane mode manually just turn on the wifi to use the Navigator app. This is the same thing for any tablets that are connected to you cell plan as well.

 

Did you find Navigator useful.  My understanding is my wife and I will be able to communicate through Navigator.  Not sure if that's right or exactly how it works, but I'm hoping that's the case.

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Another very satisfied T mobile customer. We have used in China. Sicily, Mexico and worked great. I used to not have international coverage (had Consumer Cellular) until we had out flights cancelled in Israel and had no working phone!

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Google Fi is the best I've found. 

Plan starts at $20/month for unlimited calls and texts. Data is  $10/GB until 6 GB. After that data is free for the rest of the month. Service costs the same in 200 countries.  The phones switch seamlessly between 2 million Google hot spots and T-Mobile, Sprint, and USCC phone networks. I've had good luck most places I've been.  Here's the coverage. https://fi.google.com/about/international-rates/

The downside is that the system works with any unlocked phone but best with the specific ones Google sells.

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4 hours ago, przyk said:

 

Did you find Navigator useful.  My understanding is my wife and I will be able to communicate through Navigator.  Not sure if that's right or exactly how it works, but I'm hoping that's the case.

We never used it for messaging, but it was useful and free. It posts all the events for each day on the ship and sets up notifications for start times of any you check that you want to attend. They also post by 8 am the MDR dinner menus for each day. It also keeps track of all HAL shore excursions that you are signed up for. It is a good app that is free.

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My question is this--I have been on ships when passengers are on their phones, say they are not hooked up to the ships internet, and call and check email frequently.  What am I missing?  With ship internet so expensive on Holland America, I am looking for more cost effective measures on the ship.  Do they exist?

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On 7/14/2019 at 7:03 AM, wesport said:

Tmobile. You get 2g speed and calls at 25 cents a minute. Most countries have a service partner with tmobile. You can get a high speed pass for 5 dollars a day. All I need to do is check email on my phone, so it is perfect. You also can have your family download the WhatsApp app, and call through that app for free via the tmobile signal. Have been around the world with tmobile and have saved many dollars. 

Second on T-Mobile. Thats what I have and its worked great. We generally don't plan on much calling while overseas, so if we have to, we just suck up the $0.25 minute for calls. 

 

2G data works fine for texts, checking emails and what not. 

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3 hours ago, luvn2cruzzz said:

My question is this--I have been on ships when passengers are on their phones, say they are not hooked up to the ships internet, and call and check email frequently.  What am I missing?  With ship internet so expensive on Holland America, I am looking for more cost effective measures on the ship.  Do they exist?

They could be checking Internet/ e mail using the ship's wifi.

 

There really isn't a cheaper way...when you are on board, and away from land, you are limited to the ship's systems.

 

You could just put the phone in your safe...you are on vacation. Has worked for us for 22 cruises.

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12 hours ago, terrydtx said:

Yes we did use Navigator and you have to have the wi fi on to use it. After you turn on Airplane mode manually just turn on the wifi to use the Navigator app. This is the same thing for any tablets that are connected to you cell plan as well.

 

Thanks Terry, I am looking forward to using Navigator as you did.  The main time I would use messaging is in the morning.  I get up early, so I usually try to sneak out of the room quietly without waking my wife.  I may have a cup of coffee or even breakfast before she gets up.  It would be nice if she could give me the all clear to return, which is what we do by text when we are in a hotel and have cell service.

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19 hours ago, luvn2cruzzz said:

My question is this--I have been on ships when passengers are on their phones, say they are not hooked up to the ships internet, and call and check email frequently.  What am I missing?  With ship internet so expensive on Holland America, I am looking for more cost effective measures on the ship.  Do they exist?

 

Here's one possibility:

If the cruise is close to land, you could pick up cellular signals from land towers.  e.g.  on our 2018 Aug Baltic cruise , I was able to pick up a land signal 90% of the time.   You just need to manually scan and select the land carrier and not let your phone default to the Cruise's own cellular-at-sea signal (which is the really pricey one).    We had a European SIM card so was able to roam in EU countries (we are not T-mobile customers as we aren't from the US).

 

my $0.02 CAD  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

They could be checking Internet/ e mail using the ship's wifi.

 

There really isn't a cheaper way...when you are on board, and away from land, you are limited to the ship's systems.

 

You could just put the phone in your safe...you are on vacation. Has worked for us for 22 cruises.

I hear you!  Wish for me that was a possibility!  As for those passengers, they said it was not connected to the ship in any way and was a plan they had and they would spend much time on their phones talking to their children while sailing.  Perhaps they were greeted with an immense bill upon returning home!

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Another suggestion for Google Fi here, I am already a Google Fi customer and that works perfectly for me. I don't have to purchase anything "extra" nor use a different number than my own. Data is charged at their normal price, unlimited texting, and non-wifi calls are 10¢/min. However I'll usually use Hangouts or Whatsapp for those if I am the one making the call.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

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For Caribbean cruises (typically a week to ten days), has anyone purchased local SIM card(s)? If so, do you use them year after year, or one and done? Any tips/suggestions? I have pre-paid cell service that doesn't allow roaming and an unlocked phone.

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For Caribbean cruises (typically a week to ten days), has anyone purchased local SIM card(s)? If so, do you use them year after year, or one and done? Any tips/suggestions? I have pre-paid cell service that doesn't allow roaming and an unlocked phone.
Look into Google Fi. I can send you a referral link and it's even cheaper. It's great and you can get everything setup before you even leave and can use ANY time you travel internationally.


Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

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The AT&T cruise plan has two options, both good for 30 days: $100 for 200MB of data and unlimited talk/text, or $50 for 50 minutes of talk and unlimited text (no data). One good feature of this plan for Alaska cruises is that you can use the service on land in Canada.  I purchased the $50 option for my upcoming cruise because my service doesn’t include Canada. I also have the International Day Pass option but that doesn’t work at sea. 

 

Details of the AT&T plans here: https://www.att.com/offers/international-plans/cruise-packages.html

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