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The Mikado

Which Internet Plan For Calling? Grand Princess 04/14

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On the Grand 04/14 from San Fran. Since I still have an investment business to run, I’m going to need internet fast enough for calls from my iPhone as well as moderate email/data updates. I don’t need streaming and I won’t be on it all day. 

 

Suggestions?

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Posted (edited)

Depends on how much time you need. Speed is the same no matter what plan you have. You won't have fast internet.

Edited by weedpindle

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We’ve been on this same cruise the last two years.  Like all internet on cruises, it has to bounce off of a satellite instead of a cell phone or WiFi tower.  No way around it.  Holland America has started selling Megabites” instead of “minutes” like many cruise lines.  I was able to send pictures only by purchasing a higher MB (1GB).  I  don’t use my cell phone so can’t address that issue.  I do know, if you’re “out at sea” on a sea day, your reception for the WiFi is slower.  If the ship loses the direct signal up to the satellite, (which I noticed recently while in fjords of Norway), then NO WiFi or TV channels.  As far as I know, Princess still sells “minutes” not “speed”.  You may have to wait until you’re in the ports for a decent connection to “receive” calls in a timely manner.  Many bars and restaurants will offer free WiFi if you purchase a drink or bite to eat when you are in port.

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3 hours ago, weedpindle said:

Depends on how much time you need. Speed is the same no matter what plan you have. You won't have fast internet.

I’m only concerned about being able to make cel calls through my phones internet connection. Not streaming, uploading/downloading photos, or spending hours on fakebook. 

 

Is there a better solution to this than trying to use internet calling through my cel phone? Also, I’m presuming I will have good cel/data in port with AT&T. I think I recall all was good in the Alaska ports even 10 years ago. 

 

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3 hours ago, weedpindle said:

Depends on how much time you need. Speed is the same no matter what plan you have. You won't have fast internet.

Really?  My experience on MedallionNet ships is totally opposite. Lightning fast.

Curious.......What is your experience on a MedallionNet ship?

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1 hour ago, Califaloha said:

We’ve been on this same cruise the last two years...

Thank you. This gives me a bit better understanding. 

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3 hours ago, Colo Cruiser said:

Really?  My experience on MedallionNet ships is totally opposite. Lightning fast.

Curious.......What is your experience on a MedallionNet ship?

I don't think the Grand is Medallion class yet.

 

I take it the OP has already considered and discarded the expensive shipboard cell phone service?

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4 hours ago, The Mikado said:

I’m only concerned about being able to make cel calls through my phones internet connection. Not streaming, uploading/downloading photos, or spending hours on fakebook. 

 

Is there a better solution to this than trying to use internet calling through my cel phone? Also, I’m presuming I will have good cel/data in port with AT&T. I think I recall all was good in the Alaska ports even 10 years ago. 

 

You should purchase the top package for unlimited internet.  The other packages have apps throttled (varies).  On example is you won't be able to make a WhatsApp call unless you have the top package.  You can also purchase internet by the minute, but I suspect your usage is going to make that uneconomical compared to UL packages.  I mention it because the minutes packages have no exceptions, such that the access to run Apps or to use internet sites is the same as the top unlimited package.

 

I am guessing you want to use WhatsApp, SKYPE, or some other way to use telephony over the internet.  This isn't something Princess directly supports or encourages, but you should find success doing it as long as the internet is up and running.

 

Also, the Grand has the newer better internet, but is not yet OCEAN Medallion as far as I know.

 

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16 minutes ago, AZJerry said:

I don't think the Grand is Medallion class yet.

 

I take it the OP has already considered and discarded the expensive shipboard cell phone service?

I didn’t know there was such a thing. All I’m aware of is the internet. 

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1 minute ago, steelers36 said:

You should purchase the top package for unlimited internet.  The other packages have apps throttled (varies).  On example is you won't be able to make a WhatsApp call unless you have the top package.  You can also purchase internet by the minute, but I suspect your usage is going to make that uneconomical compared to UL packages.  I mention it because the minutes packages have no exceptions, such that the access to run Apps or to use internet sites is the same as the top unlimited package.

 

I am guessing you want to use WhatsApp, SKYPE, or some other way to use telephony over the internet.  This isn't something Princess directly supports or encourages, but you should find success doing it as long as the internet is up and running.

 

Also, the Grand has the newer better internet, but is not yet OCEAN Medallion as far as I know.

 

My plan was to get internet access and let my phone sort it out as iPhones can make regular calls via wi-fi... or so says Apple. Is the prevailing opinion that I need the highest/fastest/bestest plan to make regular voice calls?

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5 minutes ago, The Mikado said:

I didn’t know there was such a thing. All I’m aware of is the internet. 

When are you going ? Your post says 04/14.

Is that next year?

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8 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

When are you going ? Your post says 04/14.

Is that next year?

Ay yi yi. I meant 08/14... coming up quick. 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, The Mikado said:

My plan was to get internet access and let my phone sort it out as iPhones can make regular calls via wi-fi... or so says Apple. Is the prevailing opinion that I need the highest/fastest/bestest plan to make regular voice calls?

I am not an Apple person at all, so cannot help you there (functionality).  I do know that the Basic and Surf plans restrict access to certain websites and apps.  There is no restriction with the Premium package.  There is no speed difference among any of the packages. 

 

(It' a business expense too!!! I used to charge Princess internet to my consulting business as I needed to have computer access and keep tabs on emails to avoid having 300 when I got back).

 

 

Edited by steelers36

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Mikado said:

I didn’t know there was such a thing. All I’m aware of is the internet. 

I believe it's on the order of $5 per minute for calls plus whatever data is used by your phone. This is why you need to remember to keep your cell phone in airplane mode while the ship is moving- to avoid surprise cell phone charges.  Apple users could probably give you more advise.

Edited by AZJerry

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I have used Whatsapp in the past on ships to make calls.  You have to pay for the wifi on the ship, but the calls are free!  You can ask on the ship which of their programs supports Whatsapp.  Before you go, download Whatsapp to your phone, and ask everyone you intend to call to download Whatspp to.  It only works if both parties have the Whatsapp app.

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Posted (edited)

You are correct that iPhones have Wi-Fi calling but whether or not it works depends on your carrier. I have Verizon and it supports it. When connected to the internet if Wifi calling is on it will appear in the upper left corner of the phone after the airplane mode icon. Be sure your phone is in airplane mode!  

 

I’m on the CB right now docked in Halifax. I just made a couple of calls with no issues. The downside of WiFi calling is that people can call you too when it’s active. 

 

You have to turn on WiFi calling in your settings. I suggest you try it now. Connect to WiFi, turn on WiFi calling, put the phone in airplane mode and see if it works. 

 

As as others have said you can also use What’s app, Skype, etc. 

 

 

Edited by Crzn-Life

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I just conducted some business with my phone solely in WiFi and it worked great so I guess I will go with the unlimited plan. One more question: unlimited allows one device at a time and you can switch between them?

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YMMV but I did have a couple of occasions to use Wi-fi calling during our cruise last year on Emerald Princess. It worked very well both on land and on the ship. At the time, I was using a Samsung Galaxy S8 on AT&T. I plan to use it again on our next cruise, along with the AT&T International Day Pass (for land only) with my Galaxy S10.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, The Mikado said:

I just conducted some business with my phone solely in WiFi and it worked great so I guess I will go with the unlimited plan. One more question: unlimited allows one device at a time and you can switch between them?

Yes, absolutely.  And you need the top plan to use WhatsApp and some others.  I know from experience.

 

PS - when you login to Device #2, you will get a warning if Device #1 is still connected and it will disconnect it automatically if you elect to proceed.

 

Edited by steelers36

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4 hours ago, Crzn-Life said:

You are correct that iPhones have Wi-Fi calling but whether or not it works depends on your carrier...

 

Thank you!

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15 hours ago, AZJerry said:

I believe it's on the order of $5 per minute for calls plus whatever data is used by your phone. This is why you need to remember to keep your cell phone in airplane mode while the ship is moving- to avoid surprise cell phone charges.  Apple users could probably give you more advise.

Wow. I think the wi-fi calling with internet access is the way to go.

 

Some of my clients are pretty long-winded.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, steelers36 said:

I am not an Apple person at all, so cannot help you there (functionality).  I do know that the Basic and Surf plans restrict access to certain websites and apps.  There is no restriction with the Premium package.  There is no speed difference among any of the packages. 

 

(It' a business expense too!!! I used to charge Princess internet to my consulting business as I needed to have computer access and keep tabs on emails to avoid having 300 when I got back).

 

 

I get about 100 emails per day, about 10 are important. 

 

Absolutely having my firm pay for the internet!

Edited by The Mikado

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9 minutes ago, steelers36 said:

Yes, absolutely.  And you need the top plan to use WhatsApp and some others.  I know from experience.

 

PS - when you login to Device #2, you will get a warning if Device #1 is still connected and it will disconnect it automatically if you elect to proceed.

 

Great info! Thank you!

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OK, I signed up for unlimited, 1-device internet for our cruise next Wednesday.

 

Thank you for all the sage advice and hands-on experience.

 

Happy sailing!

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