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When I have traveled internationally with my T Mobile phone, I have been able to send and receive texts and calls over the ship's wifi.  Now, it seems as if the rules have changed and/or I am not getting clear feedback from T Mobile.  I'm being told I have unlimited data and text, with $0.20 per minute calls in port, however, on the ship, using the ship's wifi, I can not use my cell phone for texts or calls at T Mobile's rates.  Further, if anyone leaves a message on my cell phone, I will be charged $5.99/minute (ship rate).    

 

If any of you have T Mobile or can clarify costs/texting and phoning ability, please share your experience.  

 

Do I need to invest in an international calling card? If so, what do you recommend?  Have you used FaceTime while on a Regent ship?

 

We'll be on the 2020 World Cruise and would like to have easy access to family and business, especially since we will have a significant number of sea days.  I don't want to be saddled with outrageous costs.  I'd appreciate any suggestions.  Thank you!

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Look into the FI phone system from Google. $20 per month and $10 a gig. Phones are relatively cheap. Big plus is that you can turn off the service when back in USA. Works seamlessly in most of the World and I can leave my expensive IPhone back on the ship when I am on ShorEx.

 

J

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Posted the following on Facebook to your request there:

 

I have T-Mobile over 55 and just got back from overseas and had unlimited data and text included. Phone calls are $.25 per minute incoming or outgoing. WiFi calling is free to the us and worked great. Search T-Mobile temp forward calls direct to voice mail to avoid paying for all the scam calls. Change your voice mail that you can’t receive calls but leave a message. By forwarding your phone you pay nothing and getting messages is free. Works great as WiFi calling. Bad internet onboard will restrict calling

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I believe that T-Mobile has free WiFi calling.  Activate it on your phone.  When on the ship put your phone in Airplane Mode and a hook up to the WiFi. Your phone will bias to WiFi Calling and you should be able to use all the functions for no additional charge, just like when you are in your home.  We keep WiFi calling activated (we're on Verizon) because we have a weak cell signal in our home.  The phone will bias to WiFi Calling if connected to the internet and the cell signal is weak.  Since the cell signal is strong on the ship, the phone will hook up to the cell. By going into Airplane Mode you eliminate the cell as an option so your phone will switch to WiFi calling mode.  This also works internationally when on an internet. 

You can verify that your phone is in WiFi Calling by checking your carrier on the phone.  For an IPhone it's upper left hand corner.  Here's a pic of my phone at home in WiFi Calling.  Notice the weak cell signal vs. wifi signal.  

IMG_2296.jpg

Edited by papaflamingo
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6 minutes ago, papaflamingo said:

I believe that T-Mobile has free WiFi calling.  Activate it on your phone.  When on the ship put your phone in Airplane Mode and a hook up to the WiFi. Your phone will bias to WiFi Calling and you should be able to use all the functions for no additional charge, just like when you are in your home.  We keep WiFi calling activated (we're on Verizon) because we have a weak cell signal in our home.  The phone will bias to WiFi Calling if connected to the internet and the cell signal is weak.  Since the cell signal is strong on the ship, the phone will hook up to the cell. By going into Airplane Mode you eliminate the cell as an option so your phone will switch to WiFi calling mode.  This also works internationally when on an internet. 

You can verify that your phone is in WiFi Calling by checking your carrier on the phone.  For an IPhone it's upper left hand corner.  Here's a pic of my phone at home in WiFi Calling.  Notice the weak cell signal vs. wifi signal.  

IMG_2296.jpg

 

 

Mostly correct except wifi calls are only free to the US.  Otherwise $0.25 per minute.  Other than to the US call on the local phone service for the $0.25 per minute.

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Just now, rallydave said:

 

 

Mostly correct except wifi calls are only free to the US.  Otherwise $0.25 per minute.  Other than to the US call on the local phone service for the $0.25 per minute.

Yes.  When on WiFi Calling, your phone works as if you are in your house (assuming you are a U.S. resident). Any charges that are applicable will be applied.  For clarity, and again I'm a Verizon customer and assume T-Mobile is the same, when I was in the middle of the Pacific last year, I made calls in to U.S. numbers for free via WiFi calling.  If I was to call Europe, for example, I'd be charged the international calling rate.  One point.. my wife also had her phone on WiFi Calling on the ship.  I could phone or text her for free even though she and I were both in the middle of the Pacific as we both had U.S. numbers.  

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3 hours ago, rallydave said:

Posted the following on Facebook to your request there:

 

I have T-Mobile over 55 and just got back from overseas and had unlimited data and text included. Phone calls are $.25 per minute incoming or outgoing. WiFi calling is free to the us and worked great. Search T-Mobile temp forward calls direct to voice mail to avoid paying for all the scam calls. Change your voice mail that you can’t receive calls but leave a message. By forwarding your phone you pay nothing and getting messages is free. Works great as WiFi calling. Bad internet onboard will restrict calling

This is great for land use of your phone. However, on a cruise ship, your provider will likely charge you. From RSSC website: Please consult your wireless service provider for detailed rates, cruise packages and service zones. Visit cellularatsea.com for complete details on using your wireless phone at sea.

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12 minutes ago, Jamietravelstheworld said:

This is great for land use of your phone. However, on a cruise ship, your provider will likely charge you. From RSSC website: Please consult your wireless service provider for detailed rates, cruise packages and service zones. Visit cellularatsea.com for complete details on using your wireless phone at sea.

Sorry Jamie not true. Provider cannot charge you if calling via the internet no matter on land or sea. Internet is internet and using WiFi internet calling with T-Mobile it is free calling from anywhere In the world to the us. All of that Mumbai jumbo you quoted is simply trying to get you to use cellularsea snd is before internet calling came into being. No way for any provider to differentiate between land and sea on the internet and call does not go thru any of the providers servers or facilities. Just be sure to have phone in airplane mode or you might have a big surprise bill. Airplane mode shields you from your provider or any phone company. 

Edited by rallydave
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2 minutes ago, rallydave said:

Sorry Jamie not true. Provider cannot charge you if calling via the internet no matter on land or sea. Internet is internet and using WiFi internet calling with T-Mobile it is free calling from anywhere In the world to the us. All of that Mumbai jumbo you quoted is simply trying to get you to use cellularsea snd is before internet calling came into being. No way for any provider to differentiate between land and sea on the internet and call does not go thru any of the providers servers or facilities. Just be sure to have phone in airplane mode or you might have a big surprise bill. Airplane mode shields you from your provider or any phone company. 

You are correct - you can use wifi calling anywhere. I'm talking about cellular service.

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2 hours ago, Jonoro7 said:

You may find Regent blocks the SIP and RTP packets unless you buy their enhanced Wifi service.  This would kill the Wifi calling service.

A VPN would overcome this, you may want to set one up before you leave home.

wifi calling is not blocked. have used this on multiple cruises.

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3 hours ago, Host Dan said:

I use WhatsApp on my cell.  Clear, free international calling.

 

When using WhatsApp to call, does the person you are calling also have to have the WhatsApp on their phone?

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On 12/16/2019 at 2:13 AM, Jonoro7 said:

You may find Regent blocks the SIP and RTP packets unless you buy their enhanced Wifi service.  This would kill the Wifi calling service.

A VPN would overcome this, you may want to set one up before you leave home.

 

On the Explorer this fall I meet one couple who was very unhappy because their VPN would not work on the ship.  I asked staff about the use of VPNs onboard and was told in essence that some VPN's work and some do not.  Since I don't use a VPN, I didn't probe for much detail, but my impression was that staff didn't know why that was the case.  Maybe Regent can clarify?

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14 hours ago, baz48 said:

 

When using WhatsApp to call, does the person you are calling also have to have the WhatsApp on their phone?

I believe the answer is Yes, both parties need to have the Whatsapp app.  WiFi Calling is exactly the same thing except you don't need an app and neither does anyone else.  Whatsapp came out before WiFi Calling was available.  

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On 12/17/2019 at 11:14 AM, Host Dan said:

I use WhatsApp on my cell.  Clear, free international calling.

+1 on WhatsApp.  Have used this to stay in touch with our daughter while she’s deployed in Afghanistan.

 

On 12/17/2019 at 3:14 PM, baz48 said:

 

When using WhatsApp to call, does the person you are calling also have to have the WhatsApp on their phone?

Yes, all parties need the app installed.  And it’s very difficult to set this up on a WiFi only tablet as the app requires the phone ID information to set up - so it’s easy to use on an iPhone, not so much on an iPad.

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On 12/16/2019 at 2:13 AM, Jonoro7 said:

You may find Regent blocks the SIP and RTP packets unless you buy their enhanced Wifi service.  This would kill the Wifi calling service.

A VPN would overcome this, you may want to set one up before you leave home.

The problem with using a VPN on Regent is the greatly added latency (ping) that the VPN adds. The Regent ships usually have a ping of  700-900ms, which is already horrid. A VPN will easily add up to another 100-150 ms. 

 

I turn off my VPN when I am on the ship to speed things up. Since everything is routed thru the ships system and then again on the sat ground station, I assume that it is already fairly secure. Never heard of any date breaches while on a ship network.

 

J

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Jmariner

 

4 hours ago, JMARINER said:

The problem with using a VPN on Regent is the greatly added latency (ping) that the VPN adds. The Regent ships usually have a ping of  700-900ms, which is already horrid. A VPN will easily add up to another 100-150 ms. 

 

I turn off my VPN when I am on the ship to speed things up. Since everything is routed thru the ships system and then again on the sat ground station, I assume that it is already fairly secure. Never heard of any date breaches while on a ship network.

 

J

The VPN  in this case is nothing to do with security. It is down to Regent or their providers inspecting the data packets and rejecting some types. For example we know they block video streaming packets unless you pay for the "enhanced" internet service. The VPN encrypts the packets, they then can not tell what type of packet it is.

 

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8 hours ago, Jonoro7 said:

Jmariner

 

The VPN  in this case is nothing to do with security. It is down to Regent or their providers inspecting the data packets and rejecting some types. For example we know they block video streaming packets unless you pay for the "enhanced" internet service. The VPN encrypts the packets, they then can not tell what type of packet it is.

 

While you are correct that Regent does not know what is in the packet one is sending, the extra "ping" time comes from the fact that the VPN packet is redirected to a private VPN server for both send and receive. This adding time to connect/send/receive to the private server is what adds to the latency time, which is already extremely long.

 

J

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Jmariner

Your point:

"I assume that it is already fairly secure. Never heard of any date breaches while on a ship network."

missed the point.  VPN may be required due to packet inspection/rejection - nothing to do with security or data breaches.

 

The increase in latency, <15%, is not significant, although I concede it will exacerbate packet loss in the event of significant data corruption.

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6 hours ago, Jonoro7 said:

Jmariner

Your point:

"I assume that it is already fairly secure. Never heard of any date breaches while on a ship network."

missed the point.  VPN may be required due to packet inspection/rejection - nothing to do with security or data breaches.

 

The increase in latency, <15%, is not significant, although I concede it will exacerbate packet loss in the event of significant data corruption.

You initial comment was about using a VPN to bypass the ships IP address blocking. My point is that if one tries to use a VPN as you suggest, the added latency will put the total ping time so high that the application will not work at all or buffer so much as to be practically useless. 

 

I don't think that Regent even blocks most WiFi calling features of such programs as WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype in any event. And I have madeIOS Facetime audio calls often without too many problem. Facetime Videos calls usually don't work to well for me.

 

My point about VPN security was not directed at your response. Many people think that they need a VPN to have a secure connection while using the ships services. IMO you don't.

 

J

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