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Using a cell phone on Serenade


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7 hours ago, hallux said:

 

It's all behind the scenes stuff. 

 

Consider your home internet as the ship.  Your router would be the ship's WiFi.  The data for the RCI app is stored on the router (rather another computer connected to it).  Unless your device accesses the page and you sign in to the wide internet, all data is stopped at the router and can't get to your modem.

 

It's really the same idea as hotel WiFi, except Royal adds the additional layer of an app that can still function even if you don't sign in to the page that allows you to get "outside".

 

To make things even more confusing - some cruise lines are allowing access to CruiseCritic even if you haven't paid for internet access.  If you really want to know more, look up internet firewalls and captive portal logins as that's what allows this to happen.

That’s clear enough for me. Thanks!

 

My package will work on land so I am not particularly worried about it, will just be careful to stay in airplane mode while on board. 

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On 1/20/2020 at 11:41 AM, gold said:

Is it necessary to purchase an internet package to use a cell phone on board? 

 

Depends on how you want to use your phone.

 

13 hours ago, casinitaly said:

I am confused about how you can use a ship's wifi without having purchased a package. There is some way it will work only for their APP but not for other wifi activities?

 

 

 

Wifi and internet are not the same thing.  You can be connected to a wifi network (that allows you to use the ship app that is part of the network) but not have internet access.  I'm sure there's a more technical way to explain it but that's kind of the answer in layman's terms.

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11 hours ago, njkruzer said:

In the hotels in Melbourne and Sydney put phone on airplane mode and wifi.  Made some calls.  Got charged.

 
Were you calling numbers in the USA or numbers in Australia?

If you weren't connected to the cellular system, there's no charge for making cell calls, but if you were making "international calls" you could be charged for that part of the call.  

Using wifi calling to call home should have been totally free -- you're using wifi to call a US number.  Using wifi calling to call Australia would have incurred international call charges (but not cell roaming charges).

When a couple from the UK took my suitcase from the luggage area by mistake in Port Canaveral, I used my Verizon cell phone (connected to the land cell towers) to call a phone number that was on the luggage tag of the suitcase they had left behind when they took mine.  I ended up talking to the couple's son in England for several minutes, and he tried to get in touch with his parents in their rental car on the way to Orlando. 

 

Even though I was in the USA and connected to USA cell towers, I still incurred international call charges for calling England.  I would have incurred those same charges if I'd been connected to the ship's wifi and using wifi calling -- the charges are for calling someone outside the USA, not for using the cell towers.  If you were calling Australian numbers while connected to wifi, you weren't being charged for using Verizon's cell towers, you were being charged for making international calls.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Roger88 said:

Dont they provide internet access via wifi on board?? I mean you can use internet on your phone to make calls. Also tariffs on skype for example are quite affordable, all you need is internet access

 
You have to pay for internet access if you want internet access.  

If you don't pay for Voom through the cruise line, you can't use internet on your phone to make phone calls for free.  

 

 

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Just now, brillohead said:

 
Were you calling numbers in the USA or numbers in Australia?

If you weren't connected to the cellular system, there's no charge for making cell calls, but if you were making "international calls" you could be charged for that part of the call.  

Using wifi calling to call home should have been totally free -- you're using wifi to call a US number.  Using wifi calling to call Australia would have incurred international call charges (but not cell roaming charges).

When a couple from the UK took my suitcase from the luggage area by mistake in Port Canaveral, I used my Verizon cell phone (connected to the land cell towers) to call a phone number that was on the luggage tag of the suitcase they had left behind when they took mine.  I ended up talking to the couple's son in England for several minutes, and he tried to get in touch with his parents in their rental car on the way to Orlando. 

 

Even though I was in the USA and connected to USA cell towers, I still incurred international call charges for calling England.  I would have incurred those same charges if I'd been connected to the ship's wifi and using wifi calling -- the charges are for calling someone outside the USA, not for using the cell towers.  If you were calling Australian numbers while connected to wifi, you weren't being charged for using Verizon's cell towers, you were being charged for making international calls.  

 

 

Yes, that's what happened but I had been told the calls would be free on wifi.  

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49 minutes ago, njkruzer said:

Yes, that's what happened but I had been told the calls would be free on wifi.  

Most folks, even here, don't think folks are going to make an out of their own home free area call so they'll say calls are free - most of the time they are right.

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19 hours ago, reallyitsmema said:

 

Definitely would not recommend anything other than surf and stream on Serenade.  We had lots of issues with wifi on Serenade.

Good to know - thanks! We board Serenade in three weeks. We'll probably just get "The Key," since it's currently priced the same as Surf and Stream ($15.99), and Voom hasn't has any sales for our sailing in the last couple months...

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21 minutes ago, BTHodgeman said:

Good to know - thanks! We board Serenade in three weeks. We'll probably just get "The Key," since it's currently priced the same as Surf and Stream ($15.99), and Voom hasn't has any sales for our sailing in the last couple months...

 

If you only need 1 VOOM you are better of just buying it, unless you need several VOOMs and other features that Key provides for every member.

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2 hours ago, njkruzer said:

Yes, that's what happened but I had been told the calls would be free on wifi.  

 

 WiFi or not does not matter as in this case it is international calling and depends on your plan with provider.

 If you call to US (no matter from where) via WiFi and your phone it is free.

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1 minute ago, Tatka said:

 

If you only need 1 VOOM you are better of just buying it, unless you need several VOOMs and other features that Key provides for every member.

👍 We wanted two separate Voom accounts anyway. We're traveling with some others and will share internet if they want to post some pictures, check in with people at home, etc.

 

There is a slight discount ($1.50 per day) for buying two vs. one, but the embarkation day Chops lunch alone more than makes up for that. 🙂

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4 hours ago, Roger88 said:

Dont they provide internet access via wifi on board?? I mean you can use internet on your phone to make calls. Also tariffs on skype for example are quite affordable, all you need is internet access

 

Do you need cellular data to use Skype calls (not Skype application via internet, but Skype calls)?

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17 hours ago, hallux said:

To make things even more confusing - some cruise lines are allowing access to CruiseCritic even if you haven't paid for internet access.  If you really want to know more, look up internet firewalls and captive portal logins as that's what allows this to happen.

 

CruiseCritic or Cruise Company application?

I was never able to reach CC unless I bought WiFi on Celebrity, RCI, Princess, HALL, NCL, MSC, Cunard or Carnival.

Which lines allow it?

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1 minute ago, BTHodgeman said:

You need some sort of internet connection - cellular or WiFi. 

 

Thank you. So considering what happens if you are trying to use cellular on the ship (costs can skyrocket) it is better to use Wifi.

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3 minutes ago, Tatka said:

 

Thank you. So considering what happens if you are trying to use cellular on the ship (costs can skyrocket) it is better to use Wifi.

Absolutely. And if using Skype, WhatsApp, or another similar messaging/call application, you can avoid the carrier long distance fees as well. 

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2 hours ago, njkruzer said:

Yes, that's what happened but I had been told the calls would be free on wifi.  


Calls that are free on your regular plan at home are still free on wifi.... INTERNATIONAL calls are not free on your regular plan at home, so they are not free on wifi. 

 

  

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5 minutes ago, Tatka said:

 

CruiseCritic or Cruise Company application?

I was never able to reach CC unless I bought WiFi on Celebrity, RCI, Princess, HALL, NCL, MSC, Cunard or Carnival.

Which lines allow it?

NCL, at least on some ships, is now allowing access to CruiseCritic without paying for an internet plan

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Just now, BTHodgeman said:

Absolutely. And if using Skype, WhatsApp, or another similar messaging/call application, you can avoid the carrier long distance fees as well. 


That would only apply if the entity you're trying to call also has an account with the app you're using.

If you're trying to call various hotels / restaurants / touristy spots using their phone number, a different program like WhatsApp isn't going to help you any.  

 

 

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2 minutes ago, hallux said:

NCL, at least on some ships, is now allowing access to CruiseCritic without paying for an internet plan

 

Interesting.. We last year we used their Unlimited Streaming plan (which is outrageously expensive $360 for 14 days and superslow).. but are you sure you do not need at least social media plan to use CC ?

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3 minutes ago, brillohead said:


That would only apply if the entity you're trying to call also has an account with the app you're using.

If you're trying to call various hotels / restaurants / touristy spots using their phone number, a different program like WhatsApp isn't going to help you any. 

 

 I think WhatsApp just like Skype, Google Voice, Viper has own rates for calling independent numbers.

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4 minutes ago, Tatka said:

 

Interesting.. We last year we used their Unlimited Streaming plan (which is outrageously expensive $360 for 14 days and superslow).. but are you sure you do not need at least social media plan to use CC ?

 

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1 minute ago, hallux said:

 

 

Nice! I still always need WiFi, but for folks who do not want to completely disconnect , but do not want to pay either it is nice!

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