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What do you do when you travel as far as using your phone out of the country?


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I've done a local sim card in my phone with a local prepaid plan. ATT also offers an international plan that is good for up to a month where you set a gig limit and they include free texting and calling with that. I do know someone who is on verizon that uses the $10 per day plan. But it's really $10 for a 24 hour period. So this works if you just want to touch base at home a couple of times and don't need service every day. Travel Sunday, on Monday at noon make a call to activate 24 hour period, On Tuesday finish using phone before noon and there's no extra charges. On Wednesday or Thursday start the 24 hour period again. So that way you only have to pay $10 every 2-3 days, depending on how often you want to log in. Especially if you are primarily checking e-mail since you can typically get free wifi in many businesses. 

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I am on vacation, there is no one I care to phone until I am in the airport on the way home.

It is not a vacation if you need to spend precious time on the phone with work or someone who is not on vacation with you.

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I think Fi wins pretty much I like the idea of having a separate phone for travel.  I cannot do anything about my car warranty while I am on vacation. 

 

I am not sure why T-Mobile people are so happy 

https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans?cmpid=MGPO_PB_P_EVGRNPSTPD_43700056503417915_449740586042&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhKCf4bnO8QIV-W1vBB3ZEwGXEAAYASAAEgIoc_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&showTables=true

 

You get Data at 2G speeds or have texting but have to pay if you want  Full Calls-Txt-Data the same as at home.  When we are traveling we use the phone data for the GPS in the car or when we are walking around when WiFi is not practical.  We use calls to confirm our reservations and plans with the local businesses and so they can reach us in case plans change.

 

I do feel that Fi wins!

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1 hour ago, fredflint said:

I think Fi wins pretty much I like the idea of having a separate phone for travel.  I cannot do anything about my car warranty while I am on vacation. 

 

I am not sure why T-Mobile people are so happy 

https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans?cmpid=MGPO_PB_P_EVGRNPSTPD_43700056503417915_449740586042&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhKCf4bnO8QIV-W1vBB3ZEwGXEAAYASAAEgIoc_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&showTables=true

 

You get Data at 2G speeds or have texting but have to pay if you want  Full Calls-Txt-Data the same as at home.  When we are traveling we use the phone data for the GPS in the car or when we are walking around when WiFi is not practical.  We use calls to confirm our reservations and plans with the local businesses and so they can reach us in case plans change.

 

I do feel that Fi wins!

I don't see how Fi wins.  I am on T-mobile and pay $60 total for 2 (55+).  International I get free 2G data, free text, and .25 per min. calls.  Seems more expensive with Fi.

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17 minutes ago, agrimm01 said:

I don't see how Fi wins.  I am on T-mobile and pay $60 total for 2 (55+).  International I get free 2G data, free text, and .25 per min. calls.  Seems more expensive with Fi.

 

Depends on if the OP is 55+, needs to devices, and is or isn't doing much calling. Fi is cheaper per minute calling ($0.10). Phone service and 2GB of data on one device would only cost $40 with Fi. You are right that if they are 55+, need two devices, and aren't doing much voice calling, T-mobile would be cheaper, if it's only $60. Two devices on Google Fi would be $80 if you used 2GB each (it's $10 per GB per device).

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58 minutes ago, agrimm01 said:

I don't see how Fi wins.  I am on T-mobile and pay $60 total for 2 (55+).  International I get free 2G data, free text, and .25 per min. calls.  Seems more expensive with Fi.

Are you sure?  I too have Tmobile 55+ and I pay about $60 for 2 ,but that does not include the free stuff you listed for $60.  That is the Regular Magenta max plan not 55+ plan.

Can you post a screenshot or something to direct me to that plan.  I would go with that right now.

Also have you used it around the world?

Steve

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, agrimm01 said:

free 2G data

Fi is not speed-limited, you get whatever data speeds the partner network in country is offering.  Then everything else @JamieLogical (my fellow Fi "cheerleader") mentioned!

 

One drawback, for some, is that you MUST have a GMail account to link to Fi.  Whatever your feelings toward Google are will determine if that's a drawback or not...

Edited by hallux
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We aren't in love with our smartphones and never took them overseas.

We now have new apple phones and will take them with us, but rarely use them. 

We have Consumer Cellular, which runs about $50 a month for both of us.

 

I know others that have used their phones overseas, always using local wi-fi, which I don't think costs more.

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3 hours ago, mscdivina2016 said:

Are you sure?  I too have Tmobile 55+ and I pay about $60 for 2 ,but that does not include the free stuff you listed for $60.  That is the Regular Magenta max plan not 55+ plan.

Can you post a screenshot or something to direct me to that plan.  I would go with that right now.

Also have you used it around the world?

Steve

We have One Plan Unlimited 55+.  We have never been overseas but are taking our first Greece cruise in October.  Here are the details on our plan.  Looks like it is Retired now but I don't plan on changing any time soon.                          https://www.t-mobile.com/support/plans-features/one-plan-unlimited-55-plus

 

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2 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

which I don't think costs more.

It didn't cost more because of this - 

2 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

always using local wi-fi,

 

WiFi, if available for free, costs nothing, and if you have WiFi calling on your plan would work well for avoiding paying for data and calls as long as you can find it.  The plan add-ons are for those that connect to local cellular towers, not WiFi.

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2 hours ago, agrimm01 said:

We have One Plan Unlimited 55+.  We have never been overseas but are taking our first Greece cruise in October.  Here are the details on our plan.  Looks like it is Retired now but I don't plan on changing any time soon.                          https://www.t-mobile.com/support/plans-features/one-plan-unlimited-55-plus

 

I didn't realize that plan is retired now.....it's what we have and would never give it up!

 

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2g speed for data is slowwwwww.

For us  we are always using data to figure out where to go and then the GPS to figure out how to get there.   Using free Wifi has been OK but for 30 bucks for a month it is a no brainer to me to be able to not worry too much about plans and bills.  But to each there own where I live in Denver I know people that have T-Mobile and they all agree that both AT&T and Verizon have better coverage.

Right now I have 5 phones and an  Apple Watch on our plan and we pay 280.00 for unlimited that includes taxes.  So it is pretty competitive  just not out of North America.

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On 7/4/2021 at 8:23 PM, mking8288 said:

For cruising, we seldom pay extra for any additional onboard WiFi services, except for extending 10 to 14+ days of sailings with more days at sea - with Goggle Fi's vast network, and 5G coverage expanding gradually, we usually picked up a land tower's signal 30 to 45+ minutes before the ship docked at the pier or drop its anchor

 

I'm sure you have this covered, and/or perhaps it's not an issue with GoogleFi.

 

But as a public service announcement to others- be very careful when using your cell while still underway at sea.  If you connect to the ship's cell towers, there could be an unpleasant surprise bill when you get back home.  A potentially ginormous bill.  Many reports of this sort of problem on the internet.

 

Technically, they don't power on the ship's cell towers while they are about two miles or so away from shore.  I'm on TMobile, and stay on airplane mode until the ship is quite close to port to avoid the ship's towers.

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We always sign up for a single phone streaming plan, we are the odd people that like to spend some down time in our room watching something that I have downloaded or we are streaming.

 

I like to be able to check on the house using the cameras we have inside and outside and Wife wants to keep in touch with our daughter.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, fredflint said:

I am not sure why T-Mobile people are so happy 

https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans?cmpid=MGPO_PB_P_EVGRNPSTPD_43700056503417915_449740586042&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhKCf4bnO8QIV-W1vBB3ZEwGXEAAYASAAEgIoc_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&showTables=true

 

You get Data at 2G speeds or have texting but have to pay if you want  Full Calls-Txt-Data the same as at home.  When we are traveling we use the phone data for the GPS in the car or when we are walking around when WiFi is not practical.  We use calls to confirm our reservations and plans with the local businesses and so they can reach us in case plans change.

 

2G speeds works perfectly for Google Maps, email, google drive, finance app, Uber, etc.  About the only thing I haven't tried is streaming video, which I am not inclined to do when on vacation  😀

 

Everyone is different.  If you need 4G, LTE or faster, then free 2G international data may not work for you.

Edited by mpk
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2 hours ago, mpk said:

I'm sure you have this covered, and/or perhaps it's not an issue with GoogleFi. (correct, it is not)

But as a public service announcement to others- be very careful when using your cell while still underway at sea.  If you connect to the ship's cell towers, there could be an unpleasant surprise bill when you get back home.  A potentially ginormous bill.  Many reports of this ...

Technically, they don't power on the ship's cell towers while they are about two miles or so away from shore.  I'm on TMobile, and stay on airplane mode until the ship is quite close to port to avoid the ship's towers.

Good point - as a matter of fact, Google Fi gets absolutely no service whatsoever as it is considered a hybrid MNVO (think "prepaid plans" at sea) whereas I used to get "free" SMS/text messaging at sea while on T-Mo, even when roaming/data is turned off - including "headers" for CC posts/forums that I follow (i.e. roll calls).  - no voice call or data access via ship's towers, whether at sea, near a port/shore or while docked.  As a matter of fact, NCL leave their WiFi signals on at all times these days - while anchoring at GSC - it seemed they beamed the signals via microwave relays (medical center where I used to work set them up over 15 years ago with various off-site facilities nearby (line-of-sight).  

 

Whether one is on ship's paid/not free/unlimited Wifi or actually using relayed cellular signals via satellite, must be careful about and knowing how to set up our own preferred smartphones, iPhones and iPads with cellular access - otherwise, NCL will get their chances to "ding" our wallets and/or onboard account for more charges.  A friend of ours was happy to get their 250 free minutes on one of the NCL sailings not too long ago and forgot to stop the "meter" counters by logging off, and was out of data by mid evening on Day 1 ... ending up spending $$ to buy more data.  

 

My workaround has been with a dual-sim global smartphone and Google Voice so that calls are forwarded and I can check transcribed VM as needed - nowadays, I am having fun configuring our newer Samsung, Pixel and iPhone (SE 2020 - it's a cute one) using eSim, turning them into dual sim devices, mixing up on how to be frugal & smart on what & how we spend our cruise dollars - should/will to try them out soon on NCL (nothing booked yet ... watching the trends & return to sailings around the world.)  

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We just switched to Verizon.  My wife can not get service in the building where she works.  On the Apple phone there is an option to call over wifi using Verizon.  You can do this anywhere in the world you get wifi, and there is no charge as long as you call a US number.

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10 hours ago, fredflint said:

we are the odd people that like to spend some down time in our room watching something that I have downloaded or we are streaming.

We actually bring a small DVD player with screen Incase we can't jack it into the TV. We buy whole series and binge watch them over the trip.

We usually go b2b2b2b.

Steve

 

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On 7/5/2021 at 1:43 PM, SouthLyonCruiser said:

I am on vacation, there is no one I care to phone until I am in the airport on the way home.

It is not a vacation if you need to spend precious time on the phone with work or someone who is not on vacation with you.

 

I typically vacation with a friend. My husband and her BF aren't big travelers. I enjoy checking in with my DH while I'm on vacation; letting him know that I am ok and what we are up to.  And frankly, we often go on multi-week trips and checking in with him every few days makes him more comfortable with me jetting off to exotics locations without him. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. 

 

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I just chatted with my Consumer Cellular agent on new plans for overseas calling.   CC is on the ATT network and apparently if we wanted to upgrade with an overseas plan, we would have to get a new SIM Card for T-Mobile that apparently is the only plan that works overseas.

 

We declined and will just plan on using our phones when we have wifi.  (not on a ship, we have a land tour of Iceland coming up)

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On 7/7/2021 at 2:13 AM, mking8288 said:

Good point - as a matter of fact, Google Fi gets absolutely no service whatsoever as it is considered a hybrid MNVO (think "prepaid plans" at sea) whereas I used to get "free" SMS/text messaging at sea while on T-Mo, even when roaming/data is turned off - including "headers" for CC posts/forums that I follow (i.e. roll calls).  - no voice call or data access via ship's towers, whether at sea, near a port/shore or while docked.  As a matter of fact, NCL leave their WiFi signals on at all times these days - while anchoring at GSC - it seemed they beamed the signals via microwave relays (medical center where I used to work set them up over 15 years ago with various off-site facilities nearby (line-of-sight).  

 

Whether one is on ship's paid/not free/unlimited Wifi or actually using relayed cellular signals via satellite, must be careful about and knowing how to set up our own preferred smartphones, iPhones and iPads with cellular access - otherwise, NCL will get their chances to "ding" our wallets and/or onboard account for more charges.  A friend of ours was happy to get their 250 free minutes on one of the NCL sailings not too long ago and forgot to stop the "meter" counters by logging off, and was out of data by mid evening on Day 1 ... ending up spending $$ to buy more data.  

 

My workaround has been with a dual-sim global smartphone and Google Voice so that calls are forwarded and I can check transcribed VM as needed - nowadays, I am having fun configuring our newer Samsung, Pixel and iPhone (SE 2020 - it's a cute one) using eSim, turning them into dual sim devices, mixing up on how to be frugal & smart on what & how we spend our cruise dollars - should/will to try them out soon on NCL (nothing booked yet ... watching the trends & return to sailings around the world.)  

 

 

Could you explain what the correct way to set up a smartphone to avoid this from happening is? 

I usually have my roaming off and cellular data off. Airplane mode is off too and I have still connected to the ships Wi-Fi doing this and sent and received messages.  

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46 minutes ago, BarnCat1 said:

 

 

Could you explain what the correct way to set up a smartphone to avoid this from happening is? 

I usually have my roaming off and cellular data off. Airplane mode is off too and I have still connected to the ships Wi-Fi doing this and sent and received messages.  

The absolute BEST way to ensure you don't connect to the ship's cellular tower and ring up unwanted charges is to put the phone into airplane mode then turn WiFi back on.  You need to be sure your carrier/plan support WiFi calling and messaging and is set up prior to departure from home.

 

Connecting to the ship's WiFi is one thing, and is fine, the cellular tower is another animal and can get costly.

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1 minute ago, hallux said:

The absolute BEST way to ensure you don't connect to the ship's cellular tower and ring up unwanted charges is to put the phone into airplane mode then turn WiFi back on.  You need to be sure your carrier/plan support WiFi calling and messaging and is set up prior to departure from home.

 

Connecting to the ship's WiFi is one thing, and is fine, the cellular tower is another animal and can get costly.

 I did mean that I had Airplane Mode On not off and yes WIFI is on. 

 If you get the ships free 250 minute promotion, do you do anything different. 

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9 minutes ago, BarnCat1 said:

 I did mean that I had Airplane Mode On not off and yes WIFI is on. 

 If you get the ships free 250 minute promotion, do you do anything different. 

I don't, and when I had it I actually ended up "burning" time to use it up, and that was even during the World Series, as a baseball fan.  I would hop on, spend a minute or two doing a couple things, then disconnect.  If you need to be reachable relatively quick, you'll want enough time that you can leave it on during the day at least, if not getting unlimited.

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