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T-Mobile and Cellular at Sea Info


bala1130
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In the past I have always turned my T-Mobile phone to "Airplane Mode".  I called T-Mobile just before going on the Allure about a month ago.  I found out you don't need to set your phone to 'Airplane Mode".   It can be set to Roaming "ON" and "2-G only" for the network  You will not be charged for any data used while on 2-G.  2-G is not very fast, but you can use it for some social media or web browsing.  As long as you don't use texting or phone calls you will not be charged while on 2-G.   

 

One warning:  If you get any incoming phone calls (even if you don't answer the call) you will be charged $2.50.  To avoid this charge,  you can call T-Mobile before you leave and give them the dates you will be at sea.  They can turn off incoming phone calls while on your cruise.   

 

2-G may not be very useful, but I thought I would pass this info on to you all.  I'm not sure how other cell phone companies handle this, so check with your company before trying this.

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The reason to turn it on airplane mode is to avoid any fees that you didn't think of. Also background refresh on apps will use data. We turn off airplane mode when in port but not on the ship. 

Edited by jonj
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If you have cellular turned on and make or receive a call, you will PAY due to use Cellular at Sea.  Same with data.  There is no free service on board.

 

To avoid charges, before you leave home, enable Wifi Calling on your phone. 

 

Then once you leave the dock, you put your phone in Airplane mode and turn Wifi back on.  You will need to purchase wifi access for your cruise.

 

This way you can make and receive calls and texts at no charge (other than the cost of internet access).

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The TMo roaming portal states no data is available on Cellular@Sea.

 

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Back when I had TMo I tested this theory by leaving my radios on instead of going into airplane mode.

 

Once Cellular@Sea was on and my phone connected I received the standard text message warning me that I would incur charges including data charges.

 

I was prepared to do battle with them since the cruise ship portal states no data so if there is no data, how can I be charged for data?

 

On another occasion I forgot to put my phone into airplane mode.  Later that night my phone started to play music as I had been streaming a music channel before and now the stream was continuing since it had a data connection on Cellular@Sea.  That was how I noticed it had roamed onto Cellular@Sea on this occasion.  Not wanting to test my argument too much (in case I lost) I put it in airplane mode.  Clearly I was getting some data since music started streaming. 

 

I never did get a bill for it so I never got to test my case against paying for something they claim I can't get.  However I never really tried to push my luck.  My plan was to buy Voom on the morning of day 2 so I went to bed with my phone in airplane mode and bought Voom in the morning.  

 

 

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2 hours ago, Biker19 said:

Did you actually try it on a ship? 

Yes, I had Roaming ON and 2G ONLY as the network.  No charge for international Roaming.  Feel free to call T-Mobile, or check out their website: https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/roaming

 

Good news! Royal Caribbean: Oasis is covered.

 

Data

Text

Talk

All T-Mobile Plans

T-Mobile ONE and Simple Choice Plan Customers get these rates automatically.

Not on one of these plans? Activate these rates by adding the World Class service to each line through My T-Mobile.

 

No Data

Sending$0.50/txtReceivingDeducted from your domestic texting plan’s allotment.

$5.99/min

You’ve got unlimited texting and data at up to 2G speeds in 140+ countries and destinations—all at no extra cost. Check below to see if your next stop is on the list. On a prepaid plan? See our international prepaid rates.

If you do not have a domestic texting plan, messages received are 20 cents each; if you have an unlimited texting plan, messages received are free.

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6 minutes ago, bala1130 said:

Yes, I had Roaming ON and 2G ONLY as the network.

Again, on the ship (connected to only the ship cell tower), you were able to visit social media sites and have an albeit slow but acceptable experience?

Edited by Biker19
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24 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Again, on the ship (connected to only the ship cell tower), you were able to visit social media sites and have an albeit slow but acceptable experience?

Yes, my phone showed connected to "Cellular at Sea".  I was on the Allure, then on the Independence at the end of Oct. this year.  I don't know if it was an acceptable experience because it is very slow.  Just don't text or make phone calls and there are no international data charges.  You can use FB Messager with no charge.  Just no T-Mobile texting.  Make sure you call and tell them to turn off incoming calls and texts and you will not have any charges.  But please call T-Mobile to verify this before trying it.

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3 hours ago, SRF said:

But notice, if someone calls you, even if you don't answer and it goes to voice mail, it is $6 PER MINUTE.

 

Even if it was a call about your car's extended warranty. 😄

Not exactly true.  I had 2 incoming phone calls during my cruise that I didn't answer.  I was charged $2.50 for each call ($5 total).  I talked to T-Mobile when I returned and explained I didn't understand that I would be charged even if I didn't answer and the agent was nice enough to remove those charges for this one time.  That's when I was told I could contact T-Mobile before my next cruise and they could turn off incoming calls and texts for the time I was on the ship to stop any charges.

 

So here is my plan for the next cruise:

1. call T-Mobile and give them the dates for my cruise and they will turn off incoming calls and text.

2. once on the ship change my network settings to Roaming "ON" and network to "2G ONLY".

3. use FB messages instead of texting.

4. I don't want to spend my vacation on the internet, so I don't get the VOOM package.  

 

Again, this is for T-Mobile only.  I have no idea how other cell carriers handle this.  I'm just trying to provide information here and expect everyone that consider doing this to contact T-Mobile yourself to confirm this is how your plan works.

 

Here is the T-Mobile website that has information on this topic:

https://www.t-mobile.com/support/coverage/international-roaming-checklist

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Many companies have simply disabled data roaming on cruise ships in the last couple years and gone to text and calls only because of the mass amounts of complaints over accidental charges. Telecom

watchdogs are on the consumers’ side for this one and no one is going to pay those kind of data charges for cruise ship roaming 

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12 hours ago, bala1130 said:

Not exactly true.  I had 2 incoming phone calls during my cruise that I didn't answer.  I was charged $2.50 for each call ($5 total).  I talked to T-Mobile when I returned and explained I didn't understand that I would be charged even if I didn't answer and the agent was nice enough to remove those charges for this one time.  That's when I was told I could contact T-Mobile before my next cruise and they could turn off incoming calls and texts for the time I was on the ship to stop any charges.

 

So here is my plan for the next cruise:

1. call T-Mobile and give them the dates for my cruise and they will turn off incoming calls and text.

2. once on the ship change my network settings to Roaming "ON" and network to "2G ONLY".

3. use FB messages instead of texting.

4. I don't want to spend my vacation on the internet, so I don't get the VOOM package.  

 

Again, this is for T-Mobile only.  I have no idea how other cell carriers handle this.  I'm just trying to provide information here and expect everyone that consider doing this to contact T-Mobile yourself to confirm this is how your plan works.

 

Here is the T-Mobile website that has information on this topic:

https://www.t-mobile.com/support/coverage/international-roaming-checklist

 

If that works for you.

 

But that means that in port you will not get calls either.

 

And yes, T-Mobile is very good about removing the odd charge.  At least once.

 

As for only being charged $2.50, that is probably because no voice mail was left.

 

We always have a data package, so just use Wifi calling when we are connected.  And if you are not connected when the call or text comes in, it pops up when you do connect.

Edited by SRF
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We have T-Mobile - I texted back and forth with them about coverage and this is what I was told (we have the Magenta 1.0 Amplified plan). I was told there is no coverage on the Ship (Allure) but once at our ports - Nassau, St Kitts and St Thomas we will have service -  we are to dial #7663 to turn on international roaming.  Data and text are free but calls are $0.25/minute.  To turn it off #763#.

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  • 4 months later...
On 12/7/2021 at 11:21 AM, SRF said:

If you have cellular turned on and make or receive a call, you will PAY due to use Cellular at Sea.  Same with data.  There is no free service on board.

 

To avoid charges, before you leave home, enable Wifi Calling on your phone. 

 

Then once you leave the dock, you put your phone in Airplane mode and turn Wifi back on.  You will need to purchase wifi access for your cruise.

 

This way you can make and receive calls and texts at no charge (other than the cost of internet access).

Hi SRF -- we are traveling very soon on celebrity and i've been reading up on tmobile and cellular at sea.   Sorry to say it's all confusing to me.   The only reason i'm researching is our friends with att have purchased a $100 monthly plan to get internet (calls/texts/internet) on the ship and they say it is better service and cheaper than ship wifi...but I think they will still need wifi... they say no!   So, tmobile does not offer this -- so i think we are to use something like cellular at sea.   If i read above what you said, we should pay for the ship wifi and then using wifi calling and phone in airplane mode we WON'T get charged for phone calls?   Thanks for any clarification you can provide...

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On 4/23/2022 at 2:41 PM, Jwheel said:

Hi SRF -- we are traveling very soon on celebrity and i've been reading up on tmobile and cellular at sea.   Sorry to say it's all confusing to me.   The only reason i'm researching is our friends with att have purchased a $100 monthly plan to get internet (calls/texts/internet) on the ship and they say it is better service and cheaper than ship wifi...but I think they will still need wifi... they say no!   So, tmobile does not offer this -- so i think we are to use something like cellular at sea.   If i read above what you said, we should pay for the ship wifi and then using wifi calling and phone in airplane mode we WON'T get charged for phone calls?   Thanks for any clarification you can provide...

 

You can do either one.

 

If ATT has a plan that includes unlimited Cellular at Sea, then you could use that.

 

I just checked, they have two plans.  

 

$50 per month, you get 50 minutes talk ($2 per minute over 50) and unlimited texting.

 

$100 per month, you get unlimited talk and text, and 200 MB of data, then $2 per MB over.

 

Last billing period, I used over 200 MB on email alone.  If you take pictures and send them, you can eat up 200 MB very quickly.

 

With ATT, you can also use wifi and do wifi calling.

 

My thing with T-Mobile is the great international plan for when you are off the ship.  Both the above options do not cover time off the ship.  ATT has a separate International plan that you would have to purchase to cover that time.  That is $10 per day.

 

 

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1 hour ago, SRF said:

Last billing period, I used over 200 MB on email alone.  If you take pictures and send them, you can eat up 200 MB very quickly.

 

 

Probably use 200 MB just turning the phone on. I might be exagerating abiut just turning the  but you are correct 200 MB would be eaten up quick. I don't think those Cellular at Sea plans are a very good option unless OP limit themselves to talk and text. I would turn off data roaming because with those plans a huge surprise could await.

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