Jump to content

WiFi Q & A: Device use, Apps, Locations & more!


Lufrit
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello

 

We have an unlocked iPad /iPhone we are bringing with us and was curious if anyone has purchased an European SIM card ? We have looked on amazon and there are cards for sale there and we know you can buy them in a physical phone store in Europe.  

 

Any thoughts on which place is better to buy them and did you run into any issues using them?

 

thanks everyone

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 8/11/2019 at 3:54 PM, Lufrit said:

Hello

 

We have an unlocked iPad /iPhone we are bringing with us and was curious if anyone has purchased an European SIM card ? We have looked on amazon and there are cards for sale there and we know you can buy them in a physical phone store in Europe.  

 

Any thoughts on which place is better to buy them and did you run into any issues using them?

 

thanks everyone

 

 

We were on the Pearl earlier this month I took my old unlocked iPhone with me. 

I used to get off the ship and look for wifi or go into bar or restaurant that advertised free wifi with purchase so send $$$ for two beers only to find the wifi so slow that it took 20 minutes to see my email. 

So this time I purchased 3 SIM cards one in Barcelona for 10 euro which was a voda phone card good for all of the EU it came with voice and data worked in Spain France and Italy. 

I purchased another in Montenegro for 5 euro only worked there fir data. 

Then in Venice I purchased one last one at the train station data only for the 2 days we were there and we flew back to Barcelona for our connecting flight and it worked there as well. 

I had to show my password on each occasion I always have a photocopy when I’m off the ship. 

Hope this helps. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I am resurrecting this old thread to see what people are doing a couple of years later.  For our last few cruises and tours in Europe (the last one was in November, 2019), we used the Orange Holiday Sim card, which you can buy once on Amazon for $50, and then keep your phone number active so long as you recharge it every 6 months.  It was good in all EU countries and maybe a few more.  By continuing to recharge it every 6 months, I was able to keep the same French phone number, which was slightly useful in being able to know in advance what my Euro phone number would be.

During the pandemic, we didn't recharge the card, so the old number has lapsed.

This card worked perfectly for us.  It included plenty of data (we never came close to running out) and it included (as I recall) both local cell calls in Europe (which I used occasionally) and some limited minutes to call back to the US.  The only reason that I hesitate to buy it again is that I think it is more expensive than it needs to be.  It is $50 to buy it initially, and the service only lasts 14 days once activated.  It then costs another 20 Euros to recharge it for another 14 days.  

 

I realize that I could just buy a local EU Sim card when I arrive, possibly even in the airport.  But then I am at the mercy of whatever plans I happen to be able to find in the first place we land (in this case, Milan).  So I prefer, if feasible, to order something in advance so I am ready to go.  Can anyone recommend a purchase-in-advance Sim card for the EU, preferably one that is good for 30 days, focusing mostly on data availability, but with cell calls in the EU or to the US being a plus?

 

Thanks,

 

Tom & Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/22/2021 at 10:14 AM, TFree said:

It is $50 to buy it initially, and the service only lasts 14 days once activated.  It then costs another 20 Euros to recharge it for another 14 days.  

A quirk I found with Orange (in 2019) - their rules state that if you're inside France when you need to buy a top-up you have to go to a brick-and-mortar store that carries Orange and buy it in person. You can't buy it via the Web if you're inside France. I was on a Rhine cruise and my 14 days happened to run out when we were docked in Strasbourg, and guess what, their web site knew I was in France, so I had to physically go into a brick-and-mortar store to top it up. That cost me a couple of hours and really challenged my meagre French and German language skills. In hindsight it would have been wiser to buy the top-up a day early when we were still in Germany. Or maybe I should have just taken a bus to the German side of the river and topped up via the web over there. 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, sbjornda said:

A quirk I found with Orange (in 2019) - their rules state that if you're inside France when you need to buy a top-up you have to go to a brick-and-mortar store that carries Orange and buy it in person. You can't buy it via the Web if you're inside France. I was on a Rhine cruise and my 14 days happened to run out when we were docked in Strasbourg, and guess what, their web site knew I was in France, so I had to physically go into a brick-and-mortar store to top it up. That cost me a couple of hours and really challenged my meagre French and German language skills. In hindsight it would have been wiser to buy the top-up a day early when we were still in Germany. Or maybe I should have just taken a bus to the German side of the river and topped up via the web over there. 🙂

That is an interesting quirk, and thanks for mentioning it.  I just checked the itinerary for my cruise (the second part of this vacation) and on the 14th day after activation we will still be in Italy, so I am missing this particular problem by 4 days.

Before seeing your message, I had just decided to order a cheaper version of the $50 Orange Holiday Sim Card.  It is the Orange Holiday Zen card.  $28 on Amazon, and it includes 14 days after activation, 3 GB of data (currently the promo raises it to 12 GB), 30 minutes of calls, and 200 text messages.  If you register it, you can extend it with top ups just like the other Orange Card, and if registered you keep the number for 6 months, just like the other Orange Card.  I think this should be more than adequate on data given the promo (data is my main concern).  I don't care about the text messages, and I think I can make the 30 minutes of calls work.  Here is a link to the product if anybody is interested.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NLCL9SP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Tom & Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/7/2021 at 8:36 AM, TFree said:

That is an interesting quirk, and thanks for mentioning it.  I just checked the itinerary for my cruise (the second part of this vacation) and on the 14th day after activation we will still be in Italy, so I am missing this particular problem by 4 days.

Before seeing your message, I had just decided to order a cheaper version of the $50 Orange Holiday Sim Card.  It is the Orange Holiday Zen card.  $28 on Amazon, and it includes 14 days after activation, 3 GB of data (currently the promo raises it to 12 GB), 30 minutes of calls, and 200 text messages.  If you register it, you can extend it with top ups just like the other Orange Card, and if registered you keep the number for 6 months, just like the other Orange Card.  I think this should be more than adequate on data given the promo (data is my main concern).  I don't care about the text messages, and I think I can make the 30 minutes of calls work.  Here is a link to the product if anybody is interested.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NLCL9SP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Tom & Judy

 

We prefer to pick up a SIM card on arrival, as they are way cheaper. Last time in UK we were paying UKP 10-15 per month, depending on data. Unlimited off-peak calls, limited number of peak time calls, unlimited texts, and a reasonable monthly allowance for calls to Canada. At that time UK was still in the EU, so we had calling all across UK and all other EU countries.

 

After initial purchase, it could be renewed on line, every 30 days.

 

Yes, we don't know the number until we arrive, but if we wanted to keep the number we could keep purchasing the cheapest package every month.

Edited by Heidi13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Why not find a carrier that has low roaming rates in the UK and EU? My carrier in Canada charges $15 CDN per 24 hour period if you use it. If you have WiFi you can make calls thru your phone. I have done this onboard  ship, just put the phone on airplane mode  and made calls using the ships Wifi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Kamloops50 said:

Why not find a carrier that has low roaming rates in the UK and EU? My carrier in Canada charges $15 CDN per 24 hour period if you use it. If you have WiFi you can make calls thru your phone. I have done this onboard  ship, just put the phone on airplane mode  and made calls using the ships Wifi.

Lots of people do it that way.  I think some of the US carriers charge $10 US per day that you use the service.  But if I am going to be gone for 3 or 4 weeks, I find that buying a Euro sim card works better for me.

 

Tom & Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 9/7/2021 at 8:36 AM, TFree said:

That is an interesting quirk, and thanks for mentioning it.  I just checked the itinerary for my cruise (the second part of this vacation) and on the 14th day after activation we will still be in Italy, so I am missing this particular problem by 4 days.

Before seeing your message, I had just decided to order a cheaper version of the $50 Orange Holiday Sim Card.  It is the Orange Holiday Zen card.  $28 on Amazon, and it includes 14 days after activation, 3 GB of data (currently the promo raises it to 12 GB), 30 minutes of calls, and 200 text messages.  If you register it, you can extend it with top ups just like the other Orange Card, and if registered you keep the number for 6 months, just like the other Orange Card.  I think this should be more than adequate on data given the promo (data is my main concern).  I don't care about the text messages, and I think I can make the 30 minutes of calls work.  Here is a link to the product if anybody is interested.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NLCL9SP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Tom & Judy


Following up on this point, I unexpectedly ran out of data during my 14 days, while I was in France.  Remembering this exchange, I thought I might not be permitted to recharge the phone via the internet since I was in France.  But a little to my surprise, I was able to buy the recharge on the internet.  Maybe Orange changed the rules?  Or is it possible that while on the cruise ship, Orange did not recognize that I was in France?  I don't know but wanted to post the update.

 

Tom & Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

I am guessing they won’t work on a moving ship… But, has anyone tried this?  I have found in the past that with my cellular antenna off and wifi on, my phone tends to think I’m in the wrong location while at sea. But I am wondering if anyone has tried AirTags yet and knows if they work?

 

Thanks. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are referring to Apple's air tags,

 

Yes they work on Bluetooth technology. So in theory if you are in proximity to your airtag your Bluetooth should have no issue communicating to tag.

 

If you are referring to it relaying info back to apple servers so you can use the "find my" app , it could work if another person on the ship has their Bluetooth enabled on their Apple product on and had a WiFi signal. It Could potentially find your location and triangulate approximate co-ordinates and relay it to the servers.

 

a small snippet on how it works:

"The AirTags themselves have no positional location capability – they DO NOT contain GPS technology. Rather, they merely “ping” the nearest Bluetooth-enabled device and let that device’s location data do the rest."

 

privacy concerns:

"

While the actual nature of the data transmitted is not too concerning (tag ID and location), what makes it worrying is the sheer scale and number of devices involved. By using an AirTag, you are effectively availing yourself of a global monitoring network containing millions and millions of devices.

Everyone’s iPhone (assuming Bluetooth is enabled) is listening for AirTags. When it “hears” one, it uploads details of that tag’s identifier and the phone’s location to Apple’s servers.

Besides any privacy concerns, this also likely uses small amounts of your data allowance. That’s probably fine most of the time, but if you are travelling internationally you might be hit with unexpected charges if you’ve forgotten to disable data roaming."

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, alexgtp said:

If you are referring to Apple's air tags,

 

Yes they work on Bluetooth technology. So in theory if you are in proximity to your airtag your Bluetooth should have no issue communicating to tag.

 

If you are referring to it relaying info back to apple servers so you can use the "find my" app , it could work if another person on the ship has their Bluetooth enabled on their Apple product on and had a WiFi signal. It Could potentially find your location and triangulate approximate co-ordinates and relay it to the servers.

 


I know the AirTags are Bluetooth, but I guess I should have clarified that in my experience, with wifi on the ship and cellular turned off, the phone  usually thinks I’m not where we actually are. I’ve had it pick me up at the previous port or sometimes a random location anywhere. So I’m wondering if the location data will be correct from the users it pings. (It might be happening because one of the first things I do while at sea is turn off my cellular antenna to avoid accidental phone charges.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting question.  I have AirTags on my luggage and recently cruised on the Allure.  However, I never needed to check on the luggage location so I didn't look at the Find My app.  

Wondering about other's experiences.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah ok. Now I understand. 

 

Yeah will always look for last location. If it can triangulate location. We were cruising Alaska 2 years ago and for some reason my cell and wifi locations would always have me in mainland China, no matter how much i refreshed or updated "location". LOL! Technology!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GPS works without cellular enabled from what I could tell on my last flight. It is t as quick, but it does work if it has a reasonable view of the sky. 
 

so, it might work. It will depend on who has their phones on and purchased wifi.

 

if it’s in your room, not around other phones, and you have purchased onboard wifi it should update the location when your phone gets a decent location. For example you gave it on a balcony for a long enough time to lock. 
 

if it’s out and about (like a beach bag on deck) it could also update back to the mothership if it Bluetooths to another Apple phone. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, AustinCruise said:

GPS works without cellular enabled from what I could tell on my last flight. It is t as quick, but it does work if it has a reasonable view of the sky. 
 

so, it might work. It will depend on who has their phones on and purchased wifi.

 

if it’s in your room, not around other phones, and you have purchased onboard wifi it should update the location when your phone gets a decent location. For example you gave it on a balcony for a long enough time to lock. 
 

if it’s out and about (like a beach bag on deck) it could also update back to the mothership if it Bluetooths to another Apple phone. 

Assuming the ship is at sea and the other person somehow has accurate location data reporting back from their phone, it would report the AirTag at that location. 30 seconds later, ship will be in a different physical location and that would be useless.

 

Only feature that would be useful is Bluetooth ping. Anything that has to get reported back to Apple servers won’t be helpful unless ship is stationary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting question: Cannot believe I did not try it out on my September Alaskan cruise. 

I use two (relatively new) tracking device types. One is a set of 4 AirTags, the second is a GPS/cell service device (about the size of a snack candy bar) - primary marketing is for Dog tags, Boat location & theft retrieval. I used them in my luggage when traveling (fun to watch them move at the airport), and had them in my day security bag on excursions (in case they decided to...wander off). 

I have a cruise in a couple of weeks, may try an experiment to see how the AirTags will work on the ship. The GPS devices with Cell service will not work of course...I think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

We're hoping to cruise Vancouver to Sydney in September.  It's a 30 night cruise on Majestic Princess.  I wanted to bring my laptop to stream sites like Netflix, HBOMax, but also my Comcast DVR material that would be recorded during our cruise.

 

How is the ship's WiFi service when cruising the Pacific?  Are you able to get speeds (1Mbps or so) to be able to use a laptop to connect?

 

Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, LeeNYC said:

We're hoping to cruise Vancouver to Sydney in September.  It's a 30 night cruise on Majestic Princess.  I wanted to bring my laptop to stream sites like Netflix, HBOMax, but also my Comcast DVR material that would be recorded during our cruise.

 

How is the ship's WiFi service when cruising the Pacific?  Are you able to get speeds (1Mbps or so) to be able to use a laptop to connect?

 

Thank you.

Depends on whether the cruise line blocks (or charges extra for) streaming; satellite latency and, of course, the fact that there are numerous internet “holes” across the Pacific Ocean, which will even knock out the live/broadcast TV transmissions in your cabin. 
BTW: Xfinity (Mail, voice et al.) generally has numerous issues in transoceanic crossings as well as in many foreign countries.

make sure you have backup email services like yahoo and gmail.

Edited by Flatbush Flyer
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, LeeNYC said:

We're hoping to cruise Vancouver to Sydney in September.  It's a 30 night cruise on Majestic Princess.  I wanted to bring my laptop to stream sites like Netflix, HBOMax, but also my Comcast DVR material that would be recorded during our cruise.

 

How is the ship's WiFi service when cruising the Pacific?  Are you able to get speeds (1Mbps or so) to be able to use a laptop to connect?

 

Thank you.

 

We haven't cruised with Princess since 2015, but at that time their wifi was adequate for Tx/Rx emails. Even graphic heavy websites wouldn't open.

 

Best time to use the wifi is very early morning when everyone else is asleep. I noted the available bandwidth started reducing around 07:00.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I see, the O3B low earth satellites don't have full coverage in the South Pacific, so it will be spotty.  Many of the islands use a subsea cable for their internet, just like the old telegraph cable.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

From what I see, the O3B low earth satellites don't have full coverage in the South Pacific, so it will be spotty.  Many of the islands use a subsea cable for their internet, just like the old telegraph cable.

They are actually medium earth orbit satellites as far as I can tell.  The claimed standard coverage map is up to +- 50 degrees of coverage.   

 

The backhaul sites for these satellites that are probably most appropriate from ships in the South Pacific are located in Australia and Hawaii. No undeveloped, small islands are part of the solution based on what I see.

 

Here is a coverage map:

https://www.ses.com/our-coverage/teleport-map

 

BTW - The only operational LEO communication satellites that I am aware of comes from SpaceX and these do not work at sea - maybe in the future in with their next gen system.

Edited by SelectSys
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: AmaWaterways Announces an Extended Season on the Douro River
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...