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Senoj84

Cell Phone Service on Cruises

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HOLY MOLEY!!! I just got my Cingular bill that includes our trip on the Holiday at the end of April!! Approx $250!!! Yoikes!!! I guess I know now, huh!!! Must admit -- reception was excellent. You just can't hear the ca-ching $$$ ca-ching in the background!!

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Found out later that I could have used a courtesy phone to deal with the issue.

 

What do you mean a courtesy phone? Are there phones other than the cabin phones that are cheaper?

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I read somewhere on here that it was 2.49 a minute. Oh well. I didn't use mine when we were out to sea anyway.

 

Just checked the T-Mobile website, it is $4.99 per minute, looks like they are even more greedy than the other providers.

 

MAC

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Verizon works great on the ships I have been told, you need to have set up (I-dial) with them prior to going. After that it is 2.49 per minute on the ship. You still get roaming rates on shore at whatever price they are set at. Just be sure you are far enough from the ship that you are not still using its signal.

 

When in port the shipboard towers are supposed to be turned off, otherwise all the locals would be up in arms over their bills!

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My cell phone is serviced by a local provider, Simmetry, they charge $1.65 a min after you pay an international turn on fee of $2.95 a month. (You just turn international off after the cruise) It was $0.99 a min in Mexico

 

Simmerty is a GMS service, like AT&T Cingular and T-Mobil. Most USA phone companies are CDMA type.

 

CDMA does not work on the ship only the GMS type will work on the ship.

 

Larry

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My cell phone is serviced by a local provider, Simmetry, they charge $1.65 a min after you pay an international turn on fee of $2.95 a month. (You just turn international off after the cruise) It was $0.99 a min in Mexico

 

Simmerty is a GMS service, like AT&T Cingular and T-Mobil. Most USA phone companies are CDMA type.

 

CDMA does not work on the ship only the GMS type will work on the ship.

 

Larry

 

It's GSM, and you are incorrect, most ships transmit both GSM and CDMA. The list of included ships on the verizon website (CDMA) is extensive.

 

MAC

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We have Sprint - on the Legend in February was able to call the kids everyday while on the ship. I don't recall our bill being too high - but we didn't talk long anytime we called. I was happy with the service - there was just one time we didn't have a good connection. The only problem we did have was when we were sailing close to Belize. I quess we were too close to their towers instead of the ship's source.

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What carrier do you have? My Verizon doesn't seem to work other than in ports. My Mother-In-Law has Cingular and when she cruises "Cigular At Sea" comes across her display...then she yaps away and gets a $500 cell phone bill when she returns home...lol. ;)

 

Now that is a lesson I would not expect to have to "teach" your mother in law :eek:

 

We too have Cingular - we added the international calling plan to both of our accounts. That way you can call from the ports at a "reasonable" rate which is usually quite a bit less that the regular international rate.

 

We had clear, strong service 24/7 and now it is 2.49 per minute while on the ship and .99 - 1.99 while in port. We have used the system on the Triumph and the Legend.

 

We tried to take advantage of the port systems whenever possible because of the lower cost per minute. It was easy for us to tell when they turned on - or off - the system on the ship because our displays read "Cellular at Sea" when the ship system was on.

 

My sister has Verizon. Her phone always showed full service -and her display read "Cellular at Sea" - but she was never able to make a call. I do not think that she had added the international capability to her account before she left.

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www.cellularatsea.com This site is not up to date. It does not list all the ships that offer this service. I would recomend for one to activate their international plan in order to avoid expensive roaming fees.

 

If you have Cingular - or AT&T now I guess :rolleyes: - their site always had good up to date information. Especially as Carnival was adding the service to ships one at a time. As they became active they were added to the site.

 

There is also an 800# listed that you can call the international department for adding the international service. They were also very helpful when I asked questions.

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I have Verizon and after asking to have the international service turned on for the second time it worked well. I also have a TrackPhone (pay as you go phone) that I use as a backup phone. That actually sounded better that the Verizon. :)

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In April on our cruise, I had purchased a Tracfone for $14.88 from Walmart and just added some minutes. My dd called her boyfriend every night and it certainally was much cheaper then our T-Mobile would have been.

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I work for these guys so I know quite a bit about international travel. Another poster was correct about the rate of $2.49 per minute. Verizon Wireless provides cellular coverage on all of the Carnvial ships, as well as several other lines. The rate in port varies by what port you are in. Coverage on a newer plan includes Puerto Rico. We are trained to advise people to be sure when they are in port that they are not still picking up ship towers. While Verizon Wireless is CDMA it still works in a lot of other countries. The poster who said only GSM works was incorrect. We do not provide coverage in any European countries as these are all serviced by GSM. You should request I-Dial before leaving the US. You also need to update your PRL (preferred roaming list) while you are still in the country before you depart. You do have to have a 1X or an EVDO signal displayed on your phone to do this. It is toll and airtime free and is done by dialing *228, send, and then when an automated voice comes on the line you choose option #2 to update your roaming capability. It takes all of about 1 minute to do.

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Thanks Bluejlly, that is what the rep at Verizon told me. To be sure that the ships signal wasn't still being picked up by my phone.

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I work for these guys so I know quite a bit about international travel. Another poster was correct about the rate of $2.49 per minute. Verizon Wireless provides cellular coverage on all of the Carnvial ships, as well as several other lines. The rate in port varies by what port you are in. Coverage on a newer plan includes Puerto Rico. We are trained to advise people to be sure when they are in port that they are not still picking up ship towers. While Verizon Wireless is CDMA it still works in a lot of other countries. The poster who said only GSM works was incorrect. We do not provide coverage in any European countries as these are all serviced by GSM. You should request I-Dial before leaving the US. You also need to update your PRL (preferred roaming list) while you are still in the country before you depart. You do have to have a 1X or an EVDO signal displayed on your phone to do this. It is toll and airtime free and is done by dialing *228, send, and then when an automated voice comes on the line you choose option #2 to update your roaming capability. It takes all of about 1 minute to do.

 

Do you know how email from your phone works (or is charged)? Is it just like a phone call? Will it work at all? We pay at the internet cafe on the ship and it is always a big bite in our pocketbook. If we can use our Blackberry instead and it not cost as much......that would be sweet!! Anyone know??

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With Cingular/ATT in August 2006 we used our cell phone in St. Thomas and were not charged the international rate. It is covered under your US plan. Again, the Cingular rep told me not to be near the ships tower, I think she said 1 or 2 miles away. So when we got to Red Hook to take the ferry to St. John I called home. I was not charged internationally.

 

We are sailing Carnival next and Cingular/ATT's website lists the charges while on a Carnival ship. It is $2.49 a minute and you do need to turn on International Dialing beforehand.

 

I am going to check out the TracPhone option mentioned by another poster. That may, indeed, be the least expensive way to use cell service while on board. We don't expect to need to call home this time since we are bringing all the kids with us!

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I wish it cost 100 dollars a minute so I can get a break from all the useless chatter most people do on cell phones. People have survived for many years crusising without cell phones and I am sure could so the same now. I realy hope those NEXTEL walkie talkies don't follow me on the ship I just might go off on somebody if I have to hear anymore of that annoying bleeping sound. Who ever thought that was acceptable?

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I sailed on the Carnival Pride in June. I have Cingular and used my phone while we were docked, but I was still on the ship. I was only charged 99 cents a minute, so I think it may very well depend on where you are and what carrier you have. I also had not activated any type of international plan and obviously did not pick up the signal from the ship even though I was still physically on the ship.

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I sailed on the Carnival Pride in June. I have Cingular and used my phone while we were docked, but I was still on the ship. I was only charged 99 cents a minute, so I think it may very well depend on where you are and what carrier you have. I also had not activated any type of international plan and obviously did not pick up the signal from the ship even though I was still physically on the ship.

 

The ship's system is not active while docked. That was part of the agreement with the Cellular at Sea folks. When the ship arrives at a port they turn off the system on the ship and do not turn it back on until they have left the port and are several miles out.

 

It was easy for us to tell because our display read "Cellular at Sea" when picking up the ships signal and it was Cingular or an alphanumberic display like DM6J when using a system from the port.

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I wish it cost 100 dollars a minute so I can get a break from all the useless chatter most people do on cell phones. People have survived for many years crusising without cell phones and I am sure could so the same now. I realy hope those NEXTEL walkie talkies don't follow me on the ship I just might go off on somebody if I have to hear anymore of that annoying bleeping sound. Who ever thought that was acceptable?

 

Wow...feel strongly about this do 'ya :eek: ?

 

Honestly I do not see anymore people on phones than before the systems were installed on the ships. I do see cell use while in port - on an off of the ship - but it has been that way forever.

 

There are some who do have things that they need to check on - even while on vacation. If you do not then great....but for those that do at least this is a more reasonable and reliable option.

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ciship,

The services while on board are basically limited to call/airtime use with us. The data portion of your device relies on the broadband network, not just the basic digital coverage required to make a call. If you have the 8830, you may be able to access some data because this phone can switch to GSM coverage if you purchased a global package and SIM card. I also think this is done to "streamline" the ships ability to charge for WiFi service, which is a different type of technology. Your phone also relies on RIM servers which are not available on the ship. It's nice to be able to answer questions on the board instead of just asking!:D

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Mexico on Pride had no service in PV and Matzalan. Had service in Cabo but it was roaming and did not really know how to uese it. Alaska this year had service in Vancouver Skagway Juneau and Ketchican. Had to pay roaming in Vancouver,

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ciship,

The services while on board are basically limited to call/airtime use with us. The data portion of your device relies on the broadband network, not just the basic digital coverage required to make a call. If you have the 8830, you may be able to access some data because this phone can switch to GSM coverage if you purchased a global package and SIM card. I also think this is done to "streamline" the ships ability to charge for WiFi service, which is a different type of technology. Your phone also relies on RIM servers which are not available on the ship. It's nice to be able to answer questions on the board instead of just asking!:D

 

Bluejlly

 

Thank you so much for the detailed explanation! I appreciate your response and efforts!

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