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Internet On Cruise?
Old 11-27-2016, 10:32 PM   #1
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Internet On Cruise?

We are planning on a 7 day cruise next year, out of Puerto Rico will visit Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten, & the US VIs. Celebrity cruise line wants a crazy price for phone & internet on the cruise. I just want to check the occasional email, have family with medical issues and want to stay in touch. I think I can live with no signal at sea but maybe can connect durning port visits. We have AT&T so should have regular phone & internet in PR & US VIs, not sure about other locations. Any suggestions about making local phone/wifi connections while in port?
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:06 PM   #2
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How about phoning places around where you will be in port to see if they have wifi ? Or phone the tourist office at the various ports. (use skype as otherwise it will be really expensive just to phone them).

Or just enjoy your holiday, after all, lets say someone says "Oh I'm a lot sicker now" are you going to jump ship and try to find an airport, and perhaps it will take 2 days to fly home from some tiny island all at last minute prices ?
And if you don't go, then you will just fret for the rest of the trip since they "are sicker now".
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:05 AM   #3
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Investigate your data roaming options and cost/coverage with your current carrier. If roaming charges apply, be sure to disable. Also, be careful with the cruise ship wifi as it might connect automatically.

Research the cruise ports and look for free wifi spots. Once you have wifi, you can check email and use Skype or Google Hangouts Dialer for phone calls.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:44 AM   #4
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I have been doing some research on this too.

You may be able to do wi-fi calling right on the ship. MagicJack, faceTime, or GoogleVoice. Or, if your phone allows it, WiFi calling right from the phone. Unless the ship has blocked that VoIP band. You will need a WiFi package from the ship, which is different than a cell phone connection.

If you use a cell signal that is generated by the Ship, it will be VERY expensive, like multiple dollars per minute. Remove your Sim card unless you know you will be connecting to the shore towers. The ship is not supposed to broadcast the signal within ~20 miles of shore, but a connection mistake could cost you big.

I know I can make a WiFi call with my phone, without a sim card even in the phone. I thought this feature would be great for locations that do not have any cell signals.

However, I was recently at a place where I had a poor WiFi signal, and could not make a call. I also had 4+ bars on my phone, and it could not call out either. It would not roam, emergency calls only. T-Mobile did not have coverage there, but Verizon did.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:54 AM   #5
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You should be able to get WI FI in port, just be very careful that you are not connecting to the ship signal. We do without internet while on ship also.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Senator View Post
I have been doing some research on this too.

You may be able to do wi-fi calling right on the ship. MagicJack, faceTime, or GoogleVoice. Or, if your phone allows it, WiFi calling right from the phone. Unless the ship has blocked that VoIP band. You will need a WiFi package from the ship, which is different than a cell phone connection.

If you use a cell signal that is generated by the Ship, it will be VERY expensive, like multiple dollars per minute. Remove your Sim card unless you know you will be connecting to the shore towers. The ship is not supposed to broadcast the signal within ~20 miles of shore, but a connection mistake could cost you big.

I know I can make a WiFi call with my phone, without a sim card even in the phone. I thought this feature would be great for locations that do not have any cell signals.

However, I was recently at a place where I had a poor WiFi signal, and could not make a call. I also had 4+ bars on my phone, and it could not call out either. It would not roam, emergency calls only. T-Mobile did not have coverage there, but Verizon did.
Th only way to get wifi on the ship is to subscribe to the access the cruise line offers, which is the wildly expensive option mentioned in the OP.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:59 AM   #7
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Th only way to get wifi on the ship is to subscribe to the access the cruise line offers, which is the wildly expensive option mentioned in the OP.
That maybe true with Celebrity, but not all cruise lines.

Viking includes internet access. Everyone was using their phones and iPads on board the Viking Star on a recent Mediterranean cruise we took with them.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:08 AM   #8
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That maybe true with Celebrity, but not all cruise lines.

Viking includes internet access. Everyone was using their phones and iPads on board the Viking Star on a recent Mediterranean cruise we took with them.
No disagreement, but the OP question is specifically about an upcoming Celebrity Cruise Line trip.
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Any suggestions about making local phone/wifi connections while in port?
An Internet cafe or free wifi might be found in the ports you call on, although there may also be another couple of hundred passengers with the same intention. How much of your time visiting ports do you want to spend looking for access?

Have you looked into the AT&T international plan to see how much it would cost to have Internet access?
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:53 AM   #9
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Ask the cruise staff where there is internet in the ports they always know .
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:15 AM   #10
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When you get off the ship, you can find fast food restaurants and other places that have WIFI signs. Check your emails for the price of a cup of coffee at a Starbucks.

You're right about the cruise lines using internet as a big source of income. Their coverage is pretty slow anyway.

I'm a big fan of Celebrity, and the cruise itineraries out of San Juan. They're the best cruises in this part of the world--essentially hitting a different port every day. You'll have a great time.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:22 AM   #11
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So I have only been on 7 cruises, but my main objective of being on a cruise is too escape all of the life interruptions for that brief week of time or longer. Putting all of those handheld electronic devices into the cabin safe and locking them away is part of our ritual.

So even though more and more ships are now getting more and more connected so you can stay on everything at Sea for a price, I'll pass and instead study what the drink of the day is as many times as needed.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:37 AM   #12
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We just did that cruise...

I am not a phone or internet person who has to get Wi-Fi all the time...

DW was able to get a signal at most ports, but I told her not to connect with some since they were bars or other places in port... I only wanted her to connect with the ones where the port supplied it....
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:27 AM   #13
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How expensive is the wifi on a cruise ship? Has anyone ever used it? We will have a cruise in two weeks and there is a teenager with us and wifi connection for gaming is a must.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:30 AM   #14
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How expensive is the wifi on a cruise ship? Has anyone ever used it? We will have a cruise in two weeks and there is a teenager with us and wifi connection for gaming is a must.
Depends on the cruise line: https://cruiseline.com/advice/before...-cruise-ships-

I suspect that "must" is going to be a problem.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:47 AM   #15
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How expensive is the wifi on a cruise ship? Has anyone ever used it? We will have a cruise in two weeks and there is a teenager with us and wifi connection for gaming is a must.
Be forewarned: on any ship I've seen, it's not only expensive, but also S-L-O-O-O-W.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:53 PM   #16
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On the cruise I went to back in January, first thing I did was put my cell phone in the cabin safe and left it there until ready to go home. Having no connection to the outside world for 10 days was both frustrating and relaxing. Frustrating as trying to make simple plans (such as what time to meet for dinner) with friends on the ship wasn't so simple and hit or miss. But at the same time, not getting electronically distracted did bring about peace and a reminder that I was on vacation.
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:14 PM   #17
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I'll take the cellphone issue one step farther. I disconnected my cell phone after only making 5 calls per month on average. (The DW has a cellphone we can be reached on--when she keeps the battery charged.)

Since I retired "early", I'm not nearly is important as I once was. And communicating is second priority to visiting great places.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:18 PM   #18
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Internet is one of the reasons I won't take a cruise.

It's almost as important as power and air conditioning.

I bought Internet on flight to Australia for $19. First 4 hours wasn't bad. High pings but I got over 3 Mbps in a Speedtest.

Even streamed video for awhile.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:30 PM   #19
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Internet is one of the reasons I won't take a cruise.

It's almost as important as power and air conditioning.

I bought Internet on flight to Australia for $19. First 4 hours wasn't bad. High pings but I got over 3 Mbps in a Speedtest.

Even streamed video for awhile.
You must have been a basket case before internet!
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:43 PM   #20
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Most port terminal buildings have free wifi, in my experience. I can't speak to your specific ports but in general I have found it to be quite common for the terminals to have it.
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