cell phone use on cruise

Old Feb 24th, 2006, 07:46 AM
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cell phone use on cruise

Cruising Eastern Caribbean in the near future and I was wondering about cell phone use onboard. My service provider is Rogers Cantel. Anyone had any experience regarding reception, costs, etc.

Any input would be appreciated.
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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My understanding is that cell phones do not work once you get away from shore due to lack of towers...
Mine did not work..
Internet service was available onboard and affordable if you buy a package..
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 03:08 AM
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It does not matter who your provider is, cell phones will NOT work on cruise ships once you are farther than about 5 miles from the nearest cell phone tower.

Cell phone actually have very short range and keep switching you from one "cell tower" to another. Once you're at sea, there are no towers or cells to connect to, thus, you'll just get a "no service" message on your phone.

Nothing on the ship will connect your cell phone to anything, thus it's only useful as you'll start and end your cruise and to-and-from the cruise ship, etc.

It is most likely that it will also not work in foreign ports, or, if it does, you could be charged very large "roaming fees" EVEN if your provider says you have free roaming.

Most ports you'll go to have Phone Centers you can use to cost effectively call home, or, for a fee, you can use the ships internet cafe to stay in touch.

Finally, in an emergency, the ship does have ship-to-shore phone service but it too is VERY expensive, like $10-$12 per minute. You can even use it from your room phone.

Hope this helps, it's a common question.

Do take the phone with you as it is still valuable as you travel to the ship, on your way home from the ship, etc.
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 03:31 AM
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On a recent cruise I was able to call all over the US from San Juan , PR.
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 04:07 AM
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While on the Summit (14 day Hawaii) in January I had to call about an ill family member several times. Cingular charged me roaming charges on the ship of 1.99 a minute. The calls I made in Hawaii didn't cost anything because of the plan I have. There was a slight delay while using the phone on the ship but the reception was good. Kathy
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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I think it depends on your service. I have made cell phone calls in recent years while out to sea with no problems, and I was much further than 5 miles from shore.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Our cell phones did not work on the ship but they worked in all our ports, St. Thomas, Nassau, and St. Maarten. We have Cingular. It must depend on your plan but we used them and didn't get charged roaming fees. This was just this past Nov.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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I've heard recently that US Cellular works in the Caribbean...
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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So basically we are back to OP question...
My understanding is this to call your provider and ask.
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 11:03 AM
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You have to ask your provider, but some lines (Norwegian, for instance) now have working cell phone service on board, even when you are far from towers. However, the provider charges a huge premium (about $4.99 a minute) for the service. Just beware if your cell phone works on board; if you're far from land, you're probably using a ship-board cell and will be subject to the extra-high roaming charge. On NCL, it's GSM phones only that work ... so not Sprint, for example.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 05:37 AM
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Re-frasing...you have to call your cruise company. If they say thay have services - ask which one and call your cell phone provider and ask them what do they charge and ask name of the person you speaking with and record it.

I went to Europe and was told my phone was good to go...never beeped onse!!!
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