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Internet service / using a hot spot

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Dec 3rd, 2012, 05:40 AM
  #1
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Internet service / using a hot spot

Cruising on Carnival soon. How would using our hot spots work? Would we still have to pay for internet service? I say yes. Husband doesn't think so.
Anyone try this?
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Dec 3rd, 2012, 05:58 AM
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If you set up a hotspot using your mobile phone, then you are getting Internet through Wi-Fi, not through the ship's own internet network, which is sattelite-run. However, you'll also be paying a premium of as much as $4.99 a minute to use the mobile phone since it has to run off the same sattelite connection at sea. And the connection will be as slow as molasses, likely slower than the slow service provided on the ship.

Moreover, this is about 10 times what it costs to buy internet from the ship, except when the ship is in port and you would be paying the regular expensive international roaming charges (usually about $2 per minute in the Caribbean), though that really depends on your provider and can vary wildly. (And your own service may not work at all if you have Sprint or Verizon or one of the various PCS systems, which aren't GSM-based.)

So while your husband is correct that you will not have to pay for the ship's internet service, you are paying a ridiculous premium to your cell phone provider in the form of extra expensive cell phone service (I think Carnival's service is provided by T Mobile).
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Dec 3rd, 2012, 06:51 AM
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I've had some second thoughts since I wrote this. Creating a hotspot with your mobile phone requires data service rather than regular cell service. I'm not at all sure how that is charged or if it's not blocked. You'll definitely be working off your own mobile plan, but the mobile phone may not allow data roaming through a ship's sattelite service. Sorry to be wishy washy, but this is something I have never tried. Either way it's going to be hideously expensive.
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Dec 3rd, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I was thinking it would be blocked myself. I think an e-mail to Carnival is in order. I'll let you know what I find out. Just wondering if anyone has already tried.
Thanks.
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Dec 3rd, 2012, 10:18 AM
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No, it's not an email to Carnival. They don't provide this service. You need to look on your mobile phone company's web site, where the costs for roaming will be spelled out clearly, and if they aren't then you call your mobile phone company, not Carnival.

Either way, it's a bad idea, though. That much I can tell you for certain.
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Dec 4th, 2012, 04:28 AM
  #6
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I did call Carnival anyway. My husband already asked or provider. They said service is avaialble through the hot spot. I just have a hard time believing it will be available and affordable.
Carnival said wifi is available but you will need to pay for it. Which we already knew. So, I really have no idea what to expect.
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Dec 4th, 2012, 06:00 AM
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Wi-Fi is considerably cheaper aboard a ship than using your own cell phone as a wireless hot spot. Typically, you buy a package of minutes, but some cruise lines offer an everything included plan for around $100 per cruise. That's the same cost on most ships than about 20 minutes of wireless service, so I think it's a good deal if you really feel you must be in constant contact.

But the internet aboard most ships is really slow ... more like dial-up (or at least it feels like it)
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Dec 4th, 2012, 06:39 AM
  #8
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I really don't need to be connected but others traveling with me do. The slowness will drive them crazy but at least they can have it if they need it.
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Jan 4th, 2013, 02:55 AM
  #9
 
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Can't you use WiFi there? T-Mobile for sure has got some hotspot Service. I would suggest you the Monzoon World Flat Service which is reasonable and can also be used in other Locations. http://monzoonworldflat.com/
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Jan 4th, 2013, 06:14 AM
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On a ship out at sea, the only Wi-Fi is provided by the ship. A lot of cruise ships now have Wi-Fi, and it's almost universally cheaper than mobile service. T-Mobile does NOT provide the kind of Wi-Fi hotspot service you're talking about on ships at sea. All their hotspots are on land.
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Jan 4th, 2013, 11:55 PM
  #11
 
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On a cruise ship, you are in the middle of the ocean (or middle fo nowhere) no one (other than the ship) is able to get any internet service (or cell service for that matter) except the ship.

Once the ship is docked or close to shore, you maybe able to access your "hot spot".

I know of a situation where someone on an Alaskan cruise was using his cell phone throughout the whole cruise as he has unlimted minutes ... Alaska is not part of the continetal US, plus, the ship traveled through Canadian water which is Canadian cell towers. Needless to say, the cell phone bill was 4 figures ...
Just buy an internet package from the ship, or use the free wi-fi at the port facilities if tehy are available. (Keep an eye for the crew, they knew where the free internet are as they have to pay for internet usage on the ship as well.)
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Jan 6th, 2013, 12:12 PM
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Agree, your "hot-spot" will not work while the ship is at sea. Your only option for internet while at sea is to purchase a plan from the cruise line and as everyone has said it will be costly. Using your hot-spot while in a foreign port can, and will be, very costly. Eschew's example of a "4 figure" cell phone/data charge is not an exaggeration - I speak from experience having run up very large cell phone/data bills when I used to travel for business.

Heed the advice given here - Don't do it - just bite the bullet and purchase an internet package though the ship and try to keep your usage down to a minimum.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 04:52 AM
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As it turned out- my husband did purchase an internet package. Little time was spent on the computer after all. (Although some work needed to be done.) Haven't checked my phone bill yet - maybe I should ;-)
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