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Billbo 01-03-2013 01:33 PM

A good phone/date strategy?
We booked a first-time cruise--HAL, Oosterdam, Alaska. And what I've read so far about phone and Internet communication seems like you can either use/do whatever you want with phone, text and Internet and end up paying lots of money, or you can turn those devices off for the cruise, OR you find a reasonable phone/data strategy in the middle, which is what I'd like to do.

Has anyone found a middle ground strategy that keeps you both in touch and out of hock?

poormom 01-03-2013 05:21 PM

I've found that most ports have internet cafe's or spots with free wi fi. I'm not sure if any calling plans include AK, but on caribbean cruises PR and the USVI's are included in my calling plan. If you need email or internet, by purchasing the ship's package you know up front what the cost will be.
Most plans don't charge much for text messaging, but only if you can keep it to a minimum.
Your cell phone provider can give you pricing for various plans if you ask.

wooddon 01-03-2013 06:57 PM

We always just send text messages from our cell phone. I find it faster and cheaper. My texts worked great even out in the middle of the ocean!!! I have been very surprise when I received my bill that the cost is not that much.

susanmaz 01-04-2013 08:41 AM

HAL offers internet packages. There is a $3.95 (or so) activation fee, then it's .75 per minute, with packages offering reduced rates for X minutes. I've always purchased the 100 minutes for $55.00 - which would mostly cover me for daily checking of the office e-mails and printing my plane tickets on my last day. I don't know what the cost would be to use your phone for texting, since I don't have that option. Check with the staff in the Explorations library / computer area. I don't waste my time in ports looking for free wi-fi and e-mailing. As others have said, if you want to use your phone's texting function, check with your provider as to costs and coverage in your ports of call. I believe on ship, you would be using the ship's satellite. Bon Voyage - I hope you'll enjoy the Oosterdam. I've been on two sister ships and have found them HAL wonderful. And your itinerary is spectacular.

Jim C. 01-07-2013 11:22 AM

Same here. We use texting. Turn off the data on your phone. Texts cost 50 cents to send , 5 cents to received on the ship. Have anyone you need to keep in touch with text you if they need you. Then you can respond if needed. The downside of this is that your phone will receive calls. You can turn your ringer off and not disturb anyone. Just don't answer and you won't get charged for the phone call. (And if you do need to talk with the person you can text them back to find out if they REALLY need you to call.

For Data... no luck. Unless you are on a cruise line that offers internet packages. You can set you phone up for Wifi and use your data package. Then turn the data roaming off and the wifi on when you want to "sync" you email and such. Just be really careful doing this as to not leave the data on and turn the wifi off (it might use the cellular at sea data roaming @ $20 for 20 MByte.... Last time we brought a tablet computer that ONLY has wifi. So you can buy the data package and simply turn the wifi on and off to sync. That way you can throttle the data usage as needed.

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