Despite disabling automatic data transfers and e-mail downloads on my iPhone I still managed to rack up over $60 in roaming fees while in England and then aboard the Equinox. I guess if I look at it from a daily perspective it isn't terrible, but it is still more than I planned on.
It was solely using the phone for calls. I guess as I went from Gatwick to Heathrow to Southampton, and then on the ship and back to London, I passed through several providers. Orange is one I recall showing up on the phone.
Dave- You should only have been charged a roaming fee from the provider your were roaming on when you made they call.
Just passing through a roaming area does not trigger a fee unless you make a call or send/receive a text.
Maybe turning off the phone completely until you need to make a call is a safer way of doing this.
I never really paid attention to the roaming charges as my company pays the cell phone bill while I am in Europe on business... but $60 sounds like a lot of fees unless you made multiple calls from different locations.
The way they shuttled us around I think I did manage to make calls in 5 different areas. That is how the bill looks. Someone suggested just buying a prepaid phone while there. That may have been a cheaper option. My problem (I guess it is a problem) is that I really don't use a cellphone that much and thus am not always cognizant of the options at hand.
If it's a GSM phone you can buy a prepaid sim card (memory card that is used to activate the phone) in most any European country. That's what we do when we travel. Its cheaper to buy a simcard, stick it in our phone and pay local rates then buy a phone. You can pick up a local sim card in any phone store (or even in the airport) Its like that in most countries that use GSM (China, any Euro country, Malaysia etc..)
They swap sim cards in phones over there all the time. I know people in our England offices that have simcards for multiple countries that they need to go too. Going to France for the weekend.. pop in your France sim card... Spain? Go one of those too. BUT, for your case where you were only going to make a couple of calls on one trip and you were not planning on visiting again in the near future, its probably not cost effective.
Orange is all over London/England, what a scam that other operators were allowed to grab your phone if you had already established roaming on Orange. Normally the roaming charge is a once per day thing.
It's just another reason for me to turn my off, leave it in the safe, and turn it back on when I return to the US I'm just kidding, y'all. I know it's not always possible to not stay in contact with home, but it sounds like a great excuse for me to say when I leave the office for vacation.
Another option I'm looking in to is if your provider offers travel plans. I can actually buy roaming minutes in advance from my provider and I won't be charged. They send a free text when you reach 80% and 100% of your minutes used. Still costly, but between 40-80% less than traditional roaming, depending on how many minutes you buy. You can apparently also get a roaming data plan, but you need to sign up for at least 3 months.
Thanks for the heads up Dave. I don't plan on using my phone while I'm at sea. I may just use the computers on board to communicate back home via e-mail, since it may be cheaper than the roaming charges.
I know wi-fi is an option also, but according to RCI's website, they only have it for Windows and I have an Apple MacBook with Mac OS version 10.4.11
2007 - Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas)
2009 - Enchantment of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2010 - Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2013 - Golden Princess (Alaska, roundtrip from Seattle)