I'm not sure RichC. When we were on the Emerald, we only used our cell phone one day in port. We are charged roaming fees when we do use it, we have AT&T. I would assume it would be put on your shipboard account. Maybe f-mattox knows for sure. The only reason we used it was to wish my hubby's mom a happy Thanksgiving. I'd leave it at home if I had a choice.
We were just on the DP in Hawaii where most people had cell service all the time we were in the islands & only once did I hear a cell phone go off & that was during a performance by a comedian in the show lounge when we were about 5 miles out. He took full advantage of the situation & did a full 3 minutes about annoying cell phones.
We only used our cell phone a couple of times in port in Hawaii, so I don't know how it works at sea if you use the ship's up-link. Like Penny, I would guess it would go automatically on your shipboard account. And I'll bet it's pretty expensive, too.
My partner took his cell phone with him and the service went through his fido provider rather than the ship's service. He actually got a phone call from a friend when we were sitting outside on the deck sailing through the Straits of Gibraltor at midnight. The service was pretty good, although there were a few times when there was no signal along the USA east coast.
We just got off the Grand Princess & they do have cell phone access aboard the ship. I only used it once to access my voice mail & still don't know the cost. They do ask that passengers don't use it in the dr's & showroom.
RichC, welcome back. Hope you had a great cruise. What's the latest on Grand Princess? Some of the reviews lately would have you think she was ready for the breakers. I know that's not true, but how is the ol' girl?
Since the Grand Princess was launched a while back they've take fairly good care of the ship with the typical ware & tare that I've seen on most ships. The crew (as on all the Princess ships) couldn't do enough for the pax. The food was great. (we're not specialty restaurant people). My thinking is that if they can't provide a good meal in the standard restaurants the line would be out of business in a short time. As you know, the ship has a similar layout as the Diamond P. The Horizon court wasn't as crowded as on the Diamond but the drink area was a little confined which caused a backup at times. The crew was always trying to provide drinks for the people to avoid the congestion problem.
The average age of the pax was younger that the Diamond being around 55 or so (my estimate). There were about 30 kids aboard which at first I though were going to be a headache but as it turned out Princess keep them entertained through the week plus the fact that they were all well behaved to begin with. I brought a set of earplugs which came in handy in the show lounge as some of the seats are located right in front of the speakers & it's to loud for my liking. It reverberates in my ears but I'm beginning to think it's my hearing that's the problem. I'd advise anyone to bring a light jacket or a sweat **** for the show lounge. There are some seats that get blasted with the AC & there were lots of people complaining about the problem.
We tendered at two locations & they handled it efficiently & even hired an extra tender at one island.
Embarkation at Ft Lauderdale went very quickly with no hang-ups. It took about 30 minutes- we arrived at 11:30 AM.
We use a bus service but I did hear that the parking rate is up to $15 per day.
Disembarkation went very fast- to fast for me. Customs didn't board the ship but checked out the people on the pier. We tried to lay low & not get off the ship until the last minute since our bus doesn't arrive before 10 AM but they came around with a list of names of people who didn't scan out at 9:30 AM - There's nowhere to hide. The up side of waiting is there are NO LINES anywhere.
Thank you, RichC; sounds like a great trip. Congestion around the drink stations, and the buffet in general at peak times seems to be common to all the Priincess ships. The answer of course is to try to visit at off-peak times; but I'm not too inclined to adjust my schedule to fit their lack of planning. The last time I was on the Grand they had both sides open almost all the time, which really helped.
Thanks for the heads-up on the volume levels and the A/C in the theater. I've noticed that on a couple of the other ships: next time I'll be prepared.
I did find out about how the cell phone charges are applied- You don't have to register your phone with the ship. The billing is made by the cell carrier & added to your monthly bill which they reimburse the cruise line later on. I didn't see to many people using their phones but the analog signal on the ship was very good in most locations. I used it one time to check on a voice mail which I thought was important.