If someone had to contact you while you were on a cruise they would have to contact RCCL in Miami and they in turn would contact the ship. I check my email while on a cruise. You need to have hotmail or yahoo in order to do that. Some cell phones will work on-board the ship. I know Cingular does.
You can access most e-mail accounts from the ship, if your ISP has webmail access - which most do. For instance, I use bellsouth and can go to their homepage and access my e-mail account without using an e-mail program. But if you bring your own laptop you can simply use your e-mail software (Outlook, Outlook Express, Mac Mail, etc.) and download your e-mail just like you were at home.
cousins - to answer you more specifically, there is an internet cafe on all ships these days. But it isn't free or included in your cruise fare. Most lines offer a choice of packages of minutes, and always a basic minute-by-minute fee (which is the most expensive). And you can buy a wireless access package on virtually all ships, which is what I do. Many ships have already been fitted out to have wireless access in most or all areas of the ship. You set up an account on the ship and the same account is used either in the ship's internet cafe or with your own laptop. Many ships rent laptops too.
It runs $7.95 per minute to call the ship and that will include the time it takes for you to be contacted via the announcement and get you to the bridge to take the call if you can be reached (if not at port on an excursion, etc.) Be sure whoever you give the contact info to know the call is truly for emergency purposes only.
Thanks guys you're the best. We have Verizon includes long distance, and are going to New England/ Canada, so we should be able to use our cell phones on land just fine, correct? Just not on the ship- without extra fees???
If that's the case I don't need the email!
I don't need the phone either...but it's nice to remind the grown children we're out spending their inheritance!!! I mean, to check on the kids and make sure everything's alright!