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I use my mobile and my bill is only every £3 more for that month.
I have used my mobile on P&O no problems (PAYG).
Use your mobile when in port, aviod the ship's system if you don't want a 'nice surprise' on your end of cruise account.
Not all mobiles will work from the Caribbean and the USA and there are no ports or land between here and there tranatlanticwise so 6 days of no land. I think there is one type of mobile that will work at sea but I am a dunderhead as far as cellphones go. Certainly worth taking some advice from the trade though. .... Neil.
Quad band Neil.........Get with it!
Doooh what ??????
Certainly teenage daughter who called her boyfriend this summer regulary via ships satelite did not cause us a headache on return. Bill was £20 over contract and that was with a fair amount of yapping late at night over a 10 day cruise including being away from port.
All cruise lines allow you to make satellite calls from your cabin. Check costs, because it can be expensive (US$5 per minute or more).
You should be able to use your own mobile phone, whilst the ship in in port or close to land. If you have an inside cabin, you may need to go on deck to make and receive calls. Normal roaming charges apply, so text messaging may be cheaper. This option MAY not be available on transatlantic voyages, because you will be too far from land to establish a connection. Arrange with your cellphone provider to allow international roaming on your phone .
If you are in North America and some other countries, you must use a tri-band or quad-band cellphone. Most European models won't work.
Some leading cruise lines have installed cellphone antennas on many of their ships. This definitely applies to some ships in the Royal Caribbean, Princess and P&O Cruise fleets. I don't know whether it applies to Cunard.
These cellphone antennas, which only work while ships are at sea, are operated by international or US telecoms companies such as Cingular, ATT or MTN - and not by the cruise line. Call costs will appear on your cellphone bill for contract phones - or will be deducted from your credit balance, for PAYG phones. Normal roaming charges apply and will be based upon your service provider's most expensive tariff. You will probably need to use a tri-band or quad-band phone.
I usually text home, it's much cheaper. You can also buy Sim cards that you can use abroad if you don't want to buy a new mobile. I've also bought a cheap phone in the US that came complete with a Sim.
When you're on land it's cheaper to go to a phone box - either buy a phone card or use one of the internet cafes that also let you use the phones, this is a very cheap method of keeping in touch, especially in the Caribbean.
Be very wary of using the satellite connection at sea! After my husband died last year, I took my sister-in-law on Aurora to the Canaries in June rather than pay the single supplement. Her PAYG phone wouldn't work so I let her use mine (contract). The bill came in at £30 for a single call!! My advice would be to find a payphone when you're ashore.