Tips for staying connected while away

More and more these days people are wanting to stay in touch while away on holiday, there are many options to do this by telephone or internet although a lot of them can be very expensive.

Here are a few tips for people wanting to use telephones while away cruising.

• Remember to make sure international roaming is activated on your mobile before going away, most mobile phone providers will not let you activate this from abroad so don’t forget if you need this.
• Check call, sms and data costs with your operator before leaving so you know what sort of costs you are letting yourself in for.
• It normally costs money to receive calls as well as make them. Text messages can normally be received for free and sending text messages can be a lot cheaper than voice calls.
• Some mobile providers will have special rates you can use in certain countries however while on a ship you would not necessarily be making a call from the nearest country, a lot of ship’s have their own mobile masts which will route your calls though their country of origin so if you were on an American ship in the Mediterranean your calls on board may all be routed via the USA.
• If there is a telephone in the cabin it will likely be very expensive to use.
• At ports of call save money by using a cheap international telephone card.
• A lot of mobile phones now have wifi capabilities; if you were able to connect to a internet hotspot at a port of call you could use this to your advantage by checking email on your phone. There are also programs like www.fring.com which can sign you into Skype®, MSN Messenger®, Google Talk™, ICQ, SIP, Twitter, Yahoo!™ and AIM®. This will allow you to communicate on these networks via text or voice very cheaply.

A lot of people these days will also want to check their email and/or talk to people over the internet, here are a few tips for this.

• Do you use a web based email address? If not then it would be worth setting up a free web based email account with the likes of www.hotmail.com which your home/work email can be forwarded to. This will allow you to check your email from public computers such as the ones at an internet cafe.
• Check to see what internet facilities the cruise line offer and how much they cost before leaving. A lot of cruise lines now have wifi access in the cabins although you would need to weigh up whether it would be worth taking your own laptop to do this or just to use the public machines in the cafe.
• There will be internet cafe’s available at the ports of call that will likely be substantially cheaper to use than options offered on board the ship. 

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