Since it has been a couple of years since our last cruise and have never been to Caribbean, how is the best/cheapest way to check in with home or maybe check email while on cruise? Do you still buy time for internet cafe or is it in cabins now for reasonable price? We were able to use our cell phones in Alaska without added charges.
Depends on the carrier and your plan. We always change our plan before a cruise. We call customer service, talk to the rep and get the plan changed prior to the cruise. We have AT&T so I can only speak for us. We were able to call from the ports we visited. At sea, our phone would show "roaming" and if we made a call, it would have been charged because it was using the ships tower as a ship to shore...every expensive. Once off the pier, we would see the signal change and we made our calls. They have internet on the ship but it's very s-l-o-w, which runs up charges fast. We've occasionally found an internet cafe in ports. My nephew had to e-mail a report to his college professor during one of our cruises. We checked with ship's crew and found out where to go. They know all the closest, best spots. By checking with our carrier and only using the cell phone in ports, we had no charges to our plan. Remember that even just receiving text messages while at sea is also very expensive.
I can use my cell phone in PR, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, since they're all US territories. Computers on ship are still way expensive, since you're on the maritime satellite system, or some such thing.
You may be able to locate an internet cafe in port.
Most Caribbean ports have internet cafes near the where the ship docks, and they are much cheaper, and faster, then using the ship's internet. Also, buying a phone card and using the pay phones on shore are cheaper then using a US based cell phone. Most of the crew use the pay phones in port to call home, I usually ask our waitstaff where the pay phones are in port, since they are at the same stops virtually every cruise.
Majesty of the Seas - 10/03 & 02/07 & 11/08
Enchantment of the Seas - 10/04 & 10/11
Mariner of the Seas - 10/05
Vision of the Seas - 10/06 & 09/07
Carnival Liberty - 10/07
Adventure of the Seas - 9/08
Ruby Princess - 12/09
Voyager of the Seas - 9/10
Carnival Spirit - 11/10
Oasis of the Seas - 9/13