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Old April 16th, 2009, 08:25 PM
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Default cell phone usage and cabin upgrades

could you tell me if I am able to use my cell phone for the duration of the trip or is it limited to coastal areas. Also, I am cruising with Carnival this is my second cruise with them. How do I go about asking for available upgrades. I always read where people were given upgrades free of charge. I'm interested in anything to make this cruise the best!
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Old April 17th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Free upgrades are decided by the cruise line, seemingly at random. The ones you ask for, you pay for. Sorry.
Cell phones can be used throughout the cruise, BUT you are using the ship's tower, and transmitting via satellite, at least at times, so they will charge you extra for that, regardless of your cell phone package. It can get pretty pricey. Plus, since the ship is made of steel, trying to use them when you are inside is virtually impossible. And, in some countries, you can't use them at all. Our last trip, I never could even get a signal on board or on shore. I highly recommend that you forget the phone and be totally away from it all on vacation!
Marty
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Old April 17th, 2009, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: cell phone usage and cabin upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by bingodiva2
could you tell me if I am able to use my cell phone for the duration of the trip or is it limited to coastal areas. Also, I am cruising with Carnival this is my second cruise with them. How do I go about asking for available upgrades. I always read where people were given upgrades free of charge. I'm interested in anything to make this cruise the best!
If the cellphone works , the charges are about $15 USD per hour for

use. If you are in a port you might be able to use your phone.

The phone must be compatible with local system and probably

will need an international dialing plan on your phone.

Your phone service can probably tell you better .
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Old June 26th, 2009, 03:15 PM
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Default Cell Phone Use & Free Upgrades

First one is easy---don't get your hopes up for a free upgrade. In fact you may not be able to even pay for an upgrade once you get closer to sailing date. About the cell phone. I personally advise people to leave their cell phones turned off and enjoy your vacation. I know with lots of people (including my wife) this is not going to happen. Almost all ships have satelite phone service that you will be able to use. The cost is outrageous---like $15.00 per minute. Some ships offer a discount if you are a frequent passenger. You can always inquire by calling the cruise line. Save time on calling your travel agent and chances are they will not have a clue. Second---depending on the cell carrier AND the type of phone ypu have you may be able to subscribe to International Roaming. You must have a phone that will pick up the foreign county's service.On AT&T the cost is minimal, like $5.00 a month, PLUS the cost of your roaming calls. These are per minute charges with cost being all over the board. Some countries the cost is very low while in others expect to pay close to $3. per minute. These charges are still way lower than what the ship will charge. Your AT&T roaming will only work once you get to shore in that country and AFTER the ship turns off their satelite. DON'T use you phone while at sea otherwise you will be connected with the ship's service and not AT&T. You can check out a lot of this on the AT&T web site, however you can only get the service by calling AT&T and once you return home you will have to call again to discontinue the service. This same service (roaming) works in many foreign countries. AT&T has those countries listed on thier web site. Other cell carriers may have the same type of service. Give them a call.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorcrazie
Free upgrades are decided by the cruise line, seemingly at random. The ones you ask for, you pay for. Sorry.
Cell phones can be used throughout the cruise, BUT you are using the ship's tower, and transmitting via satellite, at least at times, so they will charge you extra for that, regardless of your cell phone package. It can get pretty pricey. Plus, since the ship is made of steel, trying to use them when you are inside is virtually impossible. And, in some countries, you can't use them at all. Our last trip, I never could even get a signal on board or on shore. I highly recommend that you forget the phone and be totally away from it all on vacation!
Marty
Marty is correct on the upgrades: If you really want an upgrade then pay for it. Sounds harsh but it is true. The "upgrade fairy" that gives out the free upgrades is a fickle fairy and there is no guarantee you will receive an upgrade.

One thing I have to correct Marty on is that your "cell phone" will work just about anywhere on the ship, if you are at sea, and their cell service is turned on. You will pay a minimum of $2.95/minute to use your cell phone while at sea. On my last Carnival cruise, 4/09, the cost for my Verizon phone was $2.95/minute. You must also have "International Service" turned on. You will need to contact your provider to add this feature. It is usually a free feature.

If you are using walkie-talkies then the steel structure of the ship will inhibit your reception.

Take care and have a great cruise.
Mike
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Old June 27th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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Default Cell Phones at Sea

After reviewing my reply once again I feel that I did not provide the kind of information you requested. I am sorry for this. First, cell companies have different plans and policys and I was thinking more along the lines of AT&T and should have listed other carriers as well however that would have been a very long posting. When usign AT&T you must call (no internet) and have the international roaming activated. There are two plans offered by AT&T. One is AT&T Standard International Roaming. You don't get charged for this activation, however the per minute charges are high. For example in Chile the charge is $3.49 per minute. You can SUBSCRIBE to the AT&T World Traveler plan which cost $5.00 per month. That same minute in Chiled under this plan would be $1.99. Each country has its own specific rate.AT&T has greatly expanded its coverage on cruise ships and many now offer cell service through AT&T (as well as other carriers). That cost per minute (under AT&T) is $2.49 under both of AT&T's plans. I rechecked several other carriers and found plans offered vary greatly on both service offered and cost.Even the activation cost are different among carriers. The only way to get a correct answer to your question is to call your carrier and discuss international roaming including roaming on cruise ships. The carrier representative will also need to know your exact phone type as many older phones will not work. I trust I have not confused you anymore than I have confused myself. I've had international roaming in Asia, all throughout Europe and aboard cruise ships and I find changes are constantlty being made in service and cost. Good luck!
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Old July 1st, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Bill and Mike are correct. I have AT&T as well, although I sail on Celebrity, it's the same process. Call their International Roaming Dept (if you're going overseas). One thing to keep in mind IF you have AT&T, every port will have different contracted roaming rates.

We paid $5.99 for their International Roaming feature to be turned on, some ports we were in were significantly cheaper with the roaming turned on...others were not.

Whatever you do, IF you have an iPhone, turn off your "Data Roaming"...if not, you may be suprised by a several hundred dollar phone bill. Ugh....
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 09:35 AM
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Default Cell Phone Usage

Triton----I forgot to mention the "data roaming" on the iPhone. You are 100% correct. Thanks-----Bill
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 04:32 PM
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It is a good thing we have such great moderators. I think I assumed that since family radios do not work well, if at all, inside the ship, that the same would be true for cell phones. Luckily, Mike was on it immediately!
I prefer to pretend that I am out of touch except via internet on a cruise and internet only for emergency or urgent communication. So, I had not really tried to use my cell phone...plus I don't have capability for international anyway. But, my bad on the advice and thanks to Mike!
Marty
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