You definitely don't want to call from the ship unless its an emergency. If you feel you need to call I would do so from the ports. Check with your cell phone carrier. Some cell phones will work in various ports. Be sure to ask about the surcharges though. As I recall mine was $1.99/min and whatever local connection charge was applied. If you get a calling card make sure you can use it in all of the ports. I less expensive way to keep in touch would be email.