What are the rates (estimated) for internet use? I understand that the use of cell phones overseas is very costly. I would only need to contact people at home to let them know that my family and I arrived safely. After that my phone will be turned off for the duration of the trip. I can do this via e-mail if it is more cost efficient than using the cell phone.
When we were on the Freedom in Europe, my husband had a GSM phone with no international plan or anything, but we used text messaging and it turned out to be really cheap...like less than $10 for the trip as opposed to the $60+ we spent to download our email a couple times. It was great because we used it in lieu of email but also to alert us when we needed to check email.
ugh.. My vote is that you just spring for it and use your cell phone to call home.
When I was on the ship in February.. I tried to check my email twice in 8 days.. and I sat staring at a non-moving screen for what seemed like EVERRRRR.. The sattelite connection is SO SLOWWWWWWW..
Checking email twice.. Not even ANSWERING all the messages.. just writing one group message each time = $46.
If you need the email for work purposes or something.. it's better to splurge and just buy the biggest bulk package... It may seem like you won't need that many minutes.. and at home with DSL (or even dial-up!) you wouldn't.. but on the ship - you do!
Carnival Miracle to Aruba/Curacao/Dom.Rep/Grand Turk - 3/11
Carnival Miracle to Panama/Belize/Costa Rica-1/10
Carnival Sensation to Bahamas - 8/08
Carnival Spirit to Acapulco/Zijuantenejo/Manzanillo- 2/08
Carnival Miracle to Bermuda/Newport,RI - 4/07
Carnival Legend to Jamaica/Grand Cayman- 4/04
Carnival Imagination to Barbados/Martinique/St.Maarten- 2/03
Carnival Victory to San Juan/St. Thomas/St.Croix- 2/01
I agree...the internet connection is REALLY slow. If you are just making a check in phone call...the phone would be cheaper. If you are a crazy person like me and blog...then you need the plan :-) The connection was so slow last week though that I could not load pictures...I am busy posting those this week!