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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:44 PM
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Default Can I bring my laptop?? To talk to family???

I was wondering since its a lot to talk to family on the phone.. Does the cruise ship have free internet service?? I am leaving Sunday on Pride from Baltimore. Just wondering what is the best way to talk to family with out spending more then I paid for the cruise!..
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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:49 PM
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The best way to contact family would be email. The ship does not have free internet. They have different packages, but I am not sure about the exact prices.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:49 PM
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There is wireless internet available, but it is definately not free. They have packages available for purchase on the first day, be be prepared to pay for it. If you absolutely have to have it, I would buy one of the packages, you'll save the most on the first day.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Is it possible to take your laptop when you debark at the ports and find somewhere that has free Wi-Fi? Don't places like Starbucks and McDonalds have it in some places now? Just a thought.

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Old May 9th, 2009, 12:09 PM
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yes, but you might want to spend your port time actually off enjoying the port, not sitting in a starbucks. You can do that at home.

Here's a link to the Carnival prices for their internet cafe and wi-fi:

http://www.carnival.com/CMS/FAQs/On_...net_Cafes.aspx

For my 4-day in March, i will get the $24 package of 60 minutes, which should be sufficient for me to send off an email with a few photos every day of my trip. I would rather do that in my cabin or on deck, than spend any port time sitting at my laptop.

The key is to type up your email content in advance, then you just spend a few minutes copying and pasting your email text in once you connect, attaching a few photos, click Send, and then disconnect.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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I took my laptop and it was not worth the trouble. I spent a fortune on internet time and used it in my cabin. It was very slow and wasted time. It would have been easier to go to the computer room on the ship and use theirs.

Laura
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Old May 9th, 2009, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Can I bring my laptop?? To talk to family???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinjean
I was wondering since its a lot to talk to family on the phone.. Does the cruise ship have free Internet service?? I am leaving Sunday on Pride from Baltimore. Just wondering what is the best way to talk to family with out spending more then I paid for the cruise!..
The standard per minute rate is .75/minute. You can buy blocks of minutes that will lower the per minute rate: 100 minutes for $55 (.55/minute) or 250 minutes for $100 (.40/minute)

The Pride has ship wide wireless access so you can use your laptop in your cabin. On my 4/17 Pride cruise the speed was excellent but the speeds can vary greatly and it will never be like your broadband connection at home.

Take care,
Mike
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Old May 9th, 2009, 01:38 PM
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Not free, but definitely less expensive. One word of warning though, laptops can be quite painful to carry around. I suggest picking up a netbook instead. Your back will thank you. I suggest an Asus or Acer, either in 10 inch.......suggest the larger hard drive.most of these will fit in a small tote or large purse and are worth their weight in gold. Just a piece of advice from a frequent traveler.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 02:06 PM
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If you opt for using yours in a port, just look around for crew members. They know every hot spot in every port. That's how they stay in touch with family back home. And, keep in mind that Starbucks and McDonalds can be found in some ports, but thankfully, have not proliferated into the entire Caribbean. I don't want that in a port. I like what is different, not what is than same as home. To me, that is the point of travel.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 02:32 PM
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I wonder, would it be too much of a inconvenience to call from the port city only and say all is well, hope everything is well, and then say you're having too much fun and you need to go keep having fun.....

Consider breaking contact for a few days to enjoy yourself and call from the three ports you will be visiting. My mother would insist on me calling everyday when I go on a cruise, but when I went the last time, I called when I got to FLL, one day at sea from the phone ($30 phone call), and then from the airport in FLL.

Go, have fun, enjoy your tropical vacation!
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Old May 9th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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In my particular case I cannot afford to be completely out of contact since I will need to e-mail clients.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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I take my laptop with me but only to download pictures that I take each day. I don't take it off the ship and I don't try to stay in touch with anyone that is not on the ship with me. Maybe that's wrong or maybe I'm just being selfish. But what the heck I can talk to them or email them when I get back.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airforce95
I take my laptop with me but only to download pictures that I take each day. I don't take it off the ship and I don't try to stay in touch with anyone that is not on the ship with me. Maybe that's wrong or maybe I'm just being selfish. But what the heck I can talk to them or email them when I get back.
My sentiments exactly. When I'm on vacation, I'm on vacation. Maybe I'll send you a post card. But, honestly, when on a cruise I usually beat the post cards home. I think the cell-phone culture has made us accustomed to near constant contact.

I understand that some people do need to maintain contact for business reasons, or have personal situations that need to be monitored. Gratefully I am not one of them.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 06:01 PM
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My vacations are working vacations so I have to have access to a computer on board.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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I'm a writer so I always have "work" to do, in addition to my full time job as a customer support manager. But I also like to keep a trip journal, and I like ot type it up rather than write, especially becuse I type so quickly. I aliso like to download my photos. Also, I keep pdf copies of ebooks so I can "read" on the plane or airport or on the lido deck.

Now that I have a netbook, I would never bring along a full fize laptop ever again. But my Acer will fit nicely in my totebag so I can take it all over with me when I'm on board. I don't anticipate taking it off the ship in port.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
My vacations are working vacations so I have to have access to a computer on board.
Yes we know. You've said it in several posts on this thread.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 09:44 PM
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Well, was emphasizing my point was all.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 12:55 PM
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We actually do take our laptop with us and we do some emailing from the ship. Most of the time though we put the laptop in a backpack and we look for a hotspot that we can use to call home. We have Skype and it means we can call home and talk to the kids or frail relatives for pennies a minute. We don't regret carrying it around, you can download your pics, pretype your email content and for about $10 per trip we've called whomever we've wanted to fairly frequently. For us, lugging the laptop is not a big deal if it means we can talk to wee ones back at home and if someone wants to give us a complete play by play of how they made mudpies, we can focus on them and not on the fact that we are paying $6 a minute or whatever.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Its usually cheaper to bring the whole family with you then using the lines internet. Then you can talk all you want. Personally, I like to leave my life behind when I sail. I dont want to think about anything back home. If somebody has an emergency they can contact me.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briguy
Its usually cheaper to bring the whole family with you then using the lines internet. Then you can talk all you want. Personally, I like to leave my life behind when I sail. I dont want to think about anything back home. If somebody has an emergency they can contact me.
Wow! I'd like to find the cruise where I can bring the whole family with me for $100.

Take care,
Mike
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Old May 11th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
Quote:
Originally Posted by briguy
Its usually cheaper to bring the whole family with you then using the lines internet. Then you can talk all you want. Personally, I like to leave my life behind when I sail. I dont want to think about anything back home. If somebody has an emergency they can contact me.
Wow! I'd like to find the cruise where I can bring the whole family with me for $100.

Take care,
Mike
Was using a little humor there Mike.. didnt think you would actually believe it..
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Old May 11th, 2009, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
Quote:
Originally Posted by briguy
Its usually cheaper to bring the whole family with you then using the lines Internet. Then you can talk all you want. Personally, I like to leave my life behind when I sail. I don't want to think about anything back home. If somebody has an emergency they can contact me.
Wow! I'd like to find the cruise where I can bring the whole family with me for $100.

Take care,
Mike
Was using a little humor there Mike.. didn't think you would actually believe it..
So was I.

Take care,
Mike
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Old May 11th, 2009, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Littletime
We actually do take our laptop with us and we do some emailing from the ship. Most of the time though we put the laptop in a backpack and we look for a hotspot that we can use to call home. We have Skype and it means we can call home and talk to the kids or frail relatives for pennies a minute. We don't regret carrying it around, you can download your pics, pretype your email content and for about $10 per trip we've called whomever we've wanted to fairly frequently. For us, lugging the laptop is not a big deal if it means we can talk to wee ones back at home and if someone wants to give us a complete play by play of how they made mudpies, we can focus on them and not on the fact that we are paying $6 a minute or whatever.
that's a nice idea - if you use skype you need a headset with a microphone, right? maybe I'll do that as it would be cheaper than using my cell for quick calls or texts to my son back home.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:28 AM
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Skype isn't the only VOIP service that offers a soft phone. At myphonecompany.com you will find they have a soft phone plan with prepackaged minutes. There are other companies out there like this as well so do your research.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle1959
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Littletime
We actually do take our laptop with us and we do some emailing from the ship. Most of the time though we put the laptop in a backpack and we look for a hotspot that we can use to call home. We have Skype and it means we can call home and talk to the kids or frail relatives for pennies a minute. We don't regret carrying it around, you can download your pics, pretype your email content and for about $10 per trip we've called whomever we've wanted to fairly frequently. For us, lugging the laptop is not a big deal if it means we can talk to wee ones back at home and if someone wants to give us a complete play by play of how they made mudpies, we can focus on them and not on the fact that we are paying $6 a minute or whatever.
that's a nice idea - if you use skype you need a headset with a microphone, right? maybe I'll do that as it would be cheaper than using my cell for quick calls or texts to my son back home.
We do use a headset with a microphone but we also have a small USB phone that looks just like a cordless phone and works wonderfully. We have saved substantial amounts of money and it really is nice to be able to communicate with the people that you love back home. I miss them less when I am still part of their daily lives.

I see that Brad has posted that there are other VOIP companies and this is true, we have tried others, the one that works best for us is Skype, the price is right, the technical glitches are few and far between and we've had excellent success with their customer service. I'm one of those folks who are content to pay a reasonable price for a good service without spending time doing additional searching, but that's just me. Good luck and happy calling.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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The 3 additional companies I can recommend are Vonage, MyPhoneCompany, and 8x8(formerly Packet8). These seem to be among the most reputable. I do not know if Vonage has a soft phone though.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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Vonage does have a softphone option.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 01:16 PM
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good to know, especially since they seem to have the best developed technology.
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