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Old December 13th, 2009, 05:04 PM
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Question Question for those internet addicts/smart phones users...

Looking forward to getting back into cruising and have read a ton of great info here at Cruise Mates, so let me say thanks to ALL of you for taking the time to share your experiences

My last internet experience on a cruise ship was climbing to the highest deck on the Premier Island Breeze as we approached Key West to get into the Bellsouth wireless data network in 1999 with a Palm 7. That was really neat to be able to send email to family and friends while still at sea as well as receive it!

As I began the planning for our family cruise on the Carnival Dream in July, I was pleased to learn that wifi was available on the ship (although very expensive). I also learned that cellular at sea was an option that includes the option for a international data plan ($200 for 200MB IIRC).

So for those of you who have used the wifi and/or cellular at sea, does it make more sense to pay for wifi that you use by the minute (with slow download speeds at certain times of day) or is it a better idea to use the cellular at sea with the international data plan that will allow you to use 1MB of data at a time no matter how long it takes.

Thanks in advance! Come on July!!!!!!!
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Old December 13th, 2009, 06:49 PM
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Neither one will be blinding speed.

I would use the ship's wi fi with your laptop. Especially if your main purpose is to send and receive email. Compose your email in Word or other text editor and then login to the ship's network, copy and paste your email into your email program and send it. This will save you a lot of time.

Your ISP's webmail service is also a great way to check emails. In the event someone decides to email you a 10MB movie of the cat playing with a ball of yarn. If you use webmail you can just skip that and not download it if you are using Outlook or other email system.

If you want to make voice calls on your smart phone then I suggest waiting until you hit a port. Make sure you have International Roaming before you leave. The cost in port is usually less than the $2.95/min (depending on provider) that it will cost you if you use the ship's cellular.

For my Verizon plan a call from Mexico is .95.

Take care and have a wonderful cruise.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 09:20 PM
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Thanks Mike!

Any experience with the International Data Plan with the cellular at sea?
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:24 AM
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The ship's wifi has pretty much been the proven route. It depends on what smartphone you have, though, A blackberry has a reasonable roaming plan and I would leave mine on for email, but an iPhone can be outrageously priced, especially for web content. I turn on my iphone, onshore, for data roaming when I think I MUST have my email. BTW, with an iPhone, if you have wi-fi turned on data roaming will not work on a ship or land - unless you are actually connected to a wifi (and ships don't log in iPhones).
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Old December 14th, 2009, 09:42 PM
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Thanks Paul. I will probably go with the wifi and add on the 20MB plan to roam in Costa Maya and Cozumel with the iPhone since I will probably use that easily. Thanks also for the tip on the iPhone, I would have been scratching my head on that one

I have heard that some cruise ships do not like certain browsers, but with a MacBook I should be good with Safari? Or Firefox?

Thanks again!
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Old December 15th, 2009, 10:41 AM
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I have used Firefox with no problem, but I have not tried Safari. I will say this, newer ships generally have better web access. The first ships often would restrict certain ports including email, ftp and of course skype, etc. Newesr ships will let you use almost anthing you have on your own laptop - so certain browers should not be a problem.

On the Dream you should be able to do just about anything you need to do on your wireless, including accessing the "funhub" at no extra charge and keep in touch with other cruisers and the ship schedule. It is a cool tool. I only wish more people had known about it when I was onboard.

There was a time when Princess affiliated all of their internet cafes with AOL - just about a year before the AOL stock tanked and everyone went to broadband. That did not go so well. I have heard stories that Princess was one of the last big companies to get taken in by the AOL "mystique" where everything about AOL was overvalued about 100-times.

You have to remember ships do everything through satellite, so the bandwidth is severely restricted and expensive for them as well. There some things you just probably don't want to do at sea - watching YouTube, for example.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 11:32 AM
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I also found that the best time to use the internet was early morning abd during supper hours.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack Adams View Post
Thanks Paul. I will probably go with the wifi and add on the 20MB plan to roam in Costa Maya and Cozumel with the iPhone since I will probably use that easily. Thanks also for the tip on the iPhone, I would have been scratching my head on that one

I have heard that some cruise ships do not like certain browsers, but with a MacBook I should be good with Safari? Or Firefox?

Thanks again!
I had always used Firefox on my MacBook while using the ship WiFi, but found that Safari really is more friendly. Especially with log off box reminder. Rarely use it at home, but on board Safari was better. (I had time to compare on my recent TA)
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Old December 19th, 2009, 09:12 PM
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I can't remember all the amts for internet use but it started at 29.00 for 45 minutes and they had up to 8 hr plans. In Cozumel there is an internet cafe really close to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville that you can get on their internet for 30 minutes for 1.00 and you can use their phone to call home for .35 a minute also...just fyi.
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