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Old March 20th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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Default iPhone doesn't work while at sea

A year ago, we had no phone coverage when we went on our Carnival paradise cruise. I thought perhaps it was just down, but I made sure this time it would be working so I contacted Carnival ahead of time, they told me everything would work.

I'm now on my cruise, cell phone still doesn't work while at sea. When we are docked, I have coverage just fine but I need the ability to get text messages while at sea.

I talked to Carnival here, they told me it's up to my cell provider (AT&T) so I talked to several people at AT&T, they tell me I have roaming (as my cell works in mexico) however when I'm at sea, I don't use their service and it's up to Carnival to give me signal.

When I'm at sea, I have zero signal, so it doesn't even find the carnival cell signal.

I'm frustrated here.

Has anyone used an iPhone on the paradise before? Does it just work automatically or did you need to do something?

I have 4 iPhones sitting here, none of them work.
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Old March 20th, 2010, 01:19 PM
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All I can offer is that my Son-in-law had AT&T coverage on Carnival Pride. He did not have an IPhone but AT&T is the same provider. He had both voice and text capability.

Other than that I would check your settings but if it works in Mexico I can't think of any reason it wouldn't work on board. The ship has both GSM and CDMA capability.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 21st, 2010, 11:39 PM
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For your iPhone to work on a ship, you have to have both international roaming and international dialing added to your account. Even if you can call from Mexico, this doesn't mean those features have been added, since AT&T treats Mexico and Canada differently than other foreign locations.

Next time you can call AT&T, have them add these features to your account. The only thing is, I'm not sure if you need to connect to AT&T's network once more before they will take effect, but you may not have to. There is no charge for these features, but AT&T can decline to add them if you've had problems paying your bill in the past or for any lines less than 90 days old. They may try to sell you on a feature to lower your international calling rates, but this feature has a monthly fee, and you really don't need it. Just get international roaming and international dialing added, and you should be set.

Oh, one more thing. When calling from the ship back home, you must place a +1 in front of the area code of the number you want to call. So, if you wanted to call 202-555-1212, you would need to dial +1202-555-1212. This tells the network that you are dialing internationally and need to dial country code 1 (the U.S. and Canada). To get the + sign, hold down the 0 key until it places the + on your screen.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 11:59 PM
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Very good information I-surf. I'm sure many will find it helpful.

I just wish I could use an iPhone out here in the boonies where I live as I am a Mac guy. I have the iPod Touch, but ATT just doen't work out here.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman View Post
Very good information I-surf. I'm sure many will find it helpful.

I just wish I could use an iPhone out here in the boonies where I live as I am a Mac guy. I have the iPod Touch, but ATT just doen't work out here.
Not to drag this thread too far offtopic, but if you can get an AT&T signal, even a weak one, you can purchase a repeater that can put a usable signal into your house. Wilson Electronics is well-regarded for its repeaters, but they'll set you back a few hundred bucks.

Cell Phone Antennas and Cell Phone Boosters at Wilson Electronics

Another option is an AT&T femtocell, (branded as a 3G MicroCell) which is basically a tiny cell transmitter that takes your call and uses your DSL or cable connection to backhaul it to the AT&T network. These things are still in beta, so you may not be able to get one yet.

AT&T 3G MicroCell
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Old March 25th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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I'm not a real cell phone heavy - but I think the issue is probably that cruise ships don't show up on those 3G maps.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 05:25 AM
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I just got off the Dream and my Iphone worked just fine while at sea. You do not have to have International roaming added to your plan in order for it to work!! However if you do not get an International plan thru At&T then you will be charged out the ying yang for data. I only used mine to text message my kids and called them a few times. If you are at sea, the charge is $2.49/min for calls and .50/text. If you call while in port the rate goes down, when I was in Mexico the rate for calls was .99/min, You just need to call AT&T and find out the rate for the ports you're going to be in. I kept my international data roaming turned off since I only needed to check-in with my kids.

Hope this helps!!
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Old March 30th, 2010, 10:51 PM
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Most ship systems don't support the 4-G or 3-G networks.
These are high speed networks that won't work well if at over a satelite
link that cruise ships use . Regular and Blackberry type phones (not I Phone)
will work on cruise s:-)hips but a rate slower than on land.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 11:19 PM
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I've had my iPhone work on some ships, but not on the Splendor that I was on a couple of weeks ago. Back when ATT was still Cinulair, the "towers" on board were cingulair. I remember researching it before we sailed on Victory back in 2007. I wonder why it is that we do have a signal on some ships, but not others now? A guy with Verizon had a signal the whole time (SeaCel... is that what it is?)
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Old March 30th, 2010, 11:43 PM
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Just saw the AT&T commercial again with Luke Wilson saying that they have 97% coverage in the USA. I guess I'm a 3%-ter. Not even a weak signal. I might as well be on a ship in the middle of the ocean.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 12:11 PM
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The Network while at sea is cellularatsea and no you dont get the 3g network but you do have service. www.cellularatsea.com
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