My first post... Hi All!
I thought I would give some information since I have been reading the posts here and have taken some great information and can only say thanks. (although I assume some or maybe even most of you might know this already, I figured it was worth posting)
I am sailing on the Gem on 4/4/09. I was somewhat worried about internet access and using my Blackberry on the ship but I am mostly worried about my 14 and 16 year old daughters texting their friends back home and what that costs.
I called Verizon first (they have my contract). They informed me "because the Gem has it's own Cell Tower" I am able to use the phone on my blackberry @ $2.49 per minute. The email messages are charged at .02 per kilobyte. The real shocker is the text messages. .50 Cents per Text to send and .05 to receive!! That can add up to some big money. I am glad I checked, They can text when we are off the ship...
Also - You get Charged even if your not using but the phone is on because it is hitting that tower. Leave em off!
Then I called NCL to check on Internet access since I will also be bringing my notebook. That is billed at .75 cents a minute on a pay as you go plan or a 100 Minute plan for $55 and a 250 Minute plan for $100. They will also rent you a wireless card if you need one for $10 + $3 a day for insurance.
I am not panning NCL here. I am sure other Cruiselines charge nearly the same. I am glad I checked, instead of facing a $1,000 Wireless bill when I got home. Hope I can help someone else. It was worth the 2 calls.
I can't tell you how many kids and adults for that matter I have seen running around the ship cell phone in hand texting and talking. I have even stopped and asked if they had any idea what it was costing them. My favorite answer "It is free I have 5 bars"
My favorite story the guy who used his laptop connect card to watch The Bears football game from his slingbox while on a Carnival ship in port but it had not turned off the private cell. Wireless bill $28,000 !
We took our laptop and used our USB modem last year and used it very sparingly but still racked up a lot of charges. We just got back from a cruise on the Pearl and used Internet Cafes at each port. It only cost us $1-2.00 each time we did our e-mail.