Mobile phone usage

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#1
Melbourne
402 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Hey all,

I have been trying to find a thread for this and I wasn't successful. (apologies if there is one here).

We are doing a cruise in January on the Solstice from Sydney up to Cairns.



Since we don't leave Aussie waters (except for a 2 hour drop anchor in Willis Island), will be able to use our mobiles on board without incurring international roam charges.

Thanks for your help

Happy travels.
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#2
Queensland
6,899 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
This would depend partly on your phone plan. We do not have international roaming so we are not inadvertently charged high prices. On Queensland coastal cruises we very often have mobile coverage with Telstra, but it is not all the time. On one cruise when we were in the Torres Strait, we received an important message and needed to make several follow-up calls. We went to the highest deck on the landward side of the ship where I found a quiet spot so we didn't disturb people around us. You may not have a strong enough signal in your cabin to make calls unless you have a balcony or outside cabin on the land-ward side of the ship.
#4
Melbourne
402 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Might check with Optus, will have the unlimited internet onboard but was just wondering for smsing or voice usage


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#5
Sydney Australia
1,537 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
We've generally found with Optus that you don't get reception for calls and/or internet on a coastal cruise unless very close to the coast near a coastal town/ city. Best advice to avoid a large internet bill is to turn your mobile data off and buy an internet plan and use facebook messenger or similar

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#6
624 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I use an iPad with Telstra. You need to be on the land side and it is intermittent but wherever towns are along the coast there seems to be good coverage.
DH has an old Nokia ( won't part with it!) and he rarely gets much of a signal.
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#8
perth western australia
283 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by andlep
It's best to just disable roaming on your account before travelling.
Is it easy to tell that you are on the ships mobile system? I assume that is where the roaming could get you in trouble.

The reason i ask is because we will be using the Vodaphone $5 a day roaming plan in Europe. However when we are on the ship I am not sure what happens. Does it use the ships system when there is no signal from Vodaphone or can it take over at any time.

Thanks in advance
#9
melbourne australia
97 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by GCHAN
Is it easy to tell that you are on the ships mobile system? I assume that is where the roaming could get you in trouble.

The reason i ask is because we will be using the Vodaphone $5 a day roaming plan in Europe. However when we are on the ship I am not sure what happens. Does it use the ships system when there is no signal from Vodaphone or can it take over at any time.

Thanks in advance
If you are using an android phone, you can use this application that has a widget which will show you what network you are on. Also change the settings of your phone to manually connect to networks. On my android phone eg it is settings >connections>mobile networks >network operators >select manually
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#10
Sydney, Australia
13,893 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by GCHAN
Is it easy to tell that you are on the ships mobile system? I assume that is where the roaming could get you in trouble.

The reason i ask is because we will be using the Vodaphone $5 a day roaming plan in Europe. However when we are on the ship I am not sure what happens. Does it use the ships system when there is no signal from Vodaphone or can it take over at any time.

Thanks in advance
The ship doesn't have a mobile system.

If you're in range of land towers e.g. in port then you will be on their network. It depends on the country's network as to whether they fall under the $5 Vodafone coverage though. If not, standard international roaming rates apply.
#12
209 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
They will turn on the onboard ship roaming and you phone will try to use it if you have roaming turned on. You can tell by the carrier name displayed.
Your phone can be set (on iPhone Settings / "Service provider" & Mobile Data Roaming OFF) to only use your provider when it's available. It will be hit and miss depending on who your carrier is, where the ship is and where you are on the ship. I've had coverage 90Km off the coast at times but at other times nothing 10-20Km out.
#14
Queensland, AU
585 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
If you have internet access try Viber, WhatsApp or Skype for talk and text. If the receiver has the app as well the only cost is the internet time or data depending on how internet access is charged.
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#15
perth western australia
283 Posts
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I am mostly interested in the data on my phone not calls so really don't want to get hooked by the Celebrity system and get charged roaming. I will look at the app.

Thanks everybody
#16
Sydney, Australia
7,564 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
If you're mostly interested in data then there are alternatives to the Vodafone $5 plan.

We've just come back from a month in Europe, including 3 weeks on Royal Princess.
We use android phones which can be enabled as WiFi hotspots. We bought a one month prepaid Vodafone sim which cost 20 Euros for 7GB of data. We put the sim in hubby's phone (my phone was our prime contact number for all our travel bookings). When I wanted to use data on my phone hubby set his phone to a WiFi hotspot and I connected to it (making sure my phone was in flight mode while using the WiFi). It worked in every country except Montenegro. We actually ended up using less than 3GB overall so could have got away with a cheaper plan but the saving would have only been 5 euros or so.

Of course, this didn't work on the ship, but we had some free internet due to our Platinum status and that was enough to cover the few sea days.
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