Do cell phones work on a cruise ship?

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19 Posts
Joined May 2005
We are booked on the Sapphire Princess to Alaska - first time and can't wait! Do cell phones work on the ship? We would like to use these to stay in touch as an alternative to renting walkie talkies. Thank you.
Moon Township, Pa
23,174 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Are you talking about calling each other on a cruise ship? No, your cell phone won't work for that. I guess what you're wanting to do is call another couple, or your kids who have their own cell phones, on the ship. Since there are no cell phone towers in the ocean, your phones won't work. We have a Push To Talk feature on our Verizon cell phones, and that didn't work for us on the ship. Celebrity M class ships have a satellite service on their ships, but the cost is over $6 a minute, so that's pretty expensive if you just want to find out if Junior left the teen program. Plus for that, you need a GSM equipped phone.
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Spring, TX
7,388 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
It has no tower to let it know what time it is, therefore no.
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Bill D

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Miami, Honolulu
5,394 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Not on Princess, yet anyway... Royal Caribbean & Celebrity have "towers" on their ships (currently only on some ships, coming soon to all of their ships) so that cell phones will work even in the middle of the ocean. If you have Cingular it only costs $1.49 per minute, other providers cost more.
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If it floats I've probably been on it...
442 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Yes, alarm clocks will still work on your cell phone, along with all other functions that DO NOT require an active connection. (i.e. camera,games,music,video...ect....depending on which features you have.) However, to maintain usage of the clock , you must switch your phone into "airplane mode" or go into setting and disable "Automatic" in the clock settings. It may sound like a lot, but its not that much. Hope this helps!
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46 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
dh and i cruised 11/2004 to eastern carribean and used our cell phone in each port of san juan, st thomas, and st martin. we did not have service at sea but it was available as soon as we got close to each island. we have sprint service. there was no addtl cost either. we just simply had service at each port and used our regular phones.
Ogden, UT
193 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Any one know if T-Mobile works in San Juan, Aruba, Barbados or St. Thomas ??

If not I will pick up a Phone Card....
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Carnival Destiny 2005
Carnival glory 2014
Moon Township, Pa
23,174 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
T-Mobile will work in St. Thomas and San Juan, but not the other ports. Don't bother buying a pre-paid calling card as the ones purchased in the US don't work in foreign ports. You have to find a local store in each port and purchase their cards and then spend time finding a phone that will take them.

As for ATT, it might work in the Bahamas (mine did three years ago), but not in Mexico.
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425 Posts
Joined Nov 2004

I just got off the phone with Cingular. They said that my phone WOULD work in the Bahamas (without adding any international calling package) but . . . there will be an additional $1.99 charge per minute. This would be (of course) for incoming and outgoing calls. They ALSO told me that even if someone calls and leaves us a voicemail that the $1.99/min charge would be added . . . even if the phone was turned OFF!!!

Needless to say . . . my DD (and her friends ) will have my bill up to $500 in NO TIME so . . . I asked them about text messaging. I was told that text messags would only be 20 cents per incoming or outgoing message. I've already put the fear into DD . . . IF she must communicate with the outside world . . . let it be by TEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Ogden, UT
193 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I may need to Call T-mobile also... It does not seem right about get measages at full rate charges if thats the case why take the Phone.

I guess I will have to search for Phone cards to use. Thanks Randy
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Carnival Destiny 2005
Carnival glory 2014
356 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
We have nextel... need I say more? We did when we arrived at a port, but definitely not at sea. Our walkie talkie (direct connect) didn't work if there was no service. Didn't try to see if we could play games.
21 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Ive been working for the Maritime Industry for a while now so here is a no Bull answer. Yes they do work but you have to be in Range of a Repeater. Now on a Cruise ship due to the Equipment they use can and in most cases due render cells useless. But, yes you can but like anytime with a cell phone ... Location location location
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Passenger: Sir, where does the ship get its Power from

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No the Ocean is not a Big Lake with countrys in the

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.
Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
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Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
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