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Electronic Devices settings on board and in port

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Between my wife and I we have iPhones, iPads and Apple Watch. We can purchase international calling for $5-10 dollars per day from our carrier, while in port. Having read several posts, I am confused as to what the device settings should be. We are Platinum members , who will get some complimentary internet minutes, cruising a East to West ocean to ocean Panama Canal Cruise.

 I have read conflicting posts about what settings we should be using for the devices, including but not limited to airplane settings, auto updates, wi-fi settings etc. I am looking for some input from people who have had experience on board and in port.

Thank you.

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When you board the ship put your devices in airplane mode.  The ship once it enters international waters has a cell tower and your devices not in airplane mode will start using it for your apps etc.  On shore in a foreign country you can take your device out of airplane mode but it will then function as it does in the US downloading data, messages and receiving phone calls.  If you have a package from your carrier that is reasonable, then you may want to use your devices.  However most limit you to small amounts of data etc with expensive charges if you exceed them in port.   If you connect to the ship cell tower, any services you use will show up on your future cell phone bill.  

 

As for internet on the ship you have to set up an account and can only use it for one device at a time.  You have to physically login to your account to gain access to the internet and will be charged for the minutes you use.  You then have to logout each time when you are done using it or use up all your minutes.  As a Platinum or Elite pax you will get either 150 or 250 minutes free before you start to pay.  You can have multiple devices but can only use one at a time on the ship internet connection.  

 

The ship also has a intrAnet which is free to access their webpage. (includes Princess.com).  This has several options like ordering breakfast in the cabin, buying FCD, viewing the daily program, setting up your own daily program, ship layout etc.  

 

Hope this helps 

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If you want to use the ships wifi just keep your device in airplane mode and then enable just wifi.  That way you would not connectto theshipboard high cost cell system.

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We turn off cellular data and THeN put phones  in airplane mode. (Just in case)

Turn on WiFi, and then you will be able to use the intranet to get the Princess Patter  without using minutes.  To use your free minutes, it is very simple and you will find instructions through the Messaging app or via the Patter.  

We always keep our phones turned on the entire time onboard and have never 

had any problems.  Main thing is to keep that phone in Airplane Mode and enable 

WiFi.  

 

While on land, you can still keep it in airplane mode and bounce off the free WiFi at cafes.  Most places give you a WiFi code when you purchase food or drink. 

IF you need to make a call, then of course you will need to take it out of WiFi to text I think.  

We enabled our i phone through ATT before going to Europe to use the $10 per day unlimited text, call, data plan, but we never used it.  You have to set up the capability with ATT before leaving home, and even if you turn on the phone for one minute and receive a text or a call, that will start the clock ru nning and you will be charged $10 for that 24hour period, but within that 24-hour period you can text and talk as much as you want, (well within reason) or surf the Net using data. 

Just remember to put your phone back in airplane mode before getting on the ship, because that plan is only good on land, unless you buy a cruise ship calling plan.  

 

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If you do log in while in airplane mode on the ship and access the internet be sure to log off so as not to waste all your minutes.  When you log on it will tell you how many minutes you have left and then it will advise you that you are logging off. 

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4 hours ago, BIGADORF said:

We are Platinum members , who will get some complimentary internet minutes, cruising a East to West ocean to ocean Panama Canal Cruise.

 

 

2 hours ago, satxdiver said:

 As a Platinum or Elite pax you will get either 150 or 250 minutes free before you start to pay.  You can have multiple devices but can only use one at a time on the ship internet connection.  

 

 

Since you and your wife are both with Platinum status, you each will get the appropriate amount of free Internet minutes.

 

The one device at a time would apply to each account, so if you use both accounts at the same time you can can have two devices connected at the same time, one for each of you.

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If you turn off data roaming in your phone settings, you won’t have to worry about data usage. If you turn your phone to airplane mode you won’t get any calls or text messages. Might be useful to some who might still want to be reached in the event of an emergency back home. Unanswered phone calls cost nothing, so obviously if someone tries to reach you several times in a given time it might warrant a call back,or checking a voice mail. If you want to avoid the text messaging cost, then you will need to keep your phones off until you get back home. If not, the text messages will come in the moment you are back in port and connect to the cell network. If you have iPhone you can get your iMessage when you connect to WiFi. Same goes for WhatsApp. 

 

As for for internet usage on board, you have to disconnect when done. Very important as your minutes will vanish very quickly, and even this can be quite finicky and minutes disappear.  I complained on my last cruise, and I consider myself very tech savvy. 

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4 hours ago, GoLaLaKers said:

If you turn off data roaming in your phone settings, you won’t have to worry about data usage. If you turn your phone to airplane mode you won’t get any calls or text messages. Might be useful to some who might still want to be reached in the event of an emergency back home. Unanswered phone calls cost nothing, so obviously if someone tries to reach you several times in a given time it might warrant a call back,or checking a voice mail. If you want to avoid the text messaging cost, then you will need to keep your phones off until you get back home. If not, the text messages will come in the moment you are back in port and connect to the cell network. If you have iPhone you can get your iMessage when you connect to WiFi. Same goes for WhatsApp. 

 

As for for internet usage on board, you have to disconnect when done. Very important as your minutes will vanish very quickly, and even this can be quite finicky and minutes disappear.  I complained on my last cruise, and I consider myself very tech savvy. 

 

Correct. I think people say to put phones in Airplane mode as they may not be as comfortable or know how to turn off mobile data. However that is what I do and at least my phone can receive calls and texts if anyone needs to contact us. It is quite apparent from posts in other threads that many people don't know what is really required. 

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11 hours ago, BIGADORF said:

Between my wife and I we have iPhones, iPads and Apple Watch. We can purchase international calling for $5-10 dollars per day from our carrier, while in port. Having read several posts, I am confused as to what the device settings should be. We are Platinum members , who will get some complimentary internet minutes, cruising a East to West ocean to ocean Panama Canal Cruise.

 I have read conflicting posts about what settings we should be using for the devices, including but not limited to airplane settings, auto updates, wi-fi settings etc. I am looking for some input from people who have had experience on board and in port.

Thank you.

 

My biggest advice is to turn off any automated cloud backup services you may have and turn off any auto updates.  On Crown Princess the internet simply would not work for the first 6 days of my 10 day cruise.  It would log in and then stall.  Finally realized my automatic Cloud Backup service was running and it was trying to backup my files as soon as I got on the WiFi.  Turned that off and everything was great the rest of the cruise.  The onboard internet was too slow to upload and download files at the same time.  

 

While the ship is at Sea, turn on Airplane Mode.  If you stay in cellular mode, your phone may try to use the ship's satellite cellular service which costs at minimum $6/minute.  It's easy enough to turn off Airplane Mode while at a port if you wish to do so.  Our TMobile plan allows us free data service in 150 countries and only 25 cents per minute for calls, so we always turn off Airplane Mode in port.  

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When cruising in places where the ship is close to land - a CA/NE cruise for example - I often purposely don't put my phone in airplane mode right away. It lets me use the cell's internet with no additional costs involved. You just need to be sure you are connected to your service's cell tower not the ship. But most phones show you that pretty easily.

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11 hours ago, caribill said:

 

 

Since you and your wife are both with Platinum status, you each will get the appropriate amount of free Internet minutes.

 

The one device at a time would apply to each account, so if you use both accounts at the same time you can can have two devices connected at the same time, one for each of you.

I did not realize that both accounts get free minutes - thanks !

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6 hours ago, leck57 said:

 

Correct. I think people say to put phones in Airplane mode as they may not be as comfortable or know how to turn off mobile data. However that is what I do and at least my phone can receive calls and texts if anyone needs to contact us. It is quite apparent from posts in other threads that many people don't know what is really required. 

Is Mobile Data the same as Cellular Data ?

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3 hours ago, Tedferg said:

Is Mobile Data the same as Cellular Data ?

 

Yes.

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On 11/30/2018 at 7:16 AM, creativegenius said:

On Crown Princess the internet simply would not work for the first 6 days of my 10 day cruise.  It would log in and then stall.  Finally realized my automatic Cloud Backup service was running

Interesting.  Four of us were on Island Princess this month for 10 days and, except for a few random times, displays showed "No Service" until we got close to ports and connected there.   On prior cruises, even as far back as 2013, we used Cellular At Sea to communicate among ourselves via text (cheaper than buying a plan via Verizon), and it worked flawlessly without fail.  We never used airplane mode, and were able to receive important texts from home from.

 

I am DETERMINED to figure this out before our next cruise, and this Cloud b/u might be the problem.  (Before, we had un-smart phones with no Cloud backup -- BlackBerry Classic and old LG flip phone.  They were wonderful.)  Verizon had no answer.  Princess had no answer.  Maybe YOU have the answer...?

 

Even though I turned off "Data While Roaming", would Cloud backup continue to run in the background?

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I think most has been covered but app updates. Make sure to turn these off in your settings. You don't want a 100 meg update starting when you get on line a to upload a picture. It might take a several minutes to be able to upload it. The next time you get on the 100 meg update will continue again.

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If your phone and plan supports WiFi calling (I know T-Mobile USA does) you can talk and text when connected to WiFi (handy if at a foreign cafe as the call is tunneled back to the US, so if the call is placed to a US number, that would be part of your regular plan). I also have a Vonage service and that allows for free calls to various countries in the world at no extra charge. When in the UK, I enable WiFi calling and make a call using the Vonage app that T-Mobile tunnels back to the US, it hits Vonage and they then dial the International number that I want in the UK, all at no charge.

 

When in a US, Canadian, or Mexico port, I will typically enable cell and data as T-Mobile includes those countries in my plan at no additional charge. When on the ship, before leaving cell coverage, I will set up my cell phone to have calls forwarded to the Vonage number and then I disable cell data, but leave cell calls enabled. I don’t make any calls, but any call placed my cell phone gets forwarded to the Vonage service and if the caller leaves a voicemail, Vonage texts my cell phone and as the call service is up talking to the ships cell tower, I get the text letting me know I have a voicemail. Texts received from the ships cell service are free on T-Mobile, but sending a text will cost. I can then determine if I want to use some of my internet minutes to log onto Vonage to retrieve the voicemail, or if I re-enable WiFi calling, send a quick text to the caller telling them I’ll call them back next time I’m in port. (All great till the ship skips Montego Bay when my manager was expecting me to call that day! 😞)

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1 hour ago, ecs66 said:

Even though I turned off "Data While Roaming", would Cloud backup continue to run in the background?

 

That setting only has to do with your cellular service, nothing to do with WiFi which is what you'd be using onboard the ship.  Turning off Data While Roaming will ensure your phone will not attempt to use any data services when cellular service appears at port.  

 

If that's turned off, then your cloud backup service would not attempt to do any backup because there'd be no connection.  My issue was happening on board while connected to the WiFi.  Once I turned off the cloud backup, everything worked as it should on the ship.

 

Good luck finding your answer!  For what it's worth, we switched to T-Mobile 2 years ago in part because we get free data service in 150 countries included with service.  No additional fees.  Since then we've been able to use our phones for email, texting and internet service at any port in the Caribbean, no extra charge. 25 cents per minute if we decide to make a call. Signal has been excellent in every Caribbean country.  

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19 hours ago, creativegenius said:

we switched to T-Mobile 2 years ago in part because we get free data service in 150 countries included with service.  No additional fees.

That's great info, and something to consider.  I will check in to that for sure.  Thank you!

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5 minutes ago, ecs66 said:

That's great info, and something to consider.  I will check in to that for sure.  Thank you!

We did this for a month when in Asia. Just got a chip for each of our phones. I think there is a senior plan for 2 phones.

Our phones were unlocked though.

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23 hours ago, creativegenius said:

Turning off Data While Roaming will ensure your phone will not attempt to use any data services when cellular service appears at port.  

 

I have my phone set to use WiFi calling instead of alternate networks. I can use Verizon in Canada and Mexico without an issue. If I'm somewhere else that doesn't have Verizon service and have WiFi available the phone will use that instead. WiFi calling is great as it works just like "regular" calling. I don't usually make a lot of phone calls but had to hassle with a messed up plane reservation in Canada and did it over my hotel's WiFi using WiFi calling. Free and easy. For the most part I really dislike phone calls and mostly use my phone for texting and Internet access.

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On 11/30/2018 at 2:16 AM, creativegenius said:

 

My biggest advice is to turn off any automated cloud backup services you may have and turn off any auto updates.  On Crown Princess the internet simply would not work for the first 6 days of my 10 day cruise.  It would log in and then stall.  Finally realized my automatic Cloud Backup service was running and it was trying to backup my files as soon as I got on the WiFi.  Turned that off and everything was great the rest of the cruise.  The onboard internet was too slow to upload and download files at the same time.  

Absolutely. That's what I do.

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I just looked at Settings in my iPhone 6Plus and don’t see anything about Cloud backup. 

How do I turn that off?

Every photo I take backs up in the Cloud. On a long cruise, that’s a lot of backing up. 

I hope I can remember all of this by April!

Edited by jagsfan

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Everyone has their favorite way of cruising with electronics as we all have different needs and different levels of knowledge about the capability of the devices we travel with. 

 

I suggest taking the time read your provider's website and learn the options for using your devices when traveling internationally, including cruising. Select the solution that meets your needs. Trying to smash together multiple solutions presented on this thread or using a solution that your provider doesn't support might not be a great idea. 

 

While "use airplane mode" or "lock it in the safe" will work -- these might not be the best solution for your needs. You are the only one that can figure out what you need and how to get there.

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Does anyone have any experience with 1-800 numbers while on cruise ship? I've added the Cruise Package from AT&T and will need to contact companies from which I only have the 1-800 numbers. 

 

Thanks,

Lori

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