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2KentuckyCats

Using phone in italy

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First, who is your carrier? Several have very reasonable plans, and one, T Mobile, it is essentially included in your plan for a small per minute fee.

 

Second, how long are you going to be there, and how much phoning are you in need of.

 

Lastly, are you in need of data as well?

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I always get the cheapest plan possible and use WiFi where we stay.  Verizon is my carrier

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1 hour ago, 2KentuckyCats said:

Our carrier is AT&T and we have an unlimited data plan.

Well that answers one of the questions...

 

We have AT&T. They have a couple of international plans...one that is $10 for 24 hours, costs nothing unless you use it. We have this, and have used it widely. If you only plan on limited phone use, this is probably the way to go. It fits our typically low out of the US phone needs.

 

They also have a $60 plan. I don't know all the details, sounds like you might want this if you are going to be phoning a lot, or using it for more than 6 days. 

 

All of this is on the AT&T website.

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3 hours ago, 2KentuckyCats said:

Our carrier is AT&T and we have an unlimited data plan.

You can also phone using whatsapp providing that both you and the person called has the app installed. It costs nothing provided that you are connected to wifi. You can phone anywhere in the world - our extended family & close friends have the app on their phones so that we can call for free (most hotels offer free wifi & so do restaurants, etc.).

My carrier is Verizon and, like AT&T, they offer the $10 plan. We subscribe to this plan when we travel (usually rely on whatsapp but the Verizon plan is nice to have for phoning someone that has no app and/or in case of an emergency).

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Posted (edited)
On 3/16/2019 at 8:11 AM, 2KentuckyCats said:

Our carrier is AT&T and we have an unlimited data plan.

You probably still want to contact them and see what your international coverage is. You may already have all you need. I know I do with my T-Mobile account. Calls from Europe at $.20/minute, but I have no extra costs for any data/text up to my plan limit. We make almost no calls when overseas, its all data/text and then I try and stay on wifi as much as possible to minimize data usage. If I have to make a few calls and spend some $$, oh well. 

Edited by drowelf

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We would amend some of the prior posts and mention that T-Mobile now charges 25 cents/min for phone calls in Europe :).  Like a few of the other posters, we love T-Mobile and switched after learning about the benefits from a few Holland America entertainers.  We think it is the best US carrier, by far, for frequent international travelers.  

 

Hank

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I have a plan that gives me no international plan...Cricket.  Can I buy a SIM card to use in my android phone? Which one and where to buy?   I only want it for a few calls and maybe some texting.  I’ll have an iPad to use with WiFi most of the time.  Thanks!

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13 hours ago, Carol M said:

I have a plan that gives me no international plan...Cricket.  Can I buy a SIM card to use in my android phone? Which one and where to buy?   I only want it for a few calls and maybe some texting.  I’ll have an iPad to use with WiFi most of the time.  Thanks!

If your phone is "unlocked" there are quite a few options.  You can pick up various Sim cards once you are in Italy which means stopping at a tobacco store (many small shops sell various Sims) but you would need to luck out and stumble on a shop where they speak decent English and can explain which Sim cards are the best.  You can also buy Sim cards online from places like Mobal and others (just Google Italy  or perhaps International Sim cards).  The offerings are always changing so its wise to look around the Internet for what appears to be the best deal.

 

But the key to any Sim is that your phone must be "unlocked" which is something many folks do not understand.  If you got your phone via a cell phone company there is a good chance it is locked into that provider.  In that case you need to get the codes (from your own cell provider) to unlock the phone so it can be used with any compatible SIM.

 

Hank

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On 3/20/2019 at 6:31 PM, Hlitner said:

We would amend some of the prior posts and mention that T-Mobile now charges 25 cents/min for phone calls in Europe :).  Like a few of the other posters, we love T-Mobile and switched after learning about the benefits from a few Holland America entertainers.  We think it is the best US carrier, by far, for frequent international travelers.  

 

Hank

Thanks, I'll have to remember that. Its not going to make any difference to my habits, but is good to know. This must be a recent change, as I was just out of the country last summer and I was still billed at $.20 rate. 

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33 minutes ago, drowelf said:

Thanks, I'll have to remember that. Its not going to make any difference to my habits, but is good to know. This must be a recent change, as I was just out of the country last summer and I was still billed at $.20 rate. 

We also fondly remember the 20 cent rate.  I think they increased it sometime last Fall, but don't remember the actual date.  They also increased the cost of their terrific Senior Plan by about $10 a month but we apparently are Grandfathered-in at the $60 per month rate.  For those not familiar with their Senior deal it is pretty amazing.  We pay $60 (which includes all the taxes and fees) for 2 lines that come with unlimited data, text and phone in North America.  I think that deal is now $70 which is still pretty amazing.  And those unlimited data and text work in over 200 countries with no additional fees.

 

Hank

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19 hours ago, Hlitner said:

We also fondly remember the 20 cent rate.  I think they increased it sometime last Fall, but don't remember the actual date.  They also increased the cost of their terrific Senior Plan by about $10 a month but we apparently are Grandfathered-in at the $60 per month rate.  For those not familiar with their Senior deal it is pretty amazing.  We pay $60 (which includes all the taxes and fees) for 2 lines that come with unlimited data, text and phone in North America.  I think that deal is now $70 which is still pretty amazing.  And those unlimited data and text work in over 200 countries with no additional fees.

 

Hank

I may have to look into that and switch my wife onto T-Mobile that once I retire and have to take back my Cell Phone charges.  

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33 minutes ago, drowelf said:

I may have to look into that and switch my wife onto T-Mobile that once I retire and have to take back my Cell Phone charges.  

Our changing from ATT to T-Mobile happened as the result of info gained on an HAL cruise in the Med.  One evening, while somewhere off the coast of Italy, I was sitting in their Crows Nest bar with a few crew members/entertainers and noticed that they were all texting on their phones.  Since we were at sea, and the crew also pays for their Internet use, I was intrigued.  The piano bar player told me that nearly all the entertainers use T-Mobile because it works "everywhere" with no extra charges.  At the time they were able to get a shore-based cell...which is why they were all texting.  When I got home I went to a T-Mobile store and was quickly sold!  Imagine a plan that let me use our phones in Mexico (where we live part of the year) and over 200 countries without paying any extra fees (except 25 cents/min for phone calls).  Since DW and I are generally traveling about 6 months a year this was perfect.  Several years later we are very happy T-Mobile users.  I can use my phone all over the world, take advantage of its GPS capabilities when I drive in Europe, and not pay anything more then our $60 per month fee (for 2 lines).  Hard to beat.  The only downside is that the data speed can be as low as 2G when outside North America...although most of the time we somehow get better service.  It is possible to pay an extra monthly fee (only when you want the service) to get LTE service everywhere (200+ countries but we have never needed the extra speed.  And once connected to WiFi (anywhere in the world) you get the usual fast speeds plus free WiFi telephone calling.

 

Hank

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6 hours ago, drowelf said:

I may have to look into that and switch my wife onto T-Mobile that once I retire and have to take back my Cell Phone charges.  

I've been on T-Mobile for about 5 years, but can't put the DW on my plan as my phone is paid for by my company. But once I retire and have to take bills into my personal space, we can look into getting a multi-line plan. Since my clients are mainly Canada based I have the North America Wide calling. But sure have enjoyed it in Europe for all these years too. 

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We also used Whats Ap (need wifi), we rented a mobile wifi hotspot from SkyRoam for $10 a day so always had wifi for up to 5 connections.  Will not work on ships but will work when at port.  Was also able to text and make calls on wifi only to US numbers, turned on wifi calling on phone (you can google where to turn on for your type of phone).  We made sure always on airplane mode and data was off but wifi on. 

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On ‎3‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 4:02 PM, 2KentuckyCats said:

Should we purchase a phone plan before we leave or is there another way for making calls to US

We used our phone a lot to text to stay in touch with parents/kids while in Italy and Mediterranean islands.  We have TMobile and included was "free texting in Europe" and something like .5 cent minute phone calls.  I think there was also free internet using the TMobile network.  Service was GREAT and no surprises on bill when we got home.  Just don't do any of those things while cruising.  Only on land.

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