Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
resjes

Using Maps at Ports - No International Data Plan

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

FYI - I live in USA and will be doing a RCI cruise to Bermuda, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and Haiti. I don't want to pay for Verizon's international plan since I am paying for internet on the cruise. BTW - can you access the internet anywhere on the cruise or is it in the stateroom only? This may have been asked before / dumb question..however, I want access to my Google maps at ports (I assume since Puerto Rico is US territory, I won't have data issues) and obviously since I'm not paying for the data plan, what do I do? Download offline maps or print them out?? Any recommendations? Should I just deal with it and pay $10/day for this cruise (9 days)?

Edited by resjes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You shouldn't need to use data for maps if you have WiFi.  Download the relevant a Google Maps to your device via WiFi,  then you can use it while you're in port.

 

WiFi should be accessible in most, if not all public areas of the ship. Just don't expect great speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of things

Before you get off the ship update your off line maps.

 

Don't expect your wifi package to be anything like home. I think the max I've ever got on the ship is 1Mbps download speed. Usually less than 500Kbps. Also, the ship is not 100% covered with wifi access points. They may be far and few in between.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, klfrodo said:

A couple of things

Before you get off the ship update your off line maps.

 

Don't expect your wifi package to be anything like home. I think the max I've ever got on the ship is 1Mbps download speed. Usually less than 500Kbps. Also, the ship is not 100% covered with wifi access points. They may be far and few in between.

I paid for the "surf and stream" , apparently, this package allows streaming - the other package does not have streaming capabilities.

 

I can't access my maps with no Wifi (for ports I will just DL offline maps I suppose).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Try the app...maps.me that allow you to download whatever map you want that can then be accessed without cell or wifi service. (google maps also allow this feature)

Your phone has a GPS chip which will allow you to see  your location most anywhere on earth.

You might also research Verizon's $10/day plan as I don't think you have it quite right.  From your itnerary it would seem that the extra Verizon charges would be $30. for your trip.

Edited by thinfool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In those ports Google maps really are not all that necessary. Bermuda is a straightforward fairly narrow island with perhaps three east/west roads and numerous north/intersecting. Puerto Rico - if you are renting a car and exploring outside of San Juan - would be more complex, but as you note it is US territory. St. Maarten/Martin is pretty straightforward as well - main road follows coast around the island - getting you pretty much anywhere you want to go. In Haiti you will be restricted to Labadee facility and can see the entire area accessible to you as soon as you get off. I’d suggest you visit your local library and  copy maps in travel books to get advance feel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, resjes said:

I paid for the "surf and stream" , apparently, this package allows streaming - the other package does not have streaming capabilities.

 

I can't access my maps with no Wifi (for ports I will just DL offline maps I suppose).

You certainly can access maps w/o wifi. 

For example, with Google Maps, you can search an area and, using your home wifi, download offline maps prior to your trip (search a location and create the offline map for later access).

You can also use offline apps like Maplets, which has a large library of downloadable maps which the app can open even w/o wifi.

 

BTW, are you aware that an iPhone's GPS works even when it's set to Airplane Mode? For example, if I download one of the stock maps from Maplets (which is GPS enabled [some are/some aren't]), and use it while on Airplane Mode, my GPS position will show on the opened map.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

In those ports Google maps really are not all that necessary. Bermuda is a straightforward fairly narrow island with perhaps three east/west roads and numerous north/intersecting. Puerto Rico - if you are renting a car and exploring outside of San Juan - would be more complex, but as you note it is US territory. St. Maarten/Martin is pretty straightforward as well - main road follows coast around the island - getting you pretty much anywhere you want to go. In Haiti you will be restricted to Labadee facility and can see the entire area accessible to you as soon as you get off. I’d suggest you visit your local library and  copy maps in travel books to get advance feel.

 

Thanks for the info. I have an excursion at Bermuda so most likely not going to need maps but good to know it is easy to navigate. I am mostly concern about PR because I am going to explore the forts, and will walk to them, but don't want to get lost and not get back on the ship. I assume I won't need a data plan as it is US territory. I would like to go to the other side of St. Maarten (Marigot), that was the other place of concern, getting to there and back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, resjes said:

I paid for the "surf and stream" , apparently, this package allows streaming -.

 

 

One would "think" that, wouldn't one?

Just don't expect it to actually work 100% of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

You certainly can access maps w/o wifi. 

For example, with Google Maps, you can search an area and, using your home wifi, download offline maps prior to your trip (search a location and create the offline map for later access).

You can also use offline apps like Maplets, which has a large library of downloadable maps which the app can open even w/o wifi.

 

BTW, are you aware that an iPhone's GPS works even when it's set to Airplane Mode? For example, if I download one of the stock maps from Maplets (which is GPS enabled [some are/some aren't]), and use it while on Airplane Mode, my GPS position will show on the opened map.

 

Thanks, I didn't know I could get google maps to work on airplane mode. I do NOT have an iPhone though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, thinfool said:

You might also research Verizon's $10/day plan as I don't think you have it quite right.  From your itnerary it would seem that the extra Verizon charges would be $30. for your trip.

 

Just spoke to Verizon. They told me I am stuck paying $10/day..except Puerto Rico which, as they said "should work" as normal with USA plan. I have a 9 day cruise, last day is just at USA port. However, I have Whatsapp, and will use that to communicate while connected to WiFi. That offers free calls/text.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, resjes said:

 

Just spoke to Verizon. They told me I am stuck paying $10/day..except Puerto Rico which, as they said "should work" as normal with USA plan. I have a 9 day cruise, last day is just at USA port. However, I have Whatsapp, and will use that to communicate while connected to WiFi. That offers free calls/text.

Yes, $10/day that you need the plan.  You wouldn't need the plan on the ship...only in non-US ports.

As I understand the Verizon plan, you only pay the upcharge ($10) on the days that you use your phone in a non-US destination.  When you open your phone in a non-US country you begin a 24hr activation which will add $10. to your monthly bill.  This will be true for each non-US country where you use your phone.  If you don't use your phone there is no added charge of $10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, resjes said:

 

Thanks for the info. I have an excursion at Bermuda so most likely not going to need maps but good to know it is easy to navigate. I am mostly concern about PR because I am going to explore the forts, and will walk to them, but don't want to get lost and not get back on the ship. I assume I won't need a data plan as it is US territory. I would like to go to the other side of St. Maarten (Marigot), that was the other place of concern, getting to there and back.

 Old San Juan is on a fairly narrow peninsula - maybe 200 yards from the pier in the harbor north up hill to the fortifications overlooking the Atlantic, and perhaps a half mile east-west .  Easy enough to cover on foot, and I think they still run that free tram up the hill, which is welcome on a hot day. 

 

Driving to Marigot (I assume you are renting a car) offers more chances  to go astray:  you probably should have a map - I am enough of a dinosaur to be happy with the old paper format, so I can’t advise on Google;  but that $10/day charge sounds good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Second the advice to download the appropriate maps to your device before you leave home.  Very easy to do with Google Maps - and there are tutorials available online to walk you through the process.  Once the map is on your device, the GPS data will pull up the appropriate maps and use it, all while you can be in airplane mode (and not racking up roaming data charges).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, resjes said:

 

Thanks, I didn't know I could get google maps to work on airplane mode. I do NOT have an iPhone though.

They work on other smartphones as well. I used them on a SF to NY cruise last year. Don't download them too far in advance. The download expires in 14 days, I think. I had to download some maps for the latter part of our trip a second time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Google trips is Google's travel planner that works off line. 

Edited by andlep

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One app that allows you to download maps ahead of time and use them is Maps Me.

 

My SO uses it on her phone and many times it works better than Google and data on mine.

 

With it, you "go" to the location you want, zoom in, and once it gets to the limit if the installed map, it asks if you want to download the map.

 

She used it on our last cruise and downloaded St Croix, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and St. Maartin before we left, and it worked great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

I agree with the thought that in most cases you will not likely be needing a map. 

 

Have you researched what you are going to be doing?  You are only in port for a handful of hours. Most of the time you would be going someplace specific... for those situations you get in a taxi or bus and they bring you there. If you are on a tour you don't even have to think that hard. If you were to walk around town, lets say in Old San Juan for instance, you can't get lost (believe me). If you really feel you need it, most places like San Juan will have tourist booths that will give you an area map. The same would be true for Philipsburg in St. Maarten, any of the towns in Bermuda, and while I haven't been, I believe you don't want to walk around anywhere in Haiti by yourself. There is always the old way of doing things, if you think you are lost, you can ask someone for directions. 

 

Spend some time looking at the port of call threads on this site, so that you understand what you will want to do on each island. Once you have done that, I am sure you will realize that getting lost is unlikely.

 

hope this helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d sign up for the Verizon plan in case you need it, you only pay if you use it. Most of us have it on our phones, and have for years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Nic6318 said:

Hi

 

I agree with the thought that in most cases you will not likely be needing a map. 

 

Have you researched what you are going to be doing?  You are only in port for a handful of hours. Most of the time you would be going someplace specific... for those situations you get in a taxi or bus and they bring you there. If you are on a tour you don't even have to think that hard. If you were to walk around town, lets say in Old San Juan for instance, you can't get lost (believe me). If you really feel you need it, most places like San Juan will have tourist booths that will give you an area map. The same would be true for Philipsburg in St. Maarten, any of the towns in Bermuda, and while I haven't been, I believe you don't want to walk around anywhere in Haiti by yourself. There is always the old way of doing things, if you think you are lost, you can ask someone for directions. 

 

Spend some time looking at the port of call threads on this site, so that you understand what you will want to do on each island. Once you have done that, I am sure you will realize that getting lost is unlikely.

 

hope this helps

 

For Old San Juan - just the forts..It appears there is a walking path along the beach to and from all the forts? St. Maarten/Phillipsburg will be walking around mostly, but I want to go to Marigot as well. Is it difficult to get from the French to the Dutch side and vice versa? I suppose it is easier to just take a taxi. And yes, no walking in Haiti as we are just going to be at the Labadee port owned by RCI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, SRF said:

One app that allows you to download maps ahead of time and use them is Maps Me.

 

She used it on our last cruise and downloaded St Croix, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and St. Maartin before we left, and it worked great.

 

This - I even used maps.me in Havana to navigate around old town on foot. 

OP, I do agree with others, you will not need maps to get around these heavily trafficked tourist ports. 

 

To get to the forts in SJU : walk up to the top of the hill. To get back to the ship : walk down hill. 

Haiti : you're kidding, right? You can't get out of sight of the ship, even if you want. 

Bermuda : can't help you there, but I assume the ship will give you a map. They do everywhere else.  

St Maarten - just follow the traffic out of town.  it's an island, you can't get lost. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EatonDoolittle said:

 

This - I even used maps.me in Havana to navigate around old town on foot. 

OP, I do agree with others, you will not need maps to get around these heavily trafficked tourist ports. 

 

To get to the forts in SJU : walk up to the top of the hill. To get back to the ship : walk down hill. 

 

I took screen shots of Havana in google maps - it helped me navigate from the port to the other side of the city and back, easy peasy.

 

SJU - your data plan will work, no problem.  And, while you can walk up that ridiculous hill, may I suggest the free "hop on, hop off" trolley?  It takes you up the hill to San Cristobel and around to El Morro (but it's a pretty easy walk between the two).  There is also a very basic paper map readily available in port  (and you can look at it online touroldsanjuan.com/trolley-map).  Regardless, it's pretty hard to get lost in Old San Juan...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely the free trolley up the hill to El Morro.  If you want to do the waterfront walk, walk down the hill from El Morro, find the “gate to the city”, and go through it to access the esplanade walkway which will bring you back to the ship. This is a great walk!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, resjes said:

 

For Old San Juan - just the forts..It appears there is a walking path along the beach to and from all the forts? St. Maarten/Phillipsburg will be walking around mostly, but I want to go to Marigot as well. Is it difficult to get from the French to the Dutch side and vice versa? I suppose it is easier to just take a taxi. And yes, no walking in Haiti as we are just going to be at the Labadee port owned by RCI.

Taxis in St. Maarten are pretty cheap - if you can spare the time, you can take a bus to/from Marigot and really save - you just need to find the bus stop sign and wait a while. Frankly, for the little time in port, I’d spring for a taxi.

 

138east has good post. El Moro is at the west end of the fortifications, just at the opening to San Juan harbor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In San Juan, you can see your ship from just about anywhere in the town, and you can see the forts from the ship.  It would be virtually impossible to get lost in respect of getting from one to the other.

In St. Maarten, you can see the town and town beach from the ship.

In Labadee (Haiti), you can see virtually the whole property from the ship, and you can see the ship from the property.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards
      • Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo invites you to #CrewUpWithWomen
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...