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mskitty1

Cell phone service while cruising

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Does anyone have advise as to the best cell phone plan to have that will allow use (talk, text, & data) when in foreign countries? 

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We use "World Travel Sim"  which means we get a "main" UK phone number, and a US number, which we can use when we are in the States.  You have to have an unlocked phone, and buy a sim card for about $25 and then you pay by the minute and you can also text.  Data plan is available but you pay extra for it.  I'm sure there must be information about it on line.  I think it has to be activated regularly or you lose the phone no.   There may be better plans for Americans, but it is good for us Canadians!

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Posted (edited)

T-Mobile. Uses the same chip/card as most other countries. (GSM instead of CDMA network.) And has plans in many if not most countries; Montenegro and Mongolia being exceptions I know. As soon as you enter new country, you get a text message with the voice/text/data rates.

Edited by crystalspin

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T- Mobile Magenta +  Senior discount available

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yes, leave your phone at home when you are on vacation.  I am gone on vacation and not available for anyone for any reason.

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I have AT&T and use its international Passport plan. It includes lots of data, unlimited texting, and reduced rate voice for 30 days for US$60. It works in most countries. For this trip, I have to figure out which 30 day period I want, since I will be away from home for 31 days. Since I will be meeting friends in Yokohama on the 27, I will probably start it on the 27th and take my chances in Sydney that I won’t be needing the phone just to get to the airport. 

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34 minutes ago, globalgertie said:

I have AT&T and use its international Passport plan. It includes lots of data, unlimited texting, and reduced rate voice for 30 days for US$60. It works in most countries. For this trip, I have to figure out which 30 day period I want, since I will be away from home for 31 days. Since I will be meeting friends in Yokohama on the 27, I will probably start it on the 27th and take my chances in Sydney that I won’t be needing the phone just to get to the airport. 


I have used AT&T International Passport plan and the AT&T International Day Pass at $10 per day (24 period).  When cruising you are only charged for the days the phone is used to connect to a cell tower.Just another option.

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What is "best" in a foreign country will have alot to do with what foreign countries, what phone company and plan you have, and what cell phone needs you have. All of which are unknowns to us. We are just guessing...

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Tmobile. You get 2g speed and calls at 25 cents a minute. Most countries have a service partner with tmobile. You can get a high speed pass for 5 dollars a day. All I need to do is check email on my phone, so it is perfect. You also can have your family download the WhatsApp app, and call through that app for free via the tmobile signal. Have been around the world with tmobile and have saved many dollars. 

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As others have said, this will depend on where you are traveling.

 

Verizon has an international plan. Some places are $5 add on for 24 hours (Canada, mexico, ect..). Others are $10. You can see all the countries on their site. The 24 hour pass is nice because you can 'start the clock' at say 3 p.m. on day 1 and use unlimited in the evening and then have up until 3 pm on day 2 to use. 

 

There is also a site which will compare international calling plans. 

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We use Verizon, the same plan that BermudaBound2014 uses.  Like they said, ports in Canada and Mexico are $5.00 per 24 hours and in other countries it is $10.00 for 24 hours.  The plan is called Travel Pass on Verizon's website.  We have used it in the Caribbean and it works great.  We will be using it on the Voyage of the Vikings in two weeks and hope we have the same success.  With this plan, when you leave the port, you must put your phone in airplane mode.  If not, and the ship passes another phone tower you will be charged $10.00.  I call Verizon and let them know what countries I am going to and they charge my credit card for how many days I want to call home.  

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Sprint gives free text and data in most countries. You can use the free data to make phone calls using Skype ($30/yr unlimited calls to USA)

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Again, as we don't know what countries the OP is referring to, we can't fully answer the questions. In our case, a high data ATT plan gets you Canada and Mexico for free...so no need for international plans, etc.

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On 7/13/2019 at 3:56 PM, corkpopr said:

yes, leave your phone at home when you are on vacation.  I am gone on vacation and not available for anyone for any reason.

Well that makes sense unless you are gone for 10 weeks, have 5 Airbnb to deal with, have about 40 tours/excursions and are just tired of chasing wifi.

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3 hours ago, mamaofami said:

I use what's ap .

 

WhatsApp needs data (or wifi) to function.

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They may not be getting notifications (I haven't since the software "upgrade") and may not realize they have to return to the board and find their thread to see what answers they've received.

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Whatever you do, don't buy a prepaid SIM International card, which we did on our med cruise.  We used it once to call our son, talked for 5 minutes (we timed it), and from that point on, the blasted card said we'd exceeded our time.  We paid $50.  Total waste of money.  Make certain you read all the fine print, which we thought we'd done, but obviously didn't.  Our fault.  Never again. 

 

You may not want to hear this, but could you unplug for the duration of the cruise?  Relax and enjoy. 

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Thank you all for your answers.  Everyone has different needs when it comes to travel and cell phone service.  We have friends that are trying to get us to switch from ATT to TMobile.  They claim that they get service in Mexico & Canada and in Europe anyway (for a small fee).  BUT they are the type that like to be CONNECTED all the time.  But more importantly, they say they only pay $60 per month.  SO I was wondering if anyone out there was familiar with this plan and its reliability.  We do check emails, Facebook, send emails/texts to kids & a few friends, check banking, and a few other "business" things while traveling.  But NOT everyday, every 3-5 days.   With ATT the International Calling Plan ($10 per day when used) seems to fit our needs.  If necessary, we will make calls and pay the price.  AND since we only have cell phones for our service at home, we want a company that is reliable.  

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13 minutes ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Whatever you do, don't buy a prepaid SIM International card, which we did on our med cruise.  We used it once to call our son, talked for 5 minutes (we timed it), and from that point on, the blasted card said we'd exceeded our time.  We paid $50.  Total waste of money.  Make certain you read all the fine print, which we thought we'd done, but obviously didn't. . . .

Which company did you use?

 

I use Snapir in Israel and UK 3 in the EU.  UK 3 costs $23-26 on Amazon for 3,000 minutes, 3,000 texts and 12 GB data.  Although during set up with UK 3 I received a "top up" message, it was a glitch and I had everything I was promised.  I recommend creating an account and logging in prior to departure.

Sorry you had a bad experience, I will try to stay away from whatever company you used.

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50 minutes ago, mskitty1 said:

Thank you all for your answers.  Everyone has different needs when it comes to travel and cell phone service.  We have friends that are trying to get us to switch from ATT to TMobile.  They claim that they get service in Mexico & Canada and in Europe anyway (for a small fee).  BUT they are the type that like to be CONNECTED all the time.  But more importantly, they say they only pay $60 per month.  SO I was wondering if anyone out there was familiar with this plan and its reliability.  We do check emails, Facebook, send emails/texts to kids & a few friends, check banking, and a few other "business" things while traveling.  But NOT everyday, every 3-5 days.   With ATT the International Calling Plan ($10 per day when used) seems to fit our needs.  If necessary, we will make calls and pay the price.  AND since we only have cell phones for our service at home, we want a company that is reliable.  

 

We switched over to T-Mobile from Sprint about a year and a half ago and couldn't be more satisfied. Coverage in the U.S. has increased a great deal and in our area is great.

 

We have had T-Mobile service for several cruises now and whenever we reach a port we turn our phone off of airplane mode and immediately get a text message from T-Mobile saying "Welcome to ----------- (fill in the blank with whatever country). You have unlimited data and texting." Voice calls from other countries are also reasonable (~ .25/minute). Service in Mexico and Canada is no different than in the U.S. (unlimited calls, texting & data.)

 

We are on the senior plan (over age 55) and although the price has gone up slightly we were grandfathered in on the original price...$60 (including ALL taxes and fees) for two lines. Here is a screen shot of the benefits of this plan:

 

image.thumb.png.60ad18b777dadb348f4441f7962cc5b7.png

 

I don't need to be connected 24/7 when we cruise, but I do appreciate being able to check in with family when we reach a port.

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I second (or third or fourth) the T-Mobile recommendation. We switched to the Geezer Plan recently, given that I am 55+. Technically, I'm +. Our monthly bill dropped from about $124 to $70 an we get to keep all the international calling & data features that use on cruises.  If you want speedy data - usually 4G vs 2G in port, you can buy International Data Passes for $5/day which give you a decent chunk of data and hotspot capability. You can schedule the passes for your port days only or those port days when you need to do more data intensive activities. The data passes don't give you enough to stream movies, but plenty for normal web activities.

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15 hours ago, mskitty1 said:

Thank you all for your answers.  Everyone has different needs when it comes to travel and cell phone service.  We have friends that are trying to get us to switch from ATT to TMobile.  They claim that they get service in Mexico & Canada and in Europe anyway (for a small fee).  BUT they are the type that like to be CONNECTED all the time.  But more importantly, they say they only pay $60 per month.  SO I was wondering if anyone out there was familiar with this plan and its reliability.  We do check emails, Facebook, send emails/texts to kids & a few friends, check banking, and a few other "business" things while traveling.  But NOT everyday, every 3-5 days.   With ATT the International Calling Plan ($10 per day when used) seems to fit our needs.  If necessary, we will make calls and pay the price.  AND since we only have cell phones for our service at home, we want a company that is reliable.  

ATT also has a cruise ship package that works with the cell carrier on the ships while at sea. For $100 good for any 30 day period you get 200MB of data and 50 minutes of talk and texts. Without the plan the Cellular At Sea is expensive, $3 per minute talk, and $1 for text messages.

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