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SuzCruise

Use of Wireless Hotspot on the Rhine, Moselle and Main

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We are thinking about renting from either SkyRoam or TepWireless for our upcoming trip.  We rented a hotspot from the car rental agency for our trip around Italy a couple of months ago and loved it!  We were thinking of getting the hotspot for both the diy portion of our Germany trip and the cruise.  I know there is wifi on the ship, but having one dependable option for all of our travel needs is appealing.  But I'm not sure how well the hotspot will work on the cruise since it still depends on towers for coverage.  Has anyone used a wifi hotspot onboard a cruise in the area and how did it work?  Did you rent, and if so, do you recommend the company you rented from?

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

 

suz

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I've used a TEP hotspot in the past and been pleased with it. Each ship is different, but we've found that at peak times--like when everyone has just returned from an excursion--the internet is often unusable. I think that a lot of people send photos without bothering to reduce the size. We've found that we could turn the hotspot on--they typically connect up to 5 devices--and get good internet when the ship's internet connection was "saturated."

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Why not buy a Skyroam unit outright? Or, which cellular provider do you use? T-mobile has free service in Europe, according to others who have posted in the past. We have AT&T, and for the same daily price as a mobile hotspot, can have text/talk/data.

 

Robin

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Thanks for the info and ideas.  We are considering just buying a data plan for our phone, but also like the idea of having all of our devices hooked up to a hotspot which is quick and easy.  Excellent idea though.  We do have SLOW data on our sprint plan.  Fine for the occasional search, but we’ll be driving around Germany for a week and want to use our phone for GPS.  

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16 hours ago, acwmom said:

Why not buy a Skyroam unit outright? Or, which cellular provider do you use? T-mobile has free service in Europe, according to others who have posted in the past. We have AT&T, and for the same daily price as a mobile hotspot, can have text/talk/data.

We use AT&T and agree it makes the most sense. You can activate it only when needed, and then have full use for 24 hours (you use the same talk, text and data plan you have in the USA). My daughter used it in Japan. Ironically, we never had to use it because we had internet most places and used the free AT&T WiFi calling feature for talk and text. Total cost for our last 2 cruises:  $0.

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The other alternative is buying a European SIM card for your phone. For instance, here's a 14 day, 20GB card for $50 and a note from Rick Steves on the option.

 

https://orange.simoptions.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1ajPjabs5AIVCovICh2RlAtdEAQYBCABEgLAG_D_BwE

 

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/phones-tech/cell-phone-europe

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16 hours ago, SuzCruise said:

Thanks for the info and ideas.  We are considering just buying a data plan for our phone, but also like the idea of having all of our devices hooked up to a hotspot which is quick and easy.  Excellent idea though.  We do have SLOW data on our sprint plan.  Fine for the occasional search, but we’ll be driving around Germany for a week and want to use our phone for GPS.  

 

We had great wifi on the Rhine with Avalon except for when we got down to Basel.  You don't say which line you are sailing on, and that may help others let you know.  

 

I got a Vodafone Sim in Amsterdam as we did a pre-cruise on our own and thought we may need data for trains (we don't use data at home) etc, but we ended up not really needing it.  We used Google Maps (pre downloaded before we left, and saved to each area we were going to) for gps and it worked great...even used it on the trams to make sure we got off at the correct stops, and when walking around towns. 

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On 9/24/2019 at 5:46 PM, acwmom said:

T-mobile has free service in Europe, according to others who have posted in the past.

 

Yup, still does! Not just in Europe, either. Have used it in India and Australia, Chile, Peru, and even on Easter Island! 

 

It is throttled and only 2G speed, but plenty fast for most stuff. I also pre-download Google maps for the areas we're going to, and yes, that can be helpful for tracking your location in real time on the tram, etc. But, with a live data connection, you can find public transport routes in real time, and also get walking directions. Driving directions are available offline, but traffic info is added if you're online. 

 

I usually use my data connection preferentially, even if I have wifi available. I even used it on the Iceland cruise, when we were close enough to shore to grab a signal. The upload speed was slowish, but still way faster than the ship's internet. 

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