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sim card for europe recommendations


lincoln81
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travelling to Europe on a mediterranean cruise in May - would like to still be able to use my phone - dont care if its another phone number, mostly wifi and whats app so I can get my emails and send to contact tour guides ect. 

 

What sim card do you recommend? I see tons on amazon that cover the countries we will at - Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Malta, Greece and Turkey but reviews are quite mixed with alot of people stating they did not work when they got there

 

my current provided (telus) does allow me to rom over there but at 18$ a day is a little much. 

 

thanks all

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30 minutes ago, lincoln81 said:

travelling to Europe on a mediterranean cruise in May - would like to still be able to use my phone - dont care if its another phone number, mostly wifi and whats app so I can get my emails and send to contact tour guides ect. 

 

What sim card do you recommend? I see tons on amazon that cover the countries we will at - Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Malta, Greece and Turkey but reviews are quite mixed with alot of people stating they did not work when they got there

 

my current provided (telus) does allow me to rom over there but at 18$ a day is a little much. 

 

thanks all

Found SimCorner to be a good choice. Worked for us in Europe and again in Asia. They also offer Esim if your phone is compatible. 

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2 hours ago, JJK2008 said:

Found SimCorner to be a good choice. Worked for us in Europe and again in Asia. They also offer Esim if your phone is compatible. 

I have also used that company in the pass , no problem 

OP, if you are starting in Spain , here is some good info 

https://www.traveltomtom.net/destinations/europe/spain/best-spain-sim-card-for-tourists

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2 hours ago, JJK2008 said:

Found SimCorner to be a good choice. Worked for us in Europe and again in Asia. They also offer Esim if your phone is compatible. 

awesome, thanks ill check it out, need to educate myself if our phones have esim

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We have used Airalo now three times and will keep using them.

 

This is an eSIM company and not a physical SIM.
 

To date we have only used the data option, but I am going to look at adding the calling option using your home number - have to check that out further.

 

The Airalo eSIM's are easy to install and their instructions are pretty easy to follow and what we love most as we river and ocean cruise around Europe is that the Europe packages cover almost every European country.

 

We are Rogers and I cannot pay their $15 bucks a day for roaming in Europe.  The cost for one, let alone two phones is more than our cost per month for the package we have.

 

With the data only eSIM this is what I do:

 

1) Change my voice mail the day I leave to a direct message saying:  "Voice Calls are NOT being answered.  If this is urgent, you can reach me through WhatsApp, or Email.  (I then of course change that back on return)
2) I email all friends and family that need to know, the dates we are away and ask for them to contact using WhatsApp and Email.

3) I go away confident that if anything urgent happens I can be reached and anything left on voice mail after hearing the message I recorded was not urgent.

Edited by CDNPolar
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7 hours ago, PapaGoose said:

Excellent advice! We will be using an Airola eSIM card for data for our South America cruise in February and I hadn’t thought of the voicemail message. 

 

The voice mail thing was a more recent thing for us.  Because we do email friends and family that might be more "need to know" and ask them to contact through WhatsApp, we should not have to worry.

 

BUT... the voice mail thing came up because I all of a sudden realized that my voice mail only keeps messages left for 10 days.  Many of the trips that we take are 12+ days from start to finish which means is a random voice mail is left on the first few days it would be missed as it would delete before we got home.

 

What are we concerned with?  A doctor's office that is calling to confirm an appointment or make an appointment, or the bank with a problem, or something rogue that we were not considering.  The insurance company calling where we have our travel insurance through.   A neighbour calling to tell us some problem or issue with our home that is not aware that we are away.  They would leave a message and we would never get it.  At least with a voice mail message, they would be immediately aware that we are not checking or would not receive this message.

 

 

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For those who get the voice feature, can you call forward your Canadian home/cell # to the temporary phone # on the SIM card?  Wondering if that would work.

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36 minutes ago, ALD18 said:

For those who get the voice feature, can you call forward your Canadian home/cell # to the temporary phone # on the SIM card?  Wondering if that would work.

I have always gotten a EU number when I have gotten a physical SIM card 

I think it would be more trouble than it worth 

 

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The missus has a really old Pixel phone that doesn't fully support esims so she defaulted to getting a physical sim card versus an esim. 

Not sure if this was the best deal but she did a Portugal / Spain cruise (departing in Lisbon with an unexpected stop in Gibraltar) with the inlaws this past November and she got some kind of a ~20-30e Vodafone "total" package with something like 10gb of data (with EU and UK roaming) and some voice minutes for 30 days from a Vodafone store in Campo Pequeno mall near her hotel.  I originally told her to just pay the premium to get a sim card at a booth at LIS airport but she said the line was pretty long so she decided to find a store in town after checking in the hotel.  

 

I'm guessing she got some kind of limited time tourist sim package because the staff mentioned other packages required some kind of online registration which she didn't want and have to do in the end.  Staff were pretty helpful and set up the sim in her phone which was handy since she's a bit of a technophobe. 🙂

 

Alternatively, if your phone supports it, you can look into buying and downloading an esim onto your phone with appropriate EU/UK coverage from the websites of one of the vendors mentioned in this or other similar threads.  

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21 hours ago, ALD18 said:

For those who get the voice feature, can you call forward your Canadian home/cell # to the temporary phone # on the SIM card?  Wondering if that would work.

 

You could absolutely forward your Canadian home cell/cell to the temporary phone number BUT if you answer a call then you are paying for that call from Canada to wherever you are.  The eSIM will be registered to a country in Europe or wherever and so when you forward to that number, and answerthe forwarded call, then you are paying for an international call.

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9 hours ago, necommcruise said:

So, where do we purchase the SIMCARD if you are crusing to Portugal and England?

 

 

Do you need a physical SIM or you want an eSIM?

 

Physical SIM, I have never purchased, but I believe you would have to buy on the ground in whatever country you are travelling to.  You probably can buy in the airport when you land.

 

For eSIM, you just buy online and scan the QR code, make a few setting adjustments and you are done.

 

We use Airalo for the last three times we have purchased eSIM's and they have worked well and saved us hundreds of dollars.

 

https://www.airalo.com/?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAiAkp6tBhB5EiwANTCx1KEvoK7ML3LAjGkQrh-PAd5GJoFYO7yaDam7lYOPVs0DcwKU2MeUuRoCPtgQAvD_BwE

 

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1 hour ago, CDNPolar said:

 

Do you need a physical SIM or you want an eSIM?

 

Physical SIM, I have never purchased, but I believe you would have to buy on the ground in whatever country you are travelling to.  You probably can buy in the airport when you land.

 

For eSIM, you just buy online and scan the QR code, make a few setting adjustments and you are done.

 

We use Airalo for the last three times we have purchased eSIM's and they have worked well and saved us hundreds of dollars.

 

https://www.airalo.com/?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAiAkp6tBhB5EiwANTCx1KEvoK7ML3LAjGkQrh-PAd5GJoFYO7yaDam7lYOPVs0DcwKU2MeUuRoCPtgQAvD_BwE

 

Thanks. Taking the TransAtlantic cruise on March 9th (16 days), and thought we should get one. 

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1 minute ago, necommcruise said:

Thanks. Taking the TransAtlantic cruise on March 9th (16 days), and thought we should get one. 

 

Physical or eSIM - which do you need?

 

Also, you know that during transatlantic period no SIM is going to give you service.  While you are that far at sea, you will only have the ship's WiFi and WiFi calling or WhatsApp through data and WiFi.

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1 minute ago, CDNPolar said:

 

Physical or eSIM - which do you need?

 

Also, you know that during transatlantic period no SIM is going to give you service.  While you are that far at sea, you will only have the ship's WiFi and WiFi calling or WhatsApp through data and WiFi.

This raises the question of why get a esim (or sim) at all.  If the poster is simply taking a TA and intends to disembark in Europe and return to Canada, there is no very good reason (at least in ky opinion) to have a Europe/UK sim.

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2 minutes ago, CDNPolar said:

 

Physical or eSIM - which do you need?

 

Also, you know that during transatlantic period no SIM is going to give you service.  While you are that far at sea, you will only have the ship's WiFi and WiFi calling or WhatsApp through data and WiFi.

Thanks. I will be purchasing the eSIM card. Just checked it out. Yes I know the SIM card does not work on the cruise. I will be purchasing the internet package on the cruise.

 

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Just now, necommcruise said:

Thanks. I will be purchasing the eSIM card. Just checked it out. Yes I know the SIM card does not work on the cruise. I will be purchasing the internet package on the cruise.

 

I will check out your videos..

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Just now, d9704011 said:

This raises the question of why get a esim (or sim) at all.  If the poster is simply taking a TA and intends to disembark in Europe and return to Canada, there is no very good reason (at least in ky opinion) to have a Europe/UK sim.

 

Agreed.

 

Many times on an ocean cruise, when you are too far from land the eSIM or physical SIM is useless unless it can connect to a land tower.

 

The only true full-time connection is if you have Satellite calling.

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2 minutes ago, necommcruise said:

Thanks. I will be purchasing the eSIM card. Just checked it out. Yes I know the SIM card does not work on the cruise. I will be purchasing the internet package on the cruise.

 

 

But the internet package on the ship does not give you regular calling features unless you are set up for WiFi calling or using WhatsApp or other App that enables data calling.

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On 1/15/2024 at 5:28 AM, CDNPolar said:

We have used Airalo now three times and will keep using them.

 

This is an eSIM company and not a physical SIM.
 

To date we have only used the data option, but I am going to look at adding the calling option using your home number - have to check that out further.

 

The Airalo eSIM's are easy to install and their instructions are pretty easy to follow and what we love most as we river and ocean cruise around Europe is that the Europe packages cover almost every European country.

 

We are Rogers and I cannot pay their $15 bucks a day for roaming in Europe.  The cost for one, let alone two phones is more than our cost per month for the package we have.

 

With the data only eSIM this is what I do:

 

1) Change my voice mail the day I leave to a direct message saying:  "Voice Calls are NOT being answered.  If this is urgent, you can reach me through WhatsApp, or Email.  (I then of course change that back on return)
2) I email all friends and family that need to know, the dates we are away and ask for them to contact using WhatsApp and Email.

3) I go away confident that if anything urgent happens I can be reached and anything left on voice mail after hearing the message I recorded was not urgent.

Thank you for that info. Am going to Asia (including Dubaï) on a cruise for a month and am looking at buying an e sim with Airalo.  It will be my first time with an e sim, so your experience with it makes me feel more comfortable going ahead.  Tks also for your  tips re messages, etc.  Cheers

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Just now, CDNPolar said:

 

Agreed.

 

Many times on an ocean cruise, when you are too far from land the eSIM or physical SIM is useless unless it can connect to a land tower.

 

The only true full-time connection is if you have Satellite calling.

We are taking a TA in mid April but will be staying on in Spain for about 10 days afterwards.  We will get a 15 day data only esim and activate it when we arrive in Canary Islands.  That will provide coverage for there, Madeira and mainland Spain.

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3 minutes ago, d9704011 said:

We are taking a TA in mid April but will be staying on in Spain for about 10 days afterwards.  We will get a 15 day data only esim and activate it when we arrive in Canary Islands.  That will provide coverage for there, Madeira and mainland Spain.

 

One thing that I do, is purchase far more data than I seem to need. It is much cheaper than paying roaming on Rogers, but still I am spending more on the eSIM than I need to.

 

I bought 30GB of data and was in Europe for 12 days and used my phone constantly for email, maps, Google, etc, and did not quite use 5GB.  

 

I would have only saved about $10-$15 bucks, but still, next time I will buy less.  

 

With Airalo you download the app and you can watch your usage and add more if necessary.

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