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Cruise Ship Wireless

You can use cellular on board a cruise ship, but it can be quite expensive, especially if you use any data. Remember, checking email uses data. Connections are completed by satellite and the pricing depends on your cruise line, phone model, plan and wireless carrier. There are low-cost alternatives: follow these instructions to pay less.

Cruise Ship Roaming
Before You Leave:
Check with your wireless carrier to get pricing; some carriers provide cruise line roaming packages. Some carriers are difficult to contact so don't be concerned if they can't help you. Billing will be handled by the wireless carrier, which may not be possible with a prepaid account.

➜ Disable apps that use location, email auto-check, and any apps that run in the background.  Change your email settings from "push" to "fetch" to disable auto-check.

➜ Download any movies or music to your device you might want before your cruise

Search for the cellular data usage tracker within your device.  You can use it on board to track your usage. Also, become familiar with the menu settings to disable and enable the Wi-Fi and mobile networks.

During the Cruise:
To save money, try to limit most of your usage to within 12 miles of port.  Make sure you are using the US or local cellular network.  Your rates on a local network could be FREE. Save your texts and check your email when close to port for a much lower rate. Check to see your phone will roam in your scheduled ports.

You may be able to purchase a "Wi-Fi package" from the cruise line which enables you to access Data through their Wi-Fi network at a reduced price. You cal also send and receive Calls & Texts if you have "Wi-Fi Calling". 

 When you are in international waters (more than 12 miles out), the satellite cellular network connection is automatic. You are connected to the cellular network when you see the following on your device: "cellular at sea", "wmsatsea", "NOR-18" or similar.  To use the on board Wi-Fi only, you will need to find the menu selection to disable access to the mobile network.

  ​To make a call, press the country code, the area code, and the number. The country code for all North American numbers is "1". Enter a "+" before the country code to automatically connect to the long distance network.

 Avoid using streaming services while on the cellular network, streaming is very data-intensive and may be costly.

 If you would like to limit your usage to voice calls and texts, you can turn off your data roaming.

 Manage your usage by checking your data usage tracker regularly.

Global Roaming
After the Cruise
➜ Undo the changes you made to your phone before the trip. You should be able to make and receive calls right away but your data functions may need to be turned back on.

➜ Some individual apps may need to be re-started or reconfigured to begin working properly.

➜ Your phone may need time to find your home carrier. Don't assume something's wrong just because it doesn't connect right away. It could take 10 minutes to work properly. Watch for the network indicator.

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