AT&T and cruise ship data plan?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DotCom2, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. DotCom2 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #1
    I am going on a cruise to the Mediterranean (Spain, France, Italy).
    When I get to a port I know I need the "International plan" but it says that it doesn't include cruise ship use.
    So what plan would I also need for access while at Sea?
    TIA
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    Why not just call the cruise line? I bet it's a common question.

    A quick search finds some info.
    I chose a random line (Carnival), but I imagine that other cruise lines are similar.
     
  3. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #3
    Most ships these days have wifi on board that you have to pay for. I went on a Caribbean cruise via Royal Caribbean last year and the wifi was painfully slow that I couldn't stream music, much less check email. Like @DeltaMac mentioned, it's best to call the cruise line you're sailing with and see what plans they have available if you want to stay connected.
     
  4. RedOrchestra Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #4

    Just one of the plethora of reasons many of us want nothing to do with music streaming services and/or Cloud services.
     
  5. stockseer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
    I just got back from a RCL (Royal Caribbean) cruise... all their Oasis class ships NOW have absolutely the best internet at sea 'ever'. They have two levels of Service; but if you prepay before the cruise (online) you get a 30% discount and the fastest speed. While I did Speedtest and it wasn't anywhere near home speeds; in actual use it was very close. WiFi on Allure was perfect throughout the ship; and I even did a Skype call lasting almost an hour with no buffering and no glitches at all. My stock market analysis reports (as I was warning that the predicted post-Innauguration rally was just short-covering and not lasting long) uploaded in acceptable fashion; and video playback (commentary over charts) was perfect. I have done many cruises and this was the BEST of any ship of any company ever. They call it VOOM or ZOOM or something like that. Hope the info helps; and they only refit some or all their ships in 2016 (Allure is 8 years old but they already redid the internet service to this superior system). Hope this info helps; and I have heard, but do not know, if the Celebrity and MSC brands have upped their game; I hope they all do with respect to internet speeds and stability.
     
  6. DotCom2 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #6
    From the tips I have been reading, they say "DON'T" go with the ships Internet plan because it is ridiculously over-priced.
    That's why I was asking about what AT&T provides so I could compare.
     
  7. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #7
    Do your "tips" offer suggestions for other choices?
    Looks like when you use the on-board connection, the billing would be from your normal cell phone provider, but would be international roaming service. No unlimited rates like you might have at home.

    AT&T does have a page specifically about Cruise ship plans. maybe that will answer your questions.
     
  8. B42low macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    #8
    RCL as an example is about $12/day for WIFI on board. You can put your ATT iPhone in airplane mode and just use the ships wifi to access the internet, FaceTime voice and video calls and also ATT-wifi to text and use your phone for local calls from/to the US. This option is also available from a land hotspot.
     
  9. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #9
    The plans are overpriced, but they beat any plan that AT&T offers. If you're on a newer cruise ship, you could have a better experience than I had (we were on an older ship where the wifi network had not been updated).
     
  10. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #10
    Avoid using your phone at all on the ship. The prices are out of control.
    If you dock near a port then you can connect to a local network and roam using international AT&T plans but those are very expensive also.
    See if you can get a local sim at a port and use it for that time you will be in Europe.
    I'd avoid both the Ships wifi since its very expensive and the AT&T international plans are also a rip off.
    Enjoy you time there and stay disconnected.
     
  11. Longkeg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Location:
    S. Florida
    #11
    The ATT (and all other carriers) "at sea" plan is an contract between themselves and the cruise lines to use the ships infrastructure at a pre-negotiated price. The service is often spotty and ridiculously expensive. If you can confirm from an independent party that wifi service on individual ships is acceptable, as others have posted here, great. Otherwise take anything the cruise lines tell you with a grain of salt. They will lie to you and tell you anything you want to hear to get you on the ship. Once underway they will apologize profusely, but they will still have your money. I was on Holland America (sister company to RCL) a few months ago and even the ships officers were complaining about the terrible wifi. I will offer this workaround: It seems every cruise terminal we tied up at had free high speed wifi. Each morning, as soon as we were cleared to leave the ship I would head down the gangway to the terminal and join the rest of the crew in special "wifi areas" set up just for this purpose. I would do my emails, texting, wifi calls & facetimes and let everyone know that I would be unreachable until the next port. After that I would keep the iPhone in my pocket to take pictures or for emergencies but that's about all. It turned out to be quite liberating and I really enjoyed the vacation.
     
  12. gbuc95 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #12
    On my last cruise I just bought the wifi on board and used wifi calling and it worked great! I was worried I would get charged when I got my bill but I didn't get any extra charges.
     
  13. steve23094 macrumors 68020

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #13
    I don't get it? Why the hate for on board WiFi?

    Yes it's expensive, but that's the whole point of cruise ships and their raison d'être. You're a captive audience and they overcharge for all their facilities. Surely anybody choosing a cruise ship holiday has already made peace with the price gouging?
     
  14. r8ders2k macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    #14
    That's why I have a 160 GB iPod Classic.
     
  15. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #15
    I would limit any search for information on this subject to recent months. Reading a three-year-old post about wifi on a cruise ship likely won't give accurate information about service or pricing.
     
  16. geoff5093 macrumors 68020

    geoff5093

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Dover, NH
    #16
    At least with onboard WiFi you know the price, and it's usually a fee based on how long you have access. With carriers I believe it's billed based on how many minutes/texts/MB's of data are used, so you can easily rack up huge charges and not even know about it.
     
  17. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #17
    Couldn't agree with this approach more. My fiancée and I did this while at each of our ports of call. Even the local bars we hit up in the ports we visited had free wifi that was 2x as better as the ship. We typically fired off some texts and pictures, checked social media, and let family and friends know we're enjoying ourselves. Then as soon as we got back on the ship, we went about our typical day and would use our phone's only to take pictures (minus the one day I tried the ship wifi).

    I get that people want to stay in touch, but it was actually quite enjoyable to not be constantly checking our phones while we were on vacation. Granted there were lot of people I spotted on the ship that were still glued to their phones and tablets 24/7.
     
  18. tl01 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #18
    It depends which cruise line. I would consider using RCL for sure for their internet! It was great on or last cruise. On a princess you buy minutes and just long on when you need it. It is pricey. On princess I wouldn't plan on being connected all the time.
     

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