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Okay, so I just got my phone bill for my cruise in June. 568 dollars?! Yah. True story.
My iPhone (at&t) kept saying “Cellular at Sea” across the top of the phone, so my only thoughts were, I must be able to talk at sea. That comes with a cost. 50 cents per text and 2.49 per minute is what I was charged. Now I am not going to sit here and complain because I did not do my research on this before it happened. Now I consider myself a little more verse after talking to a few fellow cruisers and the “Cellular at Sea” website.
Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise lines are a few that participate in the Cellular at sea program. AT&T in the past few years changed the digital display from ATT to “Cellular at Sea” so they would know they were no longer on the regular network and you are now operating off of the ships tower.
If you have an iPhone, it stays on international roaming or cellular at sea the whole time so be careful when launching your apps. The fee is outrageous. That’s one thing I did not do was launch any apps. If you are one of those people that can’t live without your phone on vacation because of work, kids, etc… my suggestion is to get a trac phone. After looking into Trac Phones long distance, they only charge you 2 units per minute.
Here are a couple of great links that will help you know BEFORE you cruise and not after like me!
Note that a lot of countries, Mexico for one, the long distance rates on shore are almost 150% cheaper than “Cellular at Sea.”