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Depending on whom you ask, you’ll get different answers about staying connected at sea. But, people tend to be connected to their phones now more than ever.
Cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean now offer a per-day internet package for unlimited internet connect for as little as $5 per day.
But if you find your self needing to buy an internet package, we have some tips for internet at sea.
1. Embarkation Day
When you board the ship and you want to purchase a time package, there’s usually an embarkation wireless package that gives your free minutes for buying on day one. Head to the internet café or look into the daily program when you board. Depending on the package you can generally receive 10 to 60 free minutes.
2. Draft Feature
Don’t think just because you take a photo that it has to be shared immediately. Consider setting up a draft when emailing, Tweeting, Instagram and Facebook.
By setting up a draft you can logon and send everything at one time.
3. Turn off Data
Make sure you turn off data when you board the ship. If you don’t, you can end up with a $580 dollar cell phone bill — like me. If your data-roaming feature isn’t turned off, your phone will automatically try to pull down your messages and emails — ending in a huge bill. Keep your data-roaming turned.
It’s not a bad idea to keep your phone in airplane mode.
4. Beware of ‘Cellular at Sea’
Your cell phone will work at sea thanks to satellites flying above earth, and thanks to Wireless Maritime Services, you’ll be able to use your data and cell phone at sea — but beware — texts can run from .50 to $1.50 per text and phone service can run from $2.39 and up per minute. So think twice before using your phone because it says Cellular at Sea across the top.
But Cellular at Sea isn’t just a money grab because they set up a website called Connect at Sea that actually gives you tips and advice for saving money at sea. You can find it at ConnectAtSea.com.
5. Port Wifi
When you get to the pier you’ll typically have a few places to connect to wifi for free. Some popular free wifi hotspots in the Caribbean are usually found at cruise terminal or Starbucks locations. Also, don’t be afraid to ask a crew member. Crew members tend to migrate towards wifi signals. It is their lifeline to the outside world.
So if you’re one of those people that can’t stay disconnected – you aren’t alone – know that there are ways to stay connected that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Feature photo: Paul D, Flickr