Stay in Touch

phone booth

By Chuck Flagg

Living in the United States, we are at a disadvantage with the rest of the world when it comes to per minute charges for voice and kilo-byte charges. If you are not careful, you too could wind up with a large cellphone bill when traveling internationally. I wanted to share some tips I have used when it comes to staying in touch while on vacation…and not going bankrupt.

  • Turn off push email. You don’t want your iPhone trying to get email while in the middle of the Caribbean. You will be using the ship based cellular at sea service and the charges will be considered international data with a roaming charge tacked on.
  • Cellular at Sea is an option, but the rates are ~ $2.99 a minute and up.
  • Buy an unlocked Quad-band cell phone on Ebay. You can then purchase a SIM card when you reach your destination country. While it will be an international call for someone calling your international phone number in this scenario, it will be far cheaper for your to call back home than using your cell phone even with an “international plan”.
  • Consider a MagicJack. While the rates of satellite based internet on a cruise start at $.75 a minute. (These per-minute charges can be brought down with a multi-minute package purchase) Calling from the privacy of your stateroom through your computer is still cheaper than using your cell phone or the in-room ship to shore phone (at $7.95 a minute).
  • Take a laptop or netbook. In addition to being able to make calls using a MagicJack, you could go online, download all of your emails, logoff, answer them log back on and send them. An added benefit is posting a “Wish you were here” picture to your Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account!
  • Internet Cafes provide a cheaper option than what you find onboard a cruise ship. However, be careful to not let your guard down. Clients have lost purses, phones, wallets and more when they are not paying attention to their surroundings.

Content ©copyright 2011 by Chuck Flagg. All Rights Reserved.