Sim Only For Cruise Holiday

frostiecuk
frostiecuk Posts: 38
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Hi all

Looking for advice on what to do when going cruising in terms of sim cards. Previously I've done it as a family, but this year it will be as a single parent. Therefore daily or alternative day calls will be needed with ex partner.

I've been cruising before so I know they have wifi on board, but its silly prices so would like to avoid is possible. I know we can use wifi when on shore in a restaurant etc, but there will be times when it wont be possible.

Currently I have Smarty sim, but was thiking of the Lebara 30Gb plan that offers 500 roaming minutes. Are there any others I should consider?

The cruise is Western Med, so Spain, France, Italy etc.
Confused!

Comments

  • flaneurs_lobster
    flaneurs_lobster Posts: 3,437
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    Have a look at Three PAYG rates for roaming in Europe. Seems to be no extra charge to get your full package of added unlimited calls/SMS and data (up to their fair use limit of 12GB). A 12GB data add-on is £10.
  • 35har1old
    35har1old Posts: 950
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    Hi all

    Looking for advice on what to do when going cruising in terms of sim cards. Previously I've done it as a family, but this year it will be as a single parent. Therefore daily or alternative day calls will be needed with ex partner.

    I've been cruising before so I know they have wifi on board, but its silly prices so would like to avoid is possible. I know we can use wifi when on shore in a restaurant etc, but there will be times when it wont be possible.

    Currently I have Smarty sim, but was thiking of the Lebara 30Gb plan that offers 500 roaming minutes. Are there any others I should consider?

    The cruise is Western Med, so Spain, France, Italy etc.
    If at sea do you think any sim will work?
  • mrcamp
    mrcamp Posts: 307
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    35har1old said:
    Hi all

    Looking for advice on what to do when going cruising in terms of sim cards. Previously I've done it as a family, but this year it will be as a single parent. Therefore daily or alternative day calls will be needed with ex partner.

    I've been cruising before so I know they have wifi on board, but its silly prices so would like to avoid is possible. I know we can use wifi when on shore in a restaurant etc, but there will be times when it wont be possible.

    Currently I have Smarty sim, but was thiking of the Lebara 30Gb plan that offers 500 roaming minutes. Are there any others I should consider?

    The cruise is Western Med, so Spain, France, Italy etc.
    If at sea do you think any sim will work?
    The roaming plan will NOT include roaming on the ship's network. 
  • flaneurs_lobster
    flaneurs_lobster Posts: 3,437
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    edited 3 February at 7:52AM
    mrcamp said:
    35har1old said:
    Hi all

    Looking for advice on what to do when going cruising in terms of sim cards. Previously I've done it as a family, but this year it will be as a single parent. Therefore daily or alternative day calls will be needed with ex partner.

    I've been cruising before so I know they have wifi on board, but its silly prices so would like to avoid is possible. I know we can use wifi when on shore in a restaurant etc, but there will be times when it wont be possible.

    Currently I have Smarty sim, but was thiking of the Lebara 30Gb plan that offers 500 roaming minutes. Are there any others I should consider?

    The cruise is Western Med, so Spain, France, Italy etc.
    If at sea do you think any sim will work?
    The roaming plan will NOT include roaming on the ship's network. 
    The problem is that pretty much any SIM/plan will allow connection to the maritime satellite phone system (via the ship's 4G relay). Any costs incurred will not be included in any inclusive roaming plans.

    I'm sure that @frostiecuk as an experienced cruiser (cruisee?) knows that roaming while at sea will cost you about the same as a modest family house in the home counties. £5-10/MB is typical. 
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,573
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    edited 3 February at 2:36PM
    TBH you need to come up with a better plan than needing or wanting to use the phone every day or even every other day and just use it when you are on shore and not at sea.

    By necessity the ship has to use the maritime satellite service to provide broadband, wifi, data or telephone access and, as said above, it is not only horrendously expensive it wont be included in any roaming package.

    There are plenty of people who've come unstuck on ferries and ended up with ginormous bills because they haven't turned their phones off.

    Most ships turn on their satellite system as soon as they leave port (earlier if you are unlucky) and if your phone is set to roam your phone will latch onto the nearest and strongest signal so don't even rely on the fact that a ship is in port if you want to avoid high charges.

    Some ships may offer their own wifi service on board which may be cheaper if you subscribe when you get on board but make sure that you've set it up and only use the ships wifi. It's unlikely to be unlimited so beware and make sure that you turn roaming off on your phone to avoid it connecting to the satellite service.

    P&O charge £12 per day for their "basic package and up to £24/day for the "ultimate package", other ships may cost more or less
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,198
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    What's wrong with your Smarty SIM? They appear to do free EU roaming https://smarty.co.uk/roaming/europe
    You won't get any SIM which is good value on maritime networks, but if you only need it alternative days then just use it when you're ashore or in port. On a Western med cruise you're not going to be at sea for more than 2 days solid are you? 
    Be sure to switch off mobile data/roaming when you're at sea.

  • PHK
    PHK Posts: 1,138
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    zagfles said:
    What's wrong with your Smarty SIM? They appear to do free EU roaming https://smarty.co.uk/roaming/europe
    You won't get any SIM which is good value on maritime networks, but if you only need it alternative days then just use it when you're ashore or in port. On a Western med cruise you're not going to be at sea for more than 2 days solid are you? 
    Be sure to switch off mobile data/roaming when you're at sea.

    The best thing to do is switch to airplane mode and turn WiFi on separately IF you have bought a package. 

    The packages are expensive but if you've spent thousands on the cruise then another £200 for basic internet is not too much. 
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