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  • FIRST POST
    • annabanana82
    • By annabanana82 23rd Aug 19, 10:18 AM
    • 111Posts
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    annabanana82
    0 WOW
    Using mobiles overseas
    • #1
    • 23rd Aug 19, 10:18 AM
    0 WOW
    Using mobiles overseas 23rd Aug 19 at 10:18 AM
    Please move if this is not the place.

    I'm going on a cruise with P&O in Oct/Nov first port is Madeira then the Caribbean. My mobile phone is with Tesco mobile, how do i get the most reasonable charges for phoning home? I understand the Wi-Fi on board can be patchy. My parents got stung last year for making a few calls do want to avoid this.
    Not too worried about using the internet but could be a bonus if a cheap way of doing so.
    Many thanks
Page 1
    • Doshwaster
    • By Doshwaster 23rd Aug 19, 11:18 AM
    • 5,266 Posts
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    Doshwaster
    • #2
    • 23rd Aug 19, 11:18 AM
    • #2
    • 23rd Aug 19, 11:18 AM
    I would expect that Madeira would count as the EU as it is part of Portugal so call/data roaming would be free.
    • Neil49
    • By Neil49 23rd Aug 19, 11:58 AM
    • 1,521 Posts
    • 785 Thanks
    Neil49
    • #3
    • 23rd Aug 19, 11:58 AM
    • #3
    • 23rd Aug 19, 11:58 AM
    Firstly, Madeira is within the EU so normal free roaming will apply.

    Once you reach the Caribbean you will find most cruise terminals or nearby bars offer free WiFi. Either use this facility to send text messages, use WhatsApp or post on Facebook / Instagram etc.

    If you want to phone home then try to get them setup onto WhatsApp before you go (assuming they don't already use it) and use a free data connection while in port.

    Normal phone calls will be expensive so search the Tesco mobile website for charges for each country.

    Ship based wifi is both slow and expensive and I would avoid it wherever possible.

    Turn off your data connection while on the ship and in the Caribbean otherwise your phone could automatically connect to a network without your knowledge.

    Finally, have a nice cruise.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 23rd Aug 19, 2:00 PM
    • 6,929 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #4
    • 23rd Aug 19, 2:00 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Aug 19, 2:00 PM
    You may also find that once away from land you link into the maritime networks which will cost an arm and a leg to use. Check with the ship once on board. Don't trust what staff in a travel agent may tell you.
    • maman
    • By maman 23rd Aug 19, 2:06 PM
    • 20,474 Posts
    • 121,865 Thanks
    maman
    • #5
    • 23rd Aug 19, 2:06 PM
    • #5
    • 23rd Aug 19, 2:06 PM
    Id agree with using free wifi whenever possible in ports and phoning/messaging through WhatsApp. We were in Turkey (not in EU on my provider) for 3 weeks last month and using the phone didn't cost me a penny.
    • annabanana82
    • By annabanana82 23rd Aug 19, 2:38 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    annabanana82
    • #6
    • 23rd Aug 19, 2:38 PM
    • #6
    • 23rd Aug 19, 2:38 PM
    Thank you for all your responses, I'll stick to Wi-Fi off the ship. We have a few days at sea so will have to give phoning the husband and children a miss for these days.
    9 weeks to go ��
    • TadleyBaggie
    • By TadleyBaggie 23rd Aug 19, 3:32 PM
    • 3,331 Posts
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    TadleyBaggie
    • #7
    • 23rd Aug 19, 3:32 PM
    • #7
    • 23rd Aug 19, 3:32 PM
    You may also find that once away from land you link into the maritime networks which will cost an arm and a leg to use.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    I've never had that happen on a cruise.
    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 23rd Aug 19, 5:19 PM
    • 1,147 Posts
    • 433 Thanks
    NoodleDoodleMan
    • #8
    • 23rd Aug 19, 5:19 PM
    • #8
    • 23rd Aug 19, 5:19 PM
    I've never had that happen on a cruise.
    Doesn't the maritime network involve a satellite linkup, and is costly to use ?

    That's the mantra we've heard on 15 cruises.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 23rd Aug 19, 5:40 PM
    • 6,929 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #9
    • 23rd Aug 19, 5:40 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Aug 19, 5:40 PM
    I've never had that happen on a cruise.
    Originally posted by TadleyBaggie

    There have been multiple warnings on various travel related programmes. Maybe you've just been lucky, or used the phone so little you haven't noticed.
    • sazaccount
    • By sazaccount 23rd Aug 19, 6:00 PM
    • 386 Posts
    • 376 Thanks
    sazaccount
    Get your family (and yourself) to download either/or, facebook messenger (if you use FB) WhatApp (personal preference) skype (I use this to call uk landlines adding credit when needed) And call via wifi, the only thing the other person needs is their data on in the UK, depending on your ship the wifi can be pretty expensive so messaging would be better and call instead of video chatting to conserve data.
    Thanks to money saving tips and debt repayments/becoming debt free I have been able to work and travel for the last 4 years visiting 12 countries and working within 3 of them. Currently living and working in Canada
    • wilson1972
    • By wilson1972 23rd Aug 19, 6:37 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    wilson1972
    All the advice is good (turn data etc off)

    Could you not get a sim card whilst in the Caribbean though?
    • shykins
    • By shykins 24th Aug 19, 7:05 AM
    • 2,588 Posts
    • 5,520 Thanks
    shykins
    Madeira is part of tesco roaming so no problem there and with most other EU countries.

    As soon as I leave port i turn my phone onto airport, no risk then of connecting to maritime or the ships internet with the associated high fees for receiving texts/calls etc

    most cruise ports have free internet, if not just watch the crew they know where the free internet is lol
    When you know better you do better

    Atkins since 2004 - 8 stone loss maintaining
    • martindow
    • By martindow 24th Aug 19, 12:43 PM
    • 8,271 Posts
    • 4,843 Thanks
    martindow
    The man is seat 61 is journeying from London to Vancouver overland (for a cup of tea in a hotel there).

    On the QM2 across the Atlantic from where he sent regular Twitter posts these were the charges:

    $15 for 30 minutes, $45 for 120 minutes. But you can login, send/receive emails, log off, and so use just minutes per day spread over 6 days

    It's an interesting journey - https://twitter.com/seatsixtyone

    Your boat might have a similar set up to keep in contact but not 24h per day.
    • annabanana82
    • By annabanana82 25th Aug 19, 8:03 AM
    • 111 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    annabanana82
    The costs of using the ship's satellite was pretty expensive, I'm sure my Dad got charged around 30 a phone call on last year's cruise. My daughter at least has WhatsApp so I can call on that when we are in port. When we are at sea they can enjoy a few days peace from me...
    • badger09
    • By badger09 25th Aug 19, 2:30 PM
    • 7,348 Posts
    • 6,915 Thanks
    badger09
    On a 32 night Carribean cruise in 2016 I spent around 12 on Giffgaff PAYG keeping in touch. However, 6 went on an mms to my son in HK, which didn't even get sent

    Many of the port terminals have free wifi, but there are always bars where for the cost of a couple of drinks, you can use theirs.

    Can't remember the Barbados terminal but Cave Shepherd (department store) and bars around the Wharf have free wifi.

    Grenada terminal charged $4 for 24 hours, but we had 2 beers, fruit punch & soft drink and 60 mins wifi in a bar at the Careenage, including FT, for $13 in the sunshine, which felt like better value.

    Off topic, but if you're going to St Kitts, I can recommend the Scenic Railway trip, especially if you like a drink Free flow, mainly rum based drinks, and local school groups boarded train to serenade us.

    Have fun
    • annabanana82
    • By annabanana82 25th Aug 19, 3:52 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    annabanana82
    On a 32 night Carribean cruise in 2016 I spent around 12 on Giffgaff PAYG keeping in touch. However, 6 went on an mms to my son in HK, which didn't even get sent

    Many of the port terminals have free wifi, but there are always bars where for the cost of a couple of drinks, you can use theirs.

    Can't remember the Barbados terminal but Cave Shepherd (department store) and bars around the Wharf have free wifi.

    Grenada terminal charged $4 for 24 hours, but we had 2 beers, fruit punch & soft drink and 60 mins wifi in a bar at the Careenage, including FT, for $13 in the sunshine, which felt like better value.

    Off topic, but if you're going to St Kitts, I can recommend the Scenic Railway trip, especially if you like a drink Free flow, mainly rum based drinks, and local school groups boarded train to serenade us.

    Have fun
    Originally posted by badger09
    My parents are already booked on the St Kitts railway trip, as my friend and I are late additions to the trip we haven't booked any trips yet but that one is looking likely.
    My husband "who doesn't like holidays" has now been looking at family Caribbean holidays for next year!!
    • badger09
    • By badger09 26th Aug 19, 12:13 PM
    • 7,348 Posts
    • 6,915 Thanks
    badger09
    My parents are already booked on the St Kitts railway trip, as my friend and I are late additions to the trip we haven't booked any trips yet but that one is looking likely.
    My husband "who doesn't like holidays" has now been looking at family Caribbean holidays for next year!!
    Originally posted by annabanana82
    I have always hated having my photo taken, but that trip has produced my favourite of me, ever! It makes me look at least 15 (edit make that 20) years younger than I am

    Having a pina colada in one hand and another rum based drink in the other, might have something to do with it
    • Neil49
    • By Neil49 26th Aug 19, 1:56 PM
    • 1,521 Posts
    • 785 Thanks
    Neil49
    My parents are already booked on the St Kitts railway trip, as my friend and I are late additions to the trip we haven't booked any trips yet but that one is looking likely.
    My husband "who doesn't like holidays" has now been looking at family Caribbean holidays for next year!!
    Originally posted by annabanana82
    There are limited places on the rail trip and it can be booked up very quickly if a couple of big ships are in port.

    It's well worth doing but don't delay booking it up.
    • Cisco001
    • By Cisco001 27th Aug 19, 12:29 PM
    • 3,208 Posts
    • 1,384 Thanks
    Cisco001
    You may consider to get a PAYG sim for the trip to avoid any unexpected charge.
    • BarryBlue
    • By BarryBlue 27th Aug 19, 1:45 PM
    • 3,671 Posts
    • 12,474 Thanks
    BarryBlue
    It is quite correct that your phone may connect to the ship's internet when at sea, so ensure your data is off as soon as you leave port. Calls and data are expensive, and texts cost around 50p each.

    We are with 3 so there are many places beyond the EU that give calls, texts and data from your allowance. Even in the Far East only Thailand incurred a charge. The Caribbean is less accommodating, although some are still free if technically in the EU, such as Martinique.

    Top tip: When in port look for where the crew congregate, they know where to find free WiFi and you will see them all on Facetime to their families back home.
    We're gonna be alright, dancin' on a Saturday night
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