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View Full Version : Free phone calls over Google on ship?


familyfun5
11-04-2010, 12:09 AM
We are taking our sons friend to the MR in Feb. The phone min charges are outrageous. An option is he can call home while in the ports. A second option that I was thinking of giving his family is calling over Google. Google has free phone service over the internet, even internationally. Though there would be a min charge for the internet, I think it would still be considerably less than cell service. I have not actually used the service but a friend said she now makes long international calls to family for free over the internet and is very happy with it.
Has anyone done this on the ship? Are the computers set for video and voice?

DisWitt
11-04-2010, 12:47 AM
Good idea, but you'll have to hear from someone who has actually tried that protocol or Skype via the satellite connection. If it's anything like the connection on an airplane via GoGo Wireless, it won't work. 1) the network restricts the protocols and ports for the streaming voice/video and 2) the latency via a satellite connection would make it a horrible connection... but I'd be happy to be wrong if someone has gotten it to work. I didn't see anyone doing voice or video chats on their laptops aboard last week.

Donald_Quackers
11-04-2010, 01:43 AM
I believe that Disney restricts those protocols, but even if they didn't, it would not be a good connection, if you could get one at all. If you used wifi while in a port perhaps...

ssanders79
11-04-2010, 07:59 AM
The internet speed is painfully slow... Think back to the good old days of dial up. Considering the price you pay for internet (and cellular calls) it is not worth it. Just enjoy the time unplugged from the word.

I would say if you are going to pay for the internet just stick with email (compose offline then connect to send to save your internet minutes) unless there is an emergency then just bite the bullet and make a phone call.

iloverags2
11-04-2010, 08:22 AM
I used Verizon during our cruise last October (my old Verizon phone did not have a data plan, so I could keep it on without worries). While the rates were higher than our normal rates, it wasn't too terrible at all. Check with your cell phone provider to see if this is a workable solution.

Gigi22
11-04-2010, 09:04 AM
The least expensive way to call home from a cruise is to do so onshore. Most port facilities have pay telephones that can be used with prepaid phone cards. Once you are onboard ship, ask your cabin steward about the public telephone locations in some/all of the ports--you usually see cruise staff lined up to use these phones, so your steward should be able to advise you!

tvguy
11-05-2010, 03:01 PM
The least expensive way to call home from a cruise is to do so onshore. Most port facilities have pay telephones that can be used with prepaid phone cards. Once you are onboard ship, ask your cabin steward about the public telephone locations in some/all of the ports--you usually see cruise staff lined up to use these phones, so your steward should be able to advise you!

We noticed that the pay phones near where the ship docks have big signs that say "No Phone Cards Accepted."

eblong
11-06-2010, 06:22 PM
Even if the DCL internet capability allows it, using it for voice is risky. The bandwidth available varies greatly based on how many are using it at the time and it's not uncommon to have it drop, requiring you to re-login.

Gigi22
11-06-2010, 07:01 PM
We found that a locally purchased phonecard (I think they start at $5 US) will work, and cover long distance calls from certain ports. The phonecards that work in the pay phones are sold in a type of kiosk near the telephones. The telephones have a sign indicating that phonecards can be used, but they appeared to only accept the locally purchased cards. The card can be topped up when you run out of money on it.

If memory serves, this was on St. Maarten and we were able to use the same card at one other port--we weren't on DCL at the time, so I don't want to mislead people into thinking the phonecards will work on St. Thomas/Nassau.

sayhello
11-06-2010, 07:15 PM
I don't know about Google voice, but DCL blocks Skype on the ships, so it wouldn't surprise me if they block Google voice, too.

Sayhello

terramei
11-06-2010, 07:58 PM
it may have changed. but in 2006 I was on the magic and used my laptop to call home through the google talk program. It worked ok, but faded a little at times. Its worth a shot.

boueburn
04-12-2011, 02:39 AM
Hi I have tried a lot of calling cards and living aboard I am always ringing back home. I have had a look at the rates and they are quiet similar to the service I use at http://www.voxcall.com. The only problem I have with calling cards is that there is always a connection charge, which eats always from the minutes you have on the card, and secondly it cuts off after a certain time, so re-dialing, hence and new connection charge. Thirdly the line quality on most of the cards not so good

Nevertheless, exceptions are there. I have found it easier to put up phone and dial the access numbers I get from http://www.voxcall.com.

SakeDad
04-12-2011, 02:55 AM
I don't know about Google voice, but DCL blocks Skype on the ships, so it wouldn't surprise me if they block Google voice, too.

Sayhello

But I'm sure many crew usues Skype so why would they block it?? Granted, to get it you STILL have to pay the internet per minute charges but it's better than nothing. Maybe the best is to get Skype and find a WiFi place in Nassau.

tvguy
04-12-2011, 04:58 PM
But I'm sure many crew usues Skype so why would they block it?? Granted, to get it you STILL have to pay the internet per minute charges but it's better than nothing. Maybe the best is to get Skype and find a WiFi place in Nassau.

I bet the crew all go into port if they use SKYPE. Ships have very limited bandwidth on the satellite, a couple of people using SKYPE would use all the available bandwidth, that's why they block it and any other bandwidth hogs.

My mom kind of set the standard in our family, because she cruises so often. When she is on a cruise, she wants to be out of touch, and she doesn't care what happens at home, it can wait until she gets home.