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Old 02-03-2013, 11:02 AM   #16
DLBDS
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MrRay

Did this work for you on your recent cruise? Were you able to text in each port using this method? Was there a port it didn't work in? Anything you can share would be helpful. I was just going to turn Cellular Data off and just not use the phone for any kind of communication. Texting would be nice though. Thanks! (Again, great trip report!)
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:09 AM   #17
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As said here only turning data off will not suffice as you will still receive text messages and most likely be charged for them.

As stated here put phone in airplane mode and turn wifi back on then use iMessage or one of many other free texting apps. You would of course need to find a wifi spot at the port for this to work.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:14 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by DLBDS View Post
Did this work for you on your recent cruise? Were you able to text in each port using this method? Was there a port it didn't work in? Anything you can share would be helpful. I was just going to turn Cellular Data off and just not use the phone for any kind of communication. Texting would be nice though. Thanks! (Again, great trip report!)
I haven't done this on a cruise but have done it before. You just need to be connected to wi-fi, so finding that in port is the only tricky part. You can ask the crew, if there is free wi-fi at a port they will know where it is.

iMessage is like using an instant message program like aol, just try to remember that. So as long as you have airplane mode on and are connected to wi-fi you won't get any weird texting charges.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:41 AM   #19
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Some confusion about how data and texting works...

Texts do not use data, as they go through the voice part of phone. The only exception is a data app such as TextPlus, as this works through data; therefore, you need to put an international/roaming text package on your phone, or pay a la carte prices per text. So if you don't turn your phone to the proper settings, you will still receive texts, and you will be charged at a roaming rate/international rate, which could be quite expensive.

As for free wi-fi, we found that on our Western Caribbean cruise in August, there was no free wi-fi anywhere in our ports, except for with purchase of food/drinks. In Cozumel, there is a Starbucks at port, which requires a purchase (no minimum, so you could buy a coffee), and then you are given the code on the bottom of your receipt.

Grand Cayman was a disaster. We got scammed by their big phone company in purchasing phone cards, as we found out after searching for 1 hour from the police at port, that most of the public phones no longer work. We purchased a $7.00 card that went in the garbage. Something with the infrastructure...needless to say, no free wi-fi besides we saw a few restaurants (Margaritaville?) advertising, but they did require food/drink purchases.

In Costa Maya, we heard some people saying that they got free wi-fi after purchasing lunch at Senor Frogz, so not sure about that either?

No free wi-fi on Castaway Cay either.

We used the free wi-fi at Starbucks, and sent emails from the cruise (quick email without photos was about .75 each).

Best of luck, Tiger
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:02 PM   #20
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Some confusion about how data and texting works...

Texts do not use data, as they go through the voice part of phone. The only exception is a data app such as TextPlus, as this works through data; therefore, you need to put an international/roaming text package on your phone, or pay a la carte prices per text. So if you don't turn your phone to the proper settings, you will still receive texts, and you will be charged at a roaming rate/international rate, which could be quite expensive.

As for free wi-fi, we found that on our Western Caribbean cruise in August, there was no free wi-fi anywhere in our ports, except for with purchase of food/drinks. In Cozumel, there is a Starbucks at port, which requires a purchase (no minimum, so you could buy a coffee), and then you are given the code on the bottom of your receipt.

Grand Cayman was a disaster. We got scammed by their big phone company in purchasing phone cards, as we found out after searching for 1 hour from the police at port, that most of the public phones no longer work. We purchased a $7.00 card that went in the garbage. Something with the infrastructure...needless to say, no free wi-fi besides we saw a few restaurants (Margaritaville?) advertising, but they did require food/drink purchases.

In Costa Maya, we heard some people saying that they got free wi-fi after purchasing lunch at Senor Frogz, so not sure about that either?

No free wi-fi on Castaway Cay either.

We used the free wi-fi at Starbucks, and sent emails from the cruise (quick email without photos was about .75 each).

Best of luck, Tiger
Just to piggy back off of this iMessage works as both a data app and texting. If you are in airplane mode with wi-fi on you will not get charged for individual texts.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:15 PM   #21
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Just to piggy back off of this iMessage works as both a data app and texting. If you are in airplane mode with wi-fi on you will not get charged for individual texts.
Yup! This is s great feature of iMessage!

Tiger

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Old 02-03-2013, 12:18 PM   #22
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Just to be clear, you will be charged for phone calls, texts and data usage on the ship when at sea no matter what. That's because you are using the ships celluar (Cellular at Sea) and Wifi, neither of which is free.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:36 PM   #23
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Just to be clear, you will be charged for phone calls, texts and data usage on the ship when at sea no matter what. That's because you are using the ships celluar (Cellular at Sea) and Wifi, neither of which is free.
I was just going to say this, but you beat me to it. Also note that according to AT&T if you turn your phone on internationally at all when its not in airplane mode (for example to set the correct time), ANY calls and texts that go into voice mail after that are treated as if they were received in that country, even if you subsequently turn it on airplane mode. I thought this was ridiculous--I could just see someone texting me a picture, which would be VERY expensive--and so I'm careful to never turn the phone on after landing if I haven't bought a data package. I'm one of those that had a nightmare bill even WITH the data package. Apparently something went wrong and I was charged "accidentally" at higher rates. It was all cleared up eventually, but I had to pay a $600 bill and then have it credited. Now, I just use my iphone as an alarm clock and buy phones with local phone cards when I'm traveling. It's *much* cheaper. For example, in London we bought 3 pound phones and then bought 10 pound top up cards. We still had money left on our cards after a week of calling and texting.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:47 PM   #24
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I learn so much from these threads! There is never a dumb question! I am sending this while in airplane mode connected to the Internet!
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:27 PM   #25
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The safest thing to do is take out the SIM card and put it in something like an SD card case, the kind you get when you buy SD cards. In the same case, keep a safety pin in it to use when popping the SIM tray out to remove and re-insert the SIM. Keep this case in your wallet or purse and always know where it is, when you decide to put the SIM back into your phone.

There will absolutely be no mistakes as there is no physical connection to your cell carrier. This is really helpful if you let your kids play with your phone and they figure out how to switch airplane mode off.

Wifi will still work. So in wifi zones, you can make calls using the app Talkatone (free) and text using TextPlus (free). Note both apps do not require the receiver to have the app or even a smartphone which is nice.
That worked no problem in our hotel and at the airports.

Because the iPhone has a GPS chip, full GPS apps also work without a SIM. The maps are stored locally but the full-featured apps are not free, eg; TomTom.

Wifi on DCL is expensive and really slow, I am not even sure it will support VoIP like Talkatone.

I'm from Canada, so roaming charges for voice and data are very expensive. My other options beyond the above are to pay for a travel package from my CDN carrier, or, buy a U.S. SIM in my unlocked phone and add PAYG minutes/data.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:35 PM   #26
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Well, you pretty much answered that for me. I just tested that theory. I turned on Airplane mode and turned Cellular Data off and turned wi-fi back on and texting still worked. Interesting. Thanks, folks!
Sorry--soooo not tech savvy here! I'm playing with my phone as I read all of these messages. Turned airplane mode on, turned wifi on--but what is Cellular Data--and where do I find that on an iPhone?

THANKS!
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:36 PM   #27
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Just to piggy back off of this iMessage works as both a data app and texting. If you are in airplane mode with wi-fi on you will not get charged for individual texts.

Although iMessage can fall back to SMS, if you have airplane mode on, it will only deliver messages to other iMessage users. It will not send messages to to non iMessage recipients.

If you have decent wifi you can actually use apps that work in conjunction with google voice, such as 'talkatone'. Google voice by itself requires a cell connection. Of course you do need a decent wifi connection. The ships won't do it. I was able to place a short call from Nassau last summer.

There is also a similar app for android devices, but I haven't used that in years.

Strongly suggest you play with it at home so you know how it works.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:43 PM   #28
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Sorry--soooo not tech savvy here! I'm playing with my phone as I read all of these messages. Turned airplane mode on, turned wifi on--but what is Cellular Data--and where do I find that on an iPhone?

THANKS!
Settings - General- Cellular

Switch Cellular Data to off

Make sure Data Roaming is off while you are in the Cellular setting.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:49 PM   #29
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Settings - General- Cellular

Switch Cellular Data to off

Make sure Data Roaming is off while you are in the Cellular setting.
Airplane mode turns all cellular (local and roaming) off. Also, SMS come in via the cellular voice network. If you turn off airplane, any txt messages backed up will pour in at 5-10c a pop. No way to prevent it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:03 PM   #30
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Sorry--soooo not tech savvy here! I'm playing with my phone as I read all of these messages. Turned airplane mode on, turned wifi on--but what is Cellular Data--and where do I find that on an iPhone?

THANKS!
Airplane mode is the software equivalent of taking the SIM card out.
Turn wifi ON and you're good to go.

You don't need to find or do anything to Cellular Data.

However, I do recommend turning "Data Roaming" OFF, and "Cell carrier" set to your subscribed carrier, not "Auto". Doing both will prevent or at least the phone will ask you to accept changing carriers and letting data/calls/texts come through should you inadvertently toggle Airplane mode and turn everything back on.

Since our kids play with our phones, I prefer to take the SIM cards right out.
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