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Old 10-21-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
jenhelgren
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Cell Phones and other electronics onboard?

This may seem like a silly question but I have read horror story of massive phone bills racked up on cruise ships and I want to be sure that doesn't happen to me!

If we simply put our phones/kindles/etc in airplane mode will that ensure that we will not get any charges while on the ship?

I know that the alarm and other functions work fine on my Samsung S4 while in airplane mode but I'm thinking that if there is a time change my alarm will not be correct?? I have never been in that situation but the phone needs to communicate with the cell site to receive and correct the time zone it is in and since it can't do that in airplane mode I'm thinking we would be waking up at the wrong time and will have set the phone accordingly-am I right??
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:29 AM   #2
swedemeatball
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhelgren View Post
This may seem like a silly question but I have read horror story of massive phone bills racked up on cruise ships and I want to be sure that doesn't happen to me!

If we simply put our phones/kindles/etc in airplane mode will that ensure that we will not get any charges while on the ship?

I know that the alarm and other functions work fine on my Samsung S4 while in airplane mode but I'm thinking that if there is a time change my alarm will not be correct?? I have never been in that situation but the phone needs to communicate with the cell site to receive and correct the time zone it is in and since it can't do that in airplane mode I'm thinking we would be waking up at the wrong time and will have set the phone accordingly-am I right??
Time changes will not happen without connectivity to a cellular network. My experience with this was during my western cruise last June. I have an IPhone if that is relevant info.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
Lisa_C
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Turn your data off via your settings too - you can't use the internet at all then. Turn off your voicemail as if someone leaves a message, you will be charged for as if receiving a call. Can you call your company to cap your charges?
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:17 AM   #4
SuperDry
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Originally Posted by jenhelgren View Post
I know that the alarm and other functions work fine on my Samsung S4 while in airplane mode but I'm thinking that if there is a time change my alarm will not be correct??
That's right. But even if you leave your phone on and out of airplane mode, this may not solve your time issue. The "time service" that a cellular network can broadcast is an optional feature set by the carrier, and I'm not sure that the on-board cellular system has it turned on. If not, then your phone will not change time as the ship changes time, even if left on. When on-board, it's better to turn off the auto-time-zone feature of the phone and change its time zone manually when the ship changes time.

Also, one thing that is rarely mentioned here is that there is often land-based cellular service available on board even when at sea. For example, for departures from Port Canaveral, if your stateroom is on the starboard side or you go up on deck, you usually can get signal from Florida for most of the first night of the cruise, often until way past midnight. The ship's "cellular at SEA" system will be turned on once you're X miles from shore, but this doesn't mean you can't still get the shore-based signal. One thing to be aware of is that if your phone registers to the ship's system (such as if you are inside), it will generally stay registered to it until that signal goes away or you reset the phone. So, if you can see Florida from your room or on deck but your phone is registered to "cellular at SEA", try putting it in airplane mode for 10 seconds then turn it back on - when it initializes, your phone will prefer the land-based signal if present over the ship's signal, and will stay registered to it until that signal goes away.

To come full circle, sometimes the ship's time is not the same as the nearby shore's time if you are not in port. For example, last week I was on the 7-day Bahamas Wonder cruise from Galveston. The ship switched to Central time on the night we left Nassau. The following morning, we were close enough to the southern tip of Florida for me to pick up the AT&T signal from my stateroom. If I had left the automatic time mode turned on, my phone would have switched to Eastern time and the clock would have been an hour off from the ship's time.
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