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Old 01-09-2013, 10:04 AM   #1
Gina
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Red face Another cell phone question...

We've always done Caribbean itineraries, but our upcoming Magic cruise is one of the Key West/CC/WDW itineraries. I know DS & I can use our phones in Key West and WDW, but when exactly is it okay to turn them on? Do we need to make sure we're completely off the ship? If I'm staying onboard at Key West, would I still be able to use it then without charges? I just don't want to turn my phone on too soon and be hit with a ton of charges as it searches for emails and whatnot.

Thanks!!

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:08 AM   #2
BonnieJG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina View Post
We've always done Caribbean itineraries, but our upcoming Magic cruise is one of the Key West/CC/WDW itineraries. I know DS & I can use our phones in Key West and WDW, but when exactly is it okay to turn them on? Do we need to make sure we're completely off the ship? If I'm staying onboard at Key West, would I still be able to use it then without charges? I just don't want to turn my phone on too soon and be hit with a ton of charges as it searches for emails and whatnot.

Thanks!!

-gina-
Hi, Gina: I heard that you should be one mile away from the ship from a radio expert on technology. I also heard that as soon as you get your 3G, 4G, or LTE connection you're. But, you have to turn your phone on to check that! I have been in port on a ship and I get my own connection instead of the ship's. So I am as confused as you are!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:18 AM   #3
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I was wondering that too.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:21 AM   #4
MrProjectionist
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When I was in Key West a few years ago, the phone worked perfectly fine on the open decks and right off the ship. No extra charges.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina View Post
I know DS & I can use our phones in Key West and WDW, but when exactly is it okay to turn them on? Do we need to make sure we're completely off the ship?
According to the "Cellular at Sea" provider (Wireless Maritime Services):

"Service for voice calls, texting (SMS) and data is available onboard while the ship is at sea. Once the WMS network is switched on when your ship is at least 12 nautical miles from shore (2 nautical miles in the European Union), while roaming on our cruise ships and ferries, you will see a distinct display on your handset that differs from your home carrier. Depending on the make and model of your phone, the handset will read “Nor 18”, “cellular@sea” or “901 18.”

So, if the shipboard cellular system is operating properly, you should be able to turn on your cell phone and talk without roaming charges whenever the ship is in (or even near) port at Key West; even if you are aboard ship. You should check your phone display to see your home cellular provider's name indicated (e.g., "AT&T") rather than the the ship's roaming network ("cellular@sea"). Verifying this information on your display would almost certainly ensure that you're not roaming on the ship's network.
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