Please explain to me about bringing my tech-stuff on DCL

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by writerriann, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. writerriann

    writerriann Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    169
    This makes me feel completely technologically illiterate. :lmao:

    I have never been on a cruise and we are scheduled to go on the Dream for 5n in May. What do you do with your techie stuff? :confused:

    1) DH and I both have smartphones. We have no plans to make phone calls. Is the best option for us to simply turn them off? Turn them on airplane mode? We have no international plan (or any plans to get one). I don't want to incur any charges on our phones.

    2) DH is planning on bringing his 3G iPad 2. We would like to check work emails on board and communicate back home. I'm talking about just quick checks/email - just keeping up with the goings on. Am I correct in thinking that we need to purchase wireless minutes from DCL when we go onboard? Can we use it in our staterooms? Anything I need to watch out for regarding service?

    Thank you! I swear I'm not a techno-dummy. I just have no idea how things work on the high seas and we're only planning to disembark at CC.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Momma2Jax

    Momma2Jax DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    779
    I have not cruised yet, but in my research, talking with friends, etc... this is what I believe:

    1) yes, you can take your smart phones, but I personally would put it in airplane mode, just in case. A friend of mine took his to Alaska last year, and said it barely worked anyway, and several times said "roaming" which means he would incur charges if he used it. DH and I will probably bring our iPhones, but only use them in airplane mode, if at all. I am of the "We are on vacation, who needs the phone??" camp...but I know we may need it for emergencies, and before/after we get on/off the ship

    2) Since the iPad uses wireless to connect to email, yes, you would need to pay for the use of wireless internet on DCL. It looks like it's kindof ridiculously expensive. If it were me, I would either not check my email for a few days, or, if I needed to, keep the iPad in airplane mode (or turn wireless off) while you compose your emails, etc... then turn on the wireless for just enough times to send/recieve.

    Hope that helped! Again, I am also a newbie, so if I am incorrect, I'm sorry!
     
  4. betsy918

    betsy918 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    222
    Well, I must be a techo-dummy, because I incurred $11.50 in roaming charges on my recent cruise just because I turned my phone on one day (I wanted to take a picture to post later when I got back. I did not attempt to post the picture, I just took the picture.) I made no calls and did not attempt to access the internet, but I was not aware that my smart phone would start looking for data just because it was turned on. When I called Verizon to find out what the charges were about as I had not used the phone, they explained that I was charged roaming just for the phone doing what it does naturally when it is turned on. Who knew??? (Clearly not this techno dummy.) As I am leaving for another cruise in 4 days, I asked how to avoid this, and she told me that I should go into settings, and turn off the data setting. Then I can turn it on to use the camera without incurring roaming charges. She said this was better than putting it in airplane mode.
     
  5. Fºoºz

    Fºoºz DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 1999
    Messages:
    602
    Concur with Momma2Jax ... turn off your smartphone and use the WiFi on your iPad if you need to. Just be careful to sign off on the WiFi on your iPad when you're finished using whatever you need to use the WiFi on (best to switch to airplane mode) ...
     
  6. Momma2Jax

    Momma2Jax DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    779
    Not a dummy! I wouldn't think it would incur charges without using it, either! I guess it would be best to turn it to airplane mode before departing at all, just in case!
     
  7. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    33,285
    Wifi on the ship is 75 cents per minute and the service is S......L...O....W! We have located internet cafes in most ports that have either free or cheap internet and use those for the "check your e-mail" occasions. If you must use it on the ship, get on, download, and get off. Compose your replies, then log on and hit "send." There is no need to pay for time while writing!
     
  8. kimmypie1

    kimmypie1 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    172
    I am not even sure airplane mode would do the trick either. I called Verizon to ask what DH and I should do with our iPhones while on the Mexican Riviera cruise and was told that you have to disable data roaming, voice roaming and cellular data. If not she said that your phone will incur roaming charges even if turned off. I have read horror stories of massive cell bills while travelling.

    Again, I am not sure if putting it in airplane mode would do the same thing, but if it did I would think she would have just instructed me to do that.
     
  9. sas_mk

    sas_mk Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    235
    On our recent cruise, it took my Mom 27 minutes to download one small email. She was charged an arm and a leg for that one email. When she asked Guest Services about the SLOW internet they told her that it was very normal for the internet to be that slow.

    I would wait and find free wi-fi onshore if you must check in while on vacation.
     
  10. Disney Dreams

    Disney Dreams Proudly afflicted with TDMA!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    16,142
    If you have a smartphone and are onboard the ship, it will roam periodically for updates. This will cost you - and you are doing nothing. Either turn it off or put it on airplane mode. We shut ours off and locked it in the stateroom safe for the week.

    If you use it on the ship, you are not using your service, you are using the wireless service of the ship, which is very expensive and, as stated above, slow. The same is true with ipads.

    DH HAD to have internet access 2x during our MR cruise. We did not want to spend time searching for and sitting in an internet cafe, although many use that option. He bought a small internet plan for the computers onboard the ship. We learned very quickly to pre-type as kashner mentioned above. Even doing that - the time went VERY quickly. It is really S-L-O-W. But if you must, it's there. If you want to spend some of your vacation in a cafe/coffee shop with internet access, just ask a few members of the cruise staff. They know where the places are in town -- many of them use them weekly. :goodvibes

    - Dreams
     
  11. DLW8

    DLW8 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,403
    If you aren't planning on using your smart phone at all, just turn it off and put it in the safe.

    That is where we put our phones when we cruise....while I do love being able to check my emails, I feel no need to be connected while cruising the high seas!

    Enjoy!
     
  12. Ikaikalani

    Ikaikalani Tee-Eye-double Guh-err

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    276
    I can tell you absolutely that you need to turn your phone completely off. Airplane mode is not 'turned off' and you MAY still incur roaming charges. When your phone is powered on, it is always doing things...i.e. updating, traking your position (in order for you to get calls, etc.). Also, you know when you download an app and you (well, maybe not you personally since I don't know you, but most people anyway) just click 'accept' w/o reading the terms/conditions? Well, the terms usually include a bit about auto updating, etc. and that you'll be responsible for any charges. When out of the country, if you're not on the correct international plan, you'll be charged roaming fees whenever your phone does this....like the previous poster noted. So, best bet is to simply turn it off completley and leave it be!:)
     
  13. ksloane

    ksloane DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,786
    To avoid any accidental charges on our cruise, we took the batteries out of our smart phones. I didn't want to take a chance of them getting bumped as we took other things in and out of the safe and coming back on and doing any kind of connecting. Plan to do the same thing in June.
     
  14. miztressuz

    miztressuz Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    417
    not always the people on the phones are the most technologically savvy either. they have a script. and they don't always understand what's in their script.

    airplane mode was created to cut off all radio traffic to the phone while on an airplane, since FAA requires this, but it allows you to access the device still. so i can not think of a reason why airplane mode would not be sufficient. on smartphones while in airplane mode you can do everything on the phone that does not require a network connection so you can still use it for a camera, etc (and we did while on the ship without getting any charges)

    I think perhaps what the phone rep was trying to say is to avoid any slip ups (accidentally turning airplane mode off) to be safe you should disable all the data, roaming, etc. That way if you accidentally turn airplane mode off, the phone won't immediately start trying to sync and thus incur charges. I would think of that as a safety net (turn off all the network access and turn airplane mode on). Also, just make sure to do all this before you set sail so there is no chance for your device to roam onto a new network and get registered there. We turn it to airplane mode before we leave the dock and haven't had an issue.
     
  15. IrenicMom

    IrenicMom DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    678
    Airplane mode disables the internal components' abilities to access/search/utilize any type of "communication" device. It's no different than turning on your computer, but not accessing WiFi, or playing a handheld video game system but not linking up.

    The instant you turn airplane mode off, though, it automatically begins searching for a signal. This is where unintentional charges start piling up.

    As a backup, in an iPhone, you can:
    turn off location services
    under location services, in system services turn off all
    - Cell network search
    - compass calibration
    - diagnostics and usage
    - location based iAds
    - setting time zone
    - traffic
    disable push notifications
    set fetch data to "manually"
    turn off iMessage, MMS Messaging and Group Messaging

    And lastly - under settings/general/network, turn off both cellular data AND data roaming. With those last two? It's pretty much impossible to accidentally activate the cellular network, and thus, incur fees.

    Good luck and happy sailing!!

    (And I keep my iPhone with me, in Airplane Mode, for those quick photo ops :thumbsup2)
     
  16. BeeTeacher

    BeeTeacher Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    266
    I am not sure how all smart phones work but this is how it works with the Iphone 4. VERIZON is my Cell carrier...

    The Iphone is never really, ever, totally "off". Even if you turn it "off" it is still communicating with GPS satellites and cell towers, etc. This is why you can do things like "MAP MY RUN"--you start the run timer, then turn the iphone off, then turn it back on to end the route and check your time, etc.

    SO, turning off the IPhone won't prevent the phone from communicating. While you are out at sea this may not be a problem--if there is no signal there's no signal. But when you get into a port or close enough to land for a signal to reach your phone, it will incur a roaming charge.

    To avoid any ROAMING charges on the Iphone 4, put the phone on AIRPLANE MODE. The phone can then be used for camera, taking notes, entering food into your diet app, whatever. My diet app didn't work because the food catalog is online, nor did the networking feature (MY FITNESS PAL).

    To be extra safe, we went to Settings--General--Network and turned "cellular data" OFF. Didn't want to take any chances!

    When we got into Nassau I dropped into the Starbucks to send an email to my kids ($3/hr but the connection was fast), I turned the CELLULAR DATA back on, and left the phone in WI FI mode.

    I just looked at my Verizon bill detail online, and I have NO activity from 5:15 on embarkation day to 8:30 AM on Debarkation day. So I guess it all worked.
     
  17. AmandaRG

    AmandaRG DCL is my happy place!!!

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,664
    I have Shipmate on my Android, and loved using it onboard the Dream! It helped me when we got turned around and when we were going from one place to another. Having my phone on airplane did not result in additional charges, and it was nice to have my camera when DH's didn't work!
     
  18. LdyMags

    LdyMags Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    36
    I took my Iphone on the Mexican Riviera trip last March, turned it on airplane mode, used it to take pictures all through out the trip. Had NO extra charges at all. I never turned my phone off, just left it in airplane mode.
     
  19. miztressuz

    miztressuz Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    417
    that's interesting, i had not heard that before. do you have a link to an article or paper or something that states this? or was this just from experience? it would be interesting information for me to have for work.
     
  20. BeeTeacher

    BeeTeacher Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    266
    I don't have an article but I have a Geek DH...

    With an old style phone if you turn it off, its off. You can't receive a text, call, etc. When you turn it on, it says "missed call".

    With the Iphone, it communicates with the "mother ship" even when it is off. This is why it turns itself on to tell you "Incoming call" or "Text", "reminders", etc. I use the Map My Run often, but I turn the phone off. I also use the timer often but starting it, then turning off the phone and then back on when I want to see how much time has passed (use this for homework reading).

    On the ship I used the phone for camera, alarm clock, map my run (on the bikes) and the SHIP MATE maps. There are NO charges or activity from Feb 2-Feb 5, and I did use the phone for WiFi email and facebook at the Nassau Starbucks.

    You can google it--there are many sites that discuss this. We were concerned the WIFi would mess us up, so I actually brought my old Ipod Touch just in case. A little research in the car on the way down made me realize we didn't need to bother with that.

    As far as we can tell, the only way to really have an Iphone 100% Off, is to remove the battery!

    Now I don't know how the droids and other smart phones work...

    I will say--it was so nice that no one could call. Or text. Or email. Lol!
     
  21. crzy4dals

    crzy4dals DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,203
    I have been on a couple cruises with my Iphone and always just put it in airplane mode - cuts off the cellular network. And I use the phone for any games, music, books, apps. I have done this in the Med, Mexican Riv, Panama Canal repo and Bahamas. NO fees....

    All of my comments are in red.
     

Share This Page