Being able to contact the kids

Jenrausch84

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 29, 2018
Hello all,

My husband and I are going on our first cruise without the kids, 6 and 3. While it's not necessary that we're attached to our phones I would like to ability to call and say goodnight and see how things are going back home. I'm getting that the internet isn't very good, so video calling is probably going to be out? We have Verizon, does anyone have experience with staying in contact back home? What are our best options?
 

Capt_BJ

So Many Times
Joined
May 17, 2005
text msgs need the LEAST connectivity ... but you need to understand that INTERNET to a ship at sea means SATELLITE and that ain't cheap . . .

last I heard Disney gave a 'free' chunk of access ....... if you can stick with TEXT msgs you will NOT exceed this 'free' allocation.
 

lklgoodman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
We've never tried calling anyone while on a cruise. Could you try calling while off the ship at the different ports? You wouldn't be able to talk to them every night, but if calling while on the ship doesn't work at least you'd be able to talk some.
 
  • lilsonicfan

    <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2003
    There are no cell towers in the ocean, so using a cell phone to make a call is definitely a challenge. But here's a potential option for days at sea: buy the biggest internet package, and try something like Whatsapp calling - if you and someone at home both have Whatsapp, you can use it to make audio or video calls (I bet the video will be choppy at best though). You can also use Whatsapp for texting and such.
     

    longboard55

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2014
    you need to be real careful with internet packages. It is easy to use all your MBs just by leaving your phone on. Turn off all apps and shut down the phone when not using it. The internet on the ships works fine, it just is very expensive, it easy up MBs very quickly
     

    g_ppetto

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 22, 2018
    Verizon has a feature you can add called Travel Pass that may give you access while in port. It is $10 for 24 hours and is supposed to provide you the same plan you have at home. You don't pay until it is activated and it is activated on first use. I enabled it on my wife's phone prior to a cruise to Nassau and CC.

    We found was it was better for voice than data and messaging. While in Nassau, we walked over to the Never Say Never Again Bar and Grill. It is the octagon building at the end of the pier on the left side of the Port Nassau web cam. We have been watching this place on the web cam since before it opened. We ordered a couple of mimosas, took some photos and had a nice long phone call with our daughter in NJ.

    Data was unreliably slow and messaging had us wondering if the messages went through using Verizon's messaging app.

    We tried messaging the next day at CC. Someone said if you time it correctly, it would be the same 24 hour period. After struggling to send a message to our daughter, I looked at the time and had the thought 'I wonder if that message just cost me another $10...', and called our daughter again. Had a nice call. Again, data and messaging were not great. But the call went through. Not a lot of bars on the signal strength where we were. Other locations may have been better.

    I would recommend you disable all background activity and updates for your apps for both the on ship internet access and if you opt ot go with Travel Pass. Disable auto updates too. On the ship you can exhaust your free 50 MB, or other internet data plan, quickly if your apps are connecting in the background. Having only one phone accessing the free 50 MB worked well for a while for us. My wife did some messaging and some FB stuff. Then I took my phone out of airplane more and it was difficult to track our usage.

    Your Verizon plan may cover some other countries. Their site can tell you where you can use travel pass.

    There are posts regarding free imessage access on some DCL ships. We're on Samsung so I haven't really been paying attention to the imessage stuff.
     
  • msmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2009
    Have you checked the Verizon website? I feel like I’ve seen info there (around the same part of the website where you sign up for travel pass) about cruise ship phone usage. I’ve never looked at the info but I think it’s there.

    And as for travel pass, it depends on the country but it ranges from $5 to $10 and I’ve used it successfully in many countries.
     

    allison0523

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 7, 2013
    definitely travel pass when you are in port. most phones can do wifi voice calling but i don't know how that works if you are buying a data package. I am not sure how Disney's wifi is but we were on the Allure of the Seas last year and our room included the free unlimited wifi. I made calls using the wifi with my verizon iPhone and had no issues. According to the verizon website, wifi calling uses about 1mb/minute of data.
     
    Last edited:

    Jenrausch84

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 29, 2018
    Thanks guys. We'll have to do the best we can. They're young enough that texting doesnt mean much so I hope calling is an option.
     

    88golf88

    DisneyKid@27
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2009
    Thanks guys. We'll have to do the best we can. They're young enough that texting doesnt mean much so I hope calling is an option.
    Calling from the ports is the best way to chat with the little ones and just have to explain that you won't be able to talk to them before bed time. You can send iMessages from the ship to back home and just have to have whoever is watching them tell them what you said. We have 3/6/8 year olds and it worked well for them (I know all kids are different).
     
  • MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    you need to be real careful with internet packages. It is easy to use all your MBs just by leaving your phone on. Turn off all apps and shut down the phone when not using it. The internet on the ships works fine, it just is very expensive, it easy up MBs very quickly
    This is not correct. You are supposed to log in and log off to the ship internet each internet session. If you do not log out, sure, then background apps may use up data (although they do give you instructions on how to minimize background data use). But if you log out, your phone will absolutely not continue to use up your internet allowance at all and you can leave it on with no internet usage. I kept my phone on the whole cruise because i used the navigator app a lot, and whenever I logged back in to the ship's internet, the MB balance was exactly the same as when I left it the last time.

    I second the recommendation for making whatsapp calls. My parents live overseas so we only ever use whatsapp to phone them (it is extremely popular overseas; I don't know why it isn't used more in the US!). The quality is great. It works on internet so it will use up some internet, but not nearly as much as a video call.
     

    g_ppetto

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 22, 2018
    More info - I have a flyer from one of our cruises that lists the data packages as 100 MB for $19, 300 MB for $39, and 1000 MB for $89. If your phones support wifi calling it may be an option. A tablet or laptop with Google voice would probably work too. We're on Verizon with Samsung phones and wifi calling is supported.
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates

    Book your Disney Cruise through Dreams Unlimited Travel and receive a Shipboard Credit and an Exclusive Gift Basket!



    CASTAWAY CAY PHOTOS

    DECK PLANS


    STATEROOMS


    ITINERARIES


    Top