Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cell Phones At Sea

The majority of cruise ships offer the ability to use your cell phone while at sea. The way it works is by a cell tower located on the ship beaming the calls to a satellite, basically turning your standard cell phone into a satellite phone while on the ship. On most ships the system now works with both GSM & CDMA phones for voice calls made and received. Internet, e-mail, and text messaging may or may not work depending on the cell carrier. The system will only be operable when the ships are at sea. When in port the on board system will be turned off, allowing people to use the land based cell towers, so you need to know if your phone will work in the locations being visited if you plan on using your phone on land as well. Currently most carriers are charging around $2.49 - 4.99 per minute plus a toll charge per call while at sea. You may want to check with your provider about missed calls. I have heard but cannot confirm that incoming calls that go to voicemail may be charged to you if your phone is on.

For more information on what ships and what carriers go to http://www.wirelessatsea.com/.

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