How to Save on Mobile Phone Usage When Aboard a Ship

How to Save on Mobile Phone Usage When Aboard a Ship
November 14 12:29 2018 Print This Article

If you want to be able to use your mobile device even when at sea, it’s important that you know the consequences of doing so.

The moment you sail away from the port, your smartphone will automatically go into roaming mode. This means using your device will also translate into higher rates and additional fees.

To continue enjoying your phone without suffering the costs, here’s what you can do:

1. Get a plan

Consider getting a plan such as maritime roaming from your service provider to take advantage of lower rates. Just because you have a signal even at sea doesn’t mean it would be cheap to use.

When you get a plan, take into account your location so that you can use your mobile device even when onboard a ship without incurring extra costs. This is why it’s highly beneficial to get a plan so that you have nothing to worry about.

Decide if what you need is a data, voice or messaging plan

Various service providers offer data, messaging, and voice plans for those aboard a ship. Some even offer plans similar to on-land packages. If you’re on a budget, make sure to pick the one that best suits your needs.

2. Use shipboard Internet

If you’re on a cruise ship and there’s free Wi-Fi, by all means, use it. Taking advantage of free Wi-Fi is the best way to save on costs. All you have to do is connect to the Internet and use free voice and messaging apps to stay in touch with friends, family and work associates.

Check out apps like Skype, Viber or WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family without incurring roaming charges. As long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you can browse the Internet all you want without worrying about data charges.

Buy a Wi-Fi package onboard

If free Wi-Fi is not offered, consider buying an Internet package on the ship.

This way, you can avoid turning on your phone data and roaming features which would be more expensive than using Wi-Fi instead. Don’t forget to turn off your phone Wi-Fi connection as soon as you’re done using it.

3. Check offers

Phone service providers have special promotions that you can benefit from at lower rates.

Contact your provider to ask about what offers they have that can save you from huge costs when using your phone at sea. There are some service providers that actually support all major cruise lines.

Try to visit your provider’s website for pricing information, and to ensure that your phone is compatible with their service offerings.

4. Inform your people ahead of time

Make sure to tell your family, friends and business associates not to send you any large attachments while you’re still onboard a ship.

If they do, you will end up incurring excessive data charges and it will also take a lot of time to download such files.

What’s worse is that you have to pay by the minute, and downloading a big file will prevent you from receiving other (possibly urgent and important) emails instantly.

5. Limit communication

Restrict all communication to when you finally dock in a port.

Use a local SIM card so that you can communicate with others back home at much lower rates. If you have an unlimited data plan, use it while off the ship to enjoy faster data speeds.

6. Switch to airplane mode

To avoid unexpected charges, the safest way is to switch to airplane mode. Doing so actually turns off the wireless connection so you’ll need to manually reactivate it. When you need to and the service is available, activate your Wi-Fi connection and log in to the ship’s network.

Once you’re logged in to the ship Wi-Fi, open your browser to complete the process and use the service as needed. Remember to log off the Wi-Fi network when not in use to avoid wasting precious bandwidth or minutes. When out of airplane mode, make sure to stay within the limitations of your plan.

The choice to keep in touch is in your hands

Always think twice when using your smartphone while at sea. Plans offered by service providers still have limitations which is why it’s essential to study them beforehand.

The convenience of using a phone on a ship is indeed a welcome luxury.

But if you’re travelling on vacation to meet new people and visit new places, take this time to have some fun and relax. Endlessly scrolling on your mobile device is definitely not a good way to spend your holiday.

If you need to conduct business anyway, or manage personal communication while at sea, just know what the best options there are for you, and make good use of them.

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Emmitt Lopez
Emmitt Lopez

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