Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Do Cell Phones Work on Cruise Ships?

Should you take your cell phone on your cruise vacation?

Well, those solitude seekers who get annoyed with people blabbing on the phone constantly might wish you would leave your phone at home (Okay, okay, I admit it: I'm one of them. Don't shoot me!), but you probably don't need to.

You might not get reception all the time, but chances are you will be able to use your cell phone on a cruise ship.

Many of the big cruise lines have contracts will land-based phone companies and often have coverage, even at sea. Rates vary, but expect to pay international roaming rates. When a ship is in port, the ship's network will be switched off, and you'll pay whatever the country's going rate is for mobile calls.

If, however, you don't mind leaving your cell phone at home and you'd love to escape all those constantly chatting types, try booking a cruise for the Arctic, Antarctic, or South Pacific. Chances are good you won't be in range of any networks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is becoming increasingly common for vacationers to need access to BlackBerrys or other smartphones while at sea. Not only that, but many parents want to make sure they can be contacted in case of emergency.

One great feature of the cruise ship system is that CDMA phones (Verizon, Sprint, Alltel, etc) are supported. This is important if you are cruising outside of the US where there is no support this common technology. Be warned though, since the system turns off in port and the land based networks do not support CDMA, you will only be able to use these phones while at sea.

Like you said, rates vary based on your cellular provider and the best way to find them is to call and ask about cruise ships or "ship roaming."

For a listing of the ships that currently have cell phone service try this page: