Category Archives: Phone

Hands on Review: Airalo e-SIM – use your phone internationally!

Airalo is app for iOS/iPhone and Android smart phones that makes it easy and inexpensive to use your compatible phone internationally. They partner with local and regional providers to provide short term coverage in many parts of the world.

What’s a SIM Card?

A SIM is an acronym stands for Subscriber Identity Module. It’s small card that fits in select phones that’s basically the digital identification for the phone. You can theoretically quickly change phones by swapping out your physical SIM card.

What’s an eSIM Card?

Fast forward to eSIM cards. eSIM stands for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module.  Instead of a physical SIM card an eSIM is a logical identity for select phones. No need for a physical SIM card.

The part where the magic comes in… Some phones also allow you to have multiple eSIM cards. So you can actually have multiple phone numbers on a single phone.

What devices support Airalo eSIM?

To use an eSIM, your device must be carrier-unlocked and eSIM-compatible.

Airalo provides a regularly updated list of supported devices.

An eSIM example…

Here is a screenshot from my iPhone. On the top left you’ll see my primary carrier Verizon. Below that is my secondary carrier Tello. I use two carriers, one for business the other for personal. If you want to give Tello a try use referral code P3XR5K8D and earn Tello dollars.

Using Airalo for international coverage!…

We recently went on a cruise to Aruba, Curaçao and the Bahamas. I decided to give Airalo a try and purchased e-SIM cards for Aruba and Curaçao.

Purchasing an e-SIM card for Curaçao. I went with 1 GB of data. We were in Curaçao for about a day. The e-SIM I purchased was valid for up to 7 days. This was a data only e-SIM meaning I didn’t have a local phone number. I didn’t need to use the phone if I had to I could have used Google Voice, WhatsApp, Skype or FaceTime. Of course there are other apps that can utilize a data connection for phone calls and video chat.

Purchasing an e-SIM card for Aruba. Also 1 GB data and 7 days.

Here’s my phone after purchasing and installing both e-SIM. As of this update iPhone 15 can handle up to eight e-SIM with a maximum of two active e-SIM cards at any one time. Note that my Verizon and Tello numbers have been redacted.

Using Airalo in Curaçao

I enabled my Curaçao e-SIM card and disabled all other e-SIMs installed on my phone

Whammo I’m connected

I fired up Google Maps for directions to the beach we wanted to go to.

We made it to Cas Abao beach!  It was beautiful!

I tried Blue Curaçao.  It was pretty good.

I tweeted from the beach to test the connection. It worked great. Connect with me on X!

Let’s be friends! Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | RSS

When I bought the e-SIM card the carrier was named Dushi wireless. I had no idea what that meant, but learned when visiting. visitaruba.com says… “Dushi – This is such a dynamic Papiamento word. In Aruba, ‘dushi‘ is used to describe food as ‘sweet‘ or ‘yummy‘ tasting, or to indicate that a sensation is good (think of pleasant smells or nice music), but it is also used as a term of endearment for your lover, translated as ‘sweetheart‘ or ‘sweety‘.”

Speedtest. The connection was quite zippy. This test shows 58.4 megabits down and 46.6 megabits up.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


At the end of the day I still had 700 MB left. It’s worth noting that you can also buy longer eSIMs with more data AND you can purchase eSIMs for entire regions instead of a single country.

We had a wonderful time in Curaçao!

Using Airalo in Aruba

I tweeted from Eagle Beach to test the connection. It worked great. Connect with me on X!

Airalo’s partner in Aruba was blazing fast. Here’s a speed test.  This test shows 114 megabits down and 26.9 megabits up.

We had an amazing time in Aruba!  This was our first time doing a Southern Itinerary cruise and it was one of our favorites!

Conclusions

Airalo worked flawlessly! I paid $9.50 per eSIM card. Each card had 7 days of validity. That’s much cheaper than my carrier’s international coverage. Going forward Airalo will be a regular part of our international travel!

Pelican Marine - IP68 Waterproof Phone Pouch / Case (Regular Size) - Floating Waterproof Phone Case For iPhone 15 Pro Max/ 14 Pro Max/13 Pro Max/12/S24 Ultra - Detachable Lanyard - Black/Hi-Vis Yellow Related: Pelican’s IP68 Waterproof Phone Case – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Related: Using Your Cell Phone Onboard with WiFi Calling!

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade int eh Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

Related: FREE… Royal Caribbean Perfect Day at CocoCay Phone Wallpaper

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. top:airaloreview tag:tpru

Will My Phone Work on a Cruise Ship?

will my phone work on a cruise ship?

The short answer is… yes it will work. But that answer has some caveats.

Onboard Cellular

Most larger cruise ships have cellular capabilities. Ships have the equivalent of their own cell phone towers that provide service to people onboard and nearby. This is separate and different from Wi-Fi.

These towers are international no matter where the ship is. If you look on your cell phone carriers website for international coverage, many times cruise ships will be listed by names and show up alongside foreign countries.


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!


Using Cruise Line Cellular

Using cruise line cellular for voice and data can be VERY expensive. Check with your carrier to be sure, but generally, it’s super expensive to use your cell phone (via cellular) on a cruise ship.

I know of no carrier that includes cruise ships in their international plans or international day plans. Example, Verizon’s TravelPass gets you unlimited international coverage in select countries for as little as $10 per day. That’s not available for cruise ships.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Voice and Data

Because of cost, I recommend against using cruise line for voice and data. It’s just too expensive. An internet package with Wi-Fi calling is much more cost effective. SMS messages are a potential exception to this recommendation. Keep reading for more on that.

Using Texts To Communicate While Onboard

While data and voice rates on cruise ships is generally very expensive, SMS messages are generally much more economical. If you’re looking for a way to communicate while onboard, this is an option. Check with your cellular provider to see how much text messages will cost.

Use Airplane Mode

If you choose to use cruise line cellular for voice and SMS. My recommendation is to ALWAYS turn data roaming off while onboard. Or better yet, use airplane mode.

I use airplane mode while on board and turn WiFI on. This allows me to access the Internet (with a package) and not worry about getting data roaming charges.

Full Phone Functionality with Wireless Internet… WiFi Calling!

If you purchase an Internet plan you can use many of the features of your phone like web browsing, social media, video and audio calling (Facetime, Skype, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, etc).

There are some activities that don’t work with an Internet only connection – standard voice calls and SMS messages (iMessages do work because they rely on Internet).

You can make standard voice calls and SMS work without a cellular connection by enabling WiFi Calling

With a compatible phone and an internet connection WiFi calling makes your phone think that it has a cell tower. This allows you to place voice calls and send text messages as if you had a regular tower,

I use this and it works REALLY well. I turn airplane mode on and connect to WiFi. Quality is at the mercy of the ship’s internet but in general it has worked great for me.

Again, it’s important to have data roaming turned off. I turn my phone to airplane mode, turn on and connect to WiFi and the phone activates WiFi calling.

See: Using Your Cell Phone Onboard with WiFi Calling! for lots more on WiFi calling

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade int eh Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. top:willmyphonework tag:tpru

Easy Communication on Your Next Cruise… Using WiFi Calling

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade int eh Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

Thinking back to our first cruises communicating back home was… brutal.

We had young children and really needed to check in on a regular basis. Options were slim and expensive. Onboard calling was out of the question financially. Onboard internet was horribly slow and expensive, albeit not as bad as ship to shore calls. We did, periodically, race the clock and try to get an email through. Typically we would try to call back home from port. We’d find an internet café or a business offering international calls by the minute and give it a go.

Times have gotten a lot better. Ship internet is much, much, much better and generally reasonably priced. This makes it easier than ever to stay connected when you need to.

Onboard Cellular

Most larger cruise ships have cellular capabilities. Ships have the equivalent of their own cell phone towers that provide service to people onboard and nearby. This is separate and different from Wi-Fi.

These towers are international no matter where the ship is. If you look on your cell phone carriers website for international coverage, many times cruise ships will be listed by names and show up alongside foreign countries.


Related: Use the 220 Outlet on Your Next Cruise


Using Cruise Line Cellular

Using cruise line cellular for voice and data can be VERY expensive. Check with your carrier to be sure, but generally, it’s super expensive to use your cell phone (via cellular) on a cruise ship.

I know of no carrier that includes cruise ships in their international plans or international day plans. Example, Verizon’s TravelPass gets you unlimited international coverage in select countries for as little as $10 per day. That’s not available for cruise ships.

Voice and Data

Because of cost, I recommend against using cruise line for voice and data. It’s just too expensive. An internet package with Wi-Fi calling is much more cost effective. SMS messages are a potential exception to this recommendation. Keep reading for more on that.

Using Texts To Communicate While Onboard

While data and voice rates on cruise ships is generally very expensive, SMS messages are generally much more economical. If you’re looking for a way to communicate while onboard, this is an option. Check with your cellular provider to see how much text messages will cost.

Use Airplane Mode

If you choose to use cruise line cellular for voice and SMS. My recommendation is to ALWAYS turn data roaming off while onboard. Or better yet, use airplane mode.

I use airplane mode while on board and turn WiFI on. This allows me to access the Internet (with a package) and not worry about getting data roaming charges.


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!


Full Phone Functionality with Wireless Internet… WiFi Calling!

If you purchase an Internet plan you can use many of the features of your phone like web browsing, social media, video and audio calling (Facetime, Skype, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, etc).

There are some activities that don’t work with an Internet only connection – standard voice calls and SMS messages (iMessages do work because they rely on Internet).

You can make standard voice calls and SMS work without a cellular connection by enabling WiFi Calling

With a compatible phone and an internet connection WiFi calling makes your phone think that it has a cell tower. This allows you to place voice calls and send text messages as if you had a regular tower,

I use this and it works REALLY well. I turn airplane mode on and connect to WiFi. Quality is at the mercy of the ship’s internet but in general it has worked great for me.

Again, it’s important to have data roaming turned off. I turn my phone to airplane mode, turn on and connect to WiFi and the phone activates WiFi calling.

My iPhone with stateroom balcony in the background. See the “VZW Wi-Fi” on the top of the screen along with the airplane icon. This says A. my phone is in airplane mode and B. It’s using Verizon WiFi calling. The phone behaves as if it was connected to a tower back home!

Enabling WiFi Calling

More About WiFi Calling from Carriers

Test WiFi Calling Before Leaving Home

One thing to note is that you should activate and test this before you leave home. At least with Verizon, we were unable to activate it with only a WiFi connection. Maybe that’s changed, but it’s best to test it ahead of time anyway.

A way to test this is to activate WiFi calling, turn on airplane mode and connect to WiFi. Try placing a regular call. If the call goes through, WiFi calling is working.

Does WiFi Calling Cost Extra?

Generally speaking WiFi calling is free or counted the same as domestic minutes. But, check with your cell phone carrier to double check availability and pricing.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Related: FREE… Royal Caribbean Perfect Day at CocoCay Phone Wallpaper

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. top:wificalling tag:tpru

Hands on Review: Airalo e-SIM – use your phone internationally!

Airalo is app for iOS/iPhone and Android smart phones that makes it easy and inexpensive to use your compatible phone internationally. They partner with local and regional providers to provide short term coverage in many parts of the world.

What’s a SIM Card?

SIM is an acronym stands for Subscriber Identity Module. It’s small card that fits in select phones that’s basically the digital identification for the phone. You can theoretically quickly change phones by swapping out your physical SIM card.

What’s an eSIM Card?

Fast forward to eSIM cards. eSIM stands for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module.  Instead of a physical SIM card an eSIM is a logical identity for select phones. No need for a physical SIM card.

The part where the magic comes in… Some phones also allow you to have multiple eSIM cards. So you can actually have multiple phone numbers on a single phone.

What devices support Airalo eSIM?

To use an eSIM, your device must be carrier-unlocked and eSIM-compatible.

Airalo provides a regularly updated list of supported devices.

An eSIM example…

Here is a screenshot from my iPhone. On the top left you’ll see my primary carrier Verizon. Below that is my secondary carrier Tello. I use two carriers, one for business the other for personal. If you want to give Tello a try use referral code P3XR5K8D and earn Tello dollars.

Using Airalo for international coverage!…

We recently went on a cruise to Aruba, Curaçao and the Bahamas. I decided to give Airalo a try and purchased e-SIM cards for Aruba and Curaçao.

Purchasing an e-SIM card for Curaçao. I went with 1 GB of data. We were in Curaçao for about a day. The e-SIM I purchased was valid for up to 7 days. This was a data only e-SIM meaning I didn’t have a local phone number. I didn’t need to use the phone if I had to I could have used Google Voice, WhatsApp, Skype or FaceTime. Of course there are other apps that can utilize a data connection for phone calls and video chat.

Purchasing an e-SIM card for Aruba. Also 1 GB data and 7 days.

Here’s my phone after purchasing and installing both e-SIM. As of this update iPhone 15 can handle up to eight e-SIM with a maximum of two active e-SIM cards at any one time. Note that my Verizon and Tello numbers have been redacted.

Using Airalo in Curaçao

I enabled my Curaçao e-SIM card and disabled all other e-SIMs installed on my phone

Whammo I’m connected

I fired up Google Maps for directions to the beach we wanted to go to.

We made it to Cas Abao beach!  It was beautiful!

I tried Blue Curaçao.  It was pretty good.

I tweeted from the beach to test the connection. It worked great. Connect with me on X!

Let’s be friends! Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | RSS

When I bought the e-SIM card the carrier was named Dushi wireless. I had no idea what that meant, but learned when visiting. visitaruba.com says… “Dushi – This is such a dynamic Papiamento word. In Aruba, ‘dushi‘ is used to describe food as ‘sweet‘ or ‘yummy‘ tasting, or to indicate that a sensation is good (think of pleasant smells or nice music), but it is also used as a term of endearment for your lover, translated as ‘sweetheart‘ or ‘sweety‘.”

Speedtest. The connection was quite zippy. This test shows 58.4 megabits down and 46.6 megabits up.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


At the end of the day I still had 700 MB left. It’s worth noting that you can also buy longer eSIMs with more data AND you can purchase eSIMs for entire regions instead of a single country.

We had a wonderful time in Curaçao!

Using Airalo in Aruba

I tweeted from Eagle Beach to test the connection. It worked great. Connect with me on X!

Airalo’s partner in Aruba was blazing fast. Here’s a speed test.  This test shows 114 megabits down and 26.9 megabits up.

We had an amazing time in Aruba!  This was our first time doing a Southern Itinerary cruise and it was one of our favorites!

Conclusions

Airalo worked flawlessly! I paid $9.50 per eSIM card. Each card had 7 days of validity. That’s much cheaper than my carrier’s international coverage. Going forward Airalo will be a regular part of our international travel!

Pelican Marine - IP68 Waterproof Phone Pouch / Case (Regular Size) - Floating Waterproof Phone Case For iPhone 15 Pro Max/ 14 Pro Max/13 Pro Max/12/S24 Ultra - Detachable Lanyard - Black/Hi-Vis Yellow Related: Pelican’s IP68 Waterproof Phone Case – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Related: Using Your Cell Phone Onboard with WiFi Calling!

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade int eh Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

Related: FREE… Royal Caribbean Perfect Day at CocoCay Phone Wallpaper

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. top:airaloreview tag:tpr

Will My Phone Work on a Cruise Ship?

will my phone work on a cruise ship?

The short answer is… yes it will work. But that answer has some caveats.

Onboard Cellular

Most larger cruise ships have cellular capabilities. Ships have the equivalent of their own cell phone towers that provide service to people onboard and nearby. This is separate and different from Wi-Fi.

These towers are international no matter where the ship is. If you look on your cell phone carriers website for international coverage, many times cruise ships will be listed by names and show up alongside foreign countries.


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!


Using Cruise Line Cellular

Using cruise line cellular for voice and data can be VERY expensive. Check with your carrier to be sure, but generally, it’s super expensive to use your cell phone (via cellular) on a cruise ship.

I know of no carrier that includes cruise ships in their international plans or international day plans. Example, Verizon’s TravelPass gets you unlimited international coverage in select countries for as little as $10 per day. That’s not available for cruise ships.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Voice and Data

Because of cost, I recommend against using cruise line for voice and data. It’s just too expensive. An internet package with Wi-Fi calling is much more cost effective. SMS messages are a potential exception to this recommendation. Keep reading for more on that.

Using Texts To Communicate While Onboard

While data and voice rates on cruise ships is generally very expensive, SMS messages are generally much more economical. If you’re looking for a way to communicate while onboard, this is an option. Check with your cellular provider to see how much text messages will cost.

Use Airplane Mode

If you choose to use cruise line cellular for voice and SMS. My recommendation is to ALWAYS turn data roaming off while onboard. Or better yet, use airplane mode.

I use airplane mode while on board and turn WiFI on. This allows me to access the Internet (with a package) and not worry about getting data roaming charges.

Full Phone Functionality with Wireless Internet… WiFi Calling!

If you purchase an Internet plan you can use many of the features of your phone like web browsing, social media, video and audio calling (Facetime, Skype, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, etc).

There are some activities that don’t work with an Internet only connection – standard voice calls and SMS messages (iMessages do work because they rely on Internet).

You can make standard voice calls and SMS work without a cellular connection by enabling WiFi Calling

With a compatible phone and an internet connection WiFi calling makes your phone think that it has a cell tower. This allows you to place voice calls and send text messages as if you had a regular tower,

I use this and it works REALLY well. I turn airplane mode on and connect to WiFi. Quality is at the mercy of the ship’s internet but in general it has worked great for me.

Again, it’s important to have data roaming turned off. I turn my phone to airplane mode, turn on and connect to WiFi and the phone activates WiFi calling.

See: Using Your Cell Phone Onboard with WiFi Calling! for lots more on WiFi calling

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade int eh Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. top:willmyphonework tag:tpr

Get Ready for your next cruise!… 2 x Waterproof Phone Cases

Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch Bag - 2Pack, Waterproof Case Compatible with iPhone 14 Pro Max/13/12/11/XR/X/SE/8/7, Galaxy S22/S21 Google Up to 7.5’’, IPX8 Dry Bag Vacation Essentials Blue/Orange

Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch Bag – 2Pack, Waterproof Case Compatible with iPhone 14 Pro Max/13/12/11/XR/X/SE/8/7, Galaxy S22/S21 Google Up to 7.5’’, IPX8 Dry Bag Vacation Essentials Blue/Orange

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • CRUISE ESSENTIALS – Waterproof phone pouch clear bag up to 7″ capacity fits most smartphones-Compatible with iPhone 14 Pro Max/14, 13 Pro Max/13,12 Pro Max/12, 11Pro Max/11,6/6S/7/8 Plus, X/XS Max/XR, Galaxy S22 Ultra/S22, S21/21 Ultra, S20/20 Ultra, S9/9+, S10/10 Plus, Note 8/9/10/10+/10 Lite/20/20 Ultra, A72/F62, Z Fold 2/3, Pixel 6Pro/5/4, LG G7/G8, OnePlus 8/9 Pro/8T/Nord N100, etc.
  • BEACH ACCESSORIES FOR VACATION MUST HAVES – Rynapac waterproof phone case is specially designed for outdoor activities such as pools, beaches, fishing, swimming, sailing, skiing, boating, kayaking, snorkeling, tubing, rafting and other water park activities, keep your device away from water, dust, snow, enjoy your life.
  • TRAVEL ACCESSORIES – This waterproof phone case is designed with a transparent PVC appearance,side buttons are easy to use. Which enables smooth touch screen operation, allowing you to text and browse messages without taking out your phone, bringing more convenience to your life.
  • VACATION ESSENTIALS – Large-capacity design has perfectly support your phone up to 7”, effectively preventing accidental drop, scratch, and water. Give your phone a full protection.
  • WARM REMINDER – Waterproof Phone Pouch comes with a sturdy durable lanyard for easy carrying, the lanyard is snap-on for easy removal. (Read the precautions carefully before using the waterproof pouch. Test the waterproof function with a paper towel before each use, squeeze air before sealing, and submerge in water for about 10 minutes. Please remove objects under the top mount to avoid water entering). Any issue please feel free to contact Rynapac support team.

 

Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch Bag – 2Pack, Waterproof Case Compatible with iPhone 14 Pro Max/13/12/11/XR/X/SE/8/7, Galaxy S22/S21 Google Up to 7.5’’, IPX8 Dry Bag Vacation Essentials Blue/Orange

– affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

For lots more about what you should pack for your next cruise check out our complete packing list.

This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!

All About Night Lights for Your Next Cruise!

Cruise Ship Power Solutions – Making Use of the 220 Volt Cabin Outlet On Your Next Cruise

Easy Communication on Your Next Cruise… Using WiFi Calling

wifi calling and cruise shipsMy iPhone with Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Royal Promenade in the Background. See “VZW Wi-Fi”

Thinking back to our first cruises communicating back home was… brutal.

We had young children and really needed to check in on a regular basis. Options were slim and expensive. Onboard calling was out of the question financially. Onboard internet was horribly slow and expensive, albeit not as bad as ship to shore calls. We did, periodically, race the clock and try to get an email through. Typically we would try to call back home from port. We’d find an internet café or a business offering international calls by the minute and give it a go.

Times have gotten a lot better. Ship internet is much, much, much better and generally reasonably priced. This makes it easier than ever to stay connected when you need to.

Onboard Cellular

Most larger cruise ships have cellular capabilities. Ships have the equivalent of their own cell phone towers that provide service to people onboard and nearby. This is separate and different from Wi-Fi.

These towers are international no matter where the ship is. If you look on your cell phone carriers website for international coverage, many times cruise ships will be listed by names and show up alongside foreign countries.


Related: Use the 220 Outlet on Your Next Cruise


Using Cruise Line Cellular

Using cruise line cellular for voice and data can be VERY expensive. Check with your carrier to be sure, but generally, it’s super expensive to use your cell phone (via cellular) on a cruise ship.

I know of no carrier that includes cruise ships in their international plans or international day plans. Example, Verizon’s TravelPass gets you unlimited international coverage in select countries for as little as $10 per day. That’s not available for cruise ships.

Voice and Data

Because of cost, I recommend against using cruise line for voice and data. It’s just too expensive. An internet package with Wi-Fi calling is much more cost effective. SMS messages are a potential exception to this recommendation. Keep reading for more on that.

Using Texts To Communicate While Onboard

While data and voice rates on cruise ships is generally very expensive, SMS messages are generally much more economical. If you’re looking for a way to communicate while onboard, this is an option. Check with your cellular provider to see how much text messages will cost.

Use Airplane Mode

If you choose to use cruise line cellular for voice and SMS. My recommendation is to ALWAYS turn data roaming off while onboard. Or better yet, use airplane mode.

I use airplane mode while on board and turn WiFI on. This allows me to access the Internet (with a package) and not worry about getting data roaming charges.


This post may contain affiliate links. We may make a commission when you use our links. This will never cost you extra. Thank you for supporting Cruise Packing List!


Full Phone Functionality with Wireless Internet… WiFi Calling!

If you purchase an Internet plan you can use many of the features of your phone like web browsing, social media, video and audio calling (Facetime, Skype, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, etc).

There are some activities that don’t work with an Internet only connection – standard voice calls and SMS messages (iMessages do work because they rely on Internet).

You can make standard voice calls and SMS work without a cellular connection by enabling WiFi Calling

With a compatible phone and an internet connection WiFi calling makes your phone think that it has a cell tower. This allows you to place voice calls and send text messages as if you had a regular tower,

I use this and it works REALLY well. I turn airplane mode on and connect to WiFi. Quality is at the mercy of the ship’s internet but in general it has worked great for me.

Again, it’s important to have data roaming turned off. I turn my phone to airplane mode, turn on and connect to WiFi and the phone activates WiFi calling.

My iPhone with stateroom balcony in the background. See the “VZW Wi-Fi” on the top of the screen along with the airplane icon. This says A. my phone is in airplane mode and B. It’s using Verizon WiFi calling. The phone behaves as if it was connected to a tower back home!

Enabling WiFi Calling

More About WiFi Calling from Carriers

Test WiFi Calling Before Leaving Home

One thing to note is that you should activate and test this before you leave home. At least with Verizon, we were unable to activate it with only a WiFi connection. Maybe that’s changed, but it’s best to test it ahead of time anyway.

A way to test this is to activate WiFi calling, turn on airplane mode and connect to WiFi. Try placing a regular call. If the call goes through, WiFi calling is working.

Does WiFi Calling Cost Extra?

Generally speaking WiFi calling is free or counted the same as domestic minutes. But, check with your cell phone carrier to double check availability and pricing.


This article may contain affiliate links. We may make a small percentage if you use our links to make a purchase. You won’t pay more and you’ll be supporting Cruise Packing List and more content like this. Thank you for your support!


Related: FREE… Royal Caribbean Perfect Day at CocoCay Phone Wallpaper

Setting Up Your Own Wireless WiFi Hotspot on Your Next Cruise!

All information provided is deemed accurate at time of publishing, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. 5.24.23 top:wificalling tag:tpr