I am going on a cruise, should I rent a satellite phone to stay in touch while on board?

I am going on a cruise, should I rent a satellite phone to stay in touch while on board?

Some cruise operators offer the ability to use your cellular phone on the ship, even while you are at sea. You should contact your cruise operator or travel agent before departure to learn about cellular options on the ship. Be sure to ask your cellular carrier about the per-minute rate for using the cruise ship network, as the roaming charges may be quite expensive ($2.49-$5+ per minute). A satellite phone may prove to be a better option for your cruise if you want to be assured of a consistent per-minute rate regardless of your location and the available cellular technology on the ship. A couple of tips for using a satellite phone aboard a cruise ship:

  • to make OR receive calls, you must be outdoors and have a clear line of sight to the sky at all times (this likely means you need to be up on deck and/or away from the superstructure)
  • you must move well away from any high powered radio or satellite equipment located on the ship (ask a crew member about locations of this equipment)

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