These days many of us can’t imagine life without our mobile phones and the influx of smart phones has seen them become an even more useful tool than ever. However, once you leave port it’s easy to rack up expensive roaming and data charges when you use your phone at sea, so here are some pearls of wisdom to help you use your mobile for less on a cruise.

Check with your service provider before you embark

Whichever service provider you use for your mobile phone, do your research into the charges that apply overseas. That way you’ll know exactly what you are spending beforehand and won’t get any nasty surprises when you return home to find an expensive phone bill.

Decide what you are going to use your phone for on-board

Some service providers offers special plans on data, calls or texts overseas to help save you money on holiday. So decide whether you’ll be using your phone for browsing the web, making calls or texting friends and family and see if you can find the perfect roaming deal to suit your needs.

Enquire about Wi-Fi packages on-board

If you’re planning on using you’re smart phone for browsing the internet in your spare time on-board, check with your cruise line to see if they offer a Wi-Fi package. Cruise lines may charge for Wi-Fi by the minute, hour or day, offering you a limited amount of browsing time for a fee, but once you are connected, surfing the web becomes much quicker and easier.

Learn how to text posts to your social media

Few people realise this, but you can actually use text messages to send tweets to your Twitter account and statuses to your Facebook page, cutting out the need for internet when you want to let friends on social media know how much you are enjoying your cruise. Simply text your tweet to 86444 for Twitter, or update your Facebook status by texting 32665. Be aware however, that not every mobile service provider offers this service and it requires registering your number with your social media accounts beforehand.

Be careful using your phone in port

Once you arrive in port, your service provider’s roaming charges will apply and you will lose access to any on-board Wi-Fi packages you may have purchased, so avoid surfing the web in port unless you have a specific overseas deal with your provider.

Download these useful apps

The Ship Mate app is one of the most popular mobile cruise applications available. Not only does it offer reviews, tips, guides and more, but it can even be accessed whilst offline. What’s more, enter your sailing into the app and it’ll give you lots of great information about your ship and itinerary, including deck plans, entertainment options and ports guides.

Another useful cruise app is Connect@Sea. You will need Wi-Fi connection to use it, but once you have access, the app allows to you text and call with the purchase of credits, which can often work out cheaper than purchasing an expensive overseas data plan from your provider.

Emma Smith
Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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