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Not sure what to do about having internet. ATT offers a cruise ship package unlimited text and call and 200mb data for $100

So I'm wondering which would be better to get the ATT offer or use the ships wifi VOOM which is now about $100 also ?

 

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Absolutely 100% VOOM.  200 mb is not very much data and I doubt it would be as fast as VOOM.  Can't speak for ATT but most phone companies allow you to call and text over WiFi so that you would be able to continue to use your phone fairly normally through VOOM.

So for faster and unlimited data VOOM is the undisputed winner.

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I have AT&T and wouldn’t even think about using their cruise ship plan. I found the best combination was getting Voom and making sure I had turned on WiFi calling before I left. I tested that it was working by putting my phone in airplane mode while at home connected to my WiFi there and calling someone. The only issue you might run into is getting texts that are sent as SMS. If you have an iPhone and are texting someone else with an iPhone it works just fine since iMessaging (the blue bubbles) uses data, but when I wanted to text my dad who has an android on the ship I used WhatsApp. Other WiFi messaging services like FB messaging would have also worked just fine. 

To give you an idea of how little data 200mb is, my mom accidentally racked up 78mb of data in about 6 minutes when she was trying to download the American Airlines app in a Mexican airport. That was a fun frantic call to AT&T to avoid a $150+ surcharge. 

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2 hours ago, WaterBaby said:

Not sure what to do about having internet. ATT offers a cruise ship package unlimited text and call and 200mb data for $100

So I'm wondering which would be better to get the ATT offer or use the ships wifi VOOM which is now about $100 also ?

 

Definitely go with the Voom.  I'm pretty sure with AT&T, once you reach 200mb, you'll be charge a ridiculous amount for an additional 200mbs.  Also, if you trying to text with others on board, then you might want to look into a multi-device plan..   

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2 hours ago, spiralqueen said:

To give you an idea of how little data 200mb is, my mom accidentally racked up 78mb of data in about 6 minutes when she was trying to download the American Airlines app in a Mexican airport. That was a fun frantic call to AT&T to avoid a $150+ surcharge. 

I would have been fighting that charge since Mexico should be within AT&T's coverage area.  On other cruises, I was always anxious to get to Mexico so I could check my voicemails, emails, etc . 

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4 hours ago, Mr. Candyman said:

I would have been fighting that charge since Mexico should be within AT&T's coverage area.  On other cruises, I was always anxious to get to Mexico so I could check my voicemails, emails, etc . 

It is included for the newer plans. We are on a grandfathered early plan that gives us unthrottled unlimited data. If my brother didn’t regularly use 30+ GB a month we would be able to switch to a newer plan and get those North American roaming benefits. We also unfortunately can’t use the $10 a day passport. We need to buy the $60 30 day one. The good news is that US territories like PR and St Thomas ARE included so that’s something at least. 

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22 minutes ago, spiralqueen said:

It is included for the newer plans. We are on a grandfathered early plan that gives us unthrottled unlimited data. If my brother didn’t regularly use 30+ GB a month we would be able to switch to a newer plan and get those North American roaming benefits. We also unfortunately can’t use the $10 a day passport. We need to buy the $60 30 day one. The good news is that US territories like PR and St Thomas ARE included so that’s something at least. 

Gotcha....yeah, I've been scolded by my wife for changing plans that have had features grandfathered in.  

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My mom needs to contact my grandmother daily but my grandmother has a traditional landline. Should we get the AT&T package just so my mom can talk to my grandmother for a few minutes a day? 

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8 minutes ago, ydoodle01 said:

My mom needs to contact my grandmother daily but my grandmother has a traditional landline. Should we get the AT&T package just so my mom can talk to my grandmother for a few minutes a day? 

I have AT&T but haven't bothered checking any International plans since last year.  I personally would get VOOM and set up a cell phone for WiFi calling.....should cost you between $71-$90.00 for the length of a 7 day cruise if you get a good price via cruise planner.  What may seem like a few minutes could turn into a 10-15 minute daily conversation.

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15 hours ago, ydoodle01 said:

My mom needs to contact my grandmother daily but my grandmother has a traditional landline. Should we get the AT&T package just so my mom can talk to my grandmother for a few minutes a day? 

Nope. What you should do is buy Royal Caribbean's Voom internet package (Surf and Stream).  Then, while at home, activate your phone's WiFi calling feature. It's free and easy to set up.

Then once onboard the ship, put phone into airplane mode, connect to wifi and you will be able to call for free.

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So it won't make a difference if my grandmother is on a landline and we're calling through wifi? I bought the surf and stream package for my phone already. Am I just making regular calls? Not through Whatsapp?

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4 minutes ago, ydoodle01 said:

So it won't make a difference if my grandmother is on a landline and we're calling through wifi? I bought the surf and stream package for my phone already. Am I just making regular calls? Not through Whatsapp?

Correct.  Just make sure your phone and plan support wi-fi calling and you set it up and test it at home well before sailing.  If you are unsure about wifi calling stop by an AT&T cell store and work with them to get it working.  

With wifi calling working before sailing, once onboard turn on airplane mode, connect to Voom and with a paid Voom plan you can make wifi phone calls just like at home.  Voom uses satellite for internet so it's not perfect but most of the time it works well enough for wifi calls, except in Alaska.

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Ready to set sail on Saturday! Quick question: I should be ok with just putting my mom's iphone on airplane mode? She would like to take pictures. Is there anything else I should do (roaming?) I have the same phone as well and I'm the one with the VOOM package. Anything I should do besides go into airplane mode but have wifi enabled (is this even what I'm supposed to be doing)?

Also, my mom is paranoid the wifi calling will not work and she's asked me to get the AT&T cruise service. At this point I'm appeasing her. I notice the plan for $50 dollars doesn't have data. If she's calling and her phone has to be off airplane mode, will she be using data? Sorry, I'm not too savvy with this.  

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If you purchase the AT&T cellular plan for cruise ships it requires you leave cellular active.  The ship has a cell tower on board that is activated once at sea away from land.  The AT&T cruise ship plan is basically a roaming plan that provides a bucket of time and/or data (depending on plan) to roam with on the ship cell tower.  

I think you'll find Voom works better than the cruse ship plan.  Voom is available 24 x 7 while the cruise ship plan won't work in ports.  To avoid interfering with land based cell towers the ship cell tower is turned off well before approaching land and remains off until the ship is well away from land after departing each port.   Consequently it doesn't provide 24 x 7 access and only provides access while at sea.  In addition, the ship cell tower may not penetrate to all areas of the ship while the ship wi-fi has pretty good coverage all over the ship.

You can validate wifi calling right now at home by going into airplane mode and connecting to your home wifi.  The phone should say "AT&T Wi-Fi" .  That's pretty much how it will work once connected to the ship's Wi-Fi with a paid Voom plan. 

1287303979_ATTWifi.jpg.e88cddb732e8ee4047fea5075e931c27.jpg

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6 hours ago, ydoodle01 said:

Ready to set sail on Saturday! Quick question: I should be ok with just putting my mom's iphone on airplane mode? She would like to take pictures. Is there anything else I should do (roaming?) I have the same phone as well and I'm the one with the VOOM package. Anything I should do besides go into airplane mode but have wifi enabled (is this even what I'm supposed to be doing)?

Also, my mom is paranoid the wifi calling will not work and she's asked me to get the AT&T cruise service. At this point I'm appeasing her. I notice the plan for $50 dollars doesn't have data. If she's calling and her phone has to be off airplane mode, will she be using data? Sorry, I'm not too savvy with this.  

If her phone is not in airplane mode she will be using data.  Some don't realize apps, emails. etc use your phone's data and it doesn't take long to accumulate charges.  You might want to try to talk her out of AT&T service as it's not going to be cost-efficient and a waste of money.  You may as well use that money towards a 2-device VOOM package to appease her.

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On 5/26/2019 at 1:30 PM, Mr. Candyman said:

Definitely go with the Voom.  I'm pretty sure with AT&T, once you reach 200mb, you'll be charge a ridiculous amount for an additional 200mbs.  Also, if you trying to text with others on board, then you might want to look into a multi-device plan..   

Just checking, can you do this with the lower surf package or do you have to purchase the surf AND stream one?

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1 hour ago, JennyJenny said:

Just checking, can you do this with the lower surf package or do you have to purchase the surf AND stream one?

Speed is the primary difference.

Surf:

 1480103915_FreedomVoomSurfcopy.jpg.74e382208947bb56c428dc3b91393990.jpg

Surf and stream:

1038298918_FreedomVoomSurfandStreamcopy.jpg.4ace6221191e9ad425f46b7ef859218b.jpg

WiFi calling works over Surf only.

 

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6 minutes ago, twangster said:

Speed is the primary difference.

Surf:

 1480103915_FreedomVoomSurfcopy.jpg.74e382208947bb56c428dc3b91393990.jpg

Surf and stream:

1038298918_FreedomVoomSurfandStreamcopy.jpg.4ace6221191e9ad425f46b7ef859218b.jpg

WiFi calling works over Surf only.

 

Oh good. I was considering the surf package so I could share pics with some friends and family but also the AT&T package so I can call home each evening to check on my family (elderly parents and teenage daughter, none of whom want to go with me for this particular trip). Sounds like both would be redundant. But I don't need to stream movies. I just want to be able to text, post some pics, and call home to check on fam.  I thought I needed the AT&T package if I was off the ship and needed to/wanted to use my phone (I am technically on vacation but at the same time on call to make decisions if necessary in my role).

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Ok I tried the wifi calling and it worked! Thanks to everyone who helped me out. 

Since we're leaving tomorrow I can't get VOOM package for my mom until I'm onboard. Do you think I could Royal Caribbean and see if they change my package to a 2 device one?

 

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13 hours ago, ydoodle01 said:

Ok I tried the wifi calling and it worked! Thanks to everyone who helped me out. 

Since we're leaving tomorrow I can't get VOOM package for my mom until I'm onboard. Do you think I could Royal Caribbean and see if they change my package to a 2 device one?

 

Usually ~ 2-3 days before departure all cruise planner sales are locked.  At this point you have to deal with it on board and likely pay on-board rates.  There will be a Voom specialist on board who can assist changing your package.  The day one cruise compass should provide times and location for the Voom specialist.  

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23 hours ago, JennyJenny said:

Oh good. I was considering the surf package so I could share pics with some friends and family but also the AT&T package so I can call home each evening to check on my family (elderly parents and teenage daughter, none of whom want to go with me for this particular trip). Sounds like both would be redundant. But I don't need to stream movies. I just want to be able to text, post some pics, and call home to check on fam.  I thought I needed the AT&T package if I was off the ship and needed to/wanted to use my phone (I am technically on vacation but at the same time on call to make decisions if necessary in my role).

Depending on your AT&T plan and countries your ship visits you may may need an international add on plan for use off the ship while in port.  Some newer AT&T plans include Canada and Mexico in the home area.  Other countries may require "day pass" type add on plans.  This works no different than flying to the same countries.  Suggest you call or visit an AT&T store with a list of the countries on your cruise and inquire directly from the source (AT&T).  There are so many AT&T plans some with grandfathering clauses that I wouldn't want to mislead you.  

The benefit of Surf and Steam versus Surf is speed.  Uploading lots of pictures to social media or a chat app requires upstream bandwidth.  That will go slow over Surf since you only get 0.25Mbps upstream.      Surf and Stream offers 6 times the upstream bandwidth (1.5 Mbps upstream) so sending pictures will go faster.  Surf and Stream will provide a better user experience even if you don't actually stream anything.

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17 minutes ago, twangster said:

Depending on your AT&T plan..

Surf and Stream will provide a better user experience even if you don't actually stream anything.

1. AT&T has a cruise plan that covers specific ships and ports from what I have seen. I am still a bit far out to have gotten to this on my "to do" list but:

We have packages on over 170 cruise ships with no extra charge on land in Mexico, Canada, and these Caribbean islands. This gives you plenty of places to post photos, text, and stay connected while cruising.

These islands are:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Curacao
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Montserrat
  • Saba
  • St. Barthelemy
  • St. Eustatius
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Maarten
  • St. Martin
  • St. Vincent & Grenadines
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos

The particular RC ships it includes are:

Adventure of the Seas®, Allure of the Seas®, Anthem of the Seas®, Brilliance of the Seas®, Empress of the Seas®, Enchantment of the Seas®, Explorer of the Seas®, Freedom of the Seas®, Grandeur of the Seas®, Harmony of the Seas®, Independence of the Seas®, Jewel of the Seas®, Liberty of the Seas®, Majesty of the Seas®, Mariner of the Seas®, Navigator of the Seas®, Oasis of the Seas®, Ovation of the Seas®, Quantum of the Seas®, Radiance of the Seas®, Rhapsody of the Seas®, Serenade of the Seas®, Spectrum of the Seas®, Symphony of the Seas®, Vision of the Seas®, Voyager of the Seas®

I was figuring to use the AT&T to talk/text and the Vroom for photo uploads or sending picture texts.

Of course, I am still trying to parse all this out but the good news is that I can expense the AT&T for work so there's that.

2. Good to know about the stream difference. I might go ahead with that one instead.

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