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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHILE AT SEA

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General Question:

 

What is everyones "GO TOO" way of staying in touch while on the ship.  Tips and Tricks?  Most affordable vs Most Convienent? 

 

Over the years I have used Walkie Talkies (with some success on pool decks) and Royal Connect (waist of time and not sure they still offer) 

 

Whats your trick?

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We tried the walkie talkie method when I was with a big group once and it was a disaster. Nobody wanted to carry the things around and when we were in the casino you couldn't hear them anyway.

 

We just do a very good job of arranging meet-up times and places if we are going in different directions for some period of time and there is always a "rendezvous" point for "lost comm" (my husband's pilot lingo) that is prearranged on day 1.

 

Never tried the Royal Connect thing. I think it's still around but we never used it. Maybe it has improved ? Anyone ?

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With two teens I "had" to buy wifi packages when we sailed on Oasis. We then used Google Hangouts  to communicate. We use T-Mobile and amazingly enough were able to use wifi calling, even with the phones in air plane mode. I called my parents while sitting on my balcony en route from Jamaica to Cozumel.

 

The wifi service is pricey (we paid a total of $280 to simultaneously connect four devices for the whole 7 days), no doubt, but when you factor in the ability to communicate aboard ship it eases the pain a little. The service itself is actually quite good. We were able to watch YouTube/Netflix and quickly backup our vacation photos, etc.

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No way is my kids getting wifi package.. this is one vacation that they can get into without having to check in with their friends every 5 min.. I love having not to worry about people bugging me.. if it's an emergency they can contact the ship

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With two teens I "had" to buy wifi packages when we sailed on Oasis. We then used Google Hangouts  to communicate. We use T-Mobile and amazingly enough were able to use wifi calling, even with the phones in air plane mode.

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to reply Mark.   I'm glad it worked well for your family.

 

I'm hoping there are other solutions.   I'd rather not have to pay the high cost of internet on board.

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So, I pre-purchased these things called Gotenna, while they aren't avaliable yet and are marketed for Hiking and Camping "off the grid", they may work on a ship. It is hard to explain what they are but here is a try:  They are devices that come in pairs like walkie talkies and use radio frequency to allow you to use your smart phone to text without cell service or wifi.  My only real question will be, will these devices have the same issues the Motorola walkie talkies have when it caomes to all the metel on a ship?

 

I am sure many of you will have gone on at least one cruise before I go again in June 2016, so if anyone gets them and uses, make sure to give a review as to if they work. 

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So, I pre-purchased these things called Gotenna

 

That reminds me of an app I read about.    Darned if I can remember the name, but it worked with the Apple products and at the time, they didn't have a Droid version.   There was some question as to whether RC was beginning to block it.  If I think of the name, I'll post.

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Hmmmm, Ripple Cruise Communicator looks pretty cool.  So if I understand it correctly, you can tie into the ships WiFi without haveing to purchase a package?  Hopefully, by June 16 the people at Ripple will have work arounds for all the blocks.  

 

Matt, Did you check out those Gotenna's the site is www.gotenna.com and they look promising but you will have to have the transmitter and your phone with you.  I am concerned the metal in the ship may cause breakup just like it does for Talkabouts, but who knows?

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My wife and I use $28 dollar Beofang walkie talkies from e-Bay. Only 2 watts and not complete coverage but for our purposes they work great! We use them for specific circumstances. 1) We are headed two different directions on a port day, such as separate excursions. We agree to communicate at a certain time; many times excursions are a little late in getting back to ship. 2) One of us is headed to Guest Services to sort some things out and the other (my wife) is stuck in a Solarium whirlpool. They work great just to get word back or get a second opinion on whatever Guest Services has told me.

 

I think walkie talkies are essential "must haves" for cruising; like magnets, a clothesline, a bluetooth speaker, or LED night lights.

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After looking at that gotenna thing, it definitely looks cool. I notice however that the radio range it uses is way lower(mid 100 hz) than the standard 4-500hz most walkies use. Its more akin to what CB's use at an even lower sub 50hz. Typically lower means easier time getting through objects. With all that said if I had to take an educated guess I would say if walkies work on a ship this should almost certainly.

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Mike,

Thanks for reminding me of all those science classes back in the day.  The Walkie Talkies (in my case) really only worked well if both parties were topside.  They ran into some issue when say one person was by the pool and the other was below deck getting ready for dinner.  What you just said makes complete sense as far as the length of the radio curve and hopefully that means those gotenna's will work well.  I really ordered them so when we are traveling internationally we can use texting without having to activate a data plan, but just maybe it will work on the ship as well.  I really like the Ripple App concept hopefully they can figure out a workaround for the blocked Wifi signal.

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