Mobile phones on a cruise can be a costly exercise. At times. even more per minute than using your cabin phone to call home. You do have options though.
Cellular at sea
This is basically using your mobile phone as you would on land but using “Maritime Roaming” The only company I have found that you are able to do this with is Optus prepaid. You load up in $20 increments of “Travel Credit”. f your on a plan or post pay most major companies offer a solution to use your phone. These are always more expensive than I like to pay. For example, a text message is $1 each and $4 per minute voice. If you’re heading down the Cellular at sea option I would say use Optus Prepay. Remember that service is not reliable and you may be hours without signal as it rely’s on satellite service.
Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Skype etc
This is by far the cheapest method and usable all around the ship. I buy the internet package with unlimited use for all days at sea which is super affordable. I have my whole family on WhatsApp (but it doesn’t matter what app you choose) and message them via text chat I also voice call and when I miss my bastard children I video call them and this works great. Its super cheap and really gets the job done. You won’t have issues as you really just use it like a normal call or text. I wish I had known about this. earlier as I would have saved a lot of money on cellular at sea which you can run out of credit easily on.
If you buy the internet package you can use your phone as well as checking and sending an email. I have a nephew who has Aspergers and he was playing his online computer games with the connection on Royal Caribbean. It also benefits you as you can connect with your children on a cruise and page them through their phones to come back or to dinner etc.
It is my opinion the best option would be to buy the internet package for the duration of the cruise. I love the ability to call home and video call my bastard children. It also means I can see the notes from school and generally check that all is ok. If you’re with Optus prepaid maybe one $20 travel credit but I really would be that bothered but it’s up to you.
All apps are in the App store on Apple also in the App store on Android