Princess Cruises: Using Your Cell Phone on a Cruise – How to Text on a Cruise Ship (2023)

Do cell phones work on cruise ships? It’s a common question with varying answers. Guests are free to utilize their cellular data or connect to our onboard Wi-Fi on any ship. But, please be aware that cellular data used on the ship or in certain ports of call will result in charges from your cell phone provider. As you sail into international waters, these expenses can add up, so we recommend that guests turn off their cellular data and connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi instead. Here’s everything to know about using your cell phone on a cruise.

(Video) Using a Cell Phone on a Cruise

Internet Options

If you need to check your email or send photos to loved ones, stop by the Internet Café where there are computers aplenty. We also offer several internet packages with varying price points, so any guest can access Wi-Fi if they need it. This means you can catch up on world news while enjoying a breakfast parfait in the International Café or download audiobooks while lounging poolside. All of our Princess® MedallionClass™ ships have also been upgraded to MedallionNet®, with new reliable connectivity that allows guests to message, video chat, stream content and post to social media with ease.

Princess MedallionClass™

There are valuable ways to use your cell phone on board that don’t cost extra thanks to Princess MedallionClass™ – the newest technology at sea. When you sail on a MedallionClass ship, you get a complimentary Medallion®. Each quarter-sized device has built-in geo-location technology. When paired with your mobile device, have drinks – or pizza and extra sunscreen – delivered straight to your pool chair. Or access the app to locate friends and family on the ship. Take part in PlayOcean™ games, set out on location-based scavenger hunts on board or participate in Games Under the Stars. With your Medallion device, unlock a world of adventure on board — with or without your mobile device in hand.

(Video) Put Your Phone In Cruise Mode [Ep4]

Still wondering if you can you text on a cruise? Here’s a quick recap: While you may be able to text, you may not want to. Avoid the expensive phone bill and save money with our Wi-Fi packages. Stay in touch with your friends and family at home through email and social media. Or, use MedallionNet along with your mobile devices to connect with your loved ones on the ship and unlock a whole new world of opportunity on board. Whether you want to use your cell phone on a cruise or not, the choice is yours when you sail with Princess.


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(Video) Princess Cruises - Connect Your Own HDMI Device to the Stateroom TV (Roku, Computer, DVD Player etc)
(Video) Cruise Ship Phone Calls


Can you send text messages while on a cruise? ›

Yes, you can make calls, text, and even video chat from a cruise ship. In port, you can connect to local roaming networks. At sea, you can either make calls via a satellite connection or pay for the ship's Wi-Fi (also via satellite) and make Wi-Fi calls, text or video chat via the internet.

How do you use your cell phone on a cruise ship? ›

Download the Connect@Sea app.

This app uses the ship's wireless service, so you'll still have to buy a package. But the app allows for ship-to-shore, shore-to-ship, and onboard calling and texting. If you want to be accessible at all times, download this app to your Apple or Android device.

Can you text on a cruise ship without Wi-Fi? ›

If you want to text while on a cruise ship, you have the option of either connecting to the ship's Wi-Fi network or its cellular service so you send an SMS over the Internet for free. Most modern ships are built with “Wireless Maritime Services” or 'Cellular at Sea” services to provide cell signal for those aboard.

What is the per message cost for a text message on a cruise ship? ›

Package and Data Prices for Cruise Ship Internet

It can cost anywhere from $0.25 per megabyte, or $15 to $20 per day, or a charge like $0.55 to $0.99 per minute (whoa!), to upwards of $89 per gigabyte for a data package.

How to get free internet on cruise ship? ›

Use onboard credit to pay for a Wi-Fi package

You can use your credit to pay for onboard internet access, thereby getting Wi-Fi on your cruise for free! On most cruise lines, you'll need a minimum of $100 in onboard credit per device for a week's worth of free basic Wi-Fi.

How do you communicate with other people on a cruise? ›

Walkie Talkies

Bringing a few sets of walkie talkies onboard your cruise ship is an ideal way for everyone to stay connected on those at-sea ship days or even while in port exploring. Invest in a quality set of walkie talkies and you will be able to communicate as far away as several miles.

How do you communicate on a cruise? ›

Compounding the issue is that, in most instances, you can't just whip out your phone and make a call as you would on land. However, with a little planning, you can communicate on a cruise ship with walkie-talkies, Wi-Fi calls, messaging apps, cell phones, post-it notes, in-cabin phones, or proprietary phones.

Can you text iphone to iphone on cruise? ›

While it is always nice to have a few days at sea away from it all, sometimes you still need to keep in contact with the "real world!" While onboard your Disney Cruise, you will be able to stay in touch through imessage. There is no additional cost for this.

How much does Princess cruise charge for Wi-Fi? ›

Unlimited and Affordable Internet

Choose from one-device or four-device packages starting from just $15 USD. Packages are available with additional savings as part of our Princess Plus and Princess Premier Packages. They can also be purchased pre-cruise and on board through the MedallionClass app.

Can I bring my own Wi-Fi on a cruise? ›

Do Hotspots Work on Cruise Ships? Portable wireless hotspots do work on cruise ships but only when the ship is docked or VERY close to land. Your phone's hotspot will also work on a cruise ship as long as you have cell service, are docked or close to land and roaming is included in your plan.

How do you get cellular data on a cruise? ›

To use your cell phone on your cruise, you have two options — either connect to the ship's cellular service or connect to the ship's wi-fi. Both will cost you extra. For traditional cell service, today's modern cruise ships use providers such as “Cellular at Sea” or “Wireless Maritime Services”.

Is it worth getting Wi-Fi on a cruise? ›

Yes, you may get a connection, but at-sea roaming charges can be exorbitant. Horror stories of cruise passengers receiving bills from cell phone companies in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars are not uncommon. Logging onto the ship's Wi-Fi is really your best, and cheapest, way to stay in touch.

How do I share my Wi-Fi on a cruise ship? ›

Once on the ship, set the device to “bridge mode.” Then it can be paired to the cruise wifi network to create a new mini wireless network right within your cruise stateroom. Essentially it acts as a wifi repeater, allowing you to connect all your devices using only one wifi package.

Do you have to pay for every text message? ›

How much do SMS texts cost? While SMS text messages are free for users with unlimited texting phone plans, mobile carriers do charge customers who don't have unlimited texting or who send SMS messages outside of covered areas. Most carriers charge the same rate for both SMS and MMS messages.

Do you get charged for SMS text messages? ›

You can send and receive text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages through the Messages app . Messages are considered texts and don't count toward your data usage. Your data usage is also free when you turn on chat features.

Do I get charged for receiving texts? ›

Sometimes you might get charged for a text message even though most texts are included free in your plan or you have plenty of allowance left. This is often because your phone has converted your text (SMS) to a picture message (MMS). Picture messages aren't included in your plan.

Should I turn off cellular data on a cruise? ›

But, please be aware that cellular data used on the ship or in certain ports of call will result in charges from your cell phone provider. As you sail into international waters, these expenses can add up, so we recommend that guests turn off their cellular data and connect to the ship's Wi-Fi instead.

How much do you pay for Wi-Fi on a cruise? ›

In general, expect to pay about $20-30 per day, per device for wi-fi access. Carnival offers three different tiers of service: Social, Value, and Premium wi-fi plans. Each offers different levels of access to the Internet. One tip to save money: purchase your plan ahead of time to save off the rates on the ship.

What happens if you don t put your phone on airplane mode on a cruise? ›

Missing the ship at port or booking excursions with outside operators could be costly and risky. If you don't set your phone to airplane mode, you may rack up overseas roaming charges.

How do I get internet on my ship? ›

Internet is provided by communicating with a satellite by an antenna on the cruise. The antennas transmit signals from the ship to a satellite and the satellite then sends a signal back to the ship's antenna.

Is WhatsApp free on a cruise ship? ›

By default, WhatsApp is not free on a cruise ship. You need to be online, and most cruise lines charge for internet access, unless you have a special fare that includes WiFi access.

How do you stay in contact with your family on a cruise ship? ›

Leave Notes Under The Cabin Door

One of the most common and easiest ways to stay in touch with your friends/family is to leave notes in your cabin or under their cabin door. I have used this method on the majority of my cruises.

How do I contact a family on a cruise ship? ›

There is a service called Dial-a-ship (see website) which can put you through to your family member. With Dial-a-Ship, you can contact any cruise liner in the world. You will need the ships name, your family member's name, and surname and cabin number, if possible.

How can I get text messages while traveling? ›

7 Dependable Text-Messaging Apps for International Travel in 2021
  1. Facebook Messenger. Though not as popular on an international scale, Facebook Messenger is ideal for many U.S. travelers as an alternative to WhatsApp. ...
  2. KakaoTalk. ...
  3. Line. ...
  4. Signal. ...
  5. Viber. ...
  6. WeChat. ...
  7. WhatsApp.
Mar 19, 2021

How do I prepare my iPhone for travel? ›

Here are our six best recommendations for what you should do to your iPhone before traveling abroad.
  1. Make Sure your iPhone is Unlocked. ...
  2. Familiarize Yourself with Wi-Fi-based services. ...
  3. Turn Off Data Roaming Until You Go. ...
  4. Get an eSIM Data Plan. ...
  5. Reset Your Usage Statistics. ...
  6. Update Your Multi-Factor Authentication Steps.
Jun 8, 2020

Is it free to text internationally iPhone? ›

Sending an iMessage Internationally

No matter which country someone is in, you can send them iMessage for free of cost. As iMessage doesn't work like SMS, the only charges you have to incur are the data charges.

How much do you tip on a Princess Cruise? ›

Princess Cruises

Automatic gratuity charge: $16 to $18 per person, per day. Details: Passengers in most cabins pay $16 for what the line now calls a "crew appreciation" charge. Passengers in mini-suites pay $17, while those in bigger suites pay $18.

Can I wear jeans on Princess Cruise? ›

Princess Cruise Line

Smart casual options include casual dresses and skirts, or pants and a nice top. Nice jeans (clean and not torn) are permitted in Princess' main dining room and specialty restaurants on smart casual evenings.

Do mobile phones work at sea? ›

So can you get a mobile signal at sea? In short - Yes. But it could be weak and inconsistent. This was an interesting test of our coverage solution and shows how patchy mobile coverage can be around our coastline.

Do you have to pay for cellular at sea? ›

All billing is handled by your cell phone carrier and you will be billed for any charges incurred while onboard a ship on your next monthly cell phone bill directly from your carrier. There are no additional charges or billing from Cellular at Sea or the cruise lines.

Does iMessage work on cruise Wi-Fi? ›

We don't block iMessage on our Value or Premium Wi-Fi packages. Though it can be spotty due to the satellite internet.

Can I text on a Royal Caribbean cruise? ›

Yes, Royal Caribbean works with cellular networks to provide the ability to connect your device through "cellular at sea". These roaming rates to utilize your device are determined by your cellular provider.

Can you text each other on Carnival cruise? ›

Stay Connected While At Sea On Your Cruise!

WMS offers an advanced roaming network onboard cruise ships allowing you to use your phone just like you do at home. Service for voice calls, texting (SMS) and data is available onboard while the ship is at sea.

Can I text while traveling abroad? ›

You can send and receive unlimited texts to any country in the world where texting is available (except Cuba or Wallis & Futuna).

Can you text people on a Carnival cruise? ›

When the ship is sailing on international waters, you will be able to text (SMS). Once in port, you can connect to local roaming networks as permitted by your home carrier.

How do I get text messages at sea? ›

It's possible to send and receive text messages at sea on a cellular signal, as long as you have a signal through your ship's roaming network. (Just make sure you turn on data roaming in your settings.) Texting costs a lot less than a voice call -- usually in line with standard, international "pay as you go" rates.

Is FaceTime free on a cruise? ›

If the ship provides free wifi and internet, then iMessage and FaceTime would be free. Those services are always free from Apple, and you only pay something if you are charged for the internet connection you are using.

Can I use Wi-Fi calling on a cruise ship? ›

Download any apps you need before leaving

For large parties, the Ripple Connect app allows you to call and text other cruisers with the app as long as you have access to the ship's Wi-Fi signal, without having to pay for an Internet plan. Chomp SMS, a good choice for overseas texting on Android devices.

Can you text internationally with text free? ›

We do not currently support international texting through TextFree Web. If you would like to send international messages, you can do so from your account on a mobile device.

Can I text abroad for free? ›

In general, sending an international text will cost you between $0.25 and $0.50 per text message. Of course, this fee can vary depending on your carrier and plan. If you're looking for a way to avoid these fees, consider using a messaging app like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

How can I text internationally without WiFi? ›

MyLine app is an international texting and calling app that doesn't require an internet connection to make international calls, you can always use MyLine access numbers, previously registering your account. With the MyLine app, you can make calls, send texts, and exchange multimedia messages anywhere in the world.

How do families communicate on a cruise? ›

How do you Communicate With Friends and Family on a Cruise? Many guests on cruises use cruise lines apps to communicate with their friends and family where available, some cruise lines charge for this service. Other options include leaving notes for friends or family to find or phoning them on cabin phones.

Can you Snapchat people on a cruise? ›

Using Your Phone on a Carnival Cruise

To access Carnival's wi-fi, you'll have to sign up for one of three packages: Social (~$8 per day) — Offers access to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and more. It also provides access to airline sites.

Should I put my phone on airplane mode on a cruise? ›

Make sure to put your phone on airplane mode to avoid expensive roaming charges. Cellular rates at sea can sneak up on you, and you can easily rack up a $500 roaming bill. Even if you're not actively on your phone, most are still using data, so make sure to set yours on airplane mode to avoid roaming charges.


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