There’s nothing quite like a cruise to help the stresses of life disappear. It’s a wonderful chance to unwind, visit new places and spend more time with family. Although a cruise is also a great way to unplug, you’ll undoubtedly want to use your phone to take pictures, share experiences on social media, find your way in port, or just stay in touch with loved ones back home.
Here are three tips for staying connected on your next adventure.
3 tips for using your phone on a cruise
1. Consider a cruise package
Cell phone coverage on a boat can be tricky. Cruise ships turn off their cellular service when approaching a port. If that port isn’t in a U.S. city or territory, you could incur international charges on your phone. With some simple advance planning, you’ll have this covered.
So, how do you get prepared? AT&T cruise packages are designed to let you use your phone at sea at discount rates. Not every ship will have this option, but if the ship you’re taking is covered, you can buy a package that will allow you to call, text, and surf the Internet on the ship’s cellular network. Some packages may even include land coverage in Mexico, Canada and select Caribbean islands.
Alternative options: If you don’t plan on making calls or sending text messages, one alternative could be using the ship’s Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi might not work in every part of the ship, but it should allow you to surf the Internet and update your friends on social media. Just be careful that your device isn’t accidentally connected to the ship’s cellular network when you start posting all those fabulous island images. The best way to do this is to put your device in airplane mode while you’re at sea.
2. Review international calling plans
A cruise package will help provide coverage while you’re in international waters, but it won’t necessarily cover every port you visit. If you are visiting destinations that are not included in your cruise package, you might want to consider adding an international roaming package. There are multiple options available. For example, AT&T International Day Pass could be perfect for covering individual days at port for a daily fee, while AT&T Passport might be ideal if you plan on traveling for a longer period of time.
Alternative options: If you aren’t interested in an international package, be sure to put your phone in airplane mode and turn cellular data off while on the ship as your ship approaches ports that aren’t covered by your domestic wireless plan.
3. Protect your phone from the elements.
Travel can be hard on your phone, especially when water is involved. If you’re going on a cruise, chances are you plan on swimming, snorkeling or doing other activities that put your phone at risk. If you don’t want to ruin a phone full of vacation photos, it might be wise to upgrade your case to something that provides solid protection from drops and water. You can also invest in mobile protection insurance.
Alternative options: If you don’t have the right protective case or a protection plan, be sure to leave your phone in your cabin or keep it in a tightly sealed plastic bag before you take part in any activities around water.
The best part is if you prepare for your cruise beforehand, you can spend less time worrying about your phone and more time enjoying your vacation. Bon voyage!
This article was written by Matt Johnsen, a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are his own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.