Making phone calls on cruise ships or ferries is eye wateringly expensive. There are ways to make
voice calls cheaply or free.
Cell Phone Network
Cruise ships have a cell phone network call CELLULAR AT SEA. The price of using this network
is eye wateringly expensive, just see the table below. We do not put our phones in airplane mode
when we travel, but we turn off data and data roaming.
The reason for this is that we want to be accessible in case of an emergency.
|Make a call
|$3.50 per minute
|Receive a call
|$1.50 per minute
|$0.70 per message
|$7.50 per MB
Wi-Fi and Internet
The solutions we are proposing require that you have an Internet package on the cruise, as all of the technologies
we recommend use the Internet to do the communication. Click on the name of the service find out more about
the service or scroll down to each service's section.
Skype lets you make video and audio calls, exchange chat messages, as well make and receive calls from
the telephone network, not just other skype users.
|Signal is a cross-platform encrypted instant messaging and voice-over-IP service.
|WhatsApp is a cross-platform, centralized instant messaging and voice-over-IP service
|Some smartphones and some networks allow you to make phone calls over Wi-Fi networks, as if you're making a regular call.
Like Signal and Whatsapp, Skype lets you make video and audio calls, exchange chat messages with other Skype users.
Unfortunately Skype does not have the same user base as the other 2 technologies.
What differentiates Skype from the other services is that it allows for incoming and outbound calls from the telephone
network. Using Skype Second Number you can have a local phone number in one of 25 countries. Calls made
to the number are routed to your Skype account. Skype To Phone works the other way and allows you to call just
about any number in the world at local prices. Skype To Phone and Skype Second number both have a cost.
Skype to Skype is free.
Skype is available on your PC as well as on your Android and iOS devices. Find out more at Skype.com
Signal is a cross-platform, instant messaging and voice over IP service. It allows you to communicate
with Signal users only. It is has been developed by the non-profit Signal Foundation and its subsidiary,
the Signal Messenger LLC.
Signal is available on your PC as well as on your Android and iOS devices. Find out more at signal.org
WhatsApp is a cross-platform, instant messaging and voice over IP service, similar to Signal. WhatsApp
is owned by Meta, formerly Facebook. It allows you to communicate with WhatsApp users only.
WhatsApp is available on your PC as well as on your Android and iOS devices. Find out more at www.whatsapp.com
Wi-Fi calling allows you to make regular calls like you would do with your phone, but using a Wi-Fi network
instead of the cellular network. Wi-Fi calling is great, if your phone and your operator support this as it
gives you the same functionality as Skype, but without having to install additional software and pay additional
money for service.
On Shore Options
When you get on shore at a port of call you can use the cell network in the country you are. If your cell operator
has an agreement with the local operator, your calls and data may be free, or at your regular cost.
While on shore you can also seek out Internet cafes or free Wi-Fi hotspots and use the technologies
described on this article to make calls and communicate.