How To Use Your Phone On A Cruise

Mobile Phone

Going on a cruise is an incredible experience, but many people wonder if they can use their phones while onboard. Whether you want to stay connected with loved ones, capture breathtaking photos, or access important information, using your phone on a cruise is definitely possible. In this article, we will explore how you can make the most of your phone during your cruise vacation. From connecting to onboard Wi-Fi to understanding roaming charges and using cruise line apps, we have got you covered. So, get ready to embark on a journey of mobile phone usage on a cruise and learn how to stay connected, capture memories, and navigate through your cruise adventure with ease.

Inside This Article

  1. Packing Essentials for Using Your Phone on a Cruise
  2. Checking International Roaming Options
  3. Using Wi-Fi on the Cruise Ship
  4. Making Local Calls and Texting Options
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQs

Packing Essentials for Using Your Phone on a Cruise

When packing for a cruise, it’s important to consider the essentials you’ll need to make the most of your phone while at sea. Here are some key items to include in your packing list:

1. Power Banks: Cruise ships usually have limited power outlets in cabins, so it’s wise to bring a power bank to keep your phone charged throughout the day. This ensures you won’t miss out on capturing precious moments or staying connected with loved ones.

2. Phone Chargers and Cables: Don’t forget to pack your phone’s original charger and extra cables. These will come in handy when you need to recharge your phone in your cabin or other accessible charging stations on the ship.

3. Waterproof Smartphone Case: Whether you’re lounging by the pool or exploring a beautiful beach destination, a waterproof smartphone case is essential. It protects your phone from water damage and allows you to take stunning underwater photos or videos effortlessly.

4. Travel Adapter: Most cruise ships have power outlets designed for specific regions. To avoid any charging issues, bring a travel adapter that accommodates the plug types used on the ship. This ensures you can charge your phone without any compatibility issues.

5. Microfiber Cloth: Your phone’s screen is bound to get smudged and dirty, especially when you’re enjoying activities on the ship or venturing ashore. Pack a microfiber cloth to wipe away fingerprints and keep your phone’s screen clean and clear for optimal visibility.

6. Protective Phone Case: Accidents happen, even on a cruise. A sturdy, protective phone case is a must-have. It shields your phone from drops and bumps, giving you peace of mind knowing your device is well-protected.

7. Memory Cards: If you’re planning to capture lots of photos and videos during your cruise, consider bringing extra memory cards. This allows you to store all your precious memories without worrying about running out of storage space on your phone.

8. Headphones: Whether you want to enjoy music, podcasts, or watch movies on your phone, a good pair of headphones is essential. They not only provide a better audio experience but also allow you to enjoy your media without disturbing other passengers.

By packing these essentials, you’ll be well-prepared to use your phone on a cruise. Don’t forget to double-check your packing list and ensure you have everything you need before setting sail!

Checking International Roaming Options

When planning to use your phone on a cruise, it’s essential to check your international roaming options. Roaming allows your phone to connect to international networks and use their services, such as calls, texts, and data. However, it can be quite expensive if not managed properly, so here are some steps to ensure you stay connected without breaking the bank.

1. Contact your mobile service provider: Reach out to your service provider to discuss international roaming options specific to your plan. They can provide details on rates, packages, and any requirements needed to enable roaming on your phone.

2. Check for cruise-specific plans: Some providers offer special roaming plans designed for cruise ships. These plans often provide discounted rates for calls, texts, and data while on board. Inquire about these options and consider adding them to your plan for the duration of your cruise.

3. Assess your data needs: Determine how much data you are likely to use during your cruise. Streaming videos, using social media apps, and browsing the internet can quickly eat up your data allowance. Ask your provider about data packages that can help you stay connected without exceeding your limits.

4. Consider purchasing a local SIM card: If you plan to visit multiple destinations during your cruise, it might be more cost-effective to purchase a local SIM card for each location. This allows you to take advantage of local rates and avoid expensive roaming charges.

5. Enable or disable data roaming: Before boarding the cruise ship, ensure that you have enabled data roaming on your phone if you plan to use data services. On the other hand, if you want to avoid accidental data usage and hefty charges, it’s recommended to disable data roaming and rely solely on Wi-Fi hotspots.

6. Download offline maps and travel apps: To navigate unfamiliar ports of call without relying on data, download offline maps and travel apps that can provide guidance without the need for an internet connection. This way, you can explore hassle-free without worrying about roaming charges.

Remember, it’s crucial to discuss your roaming options well in advance of your cruise to avoid any last-minute surprises or excessive charges. By planning ahead and taking advantage of the best available options, you can stay connected and enjoy your cruise without any phone-related worries.

Using Wi-Fi on the Cruise Ship

Staying connected during your cruise is more important than ever, and luckily, most cruise ships offer Wi-Fi access for passengers. Here are some tips on how to make the most of Wi-Fi on your cruise ship:

1. Check the availability: Before you embark on your cruise, check with the cruise line to see if Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship or only in specific areas. Some cruise lines offer Wi-Fi packages or plans for a certain fee, while others may include it as part of the overall package.

2. Budget your data usage: Wi-Fi on cruise ships is often satellite-based, which means it can be slower and more expensive than traditional land-based Wi-Fi. To avoid excessive charges, set limits on your data usage and avoid bandwidth-hogging activities like streaming movies or downloading large files.

3. Connect to the ship’s network: Once onboard, connect your device to the ship’s Wi-Fi network. You may need to enter a password or agree to the terms and conditions of the network. It’s essential to follow the ship’s guidelines and not attempt to access unauthorized networks, as this may result in penalties.

4. Use Wi-Fi calling and messaging apps: If you want to make calls or send messages to your loved ones during the cruise, consider using Wi-Fi calling and messaging apps. Apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and FaceTime allow you to make calls and send texts over Wi-Fi, saving you from incurring additional roaming charges.

5. Consider Wi-Fi packages: Many cruise lines offer different Wi-Fi packages, ranging from a few hours to unlimited access throughout your cruise. Depending on your needs, it might be worth investing in a Wi-Fi package to ensure you stay connected at all times.

6. Manage your notifications: To conserve your Wi-Fi data and battery life, disable unnecessary notifications or restrict them to Wi-Fi only. This way, you won’t be constantly using data for notifications from social media, emails, or apps.

7. Be mindful of security: While using Wi-Fi on a cruise ship, it’s crucial to be mindful of security risks. Avoid accessing sensitive information or making online transactions over public Wi-Fi networks. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) for an added layer of security.

By following these tips, you can make the most of the Wi-Fi available on your cruise ship, stay connected with your loved ones, and enjoy a seamless online experience while sailing the seas.

Making Local Calls and Texting Options

When you’re on a cruise, it’s important to stay connected with your loved ones and be able to make local calls and send text messages. Thankfully, there are several options available to help you stay in touch while on board.

One popular option is to use the ship’s cellular network. Most modern cruise ships have their own cellular network, allowing you to make calls and send texts while at sea. However, keep in mind that using the ship’s cellular network can be quite expensive, as they often charge high roaming fees.

Another option is to purchase a local SIM card at your cruise destination. This allows you to use a local network and take advantage of cheaper calling and texting rates. Before you make a purchase, make sure that your phone is unlocked and compatible with the local network.

If you prefer not to use your cellular network or purchase a local SIM card, you can still make calls and send texts using Wi-Fi. Most cruise ships offer Wi-Fi packages that allow you to connect to the ship’s internet network. Once connected, you can use various apps, such as WhatsApp or Skype, to make calls and send texts over Wi-Fi. This option is more cost-effective than using the ship’s cellular network but be aware that the ship’s Wi-Fi may not be as reliable as a cellular network.

Finally, if you plan to spend a lot of time onshore during your cruise, you may want to consider getting an international calling and texting plan from your cellular provider. These plans often offer discounted rates for making calls and sending texts from your cruise destination. Be sure to check with your provider and understand the terms and conditions of the plan.

Before using any of these options, it’s essential to check with your mobile carrier to understand the charges and roaming policies associated with your specific phone plan. Additionally, be mindful of time zones and any additional charges that may apply for international calls or texts.

By exploring these local calling and texting options, you can find the most convenient and cost-effective way to stay connected while on your cruise.


Using your phone on a cruise can enhance your experience and keep you connected with the outside world. By following a few key tips and guidelines, you can maximize the use of your phone while avoiding excessive roaming charges and other potential pitfalls. Remember to check with your service provider to activate a suitable international plan and consider using onboard Wi-Fi for communication needs. Make use of airplane mode and conserve battery life by disabling unnecessary features and apps. Take advantage of available cruise line apps that offer various functionalities. Finally, prioritize disconnecting and enjoying the activities and scenery around you. With proper preparation and mindfulness, your mobile phone can be a valuable tool on your next cruise adventure.


1. Can I use my cell phone on a cruise?

Yes, you can use your cell phone on a cruise, but there are a few things to consider. While the availability of cell phone service varies depending on your cruise line and destination, most major cruise lines now offer cellular service onboard. However, keep in mind that using your cell phone on a cruise can be expensive, as it may involve roaming charges or international fees. It is always advisable to review your cell phone plan and contact your provider to understand the costs and options available before using your phone on a cruise.

2. Can I use data or access the internet on my phone while on a cruise?

Yes, you can use data and access the internet on your phone while on a cruise, but it may come at a cost. Cruise ships typically offer Wi-Fi services, but they often charge for internet access. The cost can vary depending on the package or the amount of data you use. It is recommended to check with your cruise line beforehand to understand the available options for accessing the internet and any associated costs.

3. Should I activate roaming on my phone before going on a cruise?

Activating roaming on your phone before going on a cruise can be beneficial, especially if you want to make or receive calls or use data while at sea or during port stops. However, it is essential to be aware that roaming charges can add up quickly, and you may incur high fees if you don’t have an international roaming plan. It is best to contact your mobile service provider before your cruise to discuss your options and activate the appropriate roaming plan to avoid any unexpected charges.

4. Can I make calls to landlines or other cell phones from my cruise?

Yes, you can make calls to landlines or other cell phones from your cruise, but it is important to understand the associated costs. Cruise ships typically offer onboard telecommunication services, such as satellite phones or ship-to-shore calls, but they can be quite expensive. It is advisable to check with your cruise line regarding the available options and charges for making calls while onboard. Consider alternative communication methods, such as using internet-based calling apps or purchasing a calling package offered by your cruise line, to minimize costs.

5. What should I do if I have a phone-specific issue while on a cruise?

If you encounter a phone-specific issue while on a cruise, such as network connectivity problems or inability to use certain features, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try. First, restart your phone to see if the issue resolves itself. If not, check if you have the necessary network settings configured for roaming. You can also contact the onboard cell service provider or the cruise ship’s technical support for assistance with phone-related problems. It is always a good idea to have a backup plan, such as carrying a spare phone or having access to alternative communication methods in case of any phone-related issues while on a cruise.