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Internet, Email, Phone, Fax and Mail on Cruise Ships

While communication onboard cruise ships has improved greatly in the last few years, staying in touch with friends and family at home is different and sometimes still a challenge.

All communication from a ship goes via Satellite - which means, it is slower, sometimes interrupted and a great deal more expensive than on land.

Internet

All cruise lines I know have a crew internet café onboard. Some cruise lines limit or deny access to certain websites. Email and chat is normally not a problem.

Most cruise lines offer also the possibility to use your own laptop, which is often more convenient, since access to the USB drive on a computer in the crew internet is normally blocked. Also the use of programs like Skype is blocked by some cruise lines.

Phone

Most cruise lines sell crew phone cards, which can be used from any crew phone around the ship. You will have an access code in order to get to the crew line and then use the access and pin codes on the card. Cost depends on where you call. Using phone cards is still rather costly.

Mobile Phone

Several cruise lines also sell sim cards for mobile phones. This is cheaper than linking with your phone to the satellite – but also there, it pays to compare prices.

Your mobile phone

Most cruise ships are nowadays equipped with the possibility to use your mobile phone, even when you are crossing the Atlantic. You will see which provider shows up on your phone. Please be aware that this is an expensive service and the best would be to have the phone switched off while at sea, if you are using your provider. Depending on how reachable you want to be, you might want to check with your provider to check out different plans.

Shore Phone

Most ports have phone booths on the pier and are also selling local phone cards. This is normally the most economic way, but also the most inconvenient. Sometimes you can’t get off the ship when you would like to, in order to make that phone call. Or the phone booths are crowded and you have to wait for a long time.

Fax

Every ship has the possibility to send a fax. Normally reduced rates apply for faxes sent by crew members. You can check onboard your ship, if this service is available to you.

Snail Mail

You will have access to the Port Agent’s addresses in the crew purser’s office. You can give those address to the ones you want to receive letters from. Your name, department, and crew number must be clearly written on the letter, otherwise it will never find you.

See also: Internet access for employees onboard a cruise ship

Written by Scarlet Perez