Disney Cruise has announced that it is now possible to use your cell phone while on board a Disney Cruise, no matter where the ship is located. The service is operated by Wireless Maratime Service, who provides cell service on most cruise ships around the world.
Guests who choose to use the network will be billed by their cell phone provider and rates will vary according to the carrier’s plan. The ship’s network will be enabled, while the ship is at sea, allowing guests to make and receive phone calls as well as utilize text messaging, email and other cellular services. While in port, the network will be disabled, allowing guests the ability to access local cell phone providers.
Guests have always been able to use their stateroom phones to call to shore, though the price has been quite expensive, around $10 per minute. I checked a few carriers, their prices seem to differ quite a bit:
T-mobile: $4.99 per minute
ATT: $2.49 per minute
Verizon: $2.49 per minute
AllTel: $2.49 per minute
The prices seem to be reasonable, compared to the cost of the previous options. Please note many of the carriers will also charge you a toll free on top of the per minute charge, so please check with your carrier before you leave home. Text messages and internet services are also available, though not included in the per minute cost.
The last few Disney Cruises I have done, I have taken my Skype phone with me on board, and used it in the Internet lounge or on my laptop. The per minute cost is low (about $.02 per minute), and the quality is good. It works well for having to call into work or to call family at home. It is difficult for someone to get a hold of me in case of emergency using Skype, so having the cell option is great.
Please make sure you are aware of all charges and fees that your carrier may charge you for the use of this service. Nothing ruins a fantastic Disney Cruise like a huge cellular bill after you return home.