Cruise holidays are the perfect chance to get off the grid. However in today’s world, many passengers need to stay connected.
Unfortunately many passengers don’t realise they could rack up a huge phone bill if they use their mobile onboard a cruise ship. Experts at Fonehouse have issued a warning for passengers following one woman’s holiday nightmare.
Molly Saxton, 24, had a shocking bill when she returned from a Caribbean cruise holiday with her family. She stayed connected with her husband and friends while onboard via social media and texting.
Molly said: “Before the holiday, I made sure to pay for a data and text bundle to make keeping in touch with people on cruise cheaper. I had a feeling that I’d exceeded these but didn’t worry too much as I expected my phone provider to place a cap on spending, or at least notify me if I was running the risk of using too much.
“You can imagine my shock when I saw that my monthly phone bill of between £30-35 ended up being £1186.59! While I expected a slightly larger phone bill due to using it abroad, I didn’t for one minute think that it would be anywhere near £1,000. I could have gone on another holiday with that money!
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“The high costs were down to excess use of the data and text bundle as well as accidental roaming while at sea.
“I had no idea that your phone could automatically connect to maritime roaming in this way, neither did my friends or family.
“Thankfully, my phone company did agree to half the bill after speaking with them, and I’ve learnt a lesson from this. Now when I go on holiday, I really limit my phone use, and will only really use it when I know I can connect to WIFI in bars, restaurants or hotels.”
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Many UK networks charge roaming fees when tourists are abroad so it’s important to check network allowance before setting off.
On a cruise holiday, phones may connect to the nearest maritime provider when the ship is far from the shore. This can be really expensive, as Molly found.
Passengers may have to pay for WIFI on a cruise so it’s important to consider Internet use before boarding the ship.
Fonehouse’s mobile tips
- Always remember to put your phone in flight mode onboard the ship
- Have films, music or books downloaded to use offline
- Contact your mobile provider to see if they have a travel plan
- Check with your provider how much roaming charges could cost at different ports
- Use WIFI where possible in port
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