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Verizon Wireless cell/data options

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I just had a long online chat with a Verizon Wireless rep to figure out my best options for service during a 7-day Caribbean cruise. I asked just about every question I could think of, so I thought a transcript of our conversation (stripped of irrelevant banter, etc.) might be helpful for others, so I posted below. Just throwing out there in advance that advice to unplug that is probably incoming isn't helpful here. I'm leaving my family home for this vacation and need to be accessible to them. :)

 

Verizon

Thank you for contacting the Verizon Wireless Chat Team regarding your account. How can we help you today?

You

I will be taking a cruise in a few months and am hoping to get some information about costs, restrictions, options for using my cell phone to make calls in port.

 

Verizon

Can you tell me what is the full name of your cruise?

You

Carnival is the cruise line. The name of the cruise according to their website is "7 days Western Caribbean from New Orleans, LA". The ports visited outside the USA are Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras.

Verizon

As per checking, while in cruise you can use call for$$ 2.99 per minute then for message is it is $0.50 per message, while data is not available. No worries, you may instead use wi-fi while in cruise , Then while you are on stop over ports. You may add $40 international plan that will work in all places you will visit. For that plan you have 100 message , 100 minutes and 100 MB of data.

Verizon

How's that sound?

You

ok a couple questions if you don't mind...

 

Verizon

No worries!

You

During the cruise, I have bought a WIFI package while on board, but I understand that I should put the phone in airplane mode and then turn wifi on to use it. If I do that, am I correct that I cannot send or receive texts?

Verizon

Yes that is correct.

Verizon

Nothing to worry, we have tips for you

Verizon

To confirm, are you using some apps like wechat or viber?

You

I don't know. Not sure what those are.

 

Verizon

For that for you to be able to receive and send message

Verizon

You can use wi-fi while airplane mode is turn off.

You

while airplane mode is turned off? And then use those apps?

Verizon

Yes you may use your device and any apps on it using wi-fi and you can send and receive message as well

You

But then why would I need to turn airplane mode off?

Verizon

Because if airplane mode is off , you can receive message and send as well .

Verizon

Turning off airplane mode will activate your service,.

Verizon

By turning it on, you can only use wi-fi

You

Ok. Let me see if I can state this back correctly, do you mind?

Verizon

Sure thing!

 

You

If I have the ship wifi service, I can put the phone in airplane mode and connect to the ship's wifi and that will let me use messaging apps like Viber or WeChat with anyone else who has those apps installed on their phone. If I want to receive actual texts through my Verizon service, though, I'd have to turn airplane mode off in order to do that. Those messages would cost $.50 each to send and/or receive?

Verizon

You got it all correct :)

 

You

ok and then for when I'm in port, I can buy a plan that for $40 will allow me to make calls and text in ports, giving me 100 messages total (both incoming and outgoing?) , 100 minutes to make calls and 100 MB of data?

Verizon

Yes that is the plan I can recommend to you.

You

And what if I wanted to talk a little longer than 100 minutes over the course of the week?

Verizon

I truly understand that, we have here $85 international plan that you can upgrade anytime, You will have 250 message , 250 minutes and 250 MB Data. Or since you have wi-fi you may use wi-fi calling for free.

You

ok so if I started with the $40 plan and was running into the time limits, I could contact you and request that you upgrade to that plan for an additional $45? Or would I need to pay an additional $85?

Verizon

Good question, instead of paying $40, once we upgrade your plan to $85. You will only paying $85 . .

You

Also... I don't know what wifi calling is. Never had to research that before.

 

Verizon

If you like, we can set up wi-fi calling for you

You

what is wifi calling?

 

Verizon

To share with you, is call while connected to wi-fi for free

Verizon

All we need is to set it up on your device so you can call using wi-fi

You

Would that work on the ship using their wifi, or does it have to be "good" wifi?

You

My understanding is their wifi is pretty weak and spotty

Verizon

Yes any wi-fi will do

You

And is there a fee to setup or have that wifi calling service?

Verizon

it is for free

Verizon

let me set you up here

You

thanks so much!

 

Verizon

Done here! your wi-fi calling is now set up.

You

ok so to use that all I have to do is put the phone in airplane mode and if I am hooked up to wifi, I will receive incoming calls normally and can make outgoing calls normally?

Verizon

Correct!

You

And then when the cruise gets close, I can just contact you to get the $40 plan to cover when I'm in port?

Verizon

Yes correct.

Verizon

or if you have the exact date I can set it up for you as well.

You

And that would be a one time charge, not a recurring thing that I would then need to cancel?

Verizon

Yes correct! I can set it up good for 1 month for you

You

ok, sounds great. :) The cruise sails on Feb 24 and returns to US on March 3, 2019.

Verizon

Great!

Verizon

Let me set it for you

You

One more question. It's been a looooong time since I've traveled internationally. The last time I did, I didn't have some chip in my phone or something that would enable it to make international calls and had to just pick up a prepaid phone to use when I got to my destination. That will not be a concern here, will it?

Verizon

I got you with that, yes rest assured that you will definitely use your service without having any problem since we set it up all for you

You

Perfect. :)

You

Ok, so the $40 charge will appear on our upcoming bill, or will it bill in February?

Verizon

it will be on February

You

ok perfect. Thanks so much for everything.

 

 

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I'm glad to hear you had success with Verizon! Knowing you'll still be in contact with your family should take a load off you mind. Enjoy your cruise!

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I'm glad to hear you had success with Verizon! Knowing you'll still be in contact with your family should take a load off you mind. Enjoy your cruise!

 

Thanks so much! You're very kind. :)

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For iPhone users (cuz that's just what I know):

 

Even when in airplane mode, make sure you go into settings and turn off "Cellular Data". You can use wifi and bluetooth when in airplane mode.

 

iMessage works just fine with only wifi. If everyone is on Apple devices, that's all you need to do. On Verizon with an iPhone, if you turn on wifi calling, that works just fine too and is pretty much automatic. Certain apps are sneaky and can lead to nasty cell phone bills even when you're in airplane mode if you don't turn off cellular data.

 

If people use a mix of Apple and Android, then get everyone to use the same messaging app. WeChat, WhatsApp, Viber, etc. You can text or make phone calls and even video chats.

 

Unless you truly need to be connected 24/7 (if so, cruising probably isn't the best idea due to sea days and spotty connections), wifi is all you need.

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