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iMessage—Free or Need Data Plan?

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Someone told me that they were able to use iMessage on the Meraviglia without having an internet plan. From all of my other research, I thought you had to have the internet package to access iMessage. But this person said they were able to message people OFF the ship for free via iMessage. Just trying to plan ahead (we won’t be buying an internet package—all we want to do is message our family once a day to check in, so the package isn’t worth it to us). Worst case scenario we can pay our phone company, but if this is an option, that would be fantastic! Just seems too good to be true...

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Most cruise lines have closed the system flaw that allowed certain iphones to send messages over the ships intranet.  I did not test this but suspect Meraviglia has fixed this problem.  The MSC for Me app has a function that allows communication between those on board to message each other over the ship's intranet, without an internet plan.  Messaging people not on the ship will require an internet plan.

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I was able to receive iMessages, FB Messenger messages, and notifications without being connected to my data plan on my most recent MERAVIGLIA cruise.  
 

You could not reply or send messages though unless you were connected to your data plan.  
 

The free incoming messages may have only worked after I Initially signed on to my data plan the first time.  I’m not sure about that though.  

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11 hours ago, Até said:

Most cruise lines have closed the system flaw that allowed certain iphones to send messages over the ships intranet.  I did not test this but suspect Meraviglia has fixed this problem.  The MSC for Me app has a function that allows communication between those on board to message each other over the ship's intranet, without an internet plan.  Messaging people not on the ship will require an internet plan.

Yeah... that sounds about right. I will give it a shot and see what happens. We will use wifi in our ports, but on sea days and Ocean Cay, we may just have to pay a bit to our cell provider.

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So, just in case anyone is still interested in this—we just got off the ship today, and our iMessage worked without a data plan! We were about to purchase the texting plan, and decided to try it first. Good thing we did, because it worked! So we saved $80! 😂🎉 We did not activate our MSC for Me guest messaging, and just texted each other, as well as our family back home. We were also able to use Facebook Messenger on and off randomly.

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On 2/9/2020 at 6:50 PM, gmbhardy said:

In October, iMessage worked on the Seaside also.

That's good to hear! We are looking at the Seaside for next fall/winter with our kids! Maybe it will be working then, as well. 👍

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I too was able to use the Imessaging on the Meraviglia about 2 weeks ago. You connect to the ships wifi hotspot. As an extra precaution, I put my phone on airplane mode as well and it still worked just fine. I bought a data plan and did not need it for the incoming and outgoing iMessages. 

 

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