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We will be doing a 10 day Alaskan cruise out of San Francisco On the Carnival Miracle June 2022.

 

Since it’s such a long cruise, I will need to check in with my office several times, just to answer emails and do a few quick things. I don’t mind doing this, since they’re giving me two weeks off at one time for this trip.
 

Question is we have a truly unlimited Verizon hotspot that works very well for us. Are we close enough to shore traveling up to Alaska to use this hotspot on sea days, or would it be better just to spend the money and purchase the Internet package with Carnival? I understand that Verizon works pretty well in the ports we are visiting which are Juneau , Skagway, Icy Strait and Victory but I’d like to be able to do the work I need to do on the sea days so wondering if my Verizon hotspot would work on those days. I have no idea, exactly how far offshore  the ship will be.
 

Comments and suggestions would be great. 

Edited by renysmom
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This is a commonly asked question here. While you will be close to shore at times, Alaska is the largest state, and one of the least populated. So what this means is you may be fairly close to land, but it will probably be land that is unpopulated, thus doesn't have cell towers, until you get close to a town.

 

You should never assume you will get land based cell service unless docked, or close to docking.

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Only within a few miles (nautical of course) of what few major cities there are will you be able

to use a faster speedier internet service than the slow boat from Yokohama provided by the

cruise line - even with their best wi-fi packages. 

Ships sail close enough to see land on most cruises - but that does not mean that communications

are going to work well.

As post #2 CruiserBruce noted being docked is no assurance - a lot of guests leave the ship

with their cell phones tablets laptops to get a cup of coffee and use that coffee shops wi-fi.

Get five miles out to sea and even the cell phones begin to cut out and terminate - switching

you over perhaps to that expensive connection on the ship -CAREFUL HERE-

Even the major cities may have dead spots - Fairbanks is one with Verizon.

 

OP

Your cruise out of San Francisco will be two + days at sea before that first port call at Juneau

which will be OK for communications (JNU AK State Capitol) Skagway Icy Strait Point right

at dockside should be ok otherwise in uncharted (wi-fi) communications using ships

satellite services - then returning a port call at Victoria and open sea back to SFO.

 

Since everything is so S-L-O-W at sea plan only the most essential work stuff to best use

the wi-fi packages time allotment EVEN unlimited packages - you want to have some

real personal fun cruise time not be sea-logged to a qwerty communication ! 

 

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In addition to the previous responses, be aware that satellite reception in Alaska can also be spotty, especially in the higher latitudes. At higher latitudes the sats have a lower altitude, so are more susceptible to being blocked by land,

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I have been to Alaska many times and the ship internet reception deteriorates the farther north you go.  In many cases, there will be no ship internet at all while at sea. When the reception is accpetable, the speed at sea is very sloooooooww.

 

Cell phone calls are reportedly intercepted by the ship tower and billed at a rate that is reported to be in excess of $7/minute.  The ship cell tower usually is turned OFF about three miles from the dock and cell phones can connect to the local towers.

 

Since most cruise ports in Alaska are in small cities, there will be a rush for docking cruise passengers to connect as soon as each ship docks and the local cell towers may be overwhelmed for the first hour after docking.

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On 5/9/2021 at 7:33 PM, Heidi13 said:

In addition to the previous responses, be aware that satellite reception in Alaska can also be spotty, especially in the higher latitudes. At higher latitudes the sats have a lower altitude, so are more susceptible to being blocked by land,

 

Interesting post.  When we were in northern AK on a land trip, I found it surprising that satellite dishes on homes were pointed almost horizontally for the same reason.

 

DON

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17 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

Interesting post.  When we were in northern AK on a land trip, I found it surprising that satellite dishes on homes were pointed almost horizontally for the same reason.

 

DON

And those dishes are also larger than what you'd see at lower latitudes.

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1 hour ago, donaldsc said:

 

Interesting post.  When we were in northern AK on a land trip, I found it surprising that satellite dishes on homes were pointed almost horizontally for the same reason.

 

DON

 

Don - to further explain the situation. For fixed dishes to work, TV satellites must be in Geostationary orbit, which is above the Equator. The further north, or south you travel, the altitude (height in the sky) of the sats become lower.

 

This is similar to the Sun. When a ship's Latitude is almost the same as the Sun's declination, at Meridian Altitude (Noon) the Sun will be almost directly overhead. The further the distance between Latitude and Declination, at Meridian Altitude, the Sun is lower in the sky.

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