Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

AT&T in Mexico


TiredTrucker
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi, hoping someone can help me understand using my cell on our cruise.  I have an ATT unlimited cell plan that includes Mexico and I'm going on a cruise to PV, Mazatlan and Cabo and been told by ATT my phone will work just fine in those ports.  Great so far.  But I've also seen warnings to make sure I'm connected to ATT MX (or whatever their network is called) and not the ships cellular or I'll get a big fat roaming bill.  However, ATT locks the cellular network selection on their phones leaving me totally confused as to how I should proceed.

 

Any help from fellow ATT cruisers is much appreciated.  (I tried searching up an answer but the threads I found were years old and unclear, at least to me)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

Simply don't take you phone off airplane mode until you are within a half mile (like tendering at Cabo) of shore, or tied up. It will work just fine on ATT MX. Our plan is the same.

 

Thank you.  So it's better not to risk it onboard the actual boat, even during port stops? I'm not tied to my phone but my teen daughter is another story.  😂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TiredTrucker said:

 

Thank you.  So it's better not to risk it onboard the actual boat, even during port stops? I'm not tied to my phone but my teen daughter is another story.  😂

Using cellular on the ship too far from land means you will go through the ships cell system,  which will cost an arm and a leg, unless you have AT&Ts Cell at Sea program,  which costs additional. You can use the ship's wifi system...that has nothing to do with AT&T. 

 

When the ship is close to shore...like within a mile, the ship turns off it's cell tower and you can use local cell service. I have used my AT&T service while anchored at Cabo and docked in ports in Mexico and Canada,  on several cruises.  No problem 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Using cellular on the ship too far from land means you will go through the ships cell system,  which will cost an arm and a leg, unless you have AT&Ts Cell at Sea program,  which costs additional. You can use the ship's wifi system...that has nothing to do with AT&T. 

 

When the ship is close to shore...like within a mile, the ship turns off it's cell tower and you can use local cell service. I have used my AT&T service while anchored at Cabo and docked in ports in Mexico and Canada,  on several cruises.  No problem 

 

Awesome, thank you again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trucker, I wait until I am actually on shore before I turn my phone's airplane mode off, just to avoid any controversies, and because I don't really need to make any phone calls right away.  My wife turns her phone on as soon as we are "near" shore.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Mike45LC said:

Trucker, I wait until I am actually on shore before I turn my phone's airplane mode off, just to avoid any controversies, and because I don't really need to make any phone calls right away.  My wife turns her phone on as soon as we are "near" shore.  

Like your wife, we turn off airplane mode when we are close to shore (within about 10 miles).  It is a simple matter to determine if my phone is connected to a shore-based provider (which costs me nothing since we have T-Mobile) or the ship's Cellular at Sea.  If the latter I quickly turn on airplane mode.  Ships generally turn off their cell tower (i.e Cellular at Sea) when they get about 10 miles from shore.

 

Hank

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Like your wife, we turn off airplane mode when we are close to shore (within about 10 miles).  It is a simple matter to determine if my phone is connected to a shore-based provider (which costs me nothing since we have T-Mobile) or the ship's Cellular at Sea.  If the latter I quickly turn on airplane mode.  Ships generally turn off their cell tower (i.e Cellular at Sea) when they get about 10 miles from shore.

 

Hank

The cellular at the sea provider is easily recognized? I'm on ATT and I think the two providers for me might have ATT and MX in their names, but I just read that here, I haven't confirmed it yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, TiredTrucker said:

The cellular at the sea provider is easily recognized? I'm on ATT and I think the two providers for me might have ATT and MX in their names, but I just read that here, I haven't confirmed it yet.

It shows up on my phone (in the upper right) as "Cellular at Sea."  But the bottom line is that if you have doubts (and related anxiety) just wait until you are docked or at anchor.  We all have our own level of comfort and/or risk tolerance.

 

We do have one more suggestion (for everyone).  In your phone settings you have the option to turn off "Cellular Data."  On iPhones this is under "Settings, Cellular" and then at the top you can turn off the slider for "Cellular Data."  On Androids it can vary and I have no expertise with those phones.  By turning off the Cellular Data option, the phone will not download apps or other data from Cell Towers,  All data downloads are only done through WiFi.  When you hear about these tales of folks getting huge cell bills after international travel, it is sometimes caused by their phones downloading data from cells which are not covered by their provider plan.  

 

Hank

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

International Cellular Data is turned off when the phone departs the factory. This was done a number of years ago to prevent unintentional data downloads...at cost...when out of the US. So this needs to be turned on when out of the US. If you are in airplane mode whenever you are not covered by your plan, you are safe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

International Cellular Data is turned off when the phone departs the factory. This was done a number of years ago to prevent unintentional data downloads...at cost...when out of the US. So this needs to be turned on when out of the US. If you are in airplane mode whenever you are not covered by your plan, you are safe.

Maybe yes, maybe no :).  Many folks (including us) have unlocked iPhones and we actually modify all the factory settings at the time we activate our specific cell phone provider.  One can certainly take a chance that everything is set up the way you would prefer, or one can be a bit cautious and simply check your own settings.  On iPhones, if you have "Cellular Data" turned on you get some additional options for data roaming.  And this is where some folks have gotten themselves very nasty cell phone bills (from their own provider) because they were not techie enough to understand that "data roaming" can be very expensive if one is traveling on a ship or internationally.   

 

On iPhones (and I do not speak to Androids) keeping "Cellular Data" turned off  should avoid any possibility that you get nailed by "data roaming" fees.  Also keep in mind that Apple is constantly modifying the iPhone software so what we have today may well change tomorrow :(.  I am still trying to adjust to some of the changes to the latest IOS 17 changes.  The reality is that as the software gets "smarter" we need to also get smarter.  Tough for we seniors.  

 

Hank

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have ATT and live in MX.  ATT cellular is free on land in those places you are going.  It might show up as something other than ATT.  We also cruise a lot.  We purchase the ships WIFI package and use it while on the ship.  Before you sail turn on WIFI calling and make sure it works.  Once on the ship just go to airplane mode and turn on ships WIFI.  You can use your phone as normal (text, call, Facetime, surf www, etc) on the ship.  There should be plenty of warnings before you connect to "Cellular at Sea" on the ship.  But as long as you stay in Airplane mode while sailing you will be fine.  As soon as you dock or are close to shore the ship will turn off Cellular at Sea and you can turn off Airplane mode.      

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...