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sim card for europe recommendations


lincoln81
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I don't want to sound like a Freedom Mobile ad, but another thing I really like is that I can turn off overseas roaming at the carrier level, in my account online. That way it is 100% off, even if I don't do anything with my phone or SIM. Which is good, because it would drain my pre-paid balance in seconds, haha. Not sure if other carriers offer similar options.

 

Also, as far as I understand, no pre-paid plan, Canada or European will work with celluar-at-sea. It might connect, but there will be no service. Only works with post-paid account that can be billed.

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44 minutes ago, mabba18 said:

 

I don't want to sound like a Freedom Mobile ad, but another thing I really like is that I can turn off overseas roaming at the carrier level, in my account online. That way it is 100% off, even if I don't do anything with my phone or SIM. Which is good, because it would drain my pre-paid balance in seconds, haha. Not sure if other carriers offer similar options.

 

That's a good thing. Virgin, at some point, removed that option from their online service so I had to call them to make the change. Not a huge deal, but it's annoying. 

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Posted (edited)

Ordered SimCorner sim card on the 22nd, received on the 26th. Registered the card. Installed in my phone. Got my UK phone number. Set up 3UK account. Turned off 3sim on my phone until my arrival in the UK.  

https://ca.simcorner.com/collections/europe-sim-card

I'm with Freedom mobile ($30 for $60 plan) using esim, but Freedom's Roam Beyond Pass does not cover Norway and Denmark (more than half of my trip) and is $30 for 5gb. I bought SimCorner's 10gb for less (they have a 20% discount code for doing a survey atm).

I've used this card twice before for month long trips with great service in every country, only used 5gb with constant google mapping, social media, whatsapp video calling etc. Able to get cell service sometimes far away from shore. This card has been great for me, also knowing there will be no extra charges and no need to fiddle with turning it on/off while on/off ship.

Edited by cruiseamm
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  • 1 month later...

I have used to Esim's the last 2 cruises. Airola which did not works as promised in the Caribbean and Holafly which worked great in Mexico. 

 I would recommend Esim just do a little research as to which company is best for you. They are easy to purchase, install and use.

 Make sure your contacts have whatsapp.

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Just got back from a month cruising in Europe and used SPARKS Esim. Worked flawlessly and even had 5G when cruising the coasts of Italy and Greece. Extremely reasonable but only down side is your time starts as soon as you scan the QR code. 

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On 5/21/2024 at 8:12 AM, Stonymtncruiser said:

I have used to Esim's the last 2 cruises. Airola which did not works as promised in the Caribbean and Holafly which worked great in Mexico. 

 I would recommend Esim just do a little research as to which company is best for you. They are easy to purchase, install and use.

 Make sure your contacts have whatsapp.

I didn't have any issues with Airalo in the Caribbean or Mexico. 

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17 hours ago, starvenger said:

I didn't have any issues with Airalo in the Caribbean or Mexico. 

 

Good to hear!  Thanks!

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19 hours ago, starvenger said:

I didn't have any issues with Airalo in the Caribbean or Mexico. 


Me neither.  We got the Global plan and have used it in the Caribbean and all over Europe.  However, it doesn’t work everywhere, so you have to look at the list of countries covered and  choose your plan accordingly.

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1 hour ago, bookbabe said:


Me neither.  We got the Global plan and have used it in the Caribbean and all over Europe.  However, it doesn’t work everywhere, so you have to look at the list of countries covered and  choose your plan accordingly.

Yep, agreed.

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5 hours ago, bookbabe said:


Me neither.  We got the Global plan and have used it in the Caribbean and all over Europe.  However, it doesn’t work everywhere, so you have to look at the list of countries covered and  choose your plan accordingly.

I was looking at that for a cruise I have next year; French Polynesia is not one of the countries covered so that esim wouldn't suit.

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20 minutes ago, d9704011 said:

I was looking at that for a cruise I have next year; French Polynesia is not one of the countries covered so that esim wouldn't suit.


You can get one of their local esims that will work there, but yeah, there’s a few countries missing from the global list.  We’ve had a few cruises where the Global covered all the ports except one, so we just had to figure out a Plan B for that day and then the Global worked the rest of the time.

 

Their French Polynesia only option doesn’t seem too bad, though.

https://www.airalo.com/french-polynesia-esim

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Just now, bookbabe said:


You can get one of their local esims that will work there, but yeah, there’s a few countries missing from the global list.  We’ve had a few cruises where the Global covered all the ports except one, so we just had to figure out a Plan B for that day and then the Global worked the rest of the time.

 

Their French Polynesia only option doesn’t seem too bad, though.

https://www.airalo.com/french-polynesia-esim

I've decided to simply go without.  The ship wifi/internet will suffice for our needs.

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3 minutes ago, d9704011 said:

I've decided to simply go without.  The ship wifi/internet will suffice for our needs.


Good luck, I hope it works out for you.  I know we couldn’t manage without a data plan of some kind, not these days with elderly relatives to keep tabs on.  But if you just want to check a couple emails once in a while and do your flight checkin for the return trip, you’re likely okay.
 

Our last few cruises, no matter which line we were on, the internet was mediocre to okay at best.  Even then, it only works when you are physically on the ship, so won’t work while on excursions or touring (ie using google or maps functions).  And public wifi completely freaks my retired IT guy hubby out, even with a VPN it’s an option of last resort.

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We used Airalo esim in Europe and it was great. Came in handy when walking as I used it for directions many times. The cost was minimal. It also picked up the signal while on the ship when sailing from Ireland to Amsterdam often. I love the ability to turn off my home sim so that no costly accidents happen

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13 hours ago, bookbabe said:


 

Our last few cruises, no matter which line we were on, the internet was mediocre to okay at best.  Even then, it only works when you are physically on the ship, so won’t work while on excursions or touring (ie using google or maps functions).  And public wifi completely freaks my retired IT guy hubby out, even with a VPN it’s an option of last resort.

 

Not that I am suggesting this for others, but I am an early riser, even on weekends and vacations.  I am generally up in the 4:30am to 5:00am range.  Not the husband...

 

This is a great time to use the ship's Wifi.  There is very little to no lag because there is so little usage at that time.

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For our TA in November, starting in Lisbon , where we are spending 4 days pre cruise 

We looking at Vodafone, hopefully the price will be the same

We have used Vodafone on a number of cruises and has always been a good

IMG_7243.thumb.png.6f34c9f9c0f1470d205c110fce5b87be.png choice 

 

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1 hour ago, Ex-Airbalancer said:

For our TA in November, starting in Lisbon , where we are spending 4 days pre cruise 

We looking at Vodafone, hopefully the price will be the same

We have used Vodafone on a number of cruises and has always been a good

IMG_7243.thumb.png.6f34c9f9c0f1470d205c110fce5b87be.png choice 

 

The promotion is a great price; why don't you snap it up now for November?  Time limit on when you have to activate?  We just got back from a TA with stops in Portugal and Spain (two weeks touring after cruise)  and had a Vodafone data esim.... excellent price and coverage.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We just returned from a 3 week trip to Bruges, England, Norway, Shetland Islands and Iceland.  We used Airalo and had far better success than previous Europe trips.  Almost all locations had 5G service and, when we were docked, I was able to access the data without leaving the ship which wasn't the case on our similar itinerary last year nor our Mediterranean cruise in September.

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18 hours ago, Senga said:

We just returned from a 3 week trip to Bruges, England, Norway, Shetland Islands and Iceland.  We used Airalo and had far better success than previous Europe trips.  Almost all locations had 5G service and, when we were docked, I was able to access the data without leaving the ship which wasn't the case on our similar itinerary last year nor our Mediterranean cruise in September.

 

Not saying that this is or was the case, but something to consider....

 

If you have ships Wifi engaged on your phone and you are also accessing the eSIM data, sometimes it does not work well because your phone is moving from one to the other.

 

I find that when in port, and the eSIM data is accessible that I must disable the ship Wifi connection for everything to work properly.

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I too like my experiences with Airalo e-SIM.  I've used it in the UK, Norway, Netherlands, Mexico, and the US.  If I really, absolutely needed to make a voice call, I switched back to my Fido SIM, made the call, and accept the $15 a day charge for roaming with FIdo 😞  

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I am another Airalo  e-sim fan. For 3 years, and all over the world, Airalo has performed above expectations for me. On our recent 2 month New Zealand, Australia and South Pacific cruise trip, I loaded the 3 different e-sims for the countries that I wanted data for before leaving home. I bought individual e-sims for each locale as it gave me more data where I would need it, rather than buying a world e-sim. They worked exactly as promised and activated as soon as we entered each different area. Very inexpensive and best of all worked with no hassle.

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21 hours ago, Atlantic Girl said:

I am another Airalo  e-sim fan. For 3 years, and all over the world, Airalo has performed above expectations for me. On our recent 2 month New Zealand, Australia and South Pacific cruise trip, I loaded the 3 different e-sims for the countries that I wanted data for before leaving home. I bought individual e-sims for each locale as it gave me more data where I would need it, rather than buying a world e-sim. They worked exactly as promised and activated as soon as we entered each different area. Very inexpensive and best of all worked with no hassle.

This is great to hear.  We are planning for a World Cruise in mid 2026 and one of my concerns is that I am NOT going to pay Rogers a Roam Like Home fee for 4 months....!!!  How do I cover all these countries.

 

I am only starting to look into this but was not aware that there was a World eSIM.  

 

One thing that I am foggy about with Airalo.  How can you get phone service as well as data?  

 

How does this work?

 

I want to have people call my home cell number to reach me wherever I am in the world and NOT have to use WhatsApp if possible.

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33 minutes ago, CDNPolar said:

This is great to hear.  We are planning for a World Cruise in mid 2026 and one of my concerns is that I am NOT going to pay Rogers a Roam Like Home fee for 4 months....!!!  How do I cover all these countries.

 

I am only starting to look into this but was not aware that there was a World eSIM.  

 

One thing that I am foggy about with Airalo.  How can you get phone service as well as data?  

 

How does this work?

 

I want to have people call my home cell number to reach me wherever I am in the world and NOT have to use WhatsApp if possible.

Check out Airalo Discover+ for data/text/calls.  Being able to use your home phone may not be readily on the table.  Maybe a land line can be transfered to the Airalo number?

https://www.airalo.com/global-esim

 

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2 hours ago, CDNPolar said:

This is great to hear.  We are planning for a World Cruise in mid 2026 and one of my concerns is that I am NOT going to pay Rogers a Roam Like Home fee for 4 months....!!!  How do I cover all these countries.

 

I am only starting to look into this but was not aware that there was a World eSIM.  

 

One thing that I am foggy about with Airalo.  How can you get phone service as well as data?  

 

How does this work?

 

I want to have people call my home cell number to reach me wherever I am in the world and NOT have to use WhatsApp if possible.

Have you look at Freedom for your cell

https://shop.freedommobile.ca/en-CA/plans?isByopPlanFirstFlow=true

 

IMG_7354.png

IMG_7355.png

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2 hours ago, CDNPolar said:

How can you get phone service as well as data?  

There is no voice service (i.e. phone) with an eSIM like Airalo.  You can do WiFi calling with apps other than WhatsApp, but the lack of phone calls is the only weak spot for eSIMS. 

 

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