Cruise Ship Cell Service

Cruising Cell service

Cell Phone Roaming On Cruise Ships

We try very hard to keep control of our cellular voice, data and text costs along with wifi access costs while traveling. One specific area where costs can easily spin out of control is cellular roaming while on a cruise.

Over the past few years AT&T has become a virtual cell service monopoly on cruise ships thru their subsidiary Wireless Maritime Services, also known as Cellular At Sea. Until a couple of years ago most cell providers offered a discount travel package if you were going on a cruise. No more, and one has to question what is going on. At this writing the only provider still offering a discount package while cruising is AT&T. Wonder why? Without a cruise option most cell providers are now billing about $2.50 per minute when you use Cellular At Sea.

Our usual plan is to generally not use data or cell voice service while at sea and only use those services when we are in a port and have access to land based cellular service. That raises the question regarding how and when the cruise ships shut down their Cellular At Sea service in favor of land based service?

This January we took a Caribbean trip visiting a few islands. At the end of the island hop we booked our return on Celebrity Summit that was sailing from San Juan to Ft. Lauderdale. While in Puerto Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas we used our Verizon phones and when on other islands we used the One Sim Card service. On the cruise back to the U.S. our last stop was supposed to be Nassau, Bahamas and that is where things went wrong.

On the Nassau morning, strong winds kept the ship from getting into port so we spent some time just sitting off shore. I needed to make some calls and I was getting five bars on service from Bahamas Telecommunications Company. A few minutes later while still near Nassau my phone switched from BTC to WMS or Wireless Maritime Services which is another name for AT&T’s Cellular At Sea without my noticing it. One ten minute call cost us $25 instead of the $2.50 that would have been billed thru One Sim Card.

After figuring out what happened I contacted Celebrity and asked about their policy regarding switching on cellular service. The person I spoke with was very helpful and spent a fair amount of time researching their policy. What she concluded was, that despite a stated policy regarding American ports, there doesn’t seem to be a specific set of rules. That may be because the ships have to deal with a lot of jurisdictions and countries. In this case I think they were too quick to switch.

The advice at this point is to keep an eye on your phone as to what service you are using while on a cruise ship. The top of your phones screen will indicate the network you are connected to. Watch out for networks designated Cellular At Sea, WMS, WTN or   Cellular At Sea.

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Major Airlines Baggage Fees

U.S. Airlines Baggage Fees on Domestic Flights

Alaska Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $25 3+ – $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

American Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $35 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 Carry On 1 – Free to $25

Frontier Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 to $60 2 – $40 to $45 3+ – $75 to $80 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – $30 to $35

Hawaiian Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $35 3+ – $50 to $100 Overweight Bags 1 – $35 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $35 to $100 Carry On 1 – Free

JetBlue Airways Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $35 3+ – $100 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 Carry On 1 – Free

Southwest Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

Spirit Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $30 to $65 2 – $40 to $65 3+ – $85 Overweight Bags 1 – $30 to $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 to $150 Carry On 1 – $37 to $65

Sun Country Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $35 3+ – $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

United Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 to $30 2 – $35 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Virgin America Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $25 3+ – $25 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 to $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

 

U.S. & International Airlines Baggage Fees* on Most International Flights

 

Aer Lingus Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $100 3+ – $100 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 Carry On 1 – Free

Aeroflot Russian Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $50 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $150 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 to $150 Carry On 1 – Free

Aeromexico Checked Bags 1 – $20 to $25 2 – $45 to $55 3+ – $150 to $180 Overweight Bags 1 – $35 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $160 to $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Air Canada Checked Bags 1 – $26 2 – $37 3+ – $105 Overweight Bag 1 – $105 Oversized Bags 1 – $105 Carry On 1 – Free

Air China Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $110 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 to $110 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 to $110 Carry On 1 – Free

Air France Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $80 to $100 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $300 Carry On 1 – Free

Air India Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $100 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 to $600 Carry On 1 – Free

Air New Zealand Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $150 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $150 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 Carry On 1 – Free

Air Tahiti Nui Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $75 to $100 3+ – $150 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 to $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 to $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Alaska Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $25 3+ – $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

Alitalia Checked Bags 1 – Free Carry On 1 – Free

All Nippon Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $100 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $60 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 Carry On 1 – Free

American Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free to $25 2 – Free to $553+ – $85 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – Free to $450 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 to $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Avianca Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $175 to $250 Overweight Bags 1 – $90 to $150 Oversized Bags 1 – $130 Carry On 1 – Free

Cathay Pacific Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 Carry On 1 – Free

El Al Israel Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $85 to $100 3+ – $85 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $55 to $100 Oversized Bag 1 – $85 to $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Emirates Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $158 to $175 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 Oversized Bags 1 – $175 Carry On 1 – Free

Etihad Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $240 to $300 Carry On 1 – Free

Finnair Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $60 to $75 3+ – $60 to $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 to $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Frontier Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 to $60 2 – $40 to $50 3+ – $75 to $80 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – $30 to $35

Hawaiian Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 to $400 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 Carry On 1 – Free

Iberia Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $85 to $100 3+ – $170 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $50 to $320 Carry On 1 – Free

Icelandair Checked Bags 1 – Free Carry On 1 – Free

Insel Air Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $40 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $40 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 Carry On 1 – Free

JetBlue Airways Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $35 3+ – $100 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 Carry On 1 – Free

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $80 to $100 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $80 to $150 Carry On 1 – Free

Korean Air Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Latam Airlines Group Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $100 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 Carry On 1 – Free

LOT Polish Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $71 to $332 3+ – $71 to $332 Overweight Bags 1 – $71 to $221 Oversized Bags 1 – $71 to $221 Carry On 1 – Free

Lufthansa German Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $75 to $100 3+ – $75 to $500 Overweight Bags 1 – $70 to $450 Oversized Bags 1 – $70 to $450 Carry On 1 – Free

Malaysia Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free Carry On1 – Free

Norwegian Air International Checked Bags 1 – $57 to $130 2 – $57 to $130 3+ – $57 to $130 Carry On 1 – Free

Philippine Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $100 Overweight Bags 1 – $150 to $450 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 to $450 Carry On 1 – Free

Qantas Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $175 3+ – $175 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

Royal Air Maroc Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $150 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 Oversized Bags 1 – $50 Carry On 1 – Free

SAS Scandinavian Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $110 3+ – $110 Overweight Bags 1 – $250 Oversized Bags 1 – $250 Carry On1 – Free

Singapore Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $150 to $350 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $225 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 to $225 Carry On 1 – Free

South African Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $200 to $400 Overweight Bags 1 – $200 to $400 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 to $400 Carry On 1 – Free

Southwest Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

Spirit Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $32 to $65 2 – $32 to $65 3+ – $32 to $65 Overweight Bags 1 – $30 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 to $150 Carry On 1 – $39 to $65

Swiss Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $85 to $210 3+ – $85 to $210 Overweight Bags 1 – $300 to $450 Oversized Bags 1 – $300 to $450 Carry On 1 – Free

TAP Portugal Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $160 to $280 3+ – $160 to $280 Overweight Bags 1 – $120 to $220 Oversized Bags 1 – $180 to $220 Carry On 1 – Free

Thai Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free Carry On 1 – Free

Turkish Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $100 3+ – $100 to $300

Overweight Bags 1 – $80 to $150 Carry On 1 – Free

United Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free to $100 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $200 to $400 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Virgin America Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $25 3+ – $25 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 to $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $75

Virgin Atlantic Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $100 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags

1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $60 Carry On 1 – Free

Virgin Australia Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $90 3+ – $160Overweight Bags

1 – $100 Oversized Bags Carry On 1 – Free

WestJet Checked Bags 1 – $19 to $22 2 – $26 to $30 3+ – $74 to $87 Overweight Bags 1 – $55 to $65 Oversized Bags 1 – $55 to $65 Carry On 1 – Free