A few months ago my inlaws were on this amazing cruise of the Mediterranean. My wife and I were in charge of looking after their home for those two weeks, which was great! But the only problem was that their house was broken into. We went out for supper and when we arrived home, the front door was open, and most of their valuables had been stolen.
This was a terrible experience that we will hopefully never have to go through again but we needed to get hold of our inlaws ASAP as this was definitely an emergency! We didn’t want to ruin their holiday, but we needed their insurance details to contact their insurance company to sort things out for them before they got back.
But how were we going to do this? Was it even possible to contact the family on a cruise ship in an emergency?
I had to be a bit of research and this is what I found.
How to contact someone on a cruise ship in an emergency? Yes, it is possible to contact someone in an emergency on a cruise ship. Most cruise ships have phones available in the cabins that you can use to contact friends and family and some have a satellite service allowing you to directly phone the cruise ship in an emergency. It can be quite expensive though, so should just be used for emergencies.
The reason why it is expensive to use your cell phone on a cruise is that there are no signal towers out at sea, therefore you would have to use the ships cellular service or the ship’s wifi.
If you are trying to contact someone on board, most ships can be called directly in an emergency.
There is a service called Dial-a-ship (see website) which can put you through to your family member. With Dial-a-Ship, you can contact any cruise liner in the world. You will need the ships name, your family member’s name, and surname and cabin number, if possible.
The more information you have about your family member and the cruise they are on, the easier it will be to reach them in an emergency when they are on the cruise ship.
How to call a passenger’s cabin?
When it comes to wanting to call a passengers cabin on a cruise ship in an emergency, make sure that you have all the right info. Make a note of the ship’s name, the ship’s phone number, name, and surname, as well as their cabin number.
Another important thing to have is a copy of your family members itinerary. The itinerary should mention all the ports your family member will visit and which countries they will see. This will help you know where they will be on which days.
The cruise liner should also have a customer care number that you can call if you don’t have this information.
In an emergency, customer care can also get an emergency message across quickly if need be. Some ships might not be able to be contacted directly, but customer service could get your call across via the Maritime Telecommunications network.
How to call a family members cellphone on a cruise ship?
If your family member decides to take their cell phone with them, you can ask them to check what the carrier’s roaming rates are. The rates might be crazy expensive. So before they do this, it might be a better idea to add an international roaming plan to their cell phone.
his could help them to save some money when taking or making emergency calls. On average it could cost you $2.49 a minute to make a call on board a cruise ship.
Another option is to also check whether it would be cheaper to call your family member if they are at a port, rather than trying to call them while out at sea. That is why an itinerary will come in handy.
It is usually cheaper to call when the ship is at the port and if you have an international plan, then the cost will be even cheaper per minute. Another option though is to contact your family via text messaging or email.
Most modern-day cruise liners have stem-to-stern wifi. You could also communicate via WhatsApp. Data is also expensive though, so it could be a good idea to get your family member a data package before their trip. For example, AT&T offers special cell phone packages for Royal Carribean Cruise Liners. (AT&T has a partnership with Royal Caribbean)
Using WiFi on a Cruise Ship
Most cruise ships offer WiFi but this can also be really expensive.
For example, Carnival offers 3 different types of Wifi packages. They have social which is $5 a day, Value which is $12 a day and the Premium which is $17 a day. They all come with different speeds and access. The Social plan basically covers just social media like Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp. But it won’t cover other websites, skype or certain apps.
The more expensive plans offer faster speeds and also greater access to websites and making calls via Whatsapp for example.
It is also easy to hook up to the ships Wifi. You will be able to do it in the same manner that you do at home. If this is the case, you can then contact family members in this way via their social media accounts.
What are the WiFi costs for each cruise ship more or less?
I mentioned the data prices for Carnival Cruises above. Below are the packages for different cruise liners.
- Royal Caribean Cruises: Offers Voom across all of their fleets. Which is the fastest Wifi on any cruise liner? Prices vary between $15 and $20 a day. There are two options. Surf offers access to social media, WhatsApp calls, and emails. Whereas Surf + Stream allows you to stream things such as Netflix.
- Disney Cruise: Disney offers you packages on the amount of data that you use. You can use pay as you go which is about $0.25 per megabyte. They also offer discounts off the pay as you go prices.
- Norwegian Cruise: They offer one level of internet service. There is an unlimited plan, therefore you can use the internet as much as you like. This costs $30 a day and most cruises are 13 days long. If the cruise is longer, then you will get a discount and the price will then be $25 a day.
Hopefully, you won’t have to contact your family anytime though in an emergency whilst they are on a cruise. However, the great thing about living in this century is that communication is so easy. There are so many ways that you can contact family members all over the world, in just a matter of seconds.
There is no need to fret, if there is an emergency, be assured that you will be able to contact your family easily.