Cell Phones
(from the wordpress site)

  • Jan and I have Verizon – and on past cruises in Europe and Asia, we basically shut them down other than when in port, utilizing the local free wi-fi at restaurants/shops to check-in with the family in the states by text, etc. I’ll check with Verizon on data/call costs for emergency usage

  • Marian and I use T-Mobile. It’s not the best service here in the U.S. — coverage isn’t nearly as good as Verizon and a couple others — but we love the convenience of travel with it. It uses the GSM technology that Europe and much of the world uses. It’s owned by a German company, so I guess that’s an advantage while traveling in Europe as well.
    — Upon landing in Europe, we are automatically connected to the local mobile company that has contracted for T-Mobile roaming.
    — Our plan, like most T-Mobile plans, gives us unlimited free texts and a good quota of data for e-mail, internet, WhatsUp, etc. The data is not at a very high speed, but it’s been adequate for us.
    — Each minute of calls we make or receive while on roam costs about 20 cents.
    — Smart phones on T-Mobile can also be configured to make phone calls while connected to a good Wi-Fi system. The person receiving the call sees your U.S. phone number, which is fun.
    — The other thing that we like is that, as with most UNLOCKED phones, we can put a local SIM card in our phones if we’re someplace that we need to make a lot of local calls. SIM cards with pre-paid service are very common in Europe.

  • There is an app called “viber” ( on apple phones – not sure if available on droids). The app is free. It uses VOIP ( voice over internet protocol). It sync’s to your contact list and makes calls for free providing you have an internet connection. The reviews said it is fantastic – better quality than the phone service providers. A friend of mine used it last year in Europe and said it worked flawlessly. Also check with your phone service provider. There are some set ups to configure your phone to make it work. Be sure to check out “Viber”