5 tips for staying in touch with people back home while on a cruise
When going on any kind of international vacation, you may wonder how you will communicate with friends and family. Taking a cruise raises even more questions because you may not have reliable access to Wi-Fi or a cellular signal. Even so, there are ways you can keep in touch with loved ones while you’re sailing the seas. Consider several ways you can connect with friends and family on your next international cruise.
1. Research the best apps
Whether you are going on an historical European river cruise or a tropical Bahamas cruise, it’s important to look into messaging and calling apps. Many of these apps are free and allow you to message or call someone anywhere in the world as long as you both have an internet connection.
One perk of these platforms is that they allow you to reliably send information and may even verify when the recipient opens a message. This helps ensure important information is passed on even when you are in a very different time zone than the person you are texting. Unfortunately, these apps do require Wi-Fi, so you will need to find an affordable internet connection during your trip.
2. Consider available internet packages
One place you may be able to find consistent Wi-Fi is aboard your boat. Depending on your particular cruise line, your vessel may have computers in the library or offer different Wi-Fi options for purchase. Be sure to take advantage of any free internet available. If necessary, you may also wish to buy a Wi-Fi package. These packages may offer you a certain number of bytes to use throughout your trip. Try to opt for the cheapest option that meets your communication needs so you can save money for other uses throughout your trip. Whatever you do, avoid international roaming fees by turning off your phone’s cellular data.
3. Search for Wi-Fi on shore
Your ship isn’t the only source of Wi-Fi you may encounter during your travels. You may also come across the internet at the airport or in restaurants. Keep an eye out for these options as they may be free of charge; however, remember that some of these networks will not be secure, so it may be unwise to send sensitive information in this manner.
4. Send postcards
Though it may not be an efficient means of communication, sending postcards and other types of physical mail to loved ones is often much appreciated. These sorts of messages may even become beloved keepsakes because they come from another country and may bear images of the scenery you saw there. Be sure to bring some cash, a pen and home addresses with you when you go ashore so you can grab a postcard when you come across one.
5. Share details before you leave
A final tip to keep in mind is that you will likely not be able to stay in touch with all your friends and family while you are away. While this can be disconcerting, it may also give you more time to relax during your vacation. For those with whom you are closest, be sure to provide some information about where you are going and how long you will be gone. If you have asked a friend to check on your house or pet, be sure to leave thorough instructions and to provide the number of someone else they can call if they have problems.
Remember that it is usually not a good idea to tell a large group of people that you will be out of town. For instance, avoid making a post on social media about your trip until after you have returned. This lowers the risk of someone attempting to break into your home while they know you’re away.
Communicating internationally is not always easy, but it can be done. With the right tech and some preparation, you can stay in touch with those you love while you enjoy your cruise.
Story by James Ponds