Phone Home! Communicating Ship to Shore…

The Facts

Can you use your cell phone on the ship?


Can you receive phone calls on board?

Friends and family may call you on board via Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN) Shore-to-Ship telephone service.  The rate is about $9.50 per minute from the United States; additional long distance charges may apply from outside the United States.  The caller needs to know you are on the Spirit, they need to know your full name, and they need to know their credit card will be charged.  They can use MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover Card, Diner’s Club.   They call:  1-877 CCLSHIP (1-877-225-7447) from the U.S. 1-732-335-3284 from Canada and outside the U.S.

Can you mail postcards while on board?

Postcards can be mailed each day when the ship is in port.  Due to customs regulations, any type of mail other than postcards cannot be mailed from the ship.  Letters and packages can be mailed from a local post office in the ports-of-call.  The postal regulations of the various ports require that the postcards be stamped with a local stamp only (no U.S. postage if outside the U.S.).  The Purser’s Desk sells local stamps.  There is a mailbox located at the Purser’s Desk:  one side is for postcards with foreign stamps (these postcards will be mailed when the ship docks at the appropriate port-of-call). The other side is for postcards with U.S. stamps (these postcards will be mailed from a U.S. port only or when the ship returns to the U.S. embarkation city, whichever comes first).

Can you call home while on board?

The ship’s telecommunications network offers direct dialing via satellite from your stateroom’s telephone 24 hours a day regardless of the ship’s location.  This service is closed on the final day of the cruise at 4:00 am.  The rate is about $6.99 per minute for calls to the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and about $9.99 per minute for all international calls.  All charges are billed to your account.  Since all communication is via satellite, you cant use calling cards, credit cards, dial 800 toll-free numbers or make collect calls.  Instructions and rates can be found in your stateroom’s directory.

Can you access the internet while on board?

Yes.  You have access to the internet in the Internet Cafés and wireless networks using the ship’s own satellite connection. The Internet Café is open 24-hours a day and features private terminals with the latest flat panel computer monitors.  You will have the ability to send and receive e-mail, chat online and access the full internet.  You can also access your own e-mail account through AOL, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc., and have the option to create your own temporary e-mail account with our “CruiseE-mail”™.

The complete “Bow2stern” wireless network is available on the Spirit which means you can enjoy internet access from literally anywhere on board, including all public areas, lounges, bars and pool decks, guest suites and cabins.  To take full advantage of this feature, bring your own laptop, as the number of laptops available for rent ($10 per day) onboard is limited.  In addition, this network provides supports the latest Wi-Fi enabled iPhones, PalmPilots and Blackberrys.   Internet pricing options are identical, whether an Internet Café terminal is utilized, or a laptop.

An initial one-time Activation Fee of about $3.95 applies to each user, and a basic time charge of about $0.75 per minute (“Pay-As-You-Go”) is available.  Minutes are rounded to the next full minute.  You can also purchase a Discounted Time Plan:  100 minutes for about $55 or 250 minutes for about $100.  Wireless network cards (to connect your laptop to the ship’s wireless signal) can be rented for about $10 per day.  All charges are billed directed to your account.

8 replies
    • Tnle McCloskey
      Tnle McCloskey says:

      Hi there! Yes, you can use your cell phone! While you’re at sea, the cellular system is activated and you can make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, as well as view emails and browse the Internet with over 300 carriers worldwide…as long as you’re in an area of coverage or service (all cell phone companies service different areas; keep in mind some Alaskan areas are fairly remote so you may not get coverage, even if you want it). The same applies while you’re in port. However, roaming rates may apply and are set and billed by your cell phone carrier (not by Carnival). Charges will appear on your regular cell phone bill at home. I recommend you contact your cell phone carrier before you cruise to check rates for each service…especially roaming fees. For more information, visit

  1. Rebecca Sutton
    Rebecca Sutton says:

    Are you saying that we will be charged an additional fee for using our cell phones?

    Also, do you have to pay to use ships internet on-board? Am I also being charged to use my own wireless card?

    I am very confused. Please help.

  2. Tnle McCloskey
    Tnle McCloskey says:

    Hi! Ok…think I answered your cell question. As for the computer, regardless of whether or not you have your own laptop and/or wireless network card, you will be charged an activation fee to use the internet while on the ship. You will also be charged for internet access. If you plan to use the internet a lot, you should consider one of Carnival’s Discounted Time Plans (mentioned in my blog entry) versus a pay-as-you-go plan. You might consider holding off on the purchase of any internet minutes until you’ve been on board a day…just to see how much time you’ll realistically have to be sitting at the computer…just as a thought? Regardless, you absolutely will save money by bringing your own laptops and wireless network cards (again, see my blog entry)! Hope that helps!

  3. hp mini laptops
    hp mini laptops says:

    I do agree with communication made easier and faster while on board, in sea travels. But the only things that gives us night mares is the rates the internet activation and other international calling cards charges. Other than nominal charges the service providers includes various other hidden charges which is a real headache for people like me.

  4. Transcure
    Transcure says:

    Nice blog it is very informative. Medical billing services will reduce the stress of losing money and improve the reimbursement rate.


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