Hello and welcome. It may well also be through ACS (Alaska Communications Systems). They are the largest CDMA local network in Alaska and Verizon has a roaming partnership with them. It's still in the United States so it's not International Roaming. Hopefully, you have a separate texting package or text coverage in your basic plan. If not . . . yeah . . . this could get pricey . Best thing to do is simply call Verizon right now and confirm what coverage you have. In a worst case scenario if you had no texting package then NOW is the time to ask for them to backward blanket you with a retroactive full texting package right now while you're still in your billing cycle.
Preciesly why they need to make sure they're at least covered by a texting plan in the first place! It's going to be even worse with no plan or an insufficient plan. They can at least make sure THAT portion of the texting is covered. At least "these people" will appreciate that aspect of it.
The OP didn't state what cruise line they're on so we have no way of knowing what rates they have. However, they did post their question in the Verizon forum and at best we can at least make sure Verizon has them as covered as best can be. It's kinda what we do here
We are on Norwegian Cruiselines, and our verizon plan is for unlimited texting. I'm hoping that I am reading the responses correctly; unlimited texting should be covering the texts while on the cruise? Boy I hope so! The boy will not be getting allowance next few months if it's different!
"Text Message rates while traveling in Bermuda, Canada, Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are the same as rates while within the United States. "
This is copy/pasted from the Verizon website. (I got lost in a phone tree trying to call them about this issue. Grr) I can't find what the US rates are on there...ugh!
This is a mess LOL! The link provided above (very helpful by the way) is under the heading of INTERNATIONAL ROAMING!. I can see the argument the OP is making. Alaska is "IN" the United States and if the ship is actually "IN" Alaska (as most of these ships go into Alaska) then the argument can be made that this is NOT INTERNATIONAL at that point.
If a cruise ship entered the mouth of the Mississippi or the mouth of New York City's harbor where many of them do go, would that be INTERNATIONAL ROAMING while at those locations? INTERNATIONAL ROAMING should begin once you are out in INTERNATIONAL WATERS.
However, I can see the other end of this in that while "ON" the ship (regardless of where it is) they are grabbing your signal and using their cell site even though you're IN the United States. They're gonna insist you pay INTERNATIONAL ROAMING regardless of where they are. In this situation you're on a ship but still in one of the States where either Verizon or Alaska Commuications System (ACS) . . . their designated Alaskan CDMA local provider, has service which might otherwise cover you, but because the ship's cell site is grabbing your signal . . . THEY get to charge you!
Well . . . this sounds like this trip is going to be a lot more expensive than planned. I think it's unfortunate and I can see the argument and I suppor the argument, but the policy is on the verizon website and I think you'll have to pay these charges. I don't agree at all for the reasons stated but that's life.
Its not International Roaming per say. The cruise ship has its own cell tower on it and when you can't connect to the VZW network or one of its domestic roaming partners, the phone will connect via the ship's tower. Cruise Lines charge a SEPERATE charge for texting and phone calls whenever you are connected through THEIR tower. If you happen to be close enough to one in Alaska (3 - 5 miles), then your phone should connect to that first, making it a normal text message. Any other time, it will be through the cruise ship's tower and you're paying THEIR rate (which is typically .50 sent and .05 received).
As I posted before, the best thing you could do is TURN OFF the phone and put it in your luggage. You're on vacation after all!
I can find some common ground with you on a couple of things. This clearly is NOT . . . International Roaming "PER SE" (as you stated) by any stretch of the immagination if they are sitting inside of Alaska. Secondly, with a cell tower right above your head, you will most definitely be bouncing off their tower (like it or not) and paying them for it (like it or not). So you're right on that as well.
Finally, with inflated rates like that, I too agree that ALL passengers on these ships (at least while in US territory) should just turn their devices off and refuse to be tapped like that. When the ship that takes you to your destination charges you significantly more for signal use than it would cost you once you get to your foreign destination to make the same connection . . . then something is very wrong.
Personally, I'd like to see the major carriers (Big Red, AT&T, T-MO, Sprint) broker a better deal with these cruise lines for their members and install our own cell towers on these ships with the same rates . . . especially if you're still in U.S. waters and better yet still within a STATE!
As long as the phone says roaming, then its following its Prefered Roaming List and shouldn't be hitting any of those cruise line charges unless it can't find any other towers, so as always, just make sure you keep your phone updated with *228 option 2 before you go traveling anywhere that might lead to you roaming. Who knows, maybe you'll hit those towers on the Alaskan shore more often!
"Personally, I'd like to see the major carriers (Big Red, AT&T, T-MO, Sprint) broker a better deal with these cruise lines for their members and install our own cell towers on these ships with the same rates . . . especially if you're still in U.S. waters and better yet still within a STATE!"
I agree there! There's a lot of things that wireless carriers could do to make life better for their customers. As frustrated as I get with any of them, they're still a million times better than the cable company in my area (I don't have cable TV anymore).
I talked to the cruise line and they said they do not charge for use of their cell tower. I hope the guy I was talking to knows what he's saying. I think, after hours of slow internet search, that my son will be charged .50 for every sent and .05 for every received while under "Global Phone - text." I let him know this and he is very embarrassed and has turned off his phone. What a surprise this was...wasn't even thinking since we are IN Alaska...
I also sent an email request for explanation to Verizon Customer Service. Maybe there is a plan we can switch to for this billing period that is less costly than paying for each roaming text. Thanks for all your input!
Hi again! Well I hope that guy from the cruise line is right as well. If so, it would jive with what I said in that charging for International Roaming while sitting within New York Harbor or any other City or State waterway would be absurd. Out in International waters is a different thing. I just hope this all works out for you folks. It would be a shame to have such a great trip tarnished by such an event.