Should I Take My Cell Phone on a Cruise? Cruising FAQ

There are advantages and disadvantages to having your cell phone on board a cruise ship. When I go on vacation, I like to disconnect from the world back home. A cruise vacation is the perfect opportunity to take a break from social media and e-mail. When I get on board, I like to turn off cellular data, put my phone on airplane mode and turn off all notifications. However, I still use my phone as a camera on board and sometimes on excursions. You might be the complete opposite, and the thought of turning your phone off while on vacation horrifies you! To help you answer the question, “Should I take my cell phone on a cruise?” To help you take the stress out of this decision, I’ve made a list of advantages and disadvantages to having it with you on board.

Should I Take My Cell Phone on a Cruise?–Advantages

  1. You’ll be able to keep in touch with friends, family members or co-workers while you’re on vacation.
  2. Many cruise lines’ internet-at-sea connectivity will allow you to use social media to share your vacation photos in real time to make everyone back home jealous!
  3. A cell phone is a video camera and still camera all in one device. There’s no need to carry a separate camera.
  4. When traveling with family, you’ll be able to keep in touch with one another while on board. This will make it a lot easier to find one another on board a large ship.
  5. If you decide to book your next cruise vacation while you’re on board, you will have your phone’s built-in calendar with you to help with planning. Don’t forget to tell the cruise line to link your booking to your travel agent!

Should I Take My Cell Phone on a Cruise?–Disadvantages

  1. You may find it difficult to disconnect from “the real world” and really relax on your vacation if you’re tethered to your cell phone the whole time.
  2. Additional roaming fees will be charged to your account by your wireless service provider.
  3. Cell phones are valuable and having yours on board means you’ll have to keep careful track of your device. One option is to lock it in your cabin’s safe while you enjoy yourself on the pool deck or other ship venue.
  4. Using your cell phone on board will mean an additional charge for access to the ship’s wifi or satellite internet during your cruise.
  5. All notifications or “pop-ups” that arrive on your phone add up to data charges! You can avoid these by placing your phone in airplane mode and turning off cellular data during your cruise.

Clearly, there is no definitive answer to the question, “Should I take my cell phone on a cruise?” It’s really up to the individual traveler to decide whether or not it’s a good idea to carry a cell phone while on vacation. Connectivity at sea is both a blessing and a curse!


What are your thoughts? Do you take your cell phone on a cruise? How do you and your family use technology to stay in touch while on vacation? Share in the comments below!

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