We are NCL "Gold" cruisers and I had my Moto Q9c with me when we last sailed out of Honolulu on the POA and it worked for me, with data feature turned off - and screen showed its "roaming status" once the ship's satellite tower got flipped ON - 3 miles out from port/land. Spouse's Env3 also worked but it was mostly off. Didn't experience any problem with our Mexico, Alaska, Bermuda or Bahamas cruising on NCL ships over the years - nearly all major lines are using Cellular At Sea (named differently before, but it's the same ISP). The same system was much friendlier toward GSM phones in earlier times but CDMA's are fine in the past few years and we've all seen folks yelping away while crusing (isn't it a vacation for most, if not all ) - and we've had ours on for mostly family emergencies since we've much older parents in frail health status ....
It seemed that the PRL might be an issue and/or the phone's IMEI (since it's not using a SIM) might not be recognized by the system's provider & therefore, cannot validate the account & bill you accordingly later on, thus, denied access to the tower - since those by the minutes charges (and high data roaming fees) are expensive & thus, no welcome message or alert/SMS about roaming or having the phone showed "roaming" status with a successful connection.
Aside from trying to get VZW to resolve this matter before the next cruise, I would consider switching back to a plain old dumb phone for the duration of the cruise, as it would also help avoid sky-high data charges that could easily run up quite a tab with all these 3G data devices. (I purposely switched my Ozone this month while in Canada to GSM & disabled Data Connection & Direct Push, using only a Prepaid T-Mo Sim)
For staying in touch with folks back home, many of the ships' crew only making calls while docked, using prepaid phone cards at the pier and/or GSM phones (which has a greater global presence) - and I always take along a backup unlocked GSM phones in case I need to buy a local Sim card for use on "foreign" land.
The solutions might need to come from CAS and not VZW, and as other posted, it's not guaranteed to work as it's likely written into the TOS & posted somewhere. The $2.49 per minute rates aren't cheap at all & there are deadspots all over the ships with tons of steel all around you. My feeling is that if you MUST have cellular service in open waters, a GSM-based phone plan would likely be a much better option if you do not mind paying those carrier's roaming rates away from land. Good luck & do share and let us know if a solution is reached. Regards ....
Note: neither AT&T's prepaid (Gophone) nor T-Mo's prepaid Sim will be recognized or worked on CAS's tower system, so it need to be a regular Sim card that's acceptable to CAS.
4G LTE & Unl. Text, Opera Mini/Skype w. WM6.5 & WiFi access, Goggle Mobile Maps/GPS. On the Job: UHF 5W Duplex HT DTMF-PL repeater (backup: 800Mhz Motorola & Nextel portables) - private 900Mhz alpha-numeric paging net for 24/7/365 Incident Command - Is your "Go" Kit ready? Mass Transit Tips: "If you see something, say something - Call 911 !"