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Thread: Verizon-using Satellite at sea on cruises..no good

  1. #1
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    Verizon-using Satellite at sea on cruises..no good

    have been trying with NO success to use our Verizon phones while we cruise on Holland America lines... they are supposed to w*rk... all others we've spoken to onboard that are using Verizon cell phones w*rk.. not ours...

    we cruise a lot--retired bums..this has been going on since early December.. I have an Env Touch.. wife has an Env3... according to Verizon's site they are supposed to w*rk on these ships .. both are Intl global activated as we can get calls thru from most places we visit in the Caribbean..excapt out at sea.. the satellite system kicks in when the ship is out at sea only.. while in port local country's system is used..

    let me state we were formerly Alltel .. switched over to Verizon last July with their takeover...phones didn't w*rk too well signal wise at the house so they put us on some sort of 'Hybrid' software to use the old Alltel tower system and loaded it into our phones...they said all the Verizon towers haven't been updated and won't be for up to 2-3 years.. wish we would have known that before we switched...I have spoken to 3 managers.. and 2 techs in 2 different Verizon stores in the Myrtle Beach Sc area where we live... no answers for our cruise ship cellphone problem...

    I have spoken to at least 20 verizon Tech support people( not kidding) as well as their Global Intl Techs.. they have no idea what I am talking about... I have called Cellular at Sea the company that runs the satellite system.. http://cellularatsea.com ...they said it's Verizon's Netw*rk and software problem and my phones should w*rk..

    Verizon has a dedicated site for using the phones while cruising.. so far not one Tech has knowledge of this site..
    http://b2b.vzw.com/international/Cru...ips/index.html

    it's on their Global Intl site at
    http://b2b.vzw.com/international/Roa..._coverage.html

    could the inclusion of their Hybrid system software be the cause.. no one knows what the problem is.. hard to believe that in a large corp like this. can't get to anyone that can fix it.. we have tried their 'fixes' which can only be tested while out at sea on 3 different cruises since December.. still no good.. got tired of talking to and calling Verizon...

    if anyone has any knowledge of what might be the problem or has been thru this.... any HELP appreciated

    thanx much..

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    I understand your frustration. Just because it should work, doesn't necessarily mean it will every time. Unfortunately, there is only so much troubleshooting that can be done over the telephone to correct the issue. Could be a missing feature or that your phone is not registered in the Cellular at Sea network to allow you to use you mobile device. Not likely that Verizon will dispatch a technician in a helicopter to your ship to work on the problem. Just put the phone away and enjoy your cruise and deal with it when you get back. I think that only Verizon can resolve the issue one way or another (assuming it has nothing to do w/ the hybrid setup on your device that you mentioned in your post).

    BTW: Verizon cannot guarantee service, especially on a different network that they do not own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd
    I understand your frustration. Just because it should work, doesn't necessarily mean it will every time. Unfortunately, there is only so much troubleshooting that can be done over the telephone to correct the issue. Could be a missing feature or that your phone is not entered in the Cellular at Sea network to allow you to use you mobile device. Not likely that Verizon will dispatch a technician in a helicopter to your ship to work on the problem. Just put the phone away and enjoy your cruise and deal with it when you get back.

    BTW: Verizon cannot guarantee service, especially on a different network that they do not own.
    according to their cruise site they are supposed to w*rk... and BTW-->EVERYONE else's Verizon phone onboard was w*rking.. ours were the only two NOT w*rking.. so their not getting off the hook with that caveat

    going on yet another cruise next week... we tried it on our Christmas-New Year cruise 21 days came back to Ft Laud after first 10 day Christmas cruise and called Verizon techs .. tried a fix.. went back out to sea that same day for second part of cruise... no good..

    came home called Verizon Techs... unbelievable they couldn't figure it out... or for that matter know what I was talking about...

    went on another cruise Feb 5th 28 days thru the canal and back... zippo at sea.. only good to call when on land like in Mexico

    . more calls to Verizon Techs who switched me around to so many techs it was laughable..plus Global Techs had no idea what a hybrid system is or for that matter that using cell at sea was different.. had to explain to them and told them where it was on their website-duh... oh well.. I see what I'm up against with them.....

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    I suspect it is the "hybrid software". You could have the phone reflashed to stock VZ (may not "w*rk" very well at home then though), or get a cheap used flip phone that's true VZ and ESN change to it before you leave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HF305
    I suspect it is the "hybrid software". You could have the phone reflashed to stock VZ (may not "w*rk" very well at home then though), or get a cheap used flip phone that's true VZ and ESN change to it before you leave.
    I think they changed the PRL on his phone and that the one that's giving him the problems. Your advise to use a cheap flip just for the trips is a good one though.

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    I don't think "w*rk" is a censored word here on HoFo, feel free to spell it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpatrick900
    I am a little confused. My Verizon phone was able to roam on GSM because they used TDMA. Tell it was shutdown. The phone recognizes it as Analog. If PCS has TDMA, It could be technically be used on GSM.
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    Y'know, I'm used to hysterical 14-year-old ******** on the internet, but this is exceptional. Never before in human history have so many nerds hyperventilated so publicly over so little.

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    Me and my friends all had this problem with our Droids and an LG Voyager on the last cruise we took on Norwegian Cruise Lines. The phones wouldnt receive text messages and they would call out however the person on the other end of the line couldnt hear us talking to them but we could hear them. When we got back stateside I called Verizon to complain and they said I needed to take a BB Storm or a GSM capable device in order for guaranteed service aboard ship. That was their justification for AT&T phones working and theirs not working. To add insult to injury the time was off on the phones when we were at sea it was Oct 10, 2000 at 4 am throughout the whole trip.

    I feel your pain and sadly when it comes to cruise ship roaming Verizon doesnt seem to care. They say call in while on board ship and my reply was how do you expect me to do that if none of our phones work and its 10 dollars a minute to use the ship phone. By the end of my whole ordeal with them I was discouraged with customer service and irritated beyond belief at how they handled the situation. I even made it all the way to the network guys and not just the first line reps. The network guy was the one to recommend a GSM phone.

    I'm not one that likes AT&T by any stretch of the imagination but they have roaming on lock down while out of the country. I'm sure the same goes for T-Mobile.
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    is it possible the phones are set to "home only" under network selections and it refuses to roam on this system?
    what is this new feature, and how can I manipulate it in order to make myself seem superior to those around me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johndeere

    I feel your pain and sadly when it comes to cruise ship roaming Verizon doesnt seem to care. They say call in while on board ship and my reply was how do you expect me to do that if none of our phones work and its 10 dollars a minute to use the ship phone.
    that's exactly what a number of the Techs told me to do.. " call while on the ship".. more duh... then I explained no way.. can't get out.. " oh yeah" was their answer...

    the funny thing is... we .. on both our phones.. my Env Touch and my wife's Env3 have 4 bars FULL signal while out at sea.. only thing is when you go to make a call... you get that dreaded error message... CALL FAILED... tried everything including putting in different ways to call out like using 011 001 and our regular 1+area code .. nothing w*rks

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    Quote Originally Posted by every1nosme
    is it possible the phones are set to "home only" under network selections and it refuses to roam on this system?
    nah.. I wish it was that e-z.. one of the first things I checked while out at sea.. it's on Roam like it's supposed to be while using that system..

    ALSO all the Verizon customers we met onboard.. heck my wife was walking up to anyone using their phone and asking them who their service was with...got two text messages directly from verizon as soon as the ship made it into intl waters and they turned the satellite service on advising them how to make a call and that they were on a satellite roam netw*rk.. I read some of the texts.. we never got any texts..

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    Quote Originally Posted by XFF
    I don't think "w*rk" is a censored word here on HoFo, feel free to spell it out.
    I 'm sure it's not .. but it is a 'four letter' word NOT in my vocabulary...heck I'm retired--no such thing as w*rk.. sorta like 'Maynard G Krebs' used to say... he from the old 1960's Dobie Gillis Show
    ( scroll down) http://www.tvparty.com/recdobie.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by HF305
    I suspect it is the "hybrid software". You could have the phone reflashed to stock VZ (may not "w*rk" very well at home then though), or get a cheap used flip phone that's true VZ and ESN change to it before you leave.
    looks like the 'extra phone' might be the way to go using the true VRZ netw*rk software and not the hybrid..

    not that we'd want to make a slew of calls onboard at sea at the 'pirate-price' of 2.49 a minute which they charge.. just that we wanted to get to use our phones for the Christmas and New Years holidays to call back home to relatives

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    Call verizon and ask them to put you back on a regular verizon PRL a day before your next cruise.
    I have asked to be switched back to the regular PRL several times to see if coverage is better yet.
    They will tell you it may take 24 hours before it will change but I have had it change within a few hours each time.
    You have to dial *228 option 2 for it to change the PRL and you just try every once in a while until it changes.
    It seems thats the only thing that hasnt been tried and thats where id go next.
    Doesnt cost a single penny to change it and if it does not work your not out anything.
    When you get home you can have them put you back on the Hybrid PRL.

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    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kunmui
    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 ....
    like I said we sail a lot just about all with HAL-- 41 cruises 441 days so far.. looks like we gotta jump thru hoops to get a phone to w*rk for us.. thanks for that info

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