Tricky cell phone plan might save money at sea

Some day, cruise passengers will be able to use their cell phones at sea just like they might at home. That day is probably a long way off, but recent technology partnered with a new calling plan is a step in the right direction.

Called “Cruise Ship Passport“, a new plan for AT&T customers discounts rates at sea and offers 15 minutes of voice and 15 messages (text, picture or video) along with a reduced overage rate. For $35 a month, the package provides service while on the cruise ship’s “CellularatSEA” network.

Resulting from a partnership between AT&T and Wireless Maritime Services (WMS) the new plan is a first and it’s really catching on.

Now here’s the tricky part.

To use the new plan, AT&T customers need to sign up before getting on the ship and charges continue at the $35 monthly rate until canceled. Still, sign up today, go on the cruise tomorrow, and cancel when you get back. You will indeed save money over roaming charges that can easily triple that price for the same service with no plan.

Watch the clock too, reduced overage charges still run $2.49 per minute, $.50 per text message sent and $1.30 per picture or video message.

You could just turn your phone off and have a lovely vacation too. That’s about the most effective way to control at-sea cell phone charges. New cell phone plans come out all the time but none we know of is just for cruise passengers. If a quick call back home to jealous friends is in order, this plan is the best we’ve seen.

Flickr photo by Samantha celera