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cell phones?

Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by sailingaway, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. sailingaway

    sailingaway Guest

    We'll be cruising to Alaska 9/5 on the Sapphire. Wondering what kind of cell phone reception to expect in Alaska? We use Verizon.
  2. lysolqn

    lysolqn Guest

    According to Verizon, service is available in Juneau but not in other ports on the Inside Passage. A couple of years back, however, we were able to use our phone in Ketchikan.
  3. rhen33

    rhen33 Guest

    I could only get it to work in Juneau.I went to skagway,ketchican.
  4. Dandylyon

    Dandylyon Guest

    Do you have a phone with both digital and analog?

    We also have Verizon and were able to make cell phone calls from most ports (even Icy Strait Point), and even from certain spots while cruising. In many places the phone could not get a digital signal and changed to analog mode, but the calls still went through.
  5. jensun

    jensun Guest

    We just returned from Alaska on the Island Princess. I also have Verizon and could only get serivce in Juneau and Vancouver.
  6. cruisegary

    cruisegary Guest

    There have been varied experiences. Do a search and you might get some more information. Keep in mind that the vast majority is what someone "heard" about vs. actually experienced. Don't forget that Canada is Intl and rates are high.
  7. doreen

    doreen Guest

    I have Verizon and it didn't work anywhere.
  8. kitsy

    kitsy Guest

    I also have Verizon and it worked this past summer in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Victoria.
  9. nona

    nona Guest

    I live in Juneau for part of the year. I have the Verizon 50 state plan. The cell phone companies in Alaska have had poor customer service in the past. I get good service in Juneau. I can also use it in Icy Strait, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Prince Rupert BC, Port McNeill, Cambbell River and Nanaimo.
    Verizon sent me a note a couple months ago telling me to dial #228 I think, and it would help my pnone work. I did that in Juneau and it really helped. I don't rememberf the number to dial, you should contact Verizon and ask them. I have had several people in Juneau tell me they did this and it helped.
    You should also remember that the peole getting off the ships and turning on their cell phones can overwhelm the local system. As many as 10,000 cell phones can be added to the load in just a few hours.
  10. boatluvr

    boatluvr Guest

    I've worked in Ketchikan during the last 4 seasons. My Verizon phone does work in Ketchikan so long as I am fairly close to the water and there is no major hill (over 2000 feet) between my phone and Juneau. I had to have a Tri-mode phone - and had to change to a local 'single-rate' plan.

    Some friends had AT&T (now Cingular) that worked, but I suspect they had some special arrangement also with their phone provider.

    All of Alaska has cell phone service provided by Alaska Communications Systgem (ACS) - and the 'lower 48' phone providers have to contract with them for service.
  11. Kay C

    Kay C Guest

    I have Alltel service. We are able to use our phone in Ancherage, Juneau, Ketchikan, and along the inside passage from the ship.
  12. Schooner

    Schooner Guest

    Seems like everyone has verizon. We are getting our Cingular/ATT phones today and I made sure he checked on the computer map and I saw the coverage area in skagway, ketchikan and juneau. They are not Cingular or verizon towers but are some other local company that cingular is partenered up with to use them. Also jahing a tri-mode phone helps.
  13. Tracy M

    Tracy M Guest

    I have Cingular and last July when we were on the Diamond, I didn't have any trouble using my phone. There were a few places where the signal wasn't that strong, but you could still make calls. Beware if you try to use your phone in Victoria, B.C. the phone might not show that it is roaming, but you will get charged like you are. I think one couple of minute call cost me $6.00.
  14. Jeana

    Jeana Guest

    Does anyone know if Sprint will work??????????
  15. lbeck

    lbeck Guest

    How high? Also, do you pay INtl rates for AK?

    We have Verizon and would not use the phone just to gab, but would like to check in on our daughter who will have a new baby by then. We have the "America's Choice" plan (or something like that). The plan includes free Verizon-to-Verizon calls. Does anyone know if these promotional features are applicable when you're away from the lower 48?

  16. Chippsetter

    Chippsetter Guest

    No, you do not pay International rates for Alaska as we are not a separate country. AT&T Wireless was sold to Cellular one here before Cingular bought the rest of AT&T Wireless. Boatluvr was mistaken when he said that ACS owned all the wireless. AT&T built the first system here followed by a joint system by ATU (now part of ACS) and MTA.
  17. OldeBagg

    OldeBagg Guest

    We have Cingular and found that we had good service in all ports but not at sea.
  18. lbeck

    lbeck Guest

    I'm back from my AK trip now. We weren't able to get a normal Verizon service anywhere. By normal, I mean where it says "Verizon wireless" as the carrier. There were several places where we got an "Extended Service" message for the carrier identification. I think this means roaming and that we could have used it for a higher charge, and maybe a connection fee. Possibly someone else can describe the costs associated with using Extended Service. We didn't have an emergency so we just waited until Seattle to make our normal "checking in" calls to friends and family.

    I did see a clerk (presumably a local) trying to use her cell phone in Ketchican. She had Verizon as her carrier and said that sometimes it works and sometimes not. Her's wasn't working then and neither was ours.
  19. Franahan

    Franahan Guest

    We also have Sprint. It would be good to know if we can expect any service at all while we are in Alaska.

  20. Frank Black

    Frank Black Guest

    I recently dumped Sprint for Verizon. Sprint was terrible here in San Diego, so I would be surprised if it works in Alaska. It may roam to another carrier. I will seeJuly 30th if my new Verizon service works.

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