I WILL BE GOING ON AN EASTERN EUROPE CRUISE NEXT SPRING AND I AM TRYING TO CHECK OUT THE BEST AND MOST ECONOMICAL WAY TO COMMUNICATE WITH FAMILY ON AND OFF THE SHIP.
Hi Allan - The Internet cafes that you will find in every port of call are absolutely the best deal for communicating with family. Calling from the ship is pricy - the internet cafe on each ship is pricy - You could get a world phone but realistically the internet cafes are, by far, your best deal
And, as far as Ken's comment about not always economical - The Internet Cafes are extremely economical. Phones are not!!!
To begin with, a tip - most here feel that using all capitals is the same as "shouting".
Regarding communications, "economical" is not always possible during travel. One possibility would be a Cell Phone, however use caution especially when using this from a Cruise ship as the costs can be very expensive. If you're presently an AT&T customer, you might check their "International Roaming" rates both from countries and Cruise Ships. If you're using an IPhone or Blackberry, data roaming charges can be very pricey, so disabling the data part of the phone is a really good idea.
If you're going to be travelling with a Netbook or Laptop, Skype is a possibility but of course you'd be "tethered" to an internet connection (Wi-Fi) while using that, whereas a cell phone would be much more portable.
I always take my (GSM) cell phone when travelling, but use texting as much as possible as it's much less expensive than voice calls.
If you don't presently have a Cellphone, you could look at "travel phone" firms such as Cellular Abroad, Call In Europe, Roam Simple, Mobal or Telestial, but be sure to check their rates carefully, so that you have some idea on what your costs might be.
IRONIC, ISN'T IT?!