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Old 05-17-2018, 02:06 PM   #1
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European members or travelers, can I pick your brains?

We're getting close to taking a trip to Europe that will include Switzerland, Germany and France. Two weeks on a Viking River Cruise.

I checked with Verizon and they have a plan that is $10/day for international travel, so we'd be paying $140 for one of our phones to be on all the time.

I'm thinking it might be cheaper to buy a burner phone and pick up a European SIM card when we get over there. We'd have a unique phone number with the burner phone but we could tell all our friends and relatives what the number is and that it's to be used only in case of emergency.

Anyone have experience in this? Anyone who lives in those countries have any advice on how to make this work?
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:47 PM   #2
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Not for those countries per se but I bought a BT SIM in the UK and topped it up enough to buy a data and minutes plan. My brothers were telling me in Jan when I was over there that it recently changed so that they were no longer roaming while traveling Europe.

And the SIM worked fine in my unlocked US phone (I am on AT&T which is GSM, which is used in Europe).

So I believe you will be fine.

https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizen...s/index_en.htm
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:39 PM   #3
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Menzies, that was a great help and you answered my questions. Thanks a bunch.


Smooth Seas!
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:42 PM   #4
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Menzies, that was a great help and you answered my questions. Thanks a bunch.


Smooth Seas!
If you need some data plan in France I can be you some info about what are the common plans rates among different provider.

L
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:29 PM   #5
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Lou, after rethinking this a bit, by the time I bought a burner phone that was unlocked and then bought an international SIM card, I'd probably be spending about the same as if we just used one phone, paid the $140 and just turned the other phone off for the duration of the trip.


I'd have to notify my friends and contacts that my phone would be turned off and if they needed to get in touch with me to call my wife's number, but to try to limit it to emergencies.....like something was wrong with my boat. Important stuff like that.

My wife, OTOH would have to notify all of her contacts that same information but it would have to be dire emergencies before they called her. Stuff like "What time is the Royal Wedding?" You know, important girl stuff.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:37 PM   #6
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Many iPhones (6 or later) have a SIM card slot and are unlocked. Most Androids too. Buy a Euorpean SIM Card before you leave and replace it- Amazon has them for $30+.


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Old 05-18-2018, 04:27 PM   #7
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David, if I did that, wouldn't I have to unlock the phone first, and if I did that would I be using the same phone number as we have now?


Phone Rookie Mike
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:19 PM   #8
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Yes the phone has to be unlocked. Like I said, all iPhone 6 or later are delivered unlocked. The new SIM card gives you a new European number. It might be German, Italian, whatever the supplier chooses. But it should work seamlessly throughout Europe.


We are going to Italy in late June and I will buy a $50 SIM card that has lots of data and also allows tethering capability so I can use other devices like my iPad with the iPhone and SIM card. Planning to get this one- https://www.amazon.com/Orange-Holida...card+with+data


Will report in July how it worked when we get back. Also doing a Viking cruise next year, so will keep it for that trip.


I did this last year in the UK but bought the card at a Vodaphone store when I got there. But I understand they are cheaper if you buy them here.


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Old 05-18-2018, 05:30 PM   #9
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BTW, the supermarket chain Tescos sells sim cards and data/voice plans as well.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:44 PM   #10
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David, I have a Samsung Galaxy S8 phone. What do I need to do to unlock it?


BTW, we're doing a Viking cruise from Basel to Paris. I'll be posting some pics on here and hopefully some of them will be of me at the helm of our ship.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:47 PM   #11
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Mike, the other good thing about using a SIM over there with a throwaway or your own phone is that you cannot get caught by surprise with a huge bill. Whatever amount you put on it is your limit.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:10 PM   #12
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GFC,we`ve used the daily rate access in Europe and elsewhere,with a Vodafone handset. Costs $5AU a day,we don`t necessarily activate it every day,it uses existing plan at standard rates so you may not exceed your plan.
No unlocking, no changing numbers, makes sense for us. Car hire companies want a contact number during the rental.
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:35 AM   #13
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David, I have a Samsung Galaxy S8 phone. What do I need to do to unlock it?


BTW, we're doing a Viking cruise from Basel to Paris. I'll be posting some pics on here and hopefully some of them will be of me at the helm of our ship.
Recent Verizon phones are unlocked; it was part of a deal they made to acquire additional spectrum. If you are paranoid, call them and see if they have to provide you an unlock code, (assuming you have paid them in full for the phone) which they must do.

Having a cheap spare unlocked phone is very handy, here and over there. You can get decent low end Android phones for 50 bucks that work just fine.

When you get over there, Vodafone as well as some of the bargain brands like Lyca, have plans that include a certain amount of calls and texts to the US and other countries. The quality of the international connections is fantastic now; you'd think you were talking to someone next door to you.

Another viable option is wifi calling, using something like Skype. Check with Viking about what wifi service they have on board. Wifi is very ubiquitous over there.
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:19 PM   #14
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Our biggest concern is my wife's mother. She's 102 years old and in good health, but at that age anything can happen and often does.


I've pretty much decided to just bite the bullet and keep her phone on and turn my phone off. We'd both hate to have something happen to her mom and relatives not be able to get in touch with us in a hurry.


Thanks for all you info. BTW, Viking has high speed Wifi on all their boats.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:14 AM   #15
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In turning your phone off you can just temporarily divert any calls to your number to your wife's number.
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:07 PM   #16
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Aquabelle, now I did not know that. I'll have to check with Verizon to see if they offer that service and, if so, how to do it.


Again, thanks to all of you for the great responses and great info.


Gettin' excited Mike
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