This is a typical question for someone who is going on a cruise for the first time. You have probably heard already how much it costs to use your cell phone on a cruise ship, and with rates like $5 a minute, you either have to talk really fast or just totally forget using your cell for the entire trip. You can read out post on cell phone costs on a cruise to get more information if you really do want to use your cell phone.
If you want to just send a quick message back home while you are on the cruise ship you can always use the ship’s internet café, but again, this will cost you as well. You can see internet usage rates here. The cheapest and best way to try to call home when you are on a cruise is to call from one of the ports you will be stopping at.
You can ask the guest relations desk where to find a good place to make a call to home, or even ask one of the staff on the ship, as they should know these ports very well from stopping at them so often and making calls home themselves. Most of the crew on a cruise ship are from other parts of the world and not the United States so they are used to making long distance calls to their homes, so who better to ask than them.
Get a calling card. This is simply the cheapest way to call home. Most ports have a place where you can get calling cards, and you MUST buy them at the ports and NOT in the United States. If you buy a calling card here in the States and try to use it in the Bahamas it simply will not work. Buy the calling card from the place you want to call from and find a pay phone to make your call. You can get these cards fairly cheaply in the Caribbean and it will save you a lot of money over using your cell phone on the ship.
If you have a web enabled phone you can also try using the free service Skype to call a relative that also has Skype. This way it will not cost you a dime, unless the internet café has a small charge for using their internet. Keep in mind that Skype’s service that allows you to call any phone in the world does carry a small charge with it as well, but again, it is much cheaper than trying to use your cell phone.