Cruise Ship WiFi Calling

I’m a RW 2.0 customer (Moto X2 running Android 5.1) and am going on a cruise next week on Carnival Cruise Lines. Their WiFi service says “Cellular network dependent WiFi calling services are not supported”. I’m not sure if this applies to RW since our service works fine with any authenticated or public WiFi hotspot. If anyone has experience with WiFi callling on RW on cruise ships, please let me know your experience.

Mike H

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Hey @michaelh.zwv6tr -

I’ve done WiFi calling on various Carnival, Princess, & Disney cruise ships over the years.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is the cost - the satellite internet provided on the cruise ship is usually expensive (although, in my experience, Carnival is the most reasonable of them all - if I remember correctly, it was around $15 a day. Compared to Disney which charges $90 per GB of data used.)

The next biggest thing is that the network quality is going to vary significantly from hour-to-hour (or even minute-to-minute in some cases). Location, weather, and how many other cruisers are using the network will all impact your ability to make calls & the quality of the calls.

Texting generally worked for me without issues since it requires such a minimal amount of data, but calling has been hit or miss on all the cruises I’ve gone on. You’ll also want to make sure you put your phone in airplane mode & manually turn WiFi back on so that your phone doesn’t constantly search for cell signal.

Happy cruising!


Hi Richard,

Thanks for the quick reply. It’s interesting that you were able to make calls over Carnival WiFi, which I assumed to be satellite-based since there are no base stations in the ocean. :slight_smile: My question was based on the comment in the Carnival WiFi service description that says “cellular network dependent WiFi calling services are not supported”. I didn’t really know whether that meant services like RW.

But if you found you could call & text over WiFi, then we’ll go ahead & sign up. If it turns out it doesn’t work for some reason when we get on the ship, we’ll cancel (much to the dismay of my teenage daughter). And good tip on airplane mode.



No problem!

If I had to guess, they probably put that disclaimer in there just in case something doesn’t work. But I didn’t have any issues with it beyond the moderately poor quality during peak times.

It’ll also be helpful to take a look through the link @cbwahlstrom provided before me - making those settings changes will open up the full data channel to your call so that it doesn’t have to compete with things like email, app updates, etc. Gives you the best chance of a good quality call. :slight_smile:


I saw the below posting but since I’m on RW 2.0 on Moto X2 running Android 5.1, wasn’t sure if it would apply.


The following assume Android 7.0 and a Republic Choice plan (i.e. no Android OS modifications)

Go to Settings > Data usage > Data saver and turn the feature ON. Data Saver prevents most apps from attempting background data transfers.
While in Data Saver, click Unrestricted data access, scroll down to the Republic Wireless app, and turn it on. This is necessary to stop the Republic app from complaining about Data Saver being on.
After connecting to the ship’s Wi-Fi for the first time, go to Settings > Data usage > Network restrictions. Under “Metered Wi-Fi networks”, find the ship’s Wi-Fi network and turn the switch ON. This will make the network appear as a source of cellular data, and apps that are configured to minimize the usage of cell data will restrict their activities accordingly.

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Sorry! I should have noticed you said you were on a Moto X2.
The steps are a little different (and admittedly more cumbersome) on the legacy devices. Once you connect to the ship WiFi network the first time, you can mark the WiFi network as a metered network, thus restricting background data usage on that network. You can do that by following the steps in this Help article:


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