We’ve all been there; sat on the deck of a ship, cocktail in hand on a bright and sunny afternoon with the gentle sea breeze blowing through our toupee. Then suddenly you jolt up with the horrific realisation that you’ve in fact, not shared this with all your mates on Facebook.

The spotty free wifi of that Bermudan cafe is several hundred nautical miles away and you’ve got a full day at sea before you hit up the Cayman Islands. Well, that’s this cruise ruined! That is until your fellow traveller introduces you to GigSky’s Cruise Package, an eSim that offers data packages across multiple countries for us on land, sea and at ports.

Forget paying huge sums of money for onboard WiFi or being paranoid about switching your phone on when you arrive in a new port. This way you can be sure to stay connected to friends and family back home whilst you’re out there sailing the high seas!

So, let’s take a deep dive and look into the inner workings GigSky’s magical mystery package of roaming internet goodness.

A cruise ship sitting in a harbour with blue sky and blue waters surrounding it on a sunny day.
What’s the point in going on a cruise if you don’t make your mates jealous!?
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Choosing a SIM Card For Cruises – Things To Consider

So, you’ve decided you want to be able to use your phone whilst on your trip, but now you’re wondering what is the best international sim and how to avoid data roaming charges on a cruise. Well, an eSim is by far the best and most convenient way to stay connected whilst you’re travelling, be that on a cruise or any other trip for that matter.

But when it comes to cruising there are some very specific requirements of an eSim that you just don’t have to worry about if you’re planning on staying on dry land or in one country.

Does The Ship Have WiFi

The first thing you’ll want to consider before investing in GigSky’s Cruise Package is whether or not your cruise ship has WiFi itself. Now this isn’t as cut and dry as it seems, there are still a few considerations you’ll want to think about before just opting for the ship WiFi.

Firstly, WiFi on board cruise ships tends to be very expensive and you’ll often be charged per day and possibly even per device. I’ve seen some prices quoted at around $16-$30 a day, which frankly is extortionate.

The upside of ship WiFi is that for the period you’ve paid for, it does tend to be unlimited. Meaning you can stream and post to your heart’s content for the 24 hours you’ve shelled out for.

The other main downside to using your ship’s WiFi, beyond the eye-watering cost, is that it only works whilst onboard. So if you do shell out you better make sure it’s a sea day to make the most of it!

How Many Ports Are You Visiting

Another important consideration before buying GigSky’s Cruise Package is how many ports you will be calling into.

If you’ll be only visiting one country, then simply purchasing an eSim for that country might work out best for you. But in reality, with a cruise, you’ll most likely be stopping in multiple locations in several different countries.

Buying an eSim for each country and/or port you stop in might seem like the obvious solution to staying connected whilst cruising. However, this can quickly end up wracking up in cost and keeping track of which eSim is for which country and remembering to activate them whilst connected in the previous port is a job in itself, trust me!

woman on a catamaran taking a photo
Pics or it didn’t happen!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Will Your Own Sim Work?

Whilst each network provider will have their own specific policies and availability when it comes to connecting to local networks and data roaming, as a general rule your own sim will probably work to at least some degree whilst overseas.

However, there are two very large and important caveats.

The first is that your own SIM card will only work when you’re in range of land or a good signal. Put simply, your provider will have a deal with a local network and you’ll connect to them when you’re in range. So, as a general rule, your SIM won’t work whilst you’re at sea. The other concern is that occasionally, SIM cards can just not connect for a variety of different and highly frustrating reasons.

The second major flaw is money. International minutes and roaming charges can be even more extortionate than onboard WiFi. Costs can spiral out of control if you use your phone at each port and you could end up coming home from the trip of a lifetime with a massive bill. Talk about coming down with a bang!

 Do You Need To Receive/Make Phone Calls?

Ok, so the biggest consideration you’re going to have when it comes to choosing GigSky’s eSim Cruise Package is whether or not you’ll want to make and receive phone calls.

Now, when I say phone calls what I mean is actual cellular calls rather than the calls you might receive and make via WiFi and data. So things like WhatsApp, Google Meets, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Skype or even Facetime (with the correct settings) will all work. But calling your Nan’s landline, for example, will not, unfortunately, even with the best of eSims.

Whilst many establishments such as insurance companies will now be on WhatsApp or have online chat options, there may be specific times when you might want to make cellular calls. This is personal to your situation of course, but I’ve never found it to be an issue.

Are you even on a boat if you don’t let the whole of Instagram know?
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Can You Buy a Sim For Cruises?

Why yes indeed you can and I’m here to tell you all about it!

GigSky Land + Sea

The clever folks over at GigSky have put together two revolutionary cruise-specific eSim packages. One for Europe and the other for The Americas/Caribbean. These cover two of the most popular cruising regions and together offer coverage in 95 countries and 200+ ships in each region. So the chances are that your ship and itinerary are well covered.

GigSky coverage is designed to work across the entire region in which you are travelling, whether that be at sea, in port or whilst exploring your destination. Their coverage switches automatically depending on whether you’re at sea or on land, you don’t need to mess with a thing once you’ve got everything set up. This is what makes them one of the best eSim providers on the market.

GigSky Land + Sea works by combining two different types of connectivity. Whilst in port and on land your phone will connect to a local network via cell towers in the area. Then, when you leave for the open seas it will switch to its “Cellular at Sea” service. They do say in most cases it can take about an hour once leaving port to make this switch as you must be 12 nautical miles offshore.

It’s this offshore connectivity that really sets GigSky apart from any other regular eSim provider. Sure, you could buy a regional or several country-specific eSims from any number of different providers and they’d work great on shore. But as soon as you’re out of range of the cell towers of each country, you’re out of luck, even with the best travel sim cards.

GigSky offers the following regional data packages:

Cruise+ – Americas/Caribbean

200+ Ships + 49 countries

  • 1 GB $38.99 – 7 Days
  • 3 GB $73.99 – 15 Days

Cruise+ – Europe

200+ Ships + 46 countries

  • 1 GB $38.99 – 7 Days
  • 3 GB $73.99 – 15 Days

A Word on eSims and How They Work

You might be wondering how all this mysterious and magical data even works! Well, welcome to the world of eSims. These are pretty new but I’ve been using them for the past year or so and they’ve become an essential part of organising any trip for me. They are pretty straightforward but they do take a little getting used to, but the learning curve is pretty shallow.

An eSim works via an app rather than a physical plastic SIM card. This means that you can keep your original SIM card inside your phone and still receive calls and text messages to your phone number, whilst using your installed eSim for data (internet).

Most modern phones and tablets are eSim compatible, but it’s best to check here to be sure. You should also make sure your phone is unlocked.

The most important thing to know about eSims is that they are data only, meaning they work for the internet only and you can’t use them to make or receive cellular calls. They will still work with services like WhatsApp though.

You can check out our guide on eSims for more information.

Pros and Cons

Here I will run through some of the pros and cons of using one of GigSky’s eSim Cruise Packages.


Covers 95 countries in two popular cruising regions.

200+ Cruise Ships with Cellular at Sea Service

Much cheaper than onboard WiFi or data roaming

No messing about changing physical or eSims at each destination

Easy to set up through the app

24/7/365 Live customer support



Size of data packages available are quite small

Prices are higher than standard land-only eSims

Only available in 7 or 15 day packages

Not available outside of Europe, The Caribbean and Americas

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    Final Thoughts on a Sim For Cruises

    Right then, there you have it. Hopefully, I’ve explained exactly what the GigSky Land + Sea eSim Package offers to those who want to stay connected on their cruise in the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe. It’s a service I’ve used several times whilst country-hopping on the open seas and I highly recommend their exceptional coverage and service.

    With eSims becoming more and more the norm for those travelling overseas, especially those who want to stay connected to their friends, family or even work on the road, there’s never been a better time to jump on board. Offering a straightforward app, simple set-up process, coverage across a high number of countries and ships, as well as reliable service, GigSky is the obvious choice when it comes to a SIM for Cruises.

    Do you have any questions on how the GigSky Land + Sea eSim Package or eSims in general work? Let me know below.

    Happy sailing!

    The front of a large boat in waters off the coast of jungle covered islands in blue waters with blue sky with a few clouds in the background.
    No longer does this view have to go unpublished on the internet!
    Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

    And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!