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bobsofi (Offline)
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Default What cell sim cards should a USA guy use in Europe - 30-07-2013, 00:48

I posted awhile back, and thanks for all your reply's. I am 3+ weeks out and it's time to pull the trigger on what advance purchase cell sim cards a USA guy should use in Europe.

So I Q'd several experiened Ebay Sim Card sellers; and recieved some new to me reply info. I will post their replys exactly as I received them, for others that follow. Gotta love Ebay!


Hi, USA citizen travelling on a 40 day cruise next month, the baltics and down into and all through the Mediterranean. I would like affordable data on land in 32 ports, in many countries. I have an unlocked Samsung Note 1, i717 phone (GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100). What sims and strategy should i use to get maximum data and make voip telephone calls. !!! THANKS !!!

Thanks for the very interesting question.
I think your phone will work as normal in Europe.
Unfortunately, data costs are quite significant in European roaming with UK SIM card. I am not sure about non-EU SIM cards, because I don't deal with them.
I see 3 possible strategies for you.
1. Buy SIM cards in each port as soon as you land. You will definitely have the lowest rate for the country. The downsides are: your number will change often, if you want your family to call you. Also, you'll have a hassle to buy and topup the SIM card. Your unused balance will expire.
1.1. As a sub-version, you can try EU (non-UK) SIM card in the first port of landing and use it across EU. It may be cheaper than the use of UK SIM card all the time. But I am not sure, as I said: I only deal with UK SIM cards. Also, topping up the SIM card abroad can be troublesome (it is always the case).

2. Buy an international SIM. It tends to be expensive, but may be more flexible. Check online. Again, I don't deal with them.

3. Buy a UK SIM card with good European roaming rates. I checked some from my stock (Virgin, O2, Vodafone, Orange) and must admit Orange offers the best solution. Here are some of them:

* Vodafone World: 2 GBP for 25Mb of data each day you use it.

* O2's service is O2 Travel, but it is only 15Mb for 1.99 GBP
O2 | International | O2 Travel Pay & Go ? Data from 1.99

* Orange's packages: 20Mb for 1 day for 1 GBP
Using Your Mobile Abroad | Roaming | Help and Support | Orange UK

Usually,you will have problems topping up SIM card abroad (doesn't matter the country of SIM issue). For sure, non-UK credit card holders have problems with topping up UK SIM cards online. Just a little relief, Orange and Vodafone UK have facilities to topup in Spain.
If you purchase a UK SIM card, then, as a solution, you can calculate and add enough credit to your phone while you're in the UK. Or I can help you with this. I charge $20 per 10 GBP topup. I can topup the SIM card before dispach, or send you a topup voucher with it, or send it later by email. You can use topup vouchers abroad on O2 and Orange. It does not work on Vodafone, as far as I know.

The choice is yours now!


Yes the o2 sim card will be perfect

Just choose the international option when topping up ...

thank you

This depends on the countries to which you are travelling. We only stock UK sim cards currently for Europe.
Our Three sim card:
UK Three Pay as You Go Sim Card Use Soon as You Land Unlimited Data 3c MIN to US | eBay
Will give you unlimited data in the UK with a £15 voucher
Hope this helps
You might want to check out the Three Ireland sim (even if you are not in Ireland) which will allow free data roaming on Three in Italy, Austria and Sweden provided it has credit and a suitable add-on

Thanks for your inquiry, European data especially on PAYG is still relatively expansive, I have managed to compare them on different UK networks and had found Orange to be the most affordable. Here is the link to buy an Orange SIM card from us, further top ups can be purchased from us at a cost of additional 5% to cover PayPal charges, e.g. £20 would cost £21.

UK Orange SIM Card with £10 credit | eBay

The EU bundle from Orange is here

Using Your Mobile Abroad | Roaming | Help and Support | Orange UK

If you prefer the rental option our business associates Global Travel Telecommunications Inc have a counter at LAX.

Hi thanks for your email, whilst our SIM is great value if you are in the UK elsewhere you pay Data Roaming charges etc Calls and Tariffs to countries other than UK you may be better off with a Roaming SIm and just Google this for suppliers.

I hope this helps.
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rfranzq (Offline)
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Default an unhelpful suggestion? - 30-07-2013, 03:19

Whew! What I am seeing is there is obviously no one solution. There is no cheap prepaid data. How much data do you really need?? How much data can you really afford? Get a big sheet of paper and list the countries and list the data cost of a bunch of international SIM cards. Truphone, ekit [various SIMs], Worldsim, Piranha, onesimcard come to mind. Worldsim [if it is a viable option has a southern California ebay seller reasonably priced.]

Another, hint. Before you go, test whatever you have.
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 30-07-2013, 03:43

One point to consider, avoid using the ship's cellular service for anything but incoming SMS. If necessary turn off phone to avoid connecting to the ship's system. Look into BoingoMobile WiFi roaming. Use VOIP calling whenever possible. I think TalkATone is available for Android. Use it with your Google Voice account to make free calls.

You will not find the "magic bullet" (the one best solution for every case). Pick one that's good enough and have a different SIM, from a completely different carrier as a backup.

If you're a geek, like me, take one multi-tap outlet. Many ship's rooms have only one 117 V outlet and/or one 220 V outlet.
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rfranzq (Offline)
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Default Best advice ever! - 30-07-2013, 06:37

Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
If you're a geek, like me, take one multi-tap outlet. Many ship's rooms have only one 117 V outlet and/or one 220 V outlet.
I have never seen this advice before, but his is really good.
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1040Berlin (Offline)
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Default Vodafone Germany - 30-07-2013, 09:58

Firstly: Be aware you won't have mobile network availability most time on a cruise.

If you pick a Vodafone "Callya" prepaid SIM card in a German harbour you can book attraktive roaming packages e. g. "Reisepaket 2 Wochen":

You get 700 mins talk time, 700 SMS, 700 Megabyte (valid in EU member countries and Norway)

Last edited by 1040Berlin; 30-07-2013 at 10:00.. Reason: ++
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davidtheprof (Offline)
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Default 30-07-2013, 18:00

I think we discussed this before under the Piranha thread...
I'd go with Piranha for calling and reasonable data in Europe, but consider Vodafone as well (or backup) for their GBP2 for 25MB/day data package in Europe, and GBP5 in Russia or elsewhere outside EU.
I still use Orange when in the UK, but their international roaming is not good for PAYG - the new GBP1 for 20MB is only for pay monthly.
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HappyCamp (Offline)
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Default 13-08-2013, 14:50

You might check into Toggle Mobile. In the countries they support with "local numbers" the data rate is 15 pence / megabyte ( $0.23/MB ). And the voice and text rates are very reasonable. But you have to see how many of the countries you are going to they offer the "local number" option in.

T-Mobile $30 "Wal-mart plan". Unlimited data & text. 100 voice minutes per month.

Europe 2013 vacation:
Piranha-Mobile and Truphone plus the following
AT: T-Mobile, CZ: Tesco Mobile, DE: Lidl & Toggle Mobile, DK: Telia & Toggle Mobile, ES: Toggle Mobile, FR: Orange & Toggle Mobile, HU: T-Mobile, SE: Telenor & Toggle Mobile
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