when you are at sea you will not get a signal on the upper deck. There are phones on board, if you are away from the wall for over a certain amount of time (im not sure how long) you will get 20-30 mins free a week. you will be able to purchase phone cards on board and should be able to email home most days. this info is for skimmers.
That makes sense, it must make some seniors smile when they see empty payphones by the dockside now. When they joined there would have been big queues waiting to phone loved ones after being at sea for x amount of days.
Wanting an iPhone for the amount of functions in one box aspect. Not really a problem handing it in for Ops as I plan to have a Laptop as a secondary gadget loaded with iTunes (same music as iPhone) and films.