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Jul 22 2008   9:38PM GMT

A Return to Dry Land (and a little bit about cellular coverage at sea)

JohnWilder John Wilder Profile: JohnWilder

Just got back from my vacation, and I’m pretty sure the batteries have been recharged, but I’m still trying to get geared back up. I really did manage to disconnect (for the most part) on this vacation, and as I said in my previous post – it is a good idea once in a while.

That being said, I did keep an eye on things while I was at sea, but mostly to insure that nothing major was melting down and also to keep my inbox from being a total mess when I returned. My phone never left the cabin during the trip, but I did check it once a day to clear things out. I left instructions to my staff to mark things urgent if anything earth-shattering did happen, but luckily we dodged that bullet. I’m a huge believer in the philosophy that a manager should be able to disappear without having things fall apart. There is very little that I do where I’m not “backed up” by a member of my staff. The only exception to that are things such as performance review and similar staffing issues.

One of the things which did surprise me during the cruise was the ability to stay connected. Our ship offered a service called Cellular at Sea, and it provided outstanding service for the duration of the cruise. The service works with just about every carrier, and being an AT&T customer I found that I had about 4 bars of 3G coverage in my cabin. The service shuts down while you’re in port, so you’re on your own in picking up local coverage if any is available.

You do need to keep in mind that you’re roaming while using the service, and costs can go up accordingly. This wasn’t a huge concern for me, because I didn’t use the phone for any voice calls. I did bump my kids’ text service up to allow for international text messaging, and I’m hoping that saved me a few bucks. They did limit their use of texting, so I’m hoping the hit isn’t too bad when I see next month’s bill.

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