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  #1  
Old 02-07-2013
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Communications in the Caribean (cell phone)

Hello Everyone

I was wondering if anyone knows what the best way to keep cell service is while cruising in the Caribean.

I will be sailing from St. Marteen to points south of there.

Is there a cell company that covers the whole Caribean?

Should I get pay as you go plans at each new island?

My ATT people where saying they had a plan which comes out to a little less than a dollar / minute which strikes me as very expensive.

I do have a satellite phone but that is even more expensive.

Any recommendations?

Andreas
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Old 02-07-2013
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Re: Communications in the Caribean (cell phone)

I have an Iridium that is about a dollar a minute and will work in the whole world; getting Caribbean cellular service is a lot easier. There is no single company/plan that I now of that will cover the whole of the Caribbean. I would start with a French St. Martin cell phone prepay plan, that will cover all the French Islands at known and cheap rates. How much do you need to talk on the phone? WiFi is available in a lot of islands and it is hard to beat Skype pricing.
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Old 02-07-2013
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Re: Communications in the Caribean (cell phone)

Even if your phone is international capable, I've found the roaming reliability to be very poor. You might be able to get a local prepaid SIM card in each country for your phone.

The idea of rental one locally is much more reliable.

Even better are the skype, oovoo, viber, etc options for wifi calling. Amazingly cool when you find wifi access.
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Old 02-07-2013
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Re: Communications in the Caribean (cell phone)

There are two companies Lime And Digicell. I have Digicell but there is little to choose between them.

A basic payasyougo is $99 ec or about $36 us about 15c us a minute local 36c us to the USA/Canada/UK.

BUT it is local to the island you buy it in. It will work in the other islands but the roaming rates are high. Buy a SIM for each island [ about 10 us ] if you use your phone a lot.

Some people buy two phones and keep the same sim in one to keep the same phone no. in one and change the sim in the other for outgoing calls.
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Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Communications in the Caribean (cell phone)

You need two things that help in staying in touch and avoid cell bills. Cell plans on the surface seems cheap or reasonable. They neither
Many roaming fees are verynexpensive no matter your carrier or plan esp places like the Bahamas, Caicos and outlying islands
To defray costs use Skype. It's penny's on the dollar, you need only a computer
A good marine antenna for wyfi and skypes program
In places where roaming charges can be $100s per minute I call home using Skype
I purchased a good marine antenna this year and have had no problems getting a clear
Data stream signal
While cell phones are nice the roaming charges will kill you
Get Skype mobile it's great been using it since it came out
It's awesome!!!
Kathleen
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St thomas, USVI
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Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Communications in the Caribean (cell phone)

You need two things that help in staying in touch and avoid cell bills. Cell plans on the surface seems cheap or reasonable. They neither
Many roaming fees are verynexpensive no matter your carrier or plan esp places like the Bahamas, Caicos and outlying islands
To defray costs use Skype. It's penny's on the dollar, you need only a computer
A good marine antenna for wyfi and skypes program
In places where roaming charges can be $100s per minute I call home using Skype
I purchased a good marine antenna this year and have had no problems getting a clear
Data stream signal
While cell phones are nice the roaming charges will kill you
Get Skype mobile it's great been using it since it came out
It's awesome!!!
Kathleen
S/V Legacy
St thomas, USVI
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Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Communications in the Caribean (cell phone)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreasNYC View Post
Is there a cell company that covers the whole Caribean?

Andreas
No. All islands are soverign countries and all have seperate telecomunications laws, therefore no privider can do all the countries, but Lime and Digicell and in many, but still you need to buy a new pre-paid SIM in each island. But they are cheap! 410 for the SIM including $10 credit is normal... so its really quite cheap.

but to call home, as others have said, you may be better to use Skype.
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