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Old 09-25-2007
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Bahamas Cell Phone Service

My wife and I are departing from VA in a few weeks for the Bahamas via the ICW. We both have Verizon cell phones now and suspect the coverage should be pretty good all the way down thru FL.

Our question is, once we get over to the Bahamas, what is the best solution for cell service? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 09-25-2007
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My plans are to leave for the Bahamas in November. Have a look at this thread is may have one of the answers.

Skype
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Old 09-25-2007
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Verizon sometimes works from the Abacos and Nassau. Unfortunately Batelco is the only game in town in the Bahamas. In the good old days you could use 800 numbers to get a Stateside connection but they've blocked all of those now. You can rent or buy a Batelco cell phone or buy Batelco cards although finding a working pay phone is getting harder and harder. Skype is good if you're in one of the few places that have enough bandwidth.
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Old 09-25-2007
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Mark...forget cell phones in the Bahamas unless you want to pay a buck a minute. Use wifi & skype. There are cruisers nets in the Abacos and Exumas for emergencies if someone needs to call you. You can buy Batelco phone cards and use pay phones for emergency calls home. For normal stuff...wifi is widely available and works well. Try www.cocotels.net for good Abacos links and questions/answers.
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Old 09-25-2007
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The problem with wifi and Skype is that where wifi is available in the out islands there is usually not enough bandwidth for Skype resulting in very frustrating and incomplete conversations. I usually only cruise south of Nassau now, and the availability of wifi is very spotty. In the Abacos, (I passed through coming home this spring but usually skip this area of the Bahamas) especially in the Hub area it's pretty good but once you go south of Nassau it's a different story. As for pay phones even on some islands such as Rum Cay where there's a Batelco tower and office there's no pay phone!! E-mail seems the only semi reliable communications system. Globalstar still sucks so unless you have lots of money and patience forget it. The surest method of communication is a Batelco cell phone but as Cam says it'll cost you.
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Thanks everyone. Very helpful info
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