Keeping in touch in the Bahamas - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-10-2012 Thread Starter
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Keeping in touch in the Bahamas

We are cruising from Maine to the Bahamas this fall. How do cruisers keep in touch by phone and internet while away. I think we're all set while in the US. However, Verizon and AT&T will charge us dearly, especially for data to our smartphones and laptops/ipad while in the Bahamas. Does it make sense to get a Batalco (sp?) cell phone and subscribe to the local internet provider, or is wifi prevalent?
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-10-2012
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Re: Keeping in touch in the Bahamas

International SIM Cards from $5, International Cell Phones from $19, World and Satellite Phones
This is what i plan to use on an upcoming trip to Mexico.
I don't want any surprizes in my verizon bill when i get home .
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-10-2012
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Re: Keeping in touch in the Bahamas

You can have your phone unlocked if its dual or multi radio band. Else buy a new pnone as above. Get a new sim card for the phone when you get to bahamas.

Telecommunication

All the info u need should be on this page.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-11-2012
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Re: Keeping in touch in the Bahamas

Solid info by parrot ,the company i referenced is the only one i have found that lets you get all this taken care of "before" leaving the states. Hopefully more will come along with first hand knowledge because I'm basing my response on the research I have done from home for my upcoming trip.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-11-2012
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Re: Keeping in touch in the Bahamas

When I last traveled to Greece I took my unlocked phone and bought a SIM as mentioned above, definitely the way to go. Also friends of mine have a Wifi range extender antenna and said when they cruised that more often than not they could hit unlocked Wifi.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-11-2012
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Re: Keeping in touch in the Bahamas

Spent two winters in Bahamas, about to start our third and here is what we do.
-Have a GSM phone that is unlocked and we have a BATELCO SIM card which gives us a Bahamian phone number. This can be expensive calliing back to US & Canada, but allows cheaper calls within the Bahamas and a emergancy phone number for family back home.
-Some people buy from BATELCO data plan, not sure on cost, but the do have some plans available. BATELCO is the Bahamain telephone company and they have towers on almost every settlement throughout the Bahamas so lots of wireless avail, just can be pricey.
-Wifi is avail in most major centers, not so much at smaller settlements. We have a wifi marine bridge, which is essentially a powered antenna (they run about $300) which extends your range. Wifi is readily available at major marinas and throughout the Sea of Abaco Cays. Many cafes, restaurants and bars have wifi, just be ready to pay for them. Some settlements have wifi avail at local church as well.
-We have a Spot Messenger which we use every time we move, and this gives family/friends our location and the knowledge all is well. The cost ~$100 and the service is ~$100/year.
-In areas with good wifi skype works well (voice only mode) and calls are typically $0.02/min
-For weather we typically rely on our SSB which gives us Caribean Wx (Chris Parker) and NOAA weather forcasts.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-11-2012
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Re: Keeping in touch in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Octobersteve View Post
We are cruising from Maine to the Bahamas this fall. How do cruisers keep in touch by phone and internet while away. I think we're all set while in the US. However, Verizon and AT&T will charge us dearly, especially for data to our smartphones and laptops/ipad while in the Bahamas. Does it make sense to get a Batalco (sp?) cell phone and subscribe to the local internet provider, or is wifi prevalent?
If you are concerned about costs, and who isn't, take a cheap unlocked GSM phone with you. Buy a Batelco sim card (Batelco is the only game in town). Email your Bahamian number to your family and friends. Outgoing calls to the US about 50 cents a minute but incoming calls are free!!. Have them call you. We usually put $20 on the sim card (pay as you go) but hardly use any of it as most of our calls are incoming. As others have said wifi is available at most centers. For the past few years we have been using less and less wifi to keep in touch, relying on the cell phone. Every year it seems that the wifi changes, some years better access, some years poorer access. An unlocked phone is the answer.

Get your sim card from a Batelco office or a re-seller. We get a new one every season email the number to all our contacts.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.

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