Originally Posted by MarkJ
. . . These bums, and Digicel are all restricted to each island so each new country you need a new SIM card, none on Prepaid. So basically you need a 12 month contract in EACH country! (Some 6 months contracts)
. . . Mark
That is not correct - roaming is available from both major cell companies - Lime (old Cable&Wireless) and Digicell. Also you can purchase
a new SIM card on each island for about EC$25 (US$9) which included EC$25 worth of minutes if you are going to be there a long time and will be using a lot of phone
service. No contracts are necessary and you purchase
your minutes at local stores or on the internet
. I did drop Digicel and move to Lime as they allow you to replenish your minutes anywhere in the Caribbean
on the internet. Digicel does not.
- - Just be sure to have an unlocked "quad-band" GSM cell phone
so you can pop in a new SIM card - when necessary - anywhere in the Caribbean
- - However, "aircard" or cell phone
derived data services are not cheap
and not that great. The setup equipment
can cost up to US$150 with a monthly cost approaching US$100. Few if any use it (which explains the high cost) as WiFi is available most everywhere including the French islands.
- - Speeds are not great but for email
browsing and general surfing it is not that bad. We were able to "torrent" movies. Things are just slower in the islands - it takes some time to get used to the concept
of "Island Time."
- - Frequently on the smaller islands there is only one official "portal" to the internet controlled by the dominant government
approved phone company and everybody has to feed off that teat. When schools let out in the afternoon it is common for internet access to get overloaded and totally bog down or cease until the kids
go to bed
. Welcome to the islands.
- - Most marinas
include free WiFi and with a long range powered WiFi antenna
system you can sometimes reach out from anchorages
to use the marina systems. Choosing anchorages
these days has more to do with WiFi access than standards we used to use in the "old days." It is not uncommon to see a new boat circling an anchorage with the crew holding up a computer searching for good WiFi signals before dropping the hook.
- - In a few places where we frequently stopped for a short time, we simply took the lapbook/netbook ashore and took advantage of the free WiFi inside restaurants and cafe's. A cappuccino or some French pastry is a small and tasty price
to pay for hours of free Wifi. Cafe's and restaurants use WiFi as a lure to draw you in to sample their stuff.