Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-09-2015, 07:19   #1
Registered User
 
rastamon's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Ft. Pierce, Fl.
Boat: Irwin 38 MKII
Posts: 38
Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Hey all,

I've been doing a lot of research about SIM cards for my cruise Key West to Roatan. Will be traveling to Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Rio Dulce and Roatan. I checked the Mrsimcard Mexico/USA sim but it doesn't seem to cover other areas. I only want coverage for emergency uses or occasional contact with friends and relatives. To say the least its all very confusing. Anyone have good advice?
Thanks in advance🐬⛵️


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
rastamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2015, 08:03   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,923
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

For local coverage its best (cheapest and easy) to pick up a local SIM (~$1, except in Belize of course where everthing is more expensive). All you need is an unlocked phone.

Mexico: Dont know, somebody else?

Belize: BTL or Smart, coverage all the way out to the reef in most areas, but gets spotty south of Ranguana.

Guatemala: TIGO has best coverage on the Rio Dulce and also has coverage all over Guatemala

Honduras: TIGO also covers Honduras, including the Bay Islands, and the same Guate SIM will work in Honduras, but local shops cant add minutes to the Guate SIM. You can add minutes thru on line services line EZE Top or just buy a Honduran SIM.

Colombian Islands (Providencia, San Andreas): Ive forgotten the carrier here, maybe someone else can fill in?

Panama: Digicel or MoviStar depending on where. Either is good in Bocas. MoviStar around Colon/Shelter Bay, Digicel only in the San Blas. A dual SIM phone is handy in Panama.

If you want to keep a consistent phone number for people to call you then get a number thru Skype or similar service and set it up to forward to your local number. Ive used this for years, with a Florida based Skype number which also has voice mail service for missed calls.

Also search the forums here. This and related topics have been discussed a lot.
__________________

__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2015, 08:38   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Providencia and San Andres are claro, movie star, movil and tigo. Tigo also has the ability to add money using their website.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2015, 10:16   #4
Registered User
 
jeremiason's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Punta Gorda, Florida
Boat: Sea Ray 270
Posts: 1,427
Images: 2
Send a message via ICQ to jeremiason Send a message via Yahoo to jeremiason Send a message via Skype™ to jeremiason
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

I agree with BelizeSailor.


You will not find one SIM CARD for the entire western Caribbean... Every country will have different carriers and/or different regulations.


Take an unlocked phone on your trip.... When you arrive just buy a local SIM CARD that the other cruisers recommend. We usually did it when we did our arrival paperwork.


We had different SIMS for Colon and San Blas, Panama, Providencia, Roatan and the Yucatan, Mexico areas...


We also had a Skype Account with a Florida area code. The Skype account had voicemail for friends and bill collectors :-D


The Skype account was great at making cheap calls to family in Italy, if you have a decent Internet connection.
__________________
Tom Jeremiason
Punta Gorda, Florida

jeremiason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2015, 08:24   #5
Registered User
 
wrwakefield's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wrangell Island, Alaska
Boat: Nauticat 43
Posts: 861
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rastamon View Post
Hey all,

I've been doing a lot of research about SIM cards for my cruise Key West to Roatan. Will be traveling to Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Rio Dulce and Roatan. I checked the Mrsimcard Mexico/USA sim but it doesn't seem to cover other areas. I only want coverage for emergency uses or occasional contact with friends and relatives. To say the least its all very confusing. Anyone have good advice?
Thanks in advance��⛵️


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
Rastamon,

Mr. SIM Card earns good reviews and provides international SIM cards in advance of your arrival- activated on the date you specify. Their add-on fee is nominal.

[Addendum added after more coffee...] Combined with www.mexicosimcard.com I believe the locations you requested are covered.

I haven't used either yet, but intend to next time I need a 'foreign' SIM card...

Cheers!

Bill
__________________
SV Denali Rose

Short on opinions; focused on research, facts & experience [yours and ours...]
wrwakefield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2015, 10:59   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Active Captain has been pumping the Mr. Sim Card company, but I must be missing something about it. For every country that we have used phone/data in, the prices of simply walking up to just about the first vendor on any street and purchasing a sim card with money on it is less expensive than MSC prices. Going forward, it is much less expensive as the price difference continues to multiply as you renew your plan.

I also seem to be missing the convenience factor, as we have found obtaining a sim card and data plan to be about the easiest thing to do in another country. Once you get a sim card, pretty much all of them have a website where you can continue to add money to your account and purchase data/phone plans without ever setting foot on ground again.

Really - there are grass huts in the San Blas islands with sim cards. Just about all street vendors of any goods on any street in any town/roadside have sim cards. It is almost impossible to NOT find someone selling sim cards.

BTW, sim cards are free in all these countries. There is a small charge, but that amount is also contained on the sim card for data/phone use.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2015, 11:42   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,923
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Active Captain has been pumping the Mr. Sim Card company, but I must be missing something about it. For every country that we have used phone/data in, the prices of simply walking up to just about the first vendor on any street and purchasing a sim card with money on it is less expensive than MSC prices. Going forward, it is much less expensive as the price difference continues to multiply as you renew your plan.

I also seem to be missing the convenience factor, as we have found obtaining a sim card and data plan to be about the easiest thing to do in another country. Once you get a sim card, pretty much all of them have a website where you can continue to add money to your account and purchase data/phone plans without ever setting foot on ground again.

Really - there are grass huts in the San Blas islands with sim cards. Just about all street vendors of any goods on any street in any town/roadside have sim cards. It is almost impossible to NOT find someone selling sim cards.

BTW, sim cards are free in all these countries. There is a small charge, but that amount is also contained on the sim card for data/phone use.

Mark
Im missing the value add too. Maybe beneficial for a business/vacation traveller on a tight schedule. Super easy and cheap to buy a local SIM and another opportunity to interact with the locals.

I especially like the "phone store" on Nargana (San Blas)...a thatch roof covering two pay phone booths and a small counter where they sell SIMs and saldo.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2015, 13:00   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Boat: Bruce Roberts 44' Steel Mauritius
Posts: 577
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Get a sat phone. Used to have separate sims for every area in the Caribbean but that doesn't seem practical for you.
__________________
Mithril Bham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2015, 16:36   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,923
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magellanyachts View Post
Get a sat phone. Used to have separate sims for every area in the Caribbean but that doesn't seem practical for you.
Big jump in up front and on going cost though...especially for data use.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2015, 16:49   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,923
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Shot of part of my SIM collection....doesnt include nearly an equal number in use in phones and modems.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1443567023422.jpg
Views:	94
Size:	69.0 KB
ID:	110202  
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2015, 18:18   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

I just threw away at least that many, and probably still have more in phones not in use!

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2015, 18:22   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,923
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I just threw away at least that many, and probably still have more in phones not in use!

Mark
I have learned that in most countries you can reactivate an old SIM by just adding funds to it. Though an online recharge doesnt always seem to work, entering an actual prepaid card usually does.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2015, 18:26   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Florida
Boat: Irwin 43 Mk111 CC, Sloop
Posts: 362
Send a message via Skype™ to adlib2
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

No one has responded with recommendation for CUBA?

I'm going this December from Key West and have T-Mobile phone.
Years ago I visited Cuba frequently and could use my Canadian phone. Not sure what works now.
__________________
adlib2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2015, 18:39   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I have learned that in most countries you can reactivate an old SIM by just adding funds to it. Though an online recharge doesnt always seem to work, entering an actual prepaid card usually does.
Yes, but several of the countries we will probably not return to, and ones that we will return to will be very old on the cards.

It is SO easy to get sim cards, that we just pick them up as needed.

Besides, the boat is 0.06 ounces lighter now!

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-09-2015, 01:21   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Boat: Bruce Roberts 44' Steel Mauritius
Posts: 577
Re: Best SIM card for Western Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Big jump in up front and on going cost though...especially for data use.
Not that bad anymore. Only use for critical communications otherwise SSB. At least you know you have communications when need is dire.
__________________

__________________
Mithril Bham is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Caribbean, rib

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wanted For Free: caribbean sim card (lime and digicel) bbowers2004 Classifieds Archive 4 23-11-2013 09:28
SIM card for iPad in the BVI Pallykin Fishing, Recreation & Fun 3 15-12-2012 18:37
SIM Card for Cell Phone in Caribbean beissel Marine Electronics 0 02-11-2011 14:59
Iridium SIM Card conachair Atlantic & the Caribbean 5 16-04-2010 06:12
For Sale: Iridium Sim Card with 994 Minutes windsaloft Classifieds Archive 0 19-07-2009 15:45



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:31.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.