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Old 25-09-2023, 16:33   #1
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Bahamas Communication

So we are heading back for a winter in the Bahamas. Last time we did it was 2009/2010 with our kids. Communication was basic then ( I had a flip phone!), but looking at options as Canadians now that our phones are unlocked. Looking for advice for cell/ data package recommendations. Buy a SIM card from a US provider? SIM cards from Bahamian provider? We will also need coverage for NovDec in the US as we don’t anticipate crossing over until the New Year. We are not ready ( yet) to commit to Starlink.
Thanks in advance.
Mark
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Old 25-09-2023, 16:37   #2
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Re: Bahamas Communication

We get SIM cards from Mr Sim Card. Google him.
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Old 25-09-2023, 17:02   #3
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Re: Bahamas Communication

We used a SIM card from the carrier ALIV from the Bimini's, to the Berries, through the Exumas, and the Southern Islands. We never had a problem with either phone calls or using the phone as a hotspot for an internet connection.
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Old 25-09-2023, 17:34   #4
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Re: Bahamas Communication

Thanks very much, we will look into both suggestions!
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Old 26-09-2023, 05:12   #5
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Re: Bahamas Communication

Not sure how well it works in the Bahamas, but Google Fi and TMobile both have plans that include international data and calling in many countries. My son is currently in Iceland and his TMobile data and calling works just like at home.
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Old 26-09-2023, 05:33   #6
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Re: Bahamas Communication

Y’all are behind the times. You get Starlink and enable wifi calling.
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Old 26-09-2023, 05:53   #7
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Re: Bahamas Communication

We use Google Fi until they cut us off for being out of the US to long. On the boat we just use WiFi calling via Starlink now. We have gotten Aliv sims also as a backup to a backup.

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Old 26-09-2023, 13:09   #8
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Re: Bahamas Communication

Prior to Starlink, Aliv cards purchased in The Bahamas worked very well. We even had some coverage in the Raggeds.
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Old 26-09-2023, 13:25   #9
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Re: Bahamas Communication

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Y’all are behind the times. You get Starlink and enable wifi calling.
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Old 26-09-2023, 17:34   #10
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Re: Bahamas Communication

Starlink is great if you want to invest in that. Beyond that, here are two'ish choices.

1. Get SIM cards for your phones and devices, or only a SIM for one of them and use it as a hotspot for others on the boat. The monthly charges can add up if you get SIMs for a bunch of phones.

2. Get a mobile hotspot that is compatible with ALIV and use WiFi calling for everyone, plus of course data for general Internet. I bought mine on Amazon (or maybe eBay) then picked up a SIM when we arrived in Bimini.

A downside with #2 is that when you go ashore you will need to take the hotspot and a phone with wifi calling if you want voice or data ashore. For us that was okay. If you feel like you need more connectivity, do a hybrid. Get the ALIV SIM for a mobile hotspot and either a SIM for one of your phones or pick up a cheap phone on ebay and get a SIM for that for local calling.

Don't expect 5G, and some places cell data will suck. I was amazed that George Town was great but I expect they have a lot of towers. Staniel Cay on the other hand was nearly useless until after 11P as there were just too many users for the small capacity they had. Mind you at the time there were a lot of boats hiding out after the passage of a front.

And in the vicinity of the Exumas Land and Sea Park, the deeper you go the worse it gets until you get past Wardrick Wells. When at the head quarters there is a spot on the back deck where you can get a cell signal. If you have the mobile hotspot sometimes it helps to raise it up the mast in a dry bag.
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Old 28-09-2023, 15:29   #11
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Re: Bahamas Communication

I agree with Jedi.

Did 7 seasons in the Bahamas with MyIslandWifi (cellular) and then switched to starlink. The "investment" is minimal vs. the value it brings. Very very rarely I have been concerned about not making a connection or having slow speed. We watch TV whenever we want at high bit rates and make facetime calls at will. Connectivity for internet is awesome.

Forget cellular for anything but the most basic calls as it will quickly approach the cost of the starlink hardware and service.
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