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Thread: Cell phone - Which option is better?

  1. #1
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    Cell phone - Which option is better?

    I'm embarrassed to say in our many trips to the island we have never used a cell phone other than surfing the web in our room's wifi. We've always waved down a red plate taxi and negotiated a price before getting into the taxi. There have been time I wished I had one. For example, leaving Ivan's one evening the drivers hanging out wanted $20 to take us back to White Sands. I finally waved down a driver on the road and he took us back for $10. i would love to have a simple phone to be able to contact trusted drivers.

    So here's my question.......Is it better to bring and unlocked phone from home and have a sim card added once we get there? Or buy a phone once we get there and where would we get a phone? We leave in 14 days so I need to make plans to get an unlocked phone before we go if that's the best option.

    Thanks in advance!
    July 1993*, Feb 2003, Aug 2005, April 2007, Feb 2008, Feb 2009, April 2010, Nov 2010, Nov 2011, Nov 2012, March 2013*, Nov 2013, Nov 2014, March 2015*, Nov 2015*, April 2016*, Oct 2016, Nov 2017*, May 2018*, Nov 2018*, Oct/Nov 2019*, Dec 2020*, Dec 2021*

  2. #2
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    Re: Cell phone - Which option is better?

    I used to have a Jamaican phone but the US carrier I have now charges 25 cents a minute calling and has free texts and free 2 G service so I gave up the other phone.

  3. #3
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    Re: Cell phone - Which option is better?

    Last time down I purchased an unlocked Alcatel flip phone prior to leaving. Stopped at a Digicel in Mobay and had them insert a SIM card for me. Easy peazy. Then you can buy minutes at almost any store if need be. Not great for surfing the web but I just wanted it for the exact same reason you mentioned.....contacting our driver for a ride when we needed to or to make a reservation at a restaurant if necessary. Nice to have in case of emergency as well.

  4. #4
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    Re: Cell phone - Which option is better?

    In Canada, we've had various laws mandating unlocked cell phones -- first for outright purchases (ie. not part of a plan), or when plan was finished (2011?), and more recently for all cell phones (2017). So for us, it's just easier to use our current phones and pop in a Digicel sim.

    Unfortunately my carrier's roaming charges in Jamaica are very pricey!

  5. #5
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    Re: Cell phone - Which option is better?

    We bought a cheap, old style flip phone when we were there a few years ago. We top it up online a few times a year so all we need to do before we leave for Jamaica, is charge it up. We basically use it for taxis and dinner reservations.

  6. #6
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    Re: Cell phone - Which option is better?

    I just checked with Verizon. They have three different international plans. 1) $100/month (screw that!) 2) $10/line per day used (better!) 3) Pay as you go. $1.79/min for calls. 50 sent SMS/50 MMS and 5 received SMS/25 MMS (I think we have a winner!)

    Thanks for the replies. The pay as you go seems the best option for me since I wouldn't use the phone more than a half dozen times.
    July 1993*, Feb 2003, Aug 2005, April 2007, Feb 2008, Feb 2009, April 2010, Nov 2010, Nov 2011, Nov 2012, March 2013*, Nov 2013, Nov 2014, March 2015*, Nov 2015*, April 2016*, Oct 2016, Nov 2017*, May 2018*, Nov 2018*, Oct/Nov 2019*, Dec 2020*, Dec 2021*

  7. #7
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    Re: Cell phone - Which option is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregandkelly63 View Post
    I just checked with Verizon. They have three different international plans. 1) $100/month (screw that!) 2) $10/line per day used (better!) 3) Pay as you go. $1.79/min for calls. 50 sent SMS/50 MMS and 5 received SMS/25 MMS (I think we have a winner!)

    Thanks for the replies. The pay as you go seems the best option for me since I wouldn't use the phone more than a half dozen times.
    Since WS has great wifi, I go with the $10 a day plan with verizon (it only turns on if you turn the data on for your phone, so keeping it in airplane mode is best most of the time, with wifi on by itself). I tried the 'Pay as you go' plan before and I came home to a shocking bill (you don't realize how many texts you send, plus any 'robo texts' count against you or texts that other people send you). At least with the $10 plan, you get all the services you have at home and it only turns on if the cell tower senses that your data has been turned on (verizon will send you a text letting you know that you have 24 hours of service from that point on, for that $10). That way, you don't have to worry about how many calls or texts you get for that time period (you can then take of advantage of that time frame and text and surf away without any worries of additional costs).
    2011 [NBCC], 2014 [SunSpree Holiday Inn, GP], 2015 [Tobys, WS, Riu Club], 2016 [Tobys, WS], 2017 [WS X 3], 2018 [WS X 2, Negril Palms, WS], 2019 [Seastar/WS, CCLP, WS], 2020 [WS X 2], 2021 [WS]

  8. #8
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    Re: Cell phone - Which option is better?

    We were just at Digicel in MoBay where my wife got a Jamaica sim card for her iPhone X. She was using an old iPhone that Apple updates wouldn't support. The sim was $750J. She got to keep her old Ja number the they inserted it in the phone for her. Just pay attention to how and when to load credit.

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