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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default Best options for calling home from CSA (not using Skype)

    Hi,

    We want to be able to call home (U.S.) from CSA and would prefer not to use our cell phone. We can't use skype so is our best option to use a calling card? Do they still sell them in the gift shop?

    Any recommendations for calling home would be great.

    Thanks,
    Karen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,355

    Default

    I think the phone in the room is about a buck a minute. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

    Default

    Yeah, I was not impressed with skype from CSA last year anyway. We wound up purchasing a 'JusTalk' card from the gift shop as we have done on all our previous stays at CSA. They are not out on display, so you will have to ask for them at the counter. The clerk will be happy to explain how to use them, very simple by the way. They are a very inexpensive way to call back home and we have always recommended them. Cell phone service out of the country can be quite expensive and DO NOT use a credit card to make calls back to the States. Credit card calls are super expensive and you won't know it till you get back home and get your credit card statement. Likewise collect calls are very expensive. Stick to the JusTalk cards, about 15 cents per minute last year for us, prices may vary a bit from year to year.
    See you at the beach!
    dirtleg & sandyfoot

  4. #4

    Default

    We plan on using the wifi and our smart phones and using the face time app.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    571

    Default

    My experience at CN is that the room phones can be a bit sketchy. Calls to the front desk are hard to hear, so I can only imagine an international call could be worse.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    195

    Default

    Go to a Digicell store and just buy a Jamaican cell phone. For around $45US your can get a cheap phone with all the minutes you'll ever need for your vacation. You can bring it back and recharge it for less than $10 on your next trip.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    708

    Default

    We always just use the room phone at CN for $1 per minute .... One poster mentioned that calls to the front desk are hard to hear & that is true but we've never had any problems with the reception when we've call the states .... My 88 year old Dad is really hard of hearing but he can hear me fine & I can hear him fine. I only make short calls so the price doesn't amount to much for us.
    Julie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Thanks Everyone! We'll stop by the gift shop to get the calling cards.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    242

    Default

    At CSA last week and saw the calling cards.
    We purchased years prior and they were very low cost. Something like $10 for an hour. We only used a few minutes so passed it on to someone else when we left.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Is it the same price for a local call? We have a credit with Chuka Tours and have to contact them after we arrive.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    434

    Default

    I use Skype Mobile from my iphone to make voice calls at about 6 cents per minute. It worked great the last few visits to CSA. At CN a few years ago, wifi was unstable and down more than up.

  12. #12

    Default

    We get a subscription to magic jack and download the app on our cell phone. $20/year for subscription and then doesn't cost anymore to call as often as you want home. You don't have to worry about minutes or additional cost. Then we just use magicjack as our home phone while home.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    514

    Default

    when our kids were little and cell phones did not work in Ja we would have the kids call us each night at a determined time (7:00) when it was dark. You could get land line phone plans from US to Ja for about .06 per minute and you just direct dialed the front desk and asked for a room#

    now we use facetime and our Verizon phone, outbound texts are really cheap and I believe that inbound texts are .50

    Make sure that you turn off "data" on your cell phone our you will have a huge bill when you return.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    51

    Default

    We downloaded an app for our iPad called Voxer. We had family also download it for when we were gone. You are able to voice messages thru it and send text to the person. It worked out great for my nieces to communicate with their parents we were traveling with. We had the iPad down by the sports desk one afternoon so my nieces got to vox with a few of the staff members. It was an awesome experience!

  15. #15

    Default

    You can also download the app magic jack it allows you to use you apple device (iPod, ipad, iPhone) as a phone where you can call out and receive calls using wifi. I've seen a bunch of reviews for it on travel sites so it's worth checking out. We spent over $300 on all these international calling plans and when we landed our phones wouldn't work and our carrier wouldn't refund the money once we got back.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    470

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by usmc7236 View Post
    Go to a Digicell store and just buy a Jamaican cell phone. For around $45US your can get a cheap phone with all the minutes you'll ever need for your vacation. You can bring it back and recharge it for less than $10 on your next trip.
    I was staying out of this due to the complexity involved, but you had to mention it usmc7236...

    Personally, we have a cheap quad band GSM phone we take whenever we leave the good ole USA. We then buy a local pre paid SIM card wherever we go. In Jamaica, our SIM provider of choice is LIME. The first day, I change some cash and walk all the way down to the Lime store at the traffic circle to buy and activate a SIM card. it costs me like three bucks. ($300J) and it comes with $100J of credit It's about $6J a minute to call the states which is about 7 cents a minute. Pretty sure the store across from CSA sells top up cards at $150J. ( About $1.50).

    It will be much cheaper for you to call the US than for the US to call you. We always tell everyone to let it ring three times and we will call back. For us though, sometimes it takes a while, as we don't carry the phone around all day.

    We also use it a lot locally to set up excursions and some taxi rides. We go off resort a lot though.

    Really important point to remember. They will need to make a copy of either your license or passport when you activate a SIM in Jamaica, so make sure you have one or the other with you when you go to buy a SIM card or a cell phone.

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