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  1. #1

    Default Cell Shop close to resort?

    I have an unlocked GSM phone that I want to purchase a Jamaica sim card for once I get there. Does anyone know if there are any cellular shops close to the resort? Thanks!

  2. #2

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    You'll need to get a digicel sim card at a digicel store. Digicel minutes are sold everywhere but for the sim card you need to go to the store.
    Not sure which resort your going to so I'll give you info on both Negril and Ocho Rios.
    In Negril the digicel store is at the roundabout.If your not familiar with Negril the roundabout is kind of the town center, its between the beach and cliffs.If remember correctly its on the second floor of the Coral Seas Plaza. If your staying at CSA and like to walk its a walkable distance..but it would be a long walk It just a short taxi ride.

    If your going to one of the Ocho Rios resorts the digicel store is in the town center. You'd definately have to take a cab there. Just tell the taxi driver you want to to go the digicel store near the golden crust bakery(i think that was the name)

    Oh.. and be sure to bring ID along. We needed a new sim card for our digicel phone when we were at CSS this past December. Showed up at the store without id... had to go back to the hotel to get it. I'm not sure if that's something new or not. We got our digicel phone and a sim card in Negril a few years ago and don't remember having to have id. Sim cards and international minutes are relatively cheap. I think we got our sim card and 1000 international minutes for around $25us.

  3. #3

    Default help me understand how this works...

    ok so what's the skinny here. Is there a kind of phone i can get to keep up with the fam back home? Help me understand what you guys are talking about.
    I'd LOVE to be able to get a phone (weather disposable cell or whatever) and keep up with the kids back home. Just to make check-in calls.
    I'm weighing options. Am willing to bring the laptop but don't think i need to to keep e-mail tabs on the fam. I know the resort has puters but i might need mine anyway to offload video media. Would rather pre-pay international phone card and make calls. Seems like that's what you are talking about.
    Please help me understand.
    Thanks!!!

  4. #4

    Default

    Drinkuth~ You may be able to just take the sim card out of your current cell phone and replace it with a digcel one, they'll put the card in and load international minutes onto it right there in the digicel store. All depends on what kind of phone you have.Or, you can buy a cheap phone there and they'll put in the sim card and load the minutes into it.Thats what we did. We keep that phone packed with our vacation things and just get a new sim card and prepaid international minutes(good for 30 days) when we get there. We found having a digicel phone to be really economical and convenient. Also, if we were to top off our phone every month or so(add minutes to it online) our sim card would stay activated and we wouldn't need to buy a new one each trip, but we never seem to remember to do that. Be glad to try to answer any specific questions you may have.

  5. #5

    Default

    mshell, thank you so much for the info -- we'll be at CTI. Drinkuth, GSM phones are definitely the way to go. I bought a one in London last year to make calls to the US -- the phone and sim card loaded with $20 was only $50. As long as the phone is unlocked GSM, all you need to do is purchase a sim card like mshell explained. You can buy the unlocked phones on ebay if you don't want to wait until you get to the resort, but you will still need to buy a sim card. We're taking our laptop as well, to Skype when available, but I always rest easier when I have a phone for emergencies (my husband's mother isn't well, and I like to keep tabs on my daughter in case she burns the house down). If you get one of these phones (and sim card with minutes loaded), incoming calls are FREE, and calls to the US are .01-.05/minute -- well worth the money in my opinion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    140

    Default

    Alot of carriers will turn on your phone to call internationally for a really nominal fee while on vacation. For instance I have a blackberry and when we added the international plan it costs me like $10.00 Then I can e-mail or txt my kids for free.

  7. #7

    Default

    ok, I carry an iPhone. I don't wanna go messing with my sim card. That phone has all my business life on it. Could I go to wal-mart and buy a tracfone and yank the sim card out of it and pack it (plus charger) in my suitcase? Those little phones are like 20 bucks. It really would be for like a 5 minute conversation each day to keep tabs on the kids. (And to have the kids keep tabs on their grandparents for that matter). Then just grab a cab and get a digicel sim and some minutes once we get there? That sounds like an awesome plan. Then I could work out leaving the laptop at home. Am I thinking correctly about this?
    Also seems a good idea to phone AT&T and see if they could open up int'l usage for me for the dates of my vacation ...Just to see which option is cheaper.

  8. #8

    Default

    I just found this online...

    "You will need to have an unlocked GSM phone capable of operating in the 900 and 1800 MHz GSM bands"

    OK it went and got complicated again.

    Eh... I'm sure the kids are fine. There's always e-mail.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    308

    Default

    I think the issue, even with Tracfone, is that the phones are likely "locked."

  10. #10

    Default

    Drinkuth, for uncomplicated measures, websites like www.mrsimcard.com will sell you a cellular package with an unlocked phone and digicel jamiaca sim card for $69.99, and then you can use the phone for other trips as well. My friend used their iPhone a couple years ago in Jamaica to talk to their kids, and it ended up costing almost $60. I wish cell phones were more reasonable to use outside of the U.S. My carrier, Verizon, charges $1.99/per minute to call OR receive calls.
    But you're right, I'm sure the kids will be fine!! :-)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,020

    Default

    I've talked to someone who asked Elvis to get him a SIMcard with some time on it... at the end of his vacation, he give the card back to Elvis so he can utilize the unused time.

    I'm quite sure that Elvis goes to the Digicel place at the roundabout in Negril.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  12. #12

    Default

    Drinkuth~ If you decide that having a digicel phone is something you want to do, don't worry about getting a phone before you get to Jamaica. You have to go to the digicel store anyway for the sim card, just pick up a phone there. We got a nice little nokia for about $30. Our total bill for phone, sim card, 1000 international minutes, 200 local minutes was a little over $50. Now.. that was a few years ago but I"m sure you can still get a decent price on a phone there.

  13. #13

    Default

    you need something jus see Elvis pon da beach

  14. #14

    Default

    Drinkuth,
    Do you need to be reachable? Call your cell phone company and see if you can add a roaming package for Jamaica.
    But if you only want to be able to call home occasionally to check in, your Iphone will connect to the wireless network at Couples. Go to the Apple app store and download the mobile version of Skype. Create an account with Skype and put $10 in your account. With Skype on an Iphone, you can call practically anywhere in the world from anywhere in the world for 4 cents per minute. The only catch is that you have to use an internet connection.
    I used my Iphone at CN in December and called home for pennies!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    232

    Default Tracfone not a good option

    Hi -

    I have a Tracfone, and I can't get any service outside the United States. It says so on their website somewhere, and it's true.

    I tried signing up for the International plan there, and it's just receiving calls outside the US, not making them.

    I've tried in Mexico and Jamaica, and get the same results... No service...

    Beergirl

  16. #16

    Default

    Yeah Beergirl, I read that on the Tracfone site also. Seems like you should be able to unlock the darn thing somehow tho. At any rate, Jamerinadians has a great idea. Mobile Skype. I've not tried it but seems like an easy enough thing to do. I had a feeling there was an app for that. Thanks! I'll still go look for Elvis on the beach as recommended. I'll just give him a hi-five.

  17. #17

    Default

    If anyone is still needing a Jamaica Sim Card, there is a vendor on ebay that is selling Claro sim cards for Jamaica right now for only $10, free postage.

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