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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    12

    Default First time posting.....have a question about calling home

    Hi!!
    I'm new here and will be going to CTI in Nov. My husband and I have never been out of the country and I was wondering if it's smarter to use our cell to check on the kids back home, or buy a calling card somewhere. Our cell plan says it will charge us $1.99 per minute. If any of you veterans have some advice, I'd love to hear it!!

  2. #2

    Default

    Last December, at Swept Away, we purchased a "JusTalk" calling card from one of their gift shops. I think it was US$10 for 90 minutes. The resort also charged a US$2 connection fee per call. We called home every day for a week to check up on the household for US$24 total.
    Happy & Safe Travels!

    =

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,032

    Default

    One great option os skype or if you are going to bring a laptop you can use a webcam for free.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    23

    Default

    We went to CSS in July and didn't want to pay the ridiculous charges for calling from there. If you have a laptop I recomend downloading skype and caling your kids with that. I'm not sure if CTI has wi-fi available, but at CSS we were able to connect in our room and call home every day - our 6 year old also enjoyed it becuase it was with video so we could show him our room and our view and such. The best part was - it's FREE!!!!! If you have a blackberry beware that if you have an alarm set, even if you turn your phone off, it will turn itself on and connect to the internet and you will have to pay fees for it. I learned that the hard way.

  5. #5

    Default

    I have found that my cell phone still doesn't always work properly while in JA, which could be my device, but that's another thread. We purchase the JusTalk card at the giftshop once at the resort, which ranges from about $10-20 depending on the minutes. As the other poster mentioned, it is a $2 connect fee per call which for us ends up being $2/day (we have kids at home). Our bill has never been above $30 for a week stay.
    That said, we still always call in advance to be sure our cell has international coverage particularly for use while at the airport on the way home to keep the family apprised to our schedule if possible. My cell works there sometimes, but I simply cannot get the Justalk card to work on those payphones!!

  6. #6

    Default

    Calling home can be done for free at any of the resorts. Walk down to the beach, face your home, and shout, "Hello!" If they really want to talk to you, you'll hear them. If not, go and enjoy the rest of your vacation.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  7. #7

    Default

    We have decided that instead of trying to call, we just email back and forth. The resort has a nice internet cafe, our daughter loves getting "mail" and we are able to hear all about her "vacation" with Grandma.

    Best of all, there is not cost!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    334

    Default

    We have the same concern now too. The cell rate of 1.99/min is not going to work. Glad to hear about the calling card option. There's no freakin way I'm bringing the laptop though. Its a vacation from all that. Does anyone know if you can access the internet via wi fi connections on the Blackberry though without incurring network charges if you turn off the mobile network connection?

  9. #9

    Default Ignore Fawnridge

    I am not sure why some people always think they have to tell you not to call home.... just ignore Fawnridge's comment. If you are more comfortable knowing your children are happy contact them. Use your laptop if you have one and do the skype thing. You can also use email if they are older, using the resorts computers. We tried our cell phone and it didn't work, as other people have commented sometimes they don't work.

    If all else fails, buy the card at the resort, it will be worth it if it sets your mind at ease.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,489

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha View Post
    We tried our cell phone and it didn't work, as other people have commented sometimes they don't work.
    You need to have a GSM enabled phone. Make sure to sign up for the "International" plan with your carrier, or you'll have an astronomical bill. Be prepared for the texts that will arrive on your phone as soon as you hit MBJ. You'll be roaming, and you'll be charged for them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,032

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ct ti fan View Post
    We have the same concern now too. The cell rate of 1.99/min is not going to work. Glad to hear about the calling card option. There's no freakin way I'm bringing the laptop though. Its a vacation from all that. Does anyone know if you can access the internet via wi fi connections on the Blackberry though without incurring network charges if you turn off the mobile network connection?
    As long as your phone is wifi enabled you can connect and use that for email, instant messaging, web cam or skype if it is available for your phone. They can't charge you for that since they aren't providing any sort of service for you. Make sure your network connection is off. You can pull your sim, turn off roaming, put it on airplane mode, etc.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    334

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by melody View Post
    As long as your phone is wifi enabled you can connect and use that for email, instant messaging, web cam or skype if it is available for your phone. They can't charge you for that since they aren't providing any sort of service for you. Make sure your network connection is off. You can pull your sim, turn off roaming, put it on airplane mode, etc.
    Thanks - will try and report back next week!

  13. #13

    Default

    We had a driver we used purchase us a Pay as you go Digicell phone for about $30 total and we had unlimited minutes. Purchased the international calling card. Now we have a phone for when we go back. Just need to buy a new card. It was great, plus you can give the number to home if theres an emergency.

  14. #14

    Default

    I have done both, buying a calling card and bringing my computer. And I really did prefer bringing my laptop and calling my daughter on skype. She loved it too.

    I also was able to listen to music and stuff, so I didn't mind bringing it.

    I will be at CTI next month and I will be bringing the computer again.

  15. #15

    Default

    When we went to CSA we texted when we got there,when leaving. The few texts we sent only cost a few dollars,we did go to internet cafe everyday and check in on the home front using facebook, we just set a time for everyone to be on ,chatted a few minutes and that was it,no extra costs and everyone knew what was going on..
    ARE WE THERE YET??

  16. #16

    Default

    Can you skype from the computers in the internet cafe at CTI?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,323

    Default

    No, you would need access to the CPU to attach the headset and they are locked away in cabinets. You will need your own computer to Skype.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  18. #18

    Default

    My husband and I buy one of the calling cards it is inexpensive and easy to use. We give it away at the end of our stay because we always have leftover minutes.

    Maine Girl

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    408

    Default

    I have teenagers and I text to keep in contact. Inexpensive, and I can do it anytime ( I would also send text photos of Jamaica while on vacation, just to keep the kids envious )

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