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Cell Phone Service?

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Cell Phone Service?

Hi everyone.. What did you guys and ladies use for cell phone service while in Jamaica? Trying to avoid outrageous charges on my cell phone bill plus I doubt my phone or tablet will even work over there anyways? Any advice would be great. Leaving in 4 days...

Warwick, Rhode...
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4,026 posts
84 reviews
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1. Re: Cell Phone Service?

Why would your tablet or phone not work? It will be very expensive unless you put in in airplane mode and use an app such as skype, whatsapp or facetime to stay in touch.

Connecticut
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9,182 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: Cell Phone Service?

Your cell phone will work just fine, just know that you will be using it in international roaming mode using one of the two Jamaican cell phone service providers: LIME or Digicel. You 'home' cell phone number can be called and connect in Jamaica and those calling you will be charged. You can make calls that will cost about $2 per minute. Be sure to activate international service with your 'home' service provider.

WhyFi is widely available at most of the Negril resorts — sometimes it is free and sometimes there is a charge — sometimes the free service is in a particular location like the resort lobby.

Personally, I want to be on vacation so I turn everything off and leave it in my room safe until I leave, but I am not important enough to have a phone/tablet glued to me.

Saskatoon, Canada
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2,935 posts
74 reviews
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3. Re: Cell Phone Service?

I bought a local LIME cell phone. $25 or less. Got mine for $999j, about $11. About $5 in credit goes a long way. 3 cents a minute to local cells or cell and landlines in US & Canada. I believe you're staying at GP? Wifi costs $15/day (I think) or $45 a week. If you have a tablet with data, you can buy a SIM card for $3 and probably $5 credit will get you a decent amount of data. SIM cards & credit can be purchased at the LIME store above ValueMaster grocery store at the roundabout downtown. Just over 1.5 km. I believe Alfred's next door has wifi, if you pop over for a drink or snack you'll get the password.

United States
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10,976 posts
114 reviews
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4. Re: Cell Phone Service?

For all of your phone options see the following

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g147309-s605/Jamaica:…

"Trying to avoid outrageous charges on my cell phone bill"

I am not certain how you define 'outrageous'. Most US cell phone companies charge about $US2 per min. to phone home. You need to call your cell phone company to see what they charge. The rate varies between companies and within a given company based on the service plan you have purchased from that company..

"I doubt my phone or tablet will even work over there anyways?"

You need to call your cell phone company to ask this question. You will need to provide them with the exact make and model of phone/tablet you have for a proper answer. Newer quad band phones have the best chance of working.

Tampa, FL
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260 posts
147 reviews
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5. Re: Cell Phone Service?

We just use it in airplane mode on wifi but have had intl roaming activated for emergencies and the like. A word of warning regarding intl roaming, last month when we stayed we decided to change hotels for a couple days and went to an AI. For some reason the wifi was down at both our hotel and margaritaville so I used roaming to book the hotel. We ended up being charged $320 just in roaming for the couple mins it took to use the expedia app on my phone.

Milwaukee, WI.
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3,148 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Cell Phone Service?

"We ended up being charged $320 just in roaming for the couple mins it took to use the expedia app on my phone."

Makes buying a Jamaican cell phone look CHEAP.

california
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404 posts
9 reviews
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7. Re: Cell Phone Service?

my service provider is Verizon and i added Int'l calling to my plan for $3.99 a month. i RARELY use the phone in Jamaica, but it's nice to have and not worry about for the small cost. Plus we like to keep in touch with out "driver" who has now become our good friend, so it's worth it to us. Maybe you could add it and cancel it later???

Edited: 01 September 2014, 23:56
14 posts
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8. Re: Cell Phone Service?

Wow thank you all for the helpful comments. Yes I'm staying at the Grand Pineapple and yes I do believe they have internet for $45 a week there.. I'll definitely use that option and I'll also probably buy a cheap phone while I'm there at the grocery store. You guys and ladies are great thanks..

San Diego...
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1,156 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Cell Phone Service?

T-Mobile gives free international data and texting as part of their simple choice plan. Calls whilst roaming cost around 20 cents a minute. I just got back from a week at SWO and was able to take and make calls as well as use data and texting services.

Houston Texas
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303 posts
3 reviews
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10. Re: Cell Phone Service?

I've been with Sprint on each of my trips and only had service after purchasing wifi at Grand Pineapple. As soonas I sstepped off the plane, it only searched. Next trip will be T-Mobile. Enjoy your trip! :-)