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Cell Service sailing the USVI #243451
12/27/2020 09:39 PM
12/27/2020 09:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 240
Minden, NV USA
CaptnAndy Offline OP
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CaptnAndy  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 240
Minden, NV USA
We are coming up to our first trip to the USVI, and we are wondering about cell reception and internet coverage from the anchorages near St. Thomas & St. John?

Last edited by CaptnAndy; 12/27/2020 09:44 PM.


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Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: CaptnAndy] #243462
12/28/2020 07:19 AM
12/28/2020 07:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,001
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sail445 Offline
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sail445  Offline
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Cel service is fine.
On the East end of St John’s Leinster Bay the BVI cel company will hijack your signal and charge you a few dollars per minute, either turn off roaming or get from your cel company a daily plan where they charge you a flat $10 per day fee while roaming

Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: CaptnAndy] #243463
12/28/2020 07:52 AM
12/28/2020 07:52 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 163
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FLJim Offline
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FLJim  Offline
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Pretty spotty coverage for me (T-Mobile) on east side of St John. My wife does better with AT&T, but like sail445 says, watch out for the hijacking.

Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: CaptnAndy] #243466
12/28/2020 08:43 AM
12/28/2020 08:43 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,849
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline
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Winterstale  Offline
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Bradenton, FL
I did hear that AT&T no longer services the USVI -- how does that work if that is who my carrier is? I am bit ignorant when it comes to this kind of thing - LOL - so is there a charge if my cell is picking up a different carrier?


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Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: Winterstale] #243467
12/28/2020 09:01 AM
12/28/2020 09:01 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 549
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Posts: 549
Apex, NC
Originally Posted by Winterstale
I did hear that AT&T no longer services the USVI -- how does that work if that is who my carrier is? I am bit ignorant when it comes to this kind of thing - LOL - so is there a charge if my cell is picking up a different carrier?

I don't think that's true. Was just there start of November and had AT&T service as normal. I just looked up their coverage map and it indicates "off net coverage" which I believe simply means it's not guaranteed coverage, i.e., somewhat spotty and marginal speed.
Our experience has been that AT&T works fine on STT. On STJ it is a bit more spotty.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: agrimsrud] #243470
12/28/2020 09:14 AM
12/28/2020 09:14 AM
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Posts: 3,001
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sail445 Offline
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sail445  Offline
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ATT in PR and the USVI was sold to Liberty a Central American company but the deal was they have to use the ATT network and honor all the contracts.
The service is identical to ATT.

Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: CaptnAndy] #243475
12/28/2020 10:44 AM
12/28/2020 10:44 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 68
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cyclingdoc Offline
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cyclingdoc  Offline
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Originally Posted by CaptnAndy
We are coming up to our first trip to the USVI, and we are wondering about cell reception and internet coverage from the anchorages near St. Thomas & St. John?



I have ATT. pretty decent coverage. turn off data roaming and extra charges won't be an issue if your phone auto switches to another network. with ATT we sign up for $10/day to enable our plan to transfer if we would kick over to another network and we still use it. International roaming or something like that.

st thomas no issues.

st john can be spotty in maho area leinster etc. coming around east end you may switch to BVI network. times of day with use is high it slows significantly. maho can be so spotty that it works on one mooring and not on the next mooring over.

overall I have no complaints though. if i don't get internet, then i'm on vacation.

have fun.

Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: CaptnAndy] #243485
12/28/2020 01:04 PM
12/28/2020 01:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,836
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Posts: 1,836
St. John, USVI
AT&T works in most anchorages. Sprint and T-Mobile require line of sight to St. Thomas. T-Mobile can roam to BVI. Verizon apparently has a roaming partnership, but I have no first hand experience.

Spots on St. John where AT&T won't work are those out of line of site of the Bordeaux Mountain tower - outer Coral Harbour and Eastern Leinster Bay.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: CaptnAndy] #243561
12/29/2020 08:36 AM
12/29/2020 08:36 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 567
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
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Posts: 567
Kannapolis, NC
My wife and I are on Verizon. $10 a day and had coverage on STT and STJ. Of course that was a year ago.


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Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: CaptnAndy] #243628
12/29/2020 01:12 PM
12/29/2020 01:12 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 580
BaardJ Offline
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BaardJ  Offline
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Posts: 580
We get very good coverage with Verizon throughout the USVI. No $10 international roaming fee except when your phone sniffs the BVI cell towers from the northeast shore of St John. We try to remember to turn off mobile data when we're sailing between Whistling Cay and Ram Head.

The signal can be sketchy at times in Little Lameshur Bay on the south shore of STJ. Sailing between STJ and St Croix we get a usable signal for all but the middle 8~10 miles of the 32 nm passage.

Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: CaptnAndy] #244108
01/05/2021 01:25 AM
01/05/2021 01:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 84
Tampa Bay, Florida
SonOfTheSea Offline
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SonOfTheSea  Offline
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Posts: 84
Tampa Bay, Florida
I was just in St John all last week and Verizon is very limited. Others on my boat had Sprint with decent coverage. My Verizon kept picking up on BVI towers and I’m pretty sure I will see $10/day travel pass charges for a few of my days there. Mainly eastern end areas like Maho and Francis. Safest bet is to just turn the phone off if you’re able to and enjoy your trip!

Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: CaptnAndy] #244129
01/05/2021 08:26 AM
01/05/2021 08:26 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 567
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
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Posts: 567
Kannapolis, NC
"Safest bet is to just turn the phone off if you’re able to and enjoy your trip!"

Amen to that!!


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Re: Cell Service sailing the USVI [Re: CaptnAndy] #244179
01/05/2021 11:48 AM
01/05/2021 11:48 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 504
Vail, CO
caribbeangirl13 Offline
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caribbeangirl13  Offline
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Posts: 504
Vail, CO
I can also attest that AT&T worked great for our trip. We too do the $10 a day international access for if we are on the Coral Bay side of St. John and the service switches to Lime but we actually never had to use it this trip and our phone worked just like it does at home without any extra fees.


Sue
s/v Ripple
Leopard 40

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