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Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) #273970
01/22/2022 01:59 PM
01/22/2022 01:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 83
New Hampshire
Beansbbq Offline OP
Traveler
Beansbbq  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 83
New Hampshire
Hey folks,
It's been a long time since we set foot on the friendly island. I am trying to weigh my options for my cell. We have Xfinity mobile for our carrier which uses the Verizon backbone. I am debating the global day pass option or getting a island friendly sim card to use. We are staying in the orient village and will be doing some traveling around the island. I just am unsure of coverage around the island. I'll be the only one in the fam using their cell phone. Honestly I know this can usually spark a debate, like car rentals, but I am just looking to see what other folks usually do. I searched the threads but didn't really find what I was hoping for answers. Thanks to this amazing group of people like usual!!

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Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: Beansbbq] #273972
01/22/2022 02:08 PM
01/22/2022 02:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,317
Cincinnati area
Cincinnati_Kid Offline
Traveler
Cincinnati_Kid  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,317
Cincinnati area
I was unable to get Verizon service in Sint Maarten in November, although I was billed for Travel Pass.


Paradise is an island in the Caribbean!
Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: Beansbbq] #273974
01/22/2022 02:10 PM
01/22/2022 02:10 PM
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 66
E
erb923 Offline
Traveler
erb923  Offline
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E
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 66
I use the ATT international day pass (assume the equivalent), worked fine on orient beach (literally on beach if needed). I believe my signal would drop when crossing from the French side to Dutch side as it would change from Chippie/Orange whatever else networks they have.

Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: Beansbbq] #273977
01/22/2022 02:38 PM
01/22/2022 02:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
Traveler
boucharda  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
There are a lot of opinions about this topic but you have to use what is appropriate for you. If you need to make calls on the road then using an unlocked phone with a local sim card works...or Verizon Travel Pass if there is service....at $10/day when used so it is pricey if used for a few short calls.

There is wifi calling which is free to any US phone anywhere and cheap for calls to SXM...and there is Whatsapp which some here like. I make calls/texts mostly to the USA so wifi calling works for me and the cost is zero or around a buck to make a reservation on Island. I also have Travel Pass as a backup for an emergency

What works best for you....

Last edited by boucharda; 01/22/2022 02:39 PM.
Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: Beansbbq] #273987
01/22/2022 06:13 PM
01/22/2022 06:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
Traveler
kim  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
Just back - Verizon worked fine. Husband did the 10 a day. I turned of cellular data and a few calls and texts came in. I just responded when on Wi-Fi.

Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: kim] #273988
01/22/2022 06:29 PM
01/22/2022 06:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
Traveler
boucharda  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
Ok...just for clarification....the $10/day is initiated when either you make or receive a call or text off airplane mode..one text...10 bucks....100 texts...10 bucks....so responding when on wifi is kinda pointless when you already initiated a 24 hour fee for service. Just get your money's worth and respond

Maybe I'm missing something but I NEVER take my phone off airplane mode and that would mean the $10/day plan will not initiate...wifi or not

Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: boucharda] #273991
01/22/2022 06:57 PM
01/22/2022 06:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,977
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,977
Auburn, WA
"Maybe I'm missing something but I NEVER take my phone off airplane mode and that would mean the $10/day plan will not initiate...wifi or not"
Correct

Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: boucharda] #273992
01/22/2022 07:32 PM
01/22/2022 07:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
Traveler
kim  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
Originally Posted by boucharda
Ok...just for clarification....the $10/day is initiated when either you make or receive a call or text off airplane mode..one text...10 bucks....100 texts...10 bucks....so responding when on wifi is kinda pointless when you already initiated a 24 hour fee for service. Just get your money's worth and respond

Maybe I'm missing something but I NEVER take my phone off airplane mode and that would mean the $10/day plan will not initiate...wifi or not



Yes - but If you just turn off “cellular data” you also won’t get charged. And if someone is trying to get you and it’s urgent the call will come through

Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: Beansbbq] #273994
01/22/2022 07:44 PM
01/22/2022 07:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
Traveler
boucharda  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
Sooooo...in the car...data off...airplane mode off....call will go through at no cost? If AP mode is off then you will get charged....if AP n]mode is on you will not get the call...

Explain,,,,not being critical,,just curious

Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: Beansbbq] #273996
01/22/2022 07:55 PM
01/22/2022 07:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
Traveler
kim  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
Of course there is a cost. So I wouldn’t make a call. But…..say your child at home has an issue and texts or calls. You will see that. You can either - turn on cell data and initiate the 10 a day. Or wait until on Wi-Fi to respond. We go several times a year. And still work when at our condo. So this works great. Incoming texts were five cents last I checked and 50 cents going out.

Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: Beansbbq] #274007
01/23/2022 07:19 AM
01/23/2022 07:19 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,274
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
Traveler
jazzgal  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,274
Portland, OR
For me, switching to a Chippie SIM card is the way to go, but I stay for five weeks at a time. I don't like waiting until I get somewhere that has wi-fi; I prefer to have it at all times, which is what the SIM card gives me. I don't recall what I paid for the card, but it costs me about $30 for 30 days.


[Linked Image]
Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: SXMScubaman] #274008
01/23/2022 07:19 AM
01/23/2022 07:19 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 86
East Tennessee
lhbsurf Offline
Traveler
lhbsurf  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 86
East Tennessee
I have Verizon and do as Kim said, turn off cellular data and turn off airplane mode. It does not initiate the $10 per day Travel Pass automatically. Last time I was on SXM, it charged $1.79 a minute for talking, regardless of who initiated the call. Received tests are $.05, sent texts are $.50. I also do as she does and wait until I am back at the condo for calling (using wifi calling). Depending on how urgent it is, I may respond to texts immediately or wait until I return to iMessage. There may be a difference in some plans as I recall working with them years ago to get the plan that worked best for me. I typically end up with a bill between $10-15 for 2-3 weeks. Well worth it for me to be able to communicate with kids, grand kids, and dog sitters for my geriatric dogs.

I have pretty good coverage around the island I think, but I'm not using the phone much while I'm out.


Laura
Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: jazzgal] #274009
01/23/2022 07:24 AM
01/23/2022 07:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,668
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,668
Ohio
When I got the Chippie SIM card, they varied between $20 -$35, depending on where one purchased them. Not a bad way to go at all and if you travel there regularly, it is easy to keep them activated.


J.D.
Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: Beansbbq] #274017
01/23/2022 10:26 AM
01/23/2022 10:26 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,714
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,714
Connecticut
I always keep my phone on Airplane Mode, but for some reason, I got charged the $10 when I made a call
to the French side. It was on WIFI also, like my other calls.

It took hours on the phone to get the charge off, but no one seems to know enough about it to tell you why.
Just check your bill, when you return.

It usually isn't a problem. when calling businesses on the island from our cell.
If there is no Whatsapp, I usually pay a small long distance charge.

Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: Beansbbq] #274018
01/23/2022 10:34 AM
01/23/2022 10:34 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 70
J
johndana274 Offline
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J
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 70
Have used Verizon for years as if in the states. Have never had a problem with service driving or on the beaches. I enjoy using my own phone as all the apps are there along with work email. The wife turns hers to airplane mode and has never been charged for anything. I get charged $10 a day. Work pays for it as it's used mostly for that.

Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: The_Lurker] #274039
01/23/2022 01:31 PM
01/23/2022 01:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
Traveler
boucharda  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
Originally Posted by The_Lurker
I always keep my phone on Airplane Mode, but for some reason, I got charged the $10 when I made a call
to the French side. It was on WIFI also, like my other calls.

It took hours on the phone to get the charge off, but no one seems to know enough about it to tell you why.
Just check your bill, when you return.

It usually isn't a problem. when calling businesses on the island from our cell.
If there is no Whatsapp, I usually pay a small long distance charge.


Interesting...correct. You should have had a small fee for the call not 10 bucks. To make dinner reservations it usually costs around a buck or less on wifi. The calls to (and from) US cell phones on Island (or off) are no charge as are texts

Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: Beansbbq] #274040
01/23/2022 01:46 PM
01/23/2022 01:46 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 420
Sugar Land, Tx
I
IslandBoi Offline
Traveler
IslandBoi  Offline
Traveler
I
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 420
Sugar Land, Tx
it all depends how and how much you plan on using your phone when not on Wifi…we also have Xfinity Mobile and got back a couple of weeks ago after spending almost 3 weeks between SXM and SBH…for us, since we hardly use our phones when wifi is not available, Global Travel Pass wasn’t worth it…XM’s rates without GTP aren’t that much, so we just paid the $.20-$.40/minute for the very few calls we made w/o wifi…receiving texts is free, and only $.10 to send…we always have Data Roaming off, so don’t use any mobile data…for longer calls we used Wifi Calling…our total roaming cost for the trip was $6…but obviously ymmv


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Re: Cell question (sorry I tried to find the answer) [Re: IslandBoi] #274044
01/23/2022 02:41 PM
01/23/2022 02:41 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 83
New Hampshire
Beansbbq Offline OP
Traveler
Beansbbq  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 83
New Hampshire
Thanks everybody for the insight. I know this conversation has been had numerous times on this board over the years and I know it all boils down to personal preference but hearing everyone's opinions has been super helpful. Appreciate it!!!


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