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-   -   Making phone calls (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/caribbean-panama-canal/250263-making-phone-calls.html)

Tasha August 27th, 2003 11:44 AM

Making phone calls
 
I'll be stopping in Key West, Grand Caymen, and Cozumel and was just going to bring a universal calling card to use in ports. I read on another post though that some ports have phones that won't accept these. Has anyone called the states form these particular ports using phone cards? Of course key West shouldn't be a problem because it is part of the states.


nketz September 14th, 2003 07:30 PM

Re: Making phone calls
 
My daughter has phone card from Sams. Love it here in the states. She wanted to call her boyfriend on our last cruise. She tried from Grand Caymen, Costa Maya & Cozumel & none would accept her card. She ended up paying $90 for about a 10 minute call. I had even called ahead to the phone card company & gotten island "codes" or "numbers" to use, but they did not work. She did not check when she called on a credit card from Cozumel & whatever long distance company it was really charged her! Luckily she is a saver & was able to pay me back.

In any event, I don't know the answer to your question, other than our phone card did not work at any of the above islands.

Good luck.

readytogo September 17th, 2003 12:39 PM

Re: Making phone calls
 
In Cozumel, there is a store that is for long distance calls. I don't remember what it's called but it's right on the main street, not too far up from the Punta Lagosta Pier. The store allows you to call anywhere - I called Canada for 95 cents a minute. THey give you a private room and you talk as long as you want. When you're done, you go up to the cash and they have a record of how long you were on the phone. Cost me $8.00 for about 8 minutes versus $10 a minute from the ship.

browezilla September 18th, 2003 07:51 AM

Re: Making phone calls
 
Sam's Club sells an AT&T card that is good for 3 cents/min in the US. To use it in the Caribbean, you have to call and get the access codes for that country (they give you instructions on how to do that). For W. Carib, they have access codes for Haiti and Mexico. In Haiti they charge you 24 minutes for every minute you talk ($.75/minute), Mexico is 10 min/min you talk ($.30). They have access codes for Cayman Islands, but when I asked for the rate it said that I couldn't use the card. No access codes for Jamaica. If you don't go this route, the best bet is usually to buy a phone card in the country you are in and use it to call the US. The best deal I've ever gotten like this was a card in Australia that allowed me to call home, offpeak, at 1.5 cents/min.

Joie September 19th, 2003 01:31 PM

Re: Making phone calls
 
I just bought 2 $10 cards from Walgreens that are called International cards, and on the back it shows the Bahamas at .21 per minute and Jamaica at .40 ( I think) per min...also shows Mexico. I am told that these DO work , but will know more in a few weeks when my daughter gets back from the Bahamas....she will try them there.
ANYBODY else tried these?


cruzbert September 21st, 2003 11:14 PM

Re: Re: Making phone calls
 
Browezilla have you used the Sam's Club AT&T Cards recently in Grand Cayman or Cozumel ?
Those prepaid calling cards used to be a good idea, however the last time I was able to sucessfully use one at either Grand Cayman or Cozumel was 3 years ago. As a sidenote here, we have taken a caribbean cruise each year for the past 7, and always take along the Sam's Club AT&T prepaid calling cards. But I think our luck has run out and the local island phone companies have caught on...
In October 2002 we found that the bank of public pay phones by the tourist booth at the pier in Georgetown Grand Cayman had been removed. When I did find Cable and Wireless public pay phones in Cayman, I could not get out to the AT&T network - like I had in the past.
In Cozumel, Oct. 2002, it was the same story. The AT&T cards used to work there if you found a LADATEL/TELMEX pay phone, but no more. Best bet for Cozumel is to buy a TELMEX prepaid card. You can buy one directly from TELMEX over the internet before you go.
Rate is 50 cents per minute. Check out the prepaid calling card at http://www.telmexusa.com/ - or you can buy one from almost any pharmacia in Cozumel. Many local shops sell them too.
A friend of mine just returned last week from a 4-day cruise that included Cozumel. He bought a virtual prepaid card from TELMEX's website before he left. He had no problem finding a TELMEX pay phone and their "card" worked great - actually TELMEX will email to you instructions and a PIN number. Others in his group had the AT&T prepaid cards and could not dial out. They did not stop at Grand Cayman, but the best bet there seems to be buying a Cable and Wireless prepaid card once you arrive, or to use an internet cafe or calling station. In any case, always get the rate beforehand.

At any island, I would avoid all of the pay phones near the pier that advertise "CALL HOME TO THE USA". I have heard that those rates are outrageous.

And as of Oct. 2002, there were no public phones at Costa Maya.

If anyone has any recent experience using the prepaid calling cards - (AT&T, MCI, Sprint, etc) - good or bad - PLEASE add to this thread, and we can all learn from each other.

Thanks!

Post Edited (09-22-03 22:11)

nketz September 22nd, 2003 06:29 AM

Re: Re: Re: Making phone calls
 
Cruzbert:

Thanks for the confirmation on the Sams club card - our experience was the exact same as yours on Grand Cayman & Cozumel. I didn't think we were that stupid that we just couldn't figure out how to work it on the islands. :~)

Also, thanks for all the info on how to make a call from those places. I wish (& my daughter especially wishes) we had known all that before we went. Oh well, next time we'll do better. And there's always a next time for a cruise, right?

Thanks again.

Tasha September 22nd, 2003 08:37 AM

Re: Re: Re: Making phone calls
 
Just got back from Key West, Grand Caymen, and Cozumel. The AT&T card worked in Key West but not in the other two. I think they've just rigged it so you have to buy the cards there.

Joie-- I doubt that those cards you got will work. They might in the interior of Mexico but probably not where all the tourists go. These places must make a fortune off phone calls and thats why the've fixed it so you can't use a phone card except thiers.

We ended up just sending an email from onboard ship after we left Cozumel. They do have the internet cafe in some places but the one we went to in Key West was just a small dirty cafe with two computer terminals. We chose not to use them since you couln't send pictures.


Joie September 22nd, 2003 01:00 PM

Re: Making phone calls
 
Well I hope she can use them from the Bahamas then...........they will be there Oct 6th-10th..so I'll let you know.


jsh September 23rd, 2003 04:38 PM

Re: Re: Making phone calls
 
My daughter recently came back from Nassau and she had to purchase a local phone card. AT&T told her that in Nassau only local phone cards will work.


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