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Cell phone

boston
Level Contributor
32 posts
2 reviews
Cell phone

What is the best approach to be able to use an iPhone for local phone calls and emergency calls to US and texting in St. Lucia? I have Verizon service. Does one buy a Sim card? I don't need data as I will use Wi-Fi where I am staying.

Sanbornton, New...
Level Contributor
89 posts
43 reviews
12 helpful votes
1. Re: Cell phone

I don't have Verizon however I had service with AT&T when we arrived. I shut it off as soon as we got there to avoid roaming charges and found making calls on wifi in the hotel was more than adequate. Obviously googling things and texting over WIFI or I message worked fine as well.

Castries, St. Lucia
Level Contributor
289 posts
9 reviews
14 helpful votes
2. Re: Cell phone

If your Iphone is unlocked then you can simply buy a local sim for XCD$10.00 which automatically has a credit of XCD$10.00. We have two companies Digicel and LIME that you can purchase sim cards for. You can also look into the rates your company charges for roaming.

boston
Level Contributor
32 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: Cell phone

Thank you! Will get a sim card as I have done in other countries and also use wifi

Peaks Island, Maine
Level Contributor
2,158 posts
27 reviews
37 helpful votes
4. Re: Cell phone

Verizon is basically useless on the island although we've found that we can often text back to the U.S. If the receiving phone also uses Verizon. I can also receive texts. Cost is free.

We find Digicel works best for us. A local SIM card in your iPhone is a good way to go but you have to pay for all your time and calls back home eat up a lot of dough! I just put $40 ec on my phone and had to make a call back home and now I'm out of cash again. A better way to go is to check with Digicel because they usually have a little package plan where you pay a little up front and you can make calls back home much cheaper.

The most cost effective way to go is to use the What's Up app. All you need is wifi and you're good to go. No need to hand over a lot of cash to the island mobile companies. It's definitely the choice of the locals especially the younger guys.

NJ
Level Contributor
262 posts
18 reviews
24 helpful votes
5. Re: Cell phone

Is the whatsapp only good if the number your calling also has whatsapp?

Sanbornton, New...
Level Contributor
89 posts
43 reviews
12 helpful votes
6. Re: Cell phone

Yes that is correct.. If they do not have the app they will not recieve the message

Peaks Island, Maine
Level Contributor
2,158 posts
27 reviews
37 helpful votes
7. Re: Cell phone

Whatsapp is a messaging service that you can use to text and make voice calls. It basically sends data (and voice) across the Internet instead of using cellular communication. You just need a wifi connection to use it. The phone you are using must be running the app as well as the phone you are communicating to.

When you run the app on your iPhone the app will tell you which contacts in your contact list are running the app. If a particular contact isn't running the app you can easily send them an invitation.

If you plan on using the app make sure you set it up on your phone before you travel otherwise you might not be able to set it up. It's really easy to use and set up.

Level Contributor
707 posts
4 reviews
8. Re: Cell phone

You can call Verizon and add an international package. It may cost around $40 and includes a certain number of free minutes and data. You would be connecting to the LIME network.

Whatapp is also a good option.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
8 posts
61 reviews
42 helpful votes
9. Re: Cell phone

All of the above is true. I personally like the Viber app for calling and texting (only usable if on WIFI). People in the USA must also be on Viber if you want to call them. It's kind of like VOIP.

We are in St. Lucia now and I have a wife, three kids (age 20, 18 15) and I have rented a vehicle. I have gotten along fine with not being able to call or text them if they're out. We did let the kids go out on their own one evening. There is plenty of WIFI spots in restaurants and bars where they can iMessage me for free. But most of the time, we are having fun together and not getting separated.

Furthermore, the St. Lucian people are very nice. When we arrived at the airport and our rental car person was not present, a man working at the airport called on his cell phone on my behalf. If you needed to make a local call in an emergency, I am sure someone would lend you the use of their phone.

So, before you purchase a SIM card and go through the trouble, you may want to wait a couple of days and get the "lay of the land" to see if you really need it.

I did the same research prior to travel and have Verizon as well. They offer an international plan, but it's expensive and has very little data or minutes.

Best wishes and safe travels.

boston
Level Contributor
32 posts
2 reviews
10. Re: Cell phone

Thank you! The plan is Whats app and Wifi! and looking forward to a nice week in St Lucia!