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Aruba Cell Phone Carriers

When I visited Aruba this past August, I wanted to have a way to be in contact with family and work by phone, but I didn’t relish spending the bucks on my U.S. carrier’s international plan. It would have cost me a few dollars a minute, plus an upfront fee of $60.  I wasn’t interested in a data plan, since I didn’t want to be in constant contact with my office by e-mail.  I wanted to be available for major events and emergencies, but not much else. My longstanding compromise had always been checking e-mails once a day at the nearby internet lounge.

My solution:  I did a little investigating and got my own 14 day Aruba cell plan through Digicel.  Setar and Digicel are the two Aruba cell phone providers. I only selected Digicel because I spotted its store first. The plan was inexpensive and perfect for my needs. I paid I believe around $20 for the sim card, and I paid a reasonable fee for some pre-paid minutes. Rates to the U.S. were 35 cents a minute. Incoming calls were free. One caveat: you must recharge by adding minutes to your sim card once a year while on the island, or you will lose your Aruba phone number. You must then pay about $50 to get a new one issued.

You can also purchase an Aruba cell phone on the island if you want to invest a little more money, but you still must add minutes within the year or lose your phone number.

Prior to my trip I unlocked my old Blackberry Storm. You need a global unlocked phone to install a new sim card.  If you don’t have one, they’ll rent you a phone for your time on the island for a reasonable fee.

Keep in mind that if you want your back home cell phone experience, including e-mail, texting, web surfing, you will probably be better off sticking with your U.S. carrier’s international plans. But, you will pay a premium for this luxury.

Besides, you’re in Paradise.  How connected to your real life do you want to be?

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