temporary phones in quayaquil?

I've never had luck with my smart phone overseas. I don't plan to take it and will communicate with home via the available computers. Any tips in case I need to contact the Tauck rep or the hotel upon arrival. I've been told that temp phones might be available in the airport that work locally I've never been stranded by Tauck and can't imagine that would happen. I'd just like to have a Plan B and a way to call the emergency numbers we're provided in our guidebook.


  • It's ten years since I was there but will be taking this tour in a couple of weeks so I can let you know the current situation then. But have you spoken to your cell phone provider about a plan for travel abroad? Most modern cell phones should work. But--- unless things have changed, I am not sure we will have cell phone service on the boat. If you are going to be delayed, you will know that before you leave the US,so you can call the emergency Tauck number from there with no problem, most people fly to Miami and on from there. Also, if by some slim chance there is no one to pick you up at the airport, it will only be a short taxi ride to the hotel. Worse case scenario, you can get help to contact the hotel at the airport. Your tour guide might not be at the hotel or in the country when you arrive, and we have never known who our guide will be on any of the tours so would not have their number. I would not leave my cell phone at home, but have it with me for calls to and from the airport and anything else while in transit during the US part of the travel. I will wait to see if there is wifi on the boat so I can use my iPad on the boat but otherwise will assume I cannot rely on the internet, I don't want to be in a line of forty other people trying to use the boat computers.
  • edited November 2017
    Additional advice:

    As British suggested, check your cell provider and, if you think you'll make a lot of calls, buy an international plan for the duration. However, some providers (AT&T for us) allow you to register for ala carte international service. So instead of paying a fee and then a lower per minute rate, you just pay the higher rate for the minutes used. It was on the order of $1-1.50/minute. Going this route allows people to call you...our friends and family understand its for emergency contact only.

    For this trip, we had free wireless internet everywhere (hotels and ship) we stayed. So every night or all day on the ship, we used Skype for voice calls (very low band-width needed...much less than any kind of browsing that most will be doing). You can call anywhere in the world for just a local connection charge (where the internet VOIP call connects to the local phone company). It's 2.9 cents (yes, cents) per minute to a US phone. Free if you are connecting to another on-line Skype user. My 97-year old mother-in-law has no clue how this works. She just knows that her regular phone rings and we are talking to her from somewhere far away. There is no cost for the app and it behaves pretty much exactly like the cell phone app on your smart phone. I buy time (it has to be prepaid...you can use PayPal) $5 at a time since that's good for nearly three hours of phone time.
  • Thanks folks for the quick replies. It sounds like there is unlikely to be phone service on the ship. My phone service is Verizon, which is great in the US, but not overseas. When I went to Italy recently, I rented an international phone from Verizon with the correct type of chip for Italy. It didn't work at all. I called Verizon help from the hotel and Tier I couldn't figure out how to make it work either. I declined being kicked to 'Tier 2' because I wasn't sure what the hotel call was costing. I'm fed up with trying Verizon outside the US. I'd like to rent or purchase a temp phone for Ecuador, but don't know that that is possible stateside. Good point that I might want a basic phone to make calls from the Miami airport if needed.

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