Cellphone service question
I read this board and got some info and also tried to google for an answer but....... I stil have questions.
I have Verizon service stateside and we're relocating to a liveaboard boat somewhere between Red Hook STT and Cruz Bay SJ
and was hoping to keep our service and cell numbers.
Will Verizon do the trick at least until the darn contract ends?
Are stateside calls from the islands considered US calls or long distance?
Will I be able to keep my phone numbers even if I haver to switch to another carrier like Cingular/ATT?
If I keep my numbers will folks here even dial a strange 781-XXX-XXXX number?
Thanks in advance
You will likely have to switch to AT&T or Sprint. You should not decide until your living arrangements are squared away and you can ask your "neighbors" which service works best in that area. You can often get out of a contract if the service is unavailable where you move, but you will need to talk to Verizon about that. People who have VoIP or a land line have to pay toll charges when they call outside the local area code, so they may not call a 781 area code.
Thank you very much dntw8up for the quick and excellent responses.
I'll have some fun telling Verizon that they shouldn't hold me to the contract because they don't cover this area.
I imagine they don't hear that very much in the continental US.
Out of curiousity if you know .... how long does it take for a new comer to gain the confidence with the locals at the local timeshares and hotels for referrals for things like boat charters etc..... ? I am hoping I could at leat get their overflow initially?
The economy has taken its toll on tourism, so I doubt there will be any overflow to refer this upcoming season, but you can knock on doors and offer in case things pick up unexpectedly. Good Luck!
I'm sorry I didn't see the updated response. I'm a pretty good door knocker and from what I could see there are around 50 Timeshare and Hotels on the two islands that should keep my knuckles busy knocking.
From what I've read the tourism has dropped somewhere between 25-30%.
I suppose the strongest start ups survive the worst economies.
I very much want to be a new neighbor.
Jay: You say you are going to be living aboard between Red Hook and Cruz Bay. You are going to need to do some research with DPNR about where you might be able to get a mooring. Are you planning to charter your own boat? You are going to need some licenses/certifications/inspections. Have you spoken to anyone at VI Charter Yacht League? Verizon isn't a provider here, so sevrice is at a premium with roaming, etc. Also on a boat, you'll have to be careful that the BVI service doesn't take you over, even with AT&T or Sprint. Some people in the charter business have both US and BVI phone service. $$$
Where did you get the 50 time share and hotel number? I think that is quite high. These are pretty small islands, not a lot of hotel rooms, and I can only think of 5-6 time shares off the top of my head.
I came up with
On St John 29 Hotel/Gusethouse/bed and breakfasts including campground albeit most are very small and unfortunately just the Westin timeshare.
On STT 11 Timeshares and 9 hotels once again most of the hotels were small.
I was quite surprised I thought STT would have had much more.
I read about the cellphone roaming picking up BVI towers and from what I read you have to notify the provider to not allow BVI signal pickup which seems improbable that they will do this for me.
I've started researching the certifications/licenses/inspections and will have to take the Captain's license test but fortunately have been boating for several years albeit smaller vessels then what I'm considering now. I'll certainly need to brushup on my Marine knowledge.
Its of course a huge step from recreational boating in New England.
I really appreciate your advice in regards to DPNR and VI Charter Yacht League.
Are you doing charters there also currently?
A lot of people decide, after a short time, that it's just not worth it to charter for themselves. If you are planning to charter your live-aboard, you will need to keep it ship-shape all the time, personal items and valuables tucked away somewhere safe. People will go below with sandy feet and wet towels. They will spill drinks and get sick. If you are planning to go over into the BVI, there is another whole set of issues to consider. Your food and beverage costs will be high too. If you haven't already done so, consider our grocery prices. The booze is cheap, but not the beer and wine or food. Add in the stress of starting a new business in the VI (not always easy), marketing, Insurance, physical wear and tear on your boat, inspections, etc., etc., etc.!, and you may find it not only more lucrative, but way more relaxing and enjoyable, to captain someone else's boat.
Whatever you decide, good luck.
Jay: No, I don't do charters, but know people who do. I am still skeptical about your list. For example, when I look in the phone book I count 25 listings under hotels on St Thomas. Some I have never heard of, some I know are just a few rooms, some I know are closed. Maybe 10-11 (including time share) are large enough to have a good number of guests. Many of the large hotels have their own boats. I have seen boaties at Latitude 18 trying to pick up a day charter here and there, but I don't know how much success they have. You should fly down and check out this idea before you invest.
Thank You for the advice. I've been to both islands several times and the cost of food is extremely high and the selection of everything else is quite limited. I'm at a point up here in New England where the cost of living is exorbitant the job market like there is also non existent and a liveaboard in the USVI seems very appealing. I have been considering getting my Captain's license here and starting as a mate on a local vessel there to get a feel of things and the waters there and to make ends meet initially. In that case I'd be perfectly content to sell or give away most of my possesions/headaches here just to wake up every morning and have a cup of coffee on my own boat's bow and be able to look out and see what you folks get to see every day clean clear blue water and vegetation that doesn't hide from September through April each year under a foot or two of snow and slush. I imagine I'll reconsider as I'm riding out a hurricane in St John's hurricane hole but I'm a pretty tough old fool and will put those proverbial rose colored glasses back on.
Like the old saying goes the grass is always greener.
Thank You again for your input it is appreciated.
Hi East Ender:
I'd be happy to scratch some of these off my list if they folded up tent. Please do let me know if you know.
I've been considering making a weeklong trip in advance to knock on doors at these places to see if I could entice them to send some of their happy tourists my way. I'm just assuming the folks that are already doing charters and ferry trips to BVI will have a stranglehold and I might be able to get a few scraps to scrape by on.
Here's that list
St Thomas Timeshares 11
Ritz Carlton Club
Bluebeard Beach Club
Magens Bay Villa Club
Marriott Frenchman’s Cove
Elysian Beach Resort
The Bay Club
Club Villa Azul
Magens Point Resort
Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort
Sapphire Beach Resort
St Thomas Hotels/Villas/Resorts 9
Bolongo Bay Beach Club and Villas
Best Western Emerald Beach Resort
Best Western Carib Beach Resort
Secret Harbour Beach and Villas
Point Pleasant Resort
Pavilions and Pools
Crystal Cove Beach Resort
Anchorage Beach Resort
😛 Jay : If you are looking to make your floating home subsidise your income, you will need an OUPV license from the USCG . While I'm told everybody has one, it might be better to have a Masters with a near coastal international designation. Unless your baot is an inspected vessel you can't take more than 6 at a time. I'm moving in October to STT and I will hold a tonage license I've had for years. jmoncad1
I just spent the last 30 minutes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Coast_Guard_Charter_Boat_Captai n's_license
and in about ten other pages trying to grasp how very much this involves. It's a rude awakening. I'm a Field Service Engineer by trade and from the looks of this information I'm going to have to go back to school and start all over just to get the six pack license. Darn I'll have to take a look at the Mass Maritime for some courses. Maybe when I'm done I'll touch base with you on STT and we'll toss down a few beers? Thanks for the useful but intimidating info. Jay
Jay : Go to the internet and type in " 46-cfr" hit enter and you will find everything you always wanted to know about licensing.. Its called Shipping. Part 10 tells all !!!!!! Look at 46-cfr part 10.467. Jim
I certainly will.
Okie, dokie Jay... The Ritz is NOT time share! It is "fractional ownership!" LOL 😛 I have no idea about Villa Azul and The Bay Club, never heard of them. 5-6 of your time share list have their own watersports concessionnaires. At least 5 of the hotels are condo groups that may only have a handful of tourist rooms. And as I said, several also already have agreements with day boats or have their own. I just want you to carefully research, if this is your chosen path, Grasshopper.;)