There's been a few discussions about this, but none fully answer my questions so I will start a new thread...
I'm going to Aruba in a few days and looking to get a couple prepaid SIM cards to be able to comunicate with each other on the island and also to call back home. I understand that there's 2 providers in Aruba: Setar and Digicel.
What is the pricing for these cards (without phone rental)? It's difficult to locate this info online.. Digicel hides it somewhere on their site and I found it once and could never see it again. I think it was $20 US, but not sure anymore.
What about Setar, how much is their kit?
Do any of them include some credit to get started?
Do their long distance charges (for example to call Canada) have any additional charges. For example. It says on Digicel's site that calling Canada is 37 cents/min at all times, while calling a setar customer (fixed) is 84 cents (44 cents off peak). It doesn't make sense that a local call be more expensive than a call back home!
Which are easier to reload? (while on the island)
Do any have decent (or unlimited) data plans (for an iPhone)?
Do any carry micro sims (otherwise I'll just take my sim cuter)
What's the advantage of dealing with a reseller (like Arubafastphones) rather than the providers directly? Are the prices the same?
I am the person to help you!!!!
I just went through all of this in December and I am also from Canada.
For years we rented a phone and this year I decided to finally give this up and it was the best decision I ever made.
First, I purchased an inexpensive "unlocked" BB from home and took it to Aruba. At the airport I went to Digicel and paid $35 for a SIM card to activate the phone and provide me with a telephone number. It also gave me about 84 minutes of talk time. I really can't figure out how they charge for local vs. long distance minutes but it is very reasonable. To get another digicel phone card it is $14 for one hour of talk time. These cards are readily available and very simple to add on. However, the best part is the data!! We were in Aruba for three weeks so I purchased one month of unlimited data for $25. One week is $10 and two weeks is around $15 and then it jumps to one month. I also easily added my email account to the phone and it was amazing. This compared to paying $50 for 10 mg of data from my Canadian carrier and you need to take it for one month.
Now, the reason for the purchasing of the unlocked BB is that if you unlock your own BB, then you void your warranty. I bought a refurbished Rogers BB from a company. Bell Canada's older BB's do not have SIM cards in them and the newer BB have a different shape SIM card so they won't work. The unlocked BB can work the same way if you travel anywhere in the Caribbean or Europe.
When we arrived at the airport kiosk we had two BB (blackberrys) to set up. There was no line and it was relatively quick. Perhaps, the people that came after me had to wait but it wasn't an issue.
If you are going to be in Aruba on a regular basis this is a very economical way to use your phone or BB. Other than that, renting a phone is a good option. For Canadians, the options to add onto the phone are too expensive, IMO.