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Rent or Buy: Cell Phone for France Barge Trip

Rent or Buy: Cell Phone for France Barge Trip

Old Sep 8th, 2001, 10:00 AM
  #1  
DC
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Rent or Buy: Cell Phone for France Barge Trip

Anyone have experience as to the best option in staying connected to the US while traveling in France. Incoming potential emergency calls are my #1 priority. I can use phone cards to call home. We'll be in Paris but then on a Barge on the Rhone. Will phones work in more remote areas? Can you get voice mail?.... Help. I am clueless on this international phone stuff.
 
Old Sep 8th, 2001, 12:17 PM
  #2  
pam
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I was 'formerly" clueless but did some research when travelling to Europe this past summer.
I used at&t. They sent me a good nokia which worked absolutely everywhere.
When I had some difficulties with it one night (don't really think it was THEIR fault, I phoned them and they totally deducted the cost of the phone for the week. Really unreal.
I would use them again in a heartbeat.
Go to their website and go to the international area. You can order online or by phone. They send it to you before you leave with all kinds of adaptors and information.
Have a great trip!
 
Old Sep 9th, 2001, 07:28 AM
  #3  
Dick
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Why in the world will you need a cell phone on a barge on the Rhone? If you get an emergency call, what are you going to do, swim to shore?

Can't you just wait until you get back to your hotel and see if there are any messages? This solves the problem and also doesn't offend the rest of the people around you with a ringing cell phone and ensuing loud converstation that is soooooooooooo typical.

Dick
 
Old Sep 9th, 2001, 07:46 AM
  #4  
xxx
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Umm...Dick, I think DC may be referring to a week-long private barge trip on the Rhone, implying that he will have no hotel to return to. He indicated that he may have a potential emergency situation with which he needs to be available by phone, a very valid question IMHO.

Sorry, DC, that I can't respond to your request, but someone on this board surely will give you the information.

Bon voyage
 
Old Sep 10th, 2001, 06:44 AM
  #5  
Betty
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Hi. DC. I did a lot of research on this topic last fall prior to my trip to France. My concern was to keep in touch with the others in my group while we traveled across country in 3 cars. (I think "caravaning" is dangerous, even here.) I'm sure you have very good reasons for not wanting to be out of touch.
A lot depends on how long you will be gone. The least expensive rentals I could find were about $5 a day, which isn't bad if you're only going to be there a couple of weeks. Any longer, it's more cost effective to buy a Mobicarte phone. I paid 490 FF for mine, about $70. They are referred to as "kits" or "coffrets" or "packs" (not sure if there are differences between these.) They come with about an hour of talk time (only used when you place the call, I believe.) They can be bought all over France, I suspect even at the airports in Paris. If you do run out of time you can get refill cards in most "tabacs". Look for a France Telecom store or any one that displays an Itineris logo (or now perhaps Orange.) If you don't speak good French have the clerk in the store set it up for you and write down the number which you can then send to your folks at home. Calling home on this phone would use up your card very quickly. If you do decide to buy rather than rent and don't want to keep the phone after you get home, I might be interested in buying it from you at a reduced price. I lost my phone on the last day I was in Europe! I couldn't convince the others in my group to buy one, so we didn't use it on the road but it came in handy when we were in two houses and one had a phone that could be used only to receive calls. I may have need of that again. If you like you can e-mail me at the above address. Hope you have a great trip and please post a report about your barging experience when you get back.
 
Old Sep 10th, 2001, 06:51 AM
  #6  
Betty
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I forgot to say that, just as in US, you sometimes find yourself in area where there is a "hole" in the network and your phone doesn't work. But they usually work when you are near an autoroute and since the Rhone pretty much follows the autoroute south (or vice-versa, I guess) you shouldn't have a problem. Anyway, since you will be on the move most of the time, if you should happen upon a hole in the network, you would soon be out of it.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 11:51 PM
  #7  
Barry
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I rented a phone on our barge trip on the Seine last year and it still handled email and worked quite well. I just bought a Nextel International phone that I used in Russia, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Estonia and Sweden and it worked fantastically. The phone is pretty inexpensive and the rates for International are reasonable for a remote cell phone ($1.99 incoming, $2.99 outgoing)

For me it was great, though others may either not want to buy an international phone, or balk at the costs. In an emergencey and with text paging from a computer and voicemail, it's great.
 

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