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Banks and Exchange Services
Local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$). US$1 is worth approximately EC$2.70. American dollars are readily accepted, although you usually receive change in EC$. If you decide to change money, you will get a slightly better exchange rate if you change your money in a bank than at your hotel (the exchange is sometimes rounded down to EC$2.50 in simpler transactions). Major credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs (dispensing EC$) are available at the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montserrat.
220 volts, 50 to 60 cycles, but most lodgings also use 110 volts, permitting use of small North American appliances such as electric shavers. Outlets may be either two- or three-pronged, so bring an adapter.
Ambulance (411 or 664/491-2802.)
Glendon Hospital (St. John's. 664/491-2552 or 664/491-7404.)
Airmail letters to North America and the United Kingdom cost EC$2.50; postcards, EC$2.25. The main post office is in the Government Headquarters in Brades. Note that there are no postal codes; when addressing letters to the island, you need only indicate the address and "Montserrat, West Indies."
All visitors need a valid passport. All visitors must present a return or ongoing ticket.
To place a local call, simply dial the local seven-digit number. To call Montserrat from the United States, dial 1 + 664 + the local seven-digit number. To call the United States and Canada, dial 1 + the area code + the seven-digit number. LIME phone cards are available at most hotels and post offices if you want to make an international call. LIME provides the island's cell-phone service.
Taxes and Service Charges
The departure-airport-security tax is $21—cash only. Day-trippers from Antigua spending less than 24 hours on Montserrat pay only an EC$10 "security charge" and no departure tax on Antigua. Hotels collect a 10% government room tax, guesthouses and villas 7%. Hotels and restaurants also usually add a 10% service charge to your bill.
In restaurants, it's customary to leave 5% beyond the regular service charge added to your bill if you're pleased with the service. Taxi drivers expect a 10% tip; porters and bellmen, about $1 per bag; maids are not often tipped, but if you do, leave $2 to $3 per night.
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