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  #1  
Old April 6th, 2015, 09:19 PM
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Tampa to Cancun Ferry

Trailing on my Guatemala thread, I'll post updates as receive them on this thread, so go ahead and subscribe if you want to be in the know.

In summary, this ferry is business venture underway that is a 2nd attempt to offer car and passenger service between Tampa, FL and Cancun, Mexico. So for East Coast overlanders and vacationers, this means you can drive your vehicle to Tampa, FL, get on a ferry with your own cabin and dining included, 30 hours later arrive in Cancun and drive off. Then Southern Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica and Guatemala are all an easy drive without the need to drive all the way over to Texas and then through border towns of Northern Mexico.

I'm on the ferry service updates mailing list. Since my last post, I missed some updates, so here they are:

Tampa to Cancun Area Ferry Service Coming in October 2014? | Enjoy Cozumel's Blog

A few different Mexico and US newspapers are reporting this week that a Tampa, FL to the Cancun area ferry service is slated to be operational in the second half of 2012 early summer 2014 October 2014 (updated 3/6/14). According to Bruce Nierenberg, the CEO of United Caribbean Lines, the ferry service would be similar to services between ports in the Mediterranean, and would carry approximately 1,000 to 2,000 passengers and 500 vehicles.

Nierenberg expects to run two round trips weekly to Tampa, with a cost of $350 (updated 6/30/14) for a round trip crossing in a cabin with meals included.
....
On the other hand, would it be great to have such a service? Absolutely. As Cozumel island dwellers, having the ability to get off the island and to take our US-plated car to the US, whether for tourist or business reasons, via a 30-hr (updated 6/30/14) ferry would be fantastic.
...

Update 6/30/14:

This morning, we received a ferry update from Bruce Nierenberg, CEO of United Caribbean Lines, the company that is looking to start the Florida to Yucatán route.

“First let me apologize to all of you who have been so patient in waiting for the new ferry service to begin. My partners and I have continued to work towards finalizing the plans for starting the service and have actually come very close to providing a start date. We are still in that stage. I do not have an exact starting date.

I can tell you that from a practical point of view any of you considering holding off in your travel plans this fall in expectation of the ferry starting should make alternative plans.

The earliest the ferry can start will be in the winter of 2015 after the holidays. More likely the start will be in March, April [2016]. We are all meeting next week to determine a more accurate starting date for your use.

Additional facts:

We are still planning to have a combination passenger and car/cargo vessel to use. You will be able to bring your cars and pets. There will be additional accommodations for personal cargo. The voyage will be 30 hours one way. The price will average about $350 round trip including cabin and meals. We will have entertainment and casino operations on the ship.”
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  #2  
Old April 7th, 2015, 08:23 AM
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UCL is launching their Cuba ferry service. Have a look at the sight for a good overview of what the service will be like.

ULC facebook response to my inquiry:
"Everyone interested in the planned ferry service from florida to both cancun and progreso mexico and Havana Cuba should go to our website and register fir the latest info. "
United Caribbean Lines
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  #3  
Old April 7th, 2015, 08:59 AM
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CBP won't be all over arrivals/departures at all!
ROW trucks will be the least of their concerns.
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  #4  
Old April 7th, 2015, 08:59 AM
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This had gone dark on updates for some time. Really glad it's still alive.
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  #5  
Old April 7th, 2015, 09:07 AM
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I used this ferry service years ago when I took my motorcycle and spent a month riding through Mexico.. It was freaking awesome and I am really hoping they get it up and running again, I would be a more frequent visitor to Mexico if it was...
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  #6  
Old April 7th, 2015, 10:52 AM
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I'd go back to Belize and Guatemala. And maybe extend down into Costa Rica.
For those of us considering retiring down there and want to keep our vehicles but don't want the hassle of driving through Mexico, this is great.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 11:04 AM
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Does anyone else think that the proposed cost is impossibly low?

It costs about 3x that amount to go from Portland ME to Yarmouth NS with a vehicle, cabin, and 2 people.
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  #8  
Old April 7th, 2015, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transientmechanic View Post
Does anyone else think that the proposed cost is impossibly low?

It costs about 3x that amount to go from Portland ME to Yarmouth NS with a vehicle, cabin, and 2 people.
I don't have a point of reference but the've revised their estimated cost up from $195 so they are doing the math. I'm not sure if the $350 is per person or per vehicle. I"m assuming the former.
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  #9  
Old April 7th, 2015, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisC View Post
I'd go back to Belize and Guatemala. And maybe extend down into Costa Rica.
For those of us considering retiring down there and want to keep our vehicles but don't want the hassle of driving through Mexico, this is great.
I just returned from Belize and Roatan. Both were spectacular. First stop was Cozumel where I rented this POS Jeep ($40 for the day). Death wobble at 40 mph, all the dash lights on, broken steering lock and missing plastic surround, key barrel loose and intermittent. The list goes on. Most likely stolen from TX. Of course the obligatory stop by the Policía Federal on some cropped up story. The cop took my DL and said I had to go to the station to recover it. After a few more minutes of talking he said for a tip I wouldn't need to go to the station. Thankfully my $20s were on top of the $100s. A single $20 was enough. All part of the experience. Fun times.
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  #10  
Old April 7th, 2015, 11:23 AM
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What was the phoney charge out of curiosity?
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  #11  
Old April 7th, 2015, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
What was the phoney charge out of curiosity?
They don't need a reason. Your presence is enough to justify the stop and charge.
If you refuse to pay, they haul you in for resisting arrest.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
What was the phoney charge out of curiosity?
I was driving CCW on the older of the two roads that circle the island that fronts the beaches (at the recommendation of the rental place no less...) along with the other cars. Newer sections of road are adjacent to the older sections in perhaps a third of beach areas. The cop said the older sections are closed off to automobile traffic near El Mirador and San Martin beaches. This could very well be true as he showed me a picture of the "sign" on his PDA that I missed. Big and shinny. I'm thinking it rusted away years ago like everything else on the windward side of the island. It would have been hard to miss.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 12:24 PM
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Willing to bet that Cuba still only uses leaded gas.
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  #14  
Old April 7th, 2015, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
Willing to bet that Cuba still only uses leaded gas.
I don't remember even seeing any gas stations when I was there. But then I wasn't looking either.
They do have some newer cars, mainly Ladas, Fiats, and Citroëns.
So I imagine they have unleaded as well.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
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They don't need a reason. Your presence is enough to justify the stop and charge.
If you refuse to pay, they haul you in for resisting arrest.
Sounds a bit like the racial profiling we have in the states.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 04:06 PM
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This sounds great. As we plan to partially retire in Central America, it would be nice to skip the drive through northern Mexico. The price seems to low and I am afraid that if they make it too easy to get somewhere it will become overdeveloped. Playa Del Carmen has turned into a shit show of tourists and families.
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  #17  
Old April 7th, 2015, 04:24 PM
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I'm not sure this will increase tourism numbers, just the method of how people get there. it may hurt the airlines a bit. Northern mexico doesn't really have any tourism right now anyway. And generally in tourism meccas, the local government makes sure nobody F's with the tourists, when it's their bread and butter.
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  #18  
Old April 7th, 2015, 04:46 PM
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We will most likely see more Mexicans using it than Americans.
Pretty much just like the border. The lines are full of people that speaka no English.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 04:47 PM
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I'm excited about it. It's going to be great for Mexico and the people who want to visit or stay. It's a win win ...very cool.
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  #20  
Old April 7th, 2015, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisC View Post
We will most likely see more Mexicans using it than Americans.
Pretty much just like the border. The lines are full of people that speaka no English.
maybe, but they'll all have to go through CBP as a port of entry when they arrive, just like every other cruise ship. so not exactly like land based border crossings.
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