We have been in Mexico cruising now since the end of June. We feel exceptionally safe when we are out, however when it comes to dealing with officials it is a different story.
These are first hand not second hand experiences:
At Marina Paridisio last month the check in clerk gave a sailing couple an issue as they had three small dogs
on board. "Miguel" forced out of them $150.oo USD and told them that they had to pay or leave the country now as it was illegal to have three dogs
. They paid as it was evening and they had not enough fuel
to make the next port. When they departed they waited an entire day for a check as they were trying to get more from them. (By the way they were on a huge Emel Sail boat)
There is a younger guy who arrived on a Catamaran
. Once again Miguel gave this poor guy issues. The first instance was that he needed to charge him double as he was on a Catamaran
, the second issue was that the young guy either paid Miguel several hundred dollars or go to prison as the guy had a flare gun on board that had 12 gauge flares and Miguel let the young guy know this was a jailable offence. Since we all knew this was wrong the young guy got an attorney, and almost not soon enough. Miguel turned the young guy into the officials claiming that the guy had several weapons on board. The Navy
and the FBI arrived at his boat in the evening and they took him to Cancun
. We were very worried about him until he returned the next day with an amunations expert, dogs and a few dozen officials. The ammunitions expert cleared the guy of all wrong doing. The young guy was still out almost a $1000 he was forced to pay out in bribes to all the people involved and his legal fees
, then the marina fined him for the disturbance and loss of business.
We checked out of the marina to head
out for a weeks get away, we had been paying $671.00 per month at the exclusive marina. After two months of paying this we let them know we were going to head out for a week, I went in to pay the bill and they had added another $350 USD to my bill stating that they had forgot our "Catamaran Surcharge" I asked them to show me this in the rules and they could not. I refused to pay cash and they eventually took a credit card. Interesting enough they separated the charges on my card, one for dockage and the other for "Marine Services"
Living on Isla Mujeres during Hurricane
season you get to know that a cab ride costs $1 us if you give them anything else besides the exact amount they refuse to give change.
The island is a wonderful place, many boaters check in and out without issues over the past few months, we were told that it was while the port captain
and this Miguel were under investigation everything was fine, then after the investigation closed the corruption came back. We suggest if going to Isla stay at the refurbished marina Milagro owned by Eric and his wife. They used to use this Miguel fellow and now are using someone new. If you feel you must use an agent then go to Marina Via Vera and let the guy there check you in then move on.