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Old 07-01-2016, 05:02   #1
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Is the Caribbean a rip off?

Hi
I have long been considering cruising to the Caribbean but I have the impression you get hit by quite a lot of local expenses when passage making and stopping off at different islands. Is this really the case or am I just worrying about nothing? I appreciate nothing is free these days and communities need to make a living, but just wondered how those of you who have cruised the Caribbean feel on this issue.
Jon.
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Old 07-01-2016, 05:24   #2
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

The Caribbean is quite affordable.
The Bahamas are quite expensive but they are not in the Caribbean.

The beauty of the Caribbean is there's many islands that fit your budget. If you want to pay LOTS then you hang out at St Barts ($500 for a new mens wallet, $1,500 for mens shoes). But you you are on aa tighter budget there's a myriad of islands where anchoring is free, port fees low and rum cost lower...

I shop in St Martin - duty free and shoes are about $20, litre rum $8, slab of beer $17, port fees $7, anchoring free (French side) or $80 per 6 weeks (Dutch side)
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:17   #3
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

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$80 per 6 weeks (Dutch side)
Damn the Dutch! Always charging just that little bit more then others

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but I have the impression you get hit by quite a lot of local expenses when passage making and stopping off at different islands. Is this really the case or am I just worrying about nothing?
Why would you worry about fees?

You can look up pretty much all fees before deciding where to go next, and if you feel a country / location is too expensive, you can simply skip it.

All things considered, the whole cruising thing is a rip off - but blame your boat for that
If you want a more financial sound way of traveling, book a last minute flight with an all-inclusive hotel and save yourself a whole lotta monies
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:21   #4
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

Apparently fees are up... we are being "fee'd to death... But the Caribe is special and affordable, You can visit tony St Barth and the beach is free and the baquettes well worth it.

This needs to be considered... there are no free rides so expect to pay someone... cruising is fee free when you are in the ocean! Get involved in shore stuff... be prepared to pay something.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:03   #5
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jon.

IMHO: The Caribbean & Bahamas are the best warm/easy/cheap cruising grounds in the world.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:25   #6
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

Definitely cheaper than the Med..
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:57   #7
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

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Definitely cheaper than the Med..
Much healthier bugs.
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:16   #8
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

How's that saying go? "The only rights which you have on land are the ones that you pay for".
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:24   #9
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

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How's that saying go? "The only rights which you have on land are the ones that you pay for".
fixed it fer ya
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:40   #10
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

I have found the Caribbean to be much less expensive than the Bahamas. I can't address man's wallet, but a good quality leather purse on St Martin was only $100. Less than in the States. Go to the French side, it's 25 Euro to clear in and the rum is cheaper.

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Old 07-01-2016, 09:10   #11
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

Yes its expensive and the fees for leaving the yacht there extortionate.
Fees for entering islands can mount up.......when here in the UK we don't charge.
I've been in the Caribbean for 3 years and the maxim is correct that going from Trinidad, the further north you go the further north the prices go.......that's if you can get the food, in Union island the shelves were virtually empty!

Prices go down again when getting to Curaceo where they really look after you laying on a free bus every morning for the supermarket and giving free teas and coffees along with free wifi when you've finished shopping.

Colombia, San Blas and Panama are a rip off but necessary for the entry charges, import taxes, handling fees and intermediaries.

However then not paying council tax, electricity, heating bill, gas and oil back in Scotland. Not having to keep a car, insurance, tax, mot, petrol. So is it worth it? I wouldn't have missed last 3 1/2 years for anything and looking forward to Pacific. After all why not get ripped off and enjoy life than be ripped off by your own government and have to work for the insult!

The new Puerto Valero marina only charged less than £500 for 3 months compared with quotes of £450 a month in Trinidad.......very friendly and helpful though go with plenty of food......it's isolated!

Go now, it won't get any cheaper and you won't regret it!
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:23   #12
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

Come on down!
Fees are reasonable. Food is twice what you pay for the same stuff in the US, but consider that they have to ship it here, and the duty paid runs the countries' government services. Parts are less available and more expensive, but not prohibitive.
Why? Because it is worth it! The Caribbean is a wonderful cruising ground.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:28   #13
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

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when here in the UK we don't charge.
Most Dutch cruisers waiting in the UK for a weather window will end up taking their chances if it's taking too long, due to the cruising kitty taking a beating - mooring, food etc. is very expensive
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:52   #14
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

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I have found the Caribbean to be much less expensive than the Bahamas. I can't address man's wallet, but a good quality leather purse on St Martin was only $100. Less than in the States. Go to the French side, it's 25 Euro to clear in and the rum is cheaper.

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OUCH really tis FIVE Euro if you clear in at Anse Marcel
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:19   #15
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Re: Is the Caribbean a rip off?

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Originally Posted by JCJ 1970 View Post
Hi
I have long been considering cruising to the Caribbean but I have the impression you get hit by quite a lot of local expenses when passage making and stopping off at different islands. Is this really the case or am I just worrying about nothing? I appreciate nothing is free these days and communities need to make a living, but just wondered how those of you who have cruised the Caribbean feel on this issue.
Jon.

I cruised the Caribbean for six years and in many respects found it more affordable than NA and Europe.
Anchoring becomes a lifestyle, so invest in a good tender and O/B. You will not experience the NIMBY problems of Florida and elsewhere.
Marinas are generally more expensive; however, I used them only when I had visitors which coincided with the shoulder seasons when Marina specials cut prices to 50%.
Groceries cost more, so what, how much food can a solo sailor eat?
This is offset by less expensive liquor, wine and cigarettes.
Caught and cooked my own fish for awhile and abandoned this, not just because I caught too many and became bored, it was a waste. Enjoyed a couple of filet before I used the rest for bait. Didn't have the freeze capacity for 20lb fish.
Restaurants can be far more expensive for haute cuisine, but then I always managed to find an economical back street Chinese or local fare restaurant frequented by savvy cruisers.
Although, I visited most Islands much of my time was in Sint Maarten/St.Martin for extensive refitting. Being a duty free port and competitive with many qualified tradesmen I saved a small fortune in upgrades. During the time I had the Hull, Deck, Keel and Mast Awl-gripped and below decks teak/mahogany refinished I was fortunate to obtain a comfortable room at the local Redcross for $30/night.
Like anywhere, you can find bargains when you have time to look.
The beauty, tranquility if you want it, and non stop partying if you want it makes the Caribbean a cruisers paradise until you get bored, many in the Islands don't. I'm funny that way, change is my spice of life.
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