Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Update on Miami - Progreso Ferry

Well, the Miami - Progreso Ferry idea is still being kicked around.  I received this email, providing an update and another survey request.  Feel free to email the survey if you are interested in participating.

The past year has not brought a lot of forward momentum with the ferry project in spite of the interest of three different ferry companies and many false start dates.  The scandals which precipitated personnel changes at the Progreso Port Authority certainly didn't help the situation either, however, things have been happening behind the scenes and from what I understand a number of feasibility studies have been done in the Tampa area showing the ferry project is viable but the inability to do a feasibility study within the expatriate community continues to be a stumbling block especially with investors.

Having learned from the mistakes of the previous ferry services in the area and responses from the previous expat surveys, the original plans have been modified.  Super high speed ferries are now being considered to shorten the crossing time, frequent user plans, and even free vehicle bonuses are being considered.  A year round weekly crossing schedule with frequency based on use patterns and peak seasons will be offered.  As this service will take some years to become profitable investor backing will be the key to success.

I know many of you have already completed one or both of the previous surveys but United Caribbean Lines is asking for our input once again.  The results will directly influence investors and the more responses the better so please forward this email and ask everyone you know who may travel this direction to answer the questions and forward their responses to United Caribbean Lines.  If you have access to expatriate websites, blogs or travel groups please have all your members respond and forward the questions on to any other websites and blogs you use anywhere in Central America.  Even if you have no interest in using the ferry service please respond because part of the purpose is to try to establish how many expats live in the Yucatan and Central America.

If you are comfortable letting UCL know how to reach you they would like to extend some special courtesies, goodies, discounts and upgrades for helping them, when the ferry service begins.  Just put your email address and mailing address in Central America on your answers to the questionnaire so UCL can reach you with the offers when they get started.

Please copy the following questions with your answers in an email and send your responses as soon as possible to Bruce Nierenburg at United Caribbean Lines.

Questionnaire for Ex-Pats living in Central America for new Ferry Service of United Caribbean Lines
1.       Where in Central America is your current home?

2.       How many family members reside in your Central American home?

3.       Do you maintain a second home in the U.S. or Canada?

4.        When you travel to go to the U.S or Canada to visit friends family etc. What is your destination?

5.       How many times a year do you make this trip?

6.       If you have more than one place you travel to in the U.S or Canada please list those additional destinations

7.       How often to you travel to these secondary destinations each calendar year

8.       When you go do you drive or fly? If both what is the approx. % for each?

9.       Do you have pets? Do you take them when you return to the U.S or Canada?

10.   When you return to the U.S. or Canada do you shop for supplies etc. For your home in Central America?

11.   When you travel from your home in Central America to the U.S. or Canada are there times of the year you do most of the travel? If so, when?

12.   Do friends and family come to Central America each year to visit you? If so how often?

13.   Do you own an RV in Central America?

a.       Would you take it on the ferry?

14.   What would be the most important reasons you would take the ferry to Florida?

a.       Please number the following  reasons in order of importance for using the ferry 
b.      Number 1 is the most important. Number 10 the least

                    i.      Go back to other homes in U.S. and or    Canada ____
                    ii.      Visit family and friends ____
                    iii.      Shopping ____
                    iv.      Vacationing in Florida  ___
                     v.      I can take my car or RV ___
                     vi.      Go to Florida to use airports for further travel ___
                     vii.      Go to Florida to get on a cruise ____
                     viii.      Just to get away for a short trip ____
                     ix.      Travel for medical purposes ___
                     x.      Other ( please name ) ______

Additional comments or things you would like us to know to help serve you better with our new ferry service

[INSERT: Your Name and address in Central America ]

[INSERT: Your email address]

Thanks from all of us at United Caribbean Lines

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Amber Pierce-Schulz is the Broker/Owner of Mayan Riviera Properties, specializing in Puerto Morelos Real Estate and Puerto Morelos Vacation Rentals. We are members of AMPI and Federally Certified Realtors.