First of all, thanks for all the great advise and ideas from all those here! A wealth of information!
We are going on our first cruise in Dec., Cancun, Belize and Rotan, Cosmel,(sp)
And are wondering what role do customs play?
What do you have to do? How is it handled boarding and leaving the ship?
This part concerns me, as I want to do it all "right" the first time, and not end up with something held or taken that I purchased while in port.
Also do you have to show proof about things you carry on with you, say your CD player, CD's, camera etc? Things you own before the trip.
Hope I do not sound to stupid, but this area is really gray for me as to what to expect and what to do, I can't find any info on the boards...so maybe it's not that big of a deal?
Help me out here gang!
Thanks again, for every post on this site! It's been so great! I'm so excited now!
Thank you so much for your swift reply! I feel better now!
I guess you just get worried about somethings that sound confusing, but aren't!
Much about this has confused me, but thanks to all the information this site has to offer, many of my questions have been answered!
Thanks again! Bobbi
Bobbi: Unless I buy an expensive piece of jewelry, I usually fill out the customs form as follows: liquor $40.00, costume jewelry $50.00, souveniers $100.00. I lump together all t-shirts, mugs, pins, magnets, flags, small stuff and have never been stopped or questioned at all.
I don't think the average cruise ship passenger fits the profile of a serial smuggler and with so many people going through at the same time, unless you look guilty or very nervous, you'll be fine. In over 25 cruises, I've never seen anyone stopped or questioned. You will be reminded, however, to leave all fruit and food at the customs counter - bringing it into the States is forbidden and they will give you a chance to turn in that last banana you took for the flight home!
Don't stress over it at all - have a wonderful cruise!
Thank you so much for taking time to reply!
You explained it very well! I understand what is required better now! :-)
I'll try not to look as nervous as I feel...or I may get stopped just because of that!
I have done a lot of traveling both cruises and land tours and business travel..Stopped once..wanted to check my backpack..naturally it was the bag for the last nite on board ..you can guess what was in it or maybe it was the stuffed camel head sticking out of couse the backpack and the camel were puchased on the trip.
Just fill out the forms as suggest..lump things together unless it is a major purchase. I take an envalope and put all recepits toghter so I can get to them easily when the forms need to be filled out.
The shopping for us (just back from Xmas on NCL on your itinerary) was best on Cozmel. You can walk to town very easily, and if silver's your thing, go for it girl! If you want vanilla, that's the place to get some. If you feel comfortable in negotiating price, an art unto itself, that's the place to practice it!
Belize was nice, but the roads are not great--went to Belize.com to organize our own tour, and it worked out great (vs. what the ships had to offer). Go see the ruins--we were on a van for about 3 hours, and it was great (not the roads, but the ruins!). Roitan was OK-we saw the island, which was OK, but the snorkling is suppose to be the best there. No shopping to speak of on the island.
Cancun was fun for the beach and beer. Shopping is better, in my opinion in Cozmel, but you may find something better on the mainland.
Remember to wear comfortable shoes, a hat, have good sunglasses, and enjoy!
Cuban cigars are a no-no, but I have since heard that many, many people sneak them back on board. While I am essentially a rule-follower, I sure wish I had one for my cigar smoking friend! Maybe next time...
Carnival Elation March 11
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I was in Puerto Vallarta over the summer and my boyfriend purchased cuban cigars. It was a little shop owned by a woman and her husband, both Americans who loved the place so much once when they vacationed they moved down there. Anyway while he was buying the cigars I was freaking out... ex ample..."YOUR NOT PUTTING THOSE IN MY SUITECASE, WHY ARE YOU BUYING THOSE, I AM NOT GOING TO GET ARRESTED JUST SO YOU CAN SAY YOU BOUGHT A BOX OF CUBAN CIGARS, BETTER SMOKE ALL OF THOSE DARN THINGS BEFORE WE LEAVE AND THAT MEANS 20 CIGARS IN 2 AND HALF DAYS!!!!" The woman laughed and pulled out an empty Mexican cigar box full of cigar rings and proceeded to delable and ring the cigars in the box. Cleverly transforming a highly illeagal box of Cuban cigars into a cheap box of Mexican ones. I was sceptical but really how could the prove otherwise...He made it through customs without a problem, though I did get in a seperate line at the airport, I was ready to pretend like I didn't know him.