Greetings "Life's a Beach" readers!

What follows is a message from Tamara Magnusson (tamarainprogreso[at] who is once again seeking information from the US and Canadian ex-pats and snowbirds in Mexico and Central America. Plans to initiate a ferry service from Tampa to Progresso are back on the table at United Caribbean Lines and they are looking for our input to help them move forward with this ambitious investment.

To help United Caribbean Lines make an informed plan to bring this ferry service to the Yucatan, please copy and paste the questionnaire below into an e-mail and send to BNIERENBERG@AOL.COM. Don't forget to share this blog post with your expat friends so that they too can weigh in on this exciting development.

Tampa Progresso Ferry Service "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 Progresso 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. "

Questionnaire for Ex-Pats living in Central America for new Ferry Service of United Caribbean Lines

1.       Where in Mexico/Central America is your current home?

 2.       How many family members reside in your Mexico/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 Mexico/Central America?

 11.   When you travel from your home in Mexico/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 Mexico/Central America each year to visit you? If so how often?

 13.   Do you own an RV in Mexico/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?

Please number the following reasons in order of importance for using the ferry.   Number 1 being the most important, and Number 10 the least.

1.      Go back to other homes in U.S. and or Canada ____

2.      Visit family and friends ____

3.      Shopping ____

4.      Vacationing in Florida  ___

5.      I can take my car or RV ___

6.      Go to Florida to use airports for further travel ___

7.      Go to Florida to get on a cruise ____

8.      Just to get away for a short trip ____

9.      Travel for medical purposes ___

10.  Other ( please name ) ______

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