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Old 05-26-2009, 08:00 PM   #1
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Hi everyone!

I would like some help about the prices in the Caribbean. For example, how mutch for a average night in a guest harbour, prices on food, gas and so on. Is there any good website about this?

Grateful to all help!

-Johan
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:31 AM   #2
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Years ago I tried to get cruisers interested in compiling such information, but I got no response then, and it doesn't seem there's any more interest now.

It would have been difficult even if there had been the will to do it. As you travel down (or up) the chain of islands, you go from one independent country to another, with a few groups of islands under the same flag clustered together. And that doesn't help, either. For example, St. Barth's is a daysail away from St. Martin (French side). St. Barth's charges for anchoring in Gustavia harbor (even though we have been told that it is contrary to French law), but there are no such anchoring fees in St. Martin. Food prices in St. Barth's are significantly higher than in St. Martin, and even cheaper on the other side of the island, Dutch St. Maarten. And, because St. Martin/Maarten is a duty-free island, tobacco and spirits (especially French wine) are significantly cheaper than any of the other Caribbean islands. Food in Puerto Rico is extremely reasonable; only Costa Rica had cheaper food and restaurant prices (and incredibly good and cheap rum).

I would say that in general, prices in the Caribbean are about 25% higher than in the US, perhaps higher but with the option of stocking up in the cheaper islands to survive the dearer islands. With the exception of Gustavia, anchoring is free throughout the Caribbean (or at least so far), but the Virgin Islands, both British and US, have places where paying for a mooring is the only option. Some islands are great sources of fresh produce at reasonable prices, such as Dominica (which provides so many other islands with fresh produce), and Costa Rica. Some lush islands, such as the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, have such a high standard of living that prices are quite high. But those two islands have wonderful food and European foods that it's worth it to buy them, regardless of cost.

One qualification - I think that cruisers coming from the European Union will find that food prices are not much different from what they see at home.

When we cruised in the Caribbean there were so few marinas outside the Virgin Islands that the only marinas we ever visited were in Venezuela. Nowadays there are many more marinas being built, and I believe that their prices are rather dear, especially compared to the prices for marinas in the Baltic and the Netherlands. Perhaps another of our members has more current information regarding this.

The Caribbean is one of the luxury destinations of the United States, and as such even prices on the smaller islands have risen as their popularity with tourists has increased. And keep in mind that there is virtually no industry in these islands, so almost everything except beer and Ting is imported. Ting. Grapefruit soda. I might be the only American who really likes it.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:49 AM   #3
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I looked around the web, even noonsite, none of them has an up to date price range for the BVI, and what about the other islands in the Caribbean, is there any organized site with charges for those different harbors?

Jeanne, I would take the time to put together a concise and detailed Lexicon of port charges if I knew where to get current data.

Thanks

Jeff
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:37 PM   #4
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.... put together a concise and detailed Lexicon of port charges if I knew where to get current data
We need a full list for the Cruising Wiki
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
We need a full list for the Cruising Wiki
I ammend my above post. If I could be pointed towards current data, I would have no problem in organizing a detailed rundown on check- in costs with each of the islands in the Caribbean and put them in the Cruising Wiki. I agree Lighthouse. I'm surprised, with all that info on there, that no one bothered to add important info like that.

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Old 08-10-2010, 04:53 PM   #6
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I agree, there is a great need for such info as price and cost of sailing. I am planning my retirement sailing. And all I see is very vague info. I was looking at places to visit while retired, and for example the topic was San Carlos (Sea of Cortez) the info said the marina was somewhat affordable. Then I saw the tread came from a 95 ft mega yacht. Ummmmm what is affordable for him might be out of reach for me. I think if we all pull together, and give up dates of most of our expenses while cruising. I can do my part by reporting prices of marinas, anchoring, dry dockage etc... from My area ( Vancouver BC. ) Is there , or can we create a section on cruise log the relate only on areas and costs in those areas ? Fair wind all.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Riggerman' date='10 August 2010 - 05:47 PM View Post

I agree, there is a great need for such info as price and cost of sailing. I am planning my retirement sailing. And all I see is very vague info. I was looking at places to visit while retired, and for example the topic was San Carlos (Sea of Cortez) the info said the marina was somewhat affordable. Then I saw the tread came from a 95 ft mega yacht. Ummmmm what is affordable for him might be out of reach for me. I think if we all pull together, and give up dates of most of our expenses while cruising. I can do my part by reporting prices of marinas, anchoring, dry dockage etc... from My area ( Vancouver BC. ) Is there , or can we create a section on cruise log the relate only on areas and costs in those areas ? Fair wind all.
The World Cruising Wiki (HERE) is the place to enter this type of information.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:22 PM   #8
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I started in the Far East in January 2006 and am now in the Caribbean and have been since February 2010

I keep a detailed analysis of all expenditure, and the Caribbean is the most expensive area I have visited so far. Even the western Mediterranean was cheaper, though if we had used marinas much it would not have been

If you are thinking of going further afield, go to Malaysia and Thailand, no hurricanes so year long sailing, low prices, less wind than Caribbean but enough, calmer seas, excellent holding (used 30kg Bruce with no problems, now carry 50kg Bruce and 50kg Bugle), friendly, helpful people, seas just as clear and lots of fish
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:45 PM   #9
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the Caribbean is the most expensive area I have visited so far
I won't argue with that, though when we were in the Caribbean we went to Venezuela for hurricane season and things are extraordinarily cheap there. Everybody stocked up on cheap beer, booze, coffee, and luxury items. Margarita Island was duty free to everyone, including Venezuelans - an escape valve, if you will, to keep people from complaining too much about inflation. Unfortunately that destination is pretty much unavailable anymore due to Chavez's hostility towards the US (and other "rich capitalist nations"). A shame since VZ is a beautiful country with lovely people. Too many poor, too much corruption, though.

The problem with prices in the Carib is that there are at least 6 currencies, sources of products, and subsidies (the Brit cruisers said that Irish and UK butter was cheaper in the former British colonies of the Carib than it was in the UK). The island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin is a great example of the confusion. For US products, the Dutch side offers prices that are probably cheaper than in the USVIs. But for spirits, the French side is better. You won't find bargain food on the French side, but you will find much better stuff, catering to the European palate at least as much as to the US palate. You need a currency converter to make sense of it all. The Dutch side of St. Maarten give receipts in NAF (Netherlands Antilles Florins), the French side in Euros. Anguilla, just across the channel, charges in EC (eastern caribbean) dollars - $.

If you go into the South Pacific from the Caribbean, though, you won't complain about the prices there so much. Cruisers from the West Coast, with only US and Mexican prices to compare, complained bitterly about the prices in French Polynesia. That was good, though, since it reset their expectations and they were much happier with prices the rest of the way down the coconut milk run.
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:08 PM   #10
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JohanSWE, I do have personal knowledge of St. Thomas's Charlotte Amalie Harbor. There is a large anchorage in the NE end of the harbor accessible to several large supermarkets ashore with some of the most reasonable prices for food and liquor (duty free) that you are going to find in the Caribbean, short of Puerto Rico. Fajardo, PR (NE end of the island) has a huge super Walmart and a West Marine as well as many other nautical businesses. Hope this helps! gts1544 - George
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