Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Mexican Law on Accepting U.S. Dollars

The Mexican Government passed a new law which went into effect in Mexico on September 14, 2010. With this new law, you can only purchase items up to $100 in U.S. Dollars. After that you must use Pesos or a credit card.

Other payment methods such as credit cards of all types and all issuing banks, Travelers Checks, Mexican pesos and non-American foreign currencies (such as Euros or Canadian Dollars) are not affected in any way by this new law.

The most noticeable differences will be:
Hotels and Exchange Booths, and Local Banks will only be able to change a maximum of $1,500 USD CASH per person per month into Mexican Pesos. Previously there was no limit.
Businesses (including restaurants, shops, and Destination Management Companys) will only be able to accept a maximum of $100 USD CASH per transaction - but the number of transactions per customer is not restricted. Certain businesses may not be able to, or may choose not to accept American Dollars for any purchase at all (this may include shops, etc), however still accepting Mexican Pesos.
If a customer wants to purchase an excursion (for example) that costs $150 US dollars per person, customers will only be able to pay $100 of this amount in USD CASH and the remainder will need to be in another form of payment (credit card, Mexican pesos, etc).

Airlines are advising they will only accept Mexican Pesos and credit cards for any fees (including baggage fees).

Vacationers should never carry large amounts of American dollars with them to Mexico, but instead they should consider either using a Credit Card, taking or locally withdrawing Mexican Pesos, or use Travelers Check's (of any currency).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sneak peak of Allure of the Seas

I will be sailing on the Allure of the Seas for a special 2 night pre inaugural sailing in late November. Here's a sneak peak of the construction progress.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Disney Wonder Tour

This week I got a chance to tour the Disney Wonder cruise ship. The Wonder calls Port Canaveral home, at least for the next few months, then it will move to Los Angeles. The new Disney Dream will replace the Wonder in January. I have sailed on most cruise lines except Disney, so I was excited to get a chance to tour the Wonder. When you come onboard the crew announces your family and everyone clasp!! A cute way to start your vacation. You first enter the atrium, which I found to be smaller than most ships I have seen. But the classic touches of Disney characters is a beautiful sight. Since the crew was cleaning the ship for the next voyage I was not allowed to take many pictures, but I can tell you I was very impressed with the ship and staff.
I was given the tour along with two other travel agents and two members of the Disney sales staff. My biggest surprise was the size of the staterooms, even the inside staterooms.

They were bigger than I was expecting. The smallest cabin, the Standard Inside Stateroom is 184 square feet. It does not have the split bathroom, but still has enough room for a couch and desk. The Deluxe Ocean view stateroom is 214 feet and the Deluxe Ocean view stateroom with Verandah is 268 square feet.

We were allowed to view the Walt Disney suite, but could not take pictures since it was still being cleaned. This was the gem on the Wonder. It is 1,0239 square feet including the verandah and sleeps 7. There are 2 bedrooms (one with queen-size bed; one with 2 twin beds and 2 pull-down upper berths), 2.5 bathrooms including whirlpool tubs, living room, media library with wall pull-down bed, dining salon, pantry, wet bar and walk-in closets.

I got a chance to check out the two pools and quickly realized which one would be my kids' favorite. The Mickey Mouse shaped pool also has a water slide for the young and young at heart!! The other pool has the large movie screen so pool goers can take in their favorite Disney movies or shows. But if you are cruising without kids or would like some time to yourself while your kids are in the kids' club, there is an adult-only pool as well.

I thought one of the cutest areas of the ship was the Oceaneer's club. Disney's Oceaneer Club is the ideal place for children 3 to 12 years of age to dress up as their favorite princess or hero, play games, use the computer lab and enjoy a wide variety of supervised activities throughout the day. I know that my youngest would never want to leave this area!!
The Disney Wonder will be offering 3 & 4 night sailings to the Bahamas until the Disney Dream takes its place in January 2011. The Disney Magic is similar to the Wonder and offers 7 night sailings to the Caribbean while in Port Canaveral. For more information on a Disney cruise, please email me at