Travel Tips FAQ

 What is your dress code?

The CME Vacations dress code is simply whatever you feel comfortable wearing.  Our one recommendation is that you bring a sweater or light jacket because the conference rooms tend to run cold.

Do I need a passport?

Anyone traveling (including children) will need a passport for Cruises, the Bahamas, and Mexico destinations.  Although not necessarily required, it is a good idea to make sure that the passport is valid for 6 months after your travel date due to some country requirements.  Passports are NOT required for travel to Hawaii, California, Texas, and Florida destinations.

How do I get a US passport and how long does it take?

For US passports please use this link.  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html

US processing times are available here.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/how-apply/processing-times.html

Does the conference price include breakfast?

Attendees that stay at the conference venue always have breakfast included.  Sometimes we are able to include breakfast for conference attendees as well.  If a full breakfast is not feasible then we will have coffee and pastries available.

Does the conference price include the cruise?

No, the conference price only includes the conference, the cruise must be reserved and purchased separately.

Does the conference price include transportation?

No, the conference price only includes the conference, the flight and transportation to / from the hotel must be reserved and purchased separately.

Does the conference price include the hotel?

No, the conference price only includes the conference, the hotel must be reserved and purchased separately.

Does the conference price include parking at the hotel?

No, the conference price only includes the conference.  Sometimes we are able to negotiate reduced parking fees for our attendees but generally, parking is not included.

Do I have to stay at the hotel the conference is in?

No, you don’t have to stay at the conference hotel.  However, your life will be much easier if you can.  Transportation can sometimes be challenging if you are not at the same hotel.  For our destinations outside the US, we STRONGLY encourage staying at the hotel. 

What are your transportation recommendations?  Do I need to rent a car?

You can rent a car if you want but not really necessary – below are our personal recommendations.

Orlando

  • Renting a car is reasonable. Parking at the hotel is not expensive.  Allows you some flexibility.  However, taking a taxi or Uber is very easy as well.  This is more a matter of preference, but we do usually rent a car.

San Diego

  • The hotel is close to the airport and in the middle of the downtown area, close to the water. We have never rented a car here.  We use Uber, ferries and walk.  Parking at the hotel is expensive.

San Antonio

  • The hotel is on the Riverwalk which is fabulous. You don’t really need a car and parking is expensive on the Riverwalk.  However, if you plan to go to places like the Zoo, Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld, Old Missions, or Austin then a car would be useful.  But if you plan to spend your time on the Riverwalk and at the Alamo, then not needed.

The Bahamas

  • Atlantis is a fabulous destination resort. You don’t ever need to leave.  And if you go on a snorkeling excursion or to the Fish Fry – it’s very easy to take a taxi.  However, be aware that many of the taxis don’t take credit cards – so it is easier to have cash available.  But if you forget to carry cash – just request a taxi that does accept credit cards.  We have never rented a car here.

Clearwater

  • Not necessary, but you could rent a car, it depends on what you plan to do. The beach at the hotel is beautiful.  Parking fees at the hotel are reasonable and we have rented a car before for flexibility.  Uber and taxis are readily available.

Cancun / Riviera Maya

  • STRONGLY DISCOURAGE renting a car here. Online the rental prices are very cheap – but then the car rental agencies will charge a ridiculous amount for the insurance (required - as high as $70 per day).  They may also charge a $3000 deposit on your credit card to protect the agency.  Additionally, the highway has a very low speed limit that no one adheres to but if you are caught speeding then you may have to bribe the police or end up in even more trouble.  Uber exists in Cancun, but they are not allowed to go to the airport or to any hotel.  So, although a bit expensive – taxis are the recommended method of travel.  The resorts are so fabulous and all-inclusive there is no real need to leave.  Furthermore, if you book any sort of excursion such as scuba diving or a visit to Chichen Itza, the activity will include picking you up from the resort.

Waikiki

  • The hotel is in a fabulous location with lots of local activities. Parking is expensive.  However, there is a car rental agency at the hotel itself – so if you want to tour the island – just rent the car for the day at the hotel. 

Denver

  • The hotel is located in the downtown area. Parking is expensive.  If you plan to spend most of your time downtown, then car is not necessary.  But the surrounding area is lovely so you may want the ability to get around easily.  Uber and taxis are readily available.

What’s your favorite destination?

All of the above.  

What currency do they use in The Bahamas?  Do I need to trade currency?

The Bahamas uses the Bahamian dollar which trades 1 to 1 with the US dollar.  All service providers will happily accept the US dollar.  Unless you want to take home souvenir currency, there is no need to trade.

What currency do they use in Mexico?  Do I need to trade currency?

Mexico uses the Mexican Peso.  You do not need to trade currency because all vendors will accept US dollars.  However, sometimes they may give you change in Mexican Pesos. 

Can I use the internet at the hotel?

All of the hotels that we have contracted with include internet access for hotel guests.  However, most, but not all of the hotels have internet access available for attendees that are not hotel guests.

Can I use the internet on the cruise?

The cruise offers special internet packages that you may purchase separately.

Can I use my cellphone on the cruise?

If you are in a port, then you may have access to a cell tower.  However, generally there aren’t cell towers in the middle of the ocean so unlikely you will have service.  However, if you have internet access, you may be able to use your iPhone or WhatsApp or similar calling apps.

Can I use my cellphone in the Bahamas?

We recommend checking with your cellphone service provider regarding fees and service in the Bahamas.  T-Mobile provides roaming service and allows free texting but charges per minute for any phone calls. 

Can I use my cellphone in Mexico?

We recommend checking with your cellphone service provider regarding fees and service in Mexico.  T-Mobile provides free service and allows free texting plus some limited data.

If I can’t use my cellphone overseas, what calling options are available?

We use the app WhatsApp.  It must be installed and active on your phone and the person you wish to communicate with.  It’s free to use as long as you have an internet connection.  There are other apps available – WhatsApp is just the one we are familiar with.  The iPhone also has some phone calling abilities on the internet.

Is the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas safe?

The Atlantis Hotel has a casino and hosts many exclusive guests as well as celebrities such as Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey, and Miley Cyrus.  As such, they have top notch security.   

Are the Iberostar Resorts in Cancun safe?

Everyone entering the resort is scrutinized to make sure that they are supposed to be on the property premises.  Additionally, there is a check out / check in process to ensure safety of guests when they leave on an excursion.

What is included in the All-Inclusive Hotels in Cancun / Riviera Maya?

The Iberostar All – Inclusive Hotels include hotel room, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, beverages, ALCOHOL, pool snacks, ice cream, churros, pool bar, mini bar in hotel room, fitness center, most fitness classes, all day kid’s camp, nightly show, other activities.

Not included: Souvenirs, clothing, pharmaceuticals, spa, massages, golf.  Although tips and fees are included, the service providers are appreciative of extra tips for fabulous service, but it is not required.

Tell me about the Kid’s Camp at the Cancun Hotels.

Parents – this is a dream come true for you and your kids.  Take your kids (ages 4 and above) to breakfast and then at 9 am you can drop them off at the kid’s camp.  The children will have activities appropriate for their ages such as games and slides for the younger children and archery, tennis, or soccer for the older kids.  Then you can pick them up at the end of the day.

My children are under 4 or I may need to have them watched outside of the Kid’s Camp hours – what do I do?

You can make arrangements at the hotel for a babysitter.  Please note there will be an additional fee.