Here's a few tips from our recent cruise to Cuba:
DO NOT leave the ship without plenty of tissues and hand sanitizer. The odds on finding either toilet paper or soap in any bathrooms is slim to none. Suggest you take the box of Kleenex from your cabin if you have room in whatever bag you are taking on shore. Could also bring a ziplock bag and toss a bar of soap in it.
There is a 3% charge to exchange to Cuban pesos. However, there is an additional 10% if you are changing US dollars, so a total of 13% to exchange US to Cuban. We exchanged US dollars for Canadian at our bank (no charge) to avoid the extra 10%. Can also change to Euros and avoid the extra charge. Just deposit any extra back into your bank when you return to the US.
Only buy cigars from an authorized store. Don’t buy them on the street you may end up with banana leaves. The prices in the stores are all set by the government and are the same price at the store at the cruise terminal as they are at any other store. You can find a current price list on line just google "Cuban Cigar Price List."
The cruise line really makes it sound like only way to leave the ship is is on ship’s excursion. Not true. You can still get your Cuban Visa on board and take a private tour. It will most likely take you longer to get off the ship.
It did not take the 1 1/2 hours the ship tells you to get through customs in Cuba.
You cannot use credit cards in Cuba;
Your cell phone may not work
I can't stress number one enough do not forget tissues and hand sanitizer. Hope this list is helpful.