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About Samstress

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Ottawa Ontario Canada
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Norwegian Cruise Line

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  1. Wow...remind me never to complain about NCL. It's like throwing a bone to a dog:-) But I am actually a huge fan of NCL & I've never found fault with any of my dealings with them. So people back off!! We are all entitled to our opinions on our experiences. And if it doesn't personally hurt us then let someone vent. So...CruncheyFrog I guess you missed the mark in getting the proper insurance. I am also Canadian and your insurance absolutely has to be more than just 'well my Mastercard makes sure I'm safe'. We as Canadians do have the advantage of having full on health care for everyone; but that doesn't travel with you. Sometimes things happen and you need a place to vent..apparently this isn't the place. Cheers, Sandy
  2. Okay...I did read thru all of the replies & I hope I am right in what I believe. I am from Ontario Canada and when I purchase travel insurance I am FULLY covered for everything with the exception of a pre-existing condition. And by pre-existing I mean any condition that has not been stable for a year prior to purchasing the insurance policy. If I do declare that I have a pre-existing condition I can still buy the insurance. It's just more expensive. But, if I buy my travel insurance before I experience any health issues that are not pre-existing then I can cancel and claim a refund from the policy. And that policy would also include my travelling companions. I have always dealt with Allianz & I would suggest that the OP have a more in-depth convo with them. I'm not sure but I think mud is probably clearer than most insurance policies.
  3. I don't think you can exchange Cuban dollars anywhere other than Cuba. At least that was what we were told when we visited. Maybe you could find someone who is planning a trip there to buy them from you?
  4. Apparently I am totally off on the price:-) Too many bushwhackers!!
  5. I would personally just exchange whatever your countries currency is for the Cuban dollars. It's not worth the hassle of a couple of bucks to keep exchanging currencies. As far as the excursions; I would love to recommend someone to you who gave us the most amazing tour of Cuba. We met a short distance from the port (pictures exchanged...I felt like a spy!) He took us to so many places that were truly Cuban...from the ration book shopping at the Bodega in town to the store where he bought his toothpaste & toilet paper!! And the local ferry was an experience I will never forget. We had the most amazing 4 hours of walking thru Havana, then it was into a pink convertible for a tour of the countryside. Lunch was at a backyard restaurant (these are the places where the underground economy is working). The food was wonderful, as were the drinks and the music. And they took all currencies! This guide left me with an incredible feeling for Cuba & it's people.
  6. If I remember correctly we paid $129 for our clamshell . I would definitely reserve it onboard at the excursions desk. Lots of people were trying to rent them once they got on shore but it wasn't possible. Also look for the ones with the screened back..they are much cooler.
  7. Unless things have changed since we were there in March, you can get off & on the ship on your own once you've gone through their immigration process (which is basically paying a fee & showing your passport). I loved Cuba! We booked a private excursion & spent an amazing day exploring...
  8. I had a medical issue in Barcelona during a pre-cruise stay. I decided not to seek medical attention until I boarded the ship & the doctor saw me immediately. It was covered under the travel insurance that I had purchased prior to the cruise. I would think that the nurse would do stitch removal. Whatever you decide to do...good luck! Hopefully it isn't your glass holding hand:-)
  9. When your family docks in Cuba (Havana?) they will need to exchange whatever their currency is into CUC's (Cuban currency). We did find a 'private' restaurant where they took US and/or Can dollars but I wouldn't plan on that being the normal. We bought what we thought we would use when exiting the ship & cashed in what we didn't when we reboarded. The money changers were at the port where we disembarked...easy breezy. We loved Cuba...hopefully your family will feel the same.
  10. What a wonderful review. Thank you for sharing your trip and your wonderful family with all of us. I wish you happy future sailings..
  11. I have the feeling that if life gave you lemons you'd make lemonade:-) Great, honest review. Sometimes if we keep our expectations in check our realizations are better. Here's to many more happy cruises for you and yours!
  12. Samstress

    travel to Cuba

    We used https://havanainsights.com and had an amazing tour! I wanted a private tour for this port and Rodrigo was wonderful. His English is perfect & his knowledge of his country more so. We did a 4 hour walking tour of Havana; then a 2 hour convertible tour through the countryside ending up at a fabulous 'back yard' restaurant where we enjoyed drinks, food & live music (and they took Canadian, American or Cuban Dollars...cash of course). We then walked to the Christ statue, and on to the ferry that took us back to downtown Havana. It was a great experience and it cost us $150 CUC's. I would highly recommend this company.
  13. They were $40 for 2 people when we there in April. Make sure you purchase them on the ship from the Shore Excursion desk; because you cannot purchase them once you're on the Island. We enjoyed ours. And try to grab one with the open screening in the back and sides...makes it more comfortable & breezy! Have a great trip...
  14. I absolutely agree! However, we don't get to choose where we were born so I do feel sympathy with the ordinary Joe on the street of Havana who is just trying to eke out a living for himself and his family. Maybe once Raul is gone the tide will turn. Anyway, as someone mentioned previously this is not a political forum....so I apologize if my comment seemed out of place. Cheers Sandy
  15. I sincerely hope that everyone who has booked a cruise to Cuba gets to go. We have done many cruises to foreign ports & this was one of the most interesting ones that we have visited. This is going to severely impact the Cuban people...
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