Cuban Cruise Review - May 1st, 2017 - The very FIRST Norwegian sailing!!!

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#1
Southern Connecticut
1,113 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Greetings all,

It’s been a long while since I wrote a review…However, with us sailing on the very first trip to Cuba with Norwegian, I figured we would be able to maybe help others with our experiences.


So, here goes – Please be kind.

If you have any questions along the way, I will attempt to answer these as best as I can. I make no promises that this review will be live, but I will attempt to update as often as I can.


Stay tuned...

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Coming Up Next:
Norwegian Escape - 5/27/2018 NYC - Bermuda | Norwegian Bliss - 9/30/2018 Vancouver to
Las Angeles - Pacific Coastal | Norwegian Jade - 4/12/2019 Miami - Southern Caribbean |
Our Cruise History:
Norwegian Sky - 5/1/2017 Miami - NCL's 1st Cruise to CUBA! | Norwegian Dawn - 1/22/2017 New Orleans - Western Caribbean | Norwegian Pearl - 7/31/2016 Seattle - Glacier Bay Alaska | Norwegian Breakaway - 2/21/2016 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Sun - 2/1/2015 Tampa - Western Caribbean | Norwegian Breakaway - 11/10/2013 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Gem - 6/01/2013 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Jewel - 2/1/2013 NYC - Weekend Cruise | Norwegian Jewel - 10/14/2012 NYC - Florida/Bahamas | Norwegian Dawn - 10/28/2011 Boston - Weekend Cruise | Norwegian Spirit - 7/3/2011 New Orleans - Western Caribbean
#2
North Shore of Boston
122 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Excellent! Really looking forward to this. Came very close to booking it for May but opted for Bermuda. Have fun and drink a Cuba Libre for me!
#3
Southern Connecticut
1,113 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Quick catch up for everyone.

Shortly after the New Year for 2017, the DW and I made the decision to go on this sailing, right after the itinerary was first announced by Norwegian. At the time, we already had two other cruises booked with Norwegian, as we like to book way ahead and plan our trips well. This one was going to be very new and interesting for us as we did not have a lot of published Cuban experiences to learn from. We decided to let Norwegian take care of our visa for us ($75 per person) so we did not need to worry about running into any hassles with this. Further research later found that the visa would have cost us the same amount elsewhere, so we were glad to allow the cruise line to take charge of this, if only to ensure we did not mess it up ourselves.

As we are members of AAA, we were able to order Euros to convert into CUC (pronounced Kook). AAA did the transaction through Wells Fargo, not my favorite banking insitution, but the fee was very very low. The CUC$ is the Cuban currency used mainly by tourist and other visitors. It’s value is on par for the USD, but there is a 10% penalty for converting USD into CUC, so this is where the Euros come in. I did the math and figured out we would save a bit of money (and maybe a bit of hassle) using Euros. We will see how this goes when we get to Cuba.

Next we started planning where we wanted to visit while in Cuba. I could not locate good reliable maps of Havana, so I took to using Google Maps with their satellite overhead images and sought out our destinations. Those are to come later. With these images I was able to confidently plot out our routes and plan to use these in conduction with our driver and tour guide.

Stay tuned…
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Coming Up Next:
Norwegian Escape - 5/27/2018 NYC - Bermuda | Norwegian Bliss - 9/30/2018 Vancouver to
Las Angeles - Pacific Coastal | Norwegian Jade - 4/12/2019 Miami - Southern Caribbean |
Our Cruise History:
Norwegian Sky - 5/1/2017 Miami - NCL's 1st Cruise to CUBA! | Norwegian Dawn - 1/22/2017 New Orleans - Western Caribbean | Norwegian Pearl - 7/31/2016 Seattle - Glacier Bay Alaska | Norwegian Breakaway - 2/21/2016 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Sun - 2/1/2015 Tampa - Western Caribbean | Norwegian Breakaway - 11/10/2013 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Gem - 6/01/2013 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Jewel - 2/1/2013 NYC - Weekend Cruise | Norwegian Jewel - 10/14/2012 NYC - Florida/Bahamas | Norwegian Dawn - 10/28/2011 Boston - Weekend Cruise | Norwegian Spirit - 7/3/2011 New Orleans - Western Caribbean
#4
Southern Connecticut
1,113 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Fast forward to the day of our trip! We left home for my in-law’s house on Saturday. The evening was spent in good company seeing friends and family. Sunday morning, bright and early found us getting ready for a car service o pick us up and bring us JFK. The driver was a little late, but he made good time getting us to where we needed to be. Check in and security went smooth as can be. The DW and I made a beeline to our favorite lounge called Airspace by JetBlue. We were able to get free access with a certain credit card we carry. Plus we were given a voucher for drinks or food if we wanted to get something. We each had two breakfast sandwiches a coffee for me, juice for her. The wait was enjoyable with plenty of chairs and space.





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Coming Up Next:
Norwegian Escape - 5/27/2018 NYC - Bermuda | Norwegian Bliss - 9/30/2018 Vancouver to
Las Angeles - Pacific Coastal | Norwegian Jade - 4/12/2019 Miami - Southern Caribbean |
Our Cruise History:
Norwegian Sky - 5/1/2017 Miami - NCL's 1st Cruise to CUBA! | Norwegian Dawn - 1/22/2017 New Orleans - Western Caribbean | Norwegian Pearl - 7/31/2016 Seattle - Glacier Bay Alaska | Norwegian Breakaway - 2/21/2016 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Sun - 2/1/2015 Tampa - Western Caribbean | Norwegian Breakaway - 11/10/2013 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Gem - 6/01/2013 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Jewel - 2/1/2013 NYC - Weekend Cruise | Norwegian Jewel - 10/14/2012 NYC - Florida/Bahamas | Norwegian Dawn - 10/28/2011 Boston - Weekend Cruise | Norwegian Spirit - 7/3/2011 New Orleans - Western Caribbean
#5
Southern Connecticut
1,113 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Soon enough the flight was boarding so we made our way to the gate and onboard the plane. Our flight was mostly smooth sailing as we arrived to our destination of Fort Lauderdale Airport. Here are the DW and I showing our excitement for this trip!



We are currently getting ready to land, so I will be signing off now...

Stay Tuned...

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Coming Up Next:
Norwegian Escape - 5/27/2018 NYC - Bermuda | Norwegian Bliss - 9/30/2018 Vancouver to
Las Angeles - Pacific Coastal | Norwegian Jade - 4/12/2019 Miami - Southern Caribbean |
Our Cruise History:
Norwegian Sky - 5/1/2017 Miami - NCL's 1st Cruise to CUBA! | Norwegian Dawn - 1/22/2017 New Orleans - Western Caribbean | Norwegian Pearl - 7/31/2016 Seattle - Glacier Bay Alaska | Norwegian Breakaway - 2/21/2016 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Sun - 2/1/2015 Tampa - Western Caribbean | Norwegian Breakaway - 11/10/2013 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Gem - 6/01/2013 NYC - Bahamas/Florida | Norwegian Jewel - 2/1/2013 NYC - Weekend Cruise | Norwegian Jewel - 10/14/2012 NYC - Florida/Bahamas | Norwegian Dawn - 10/28/2011 Boston - Weekend Cruise | Norwegian Spirit - 7/3/2011 New Orleans - Western Caribbean
#6
88 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
How Exciting! Take lots of pictures!
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Celebrity Amerikanis 1993
Carnival 1995 (?)
Norwegian Star 2011
Norwegian Getaway December 2017
#9
The Netherlands
42 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Ohh I'm going to follow this one! Four weeks tomorrow until we're on this same trip
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First time cruiser
~~~
Upcoming cruise: NCL Sky - Miami-Cuba-GSC-Miami
May 29th-June 2nd 2017
#13
France
6,079 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
There have been several threads asking about the visa/tourist card for Cuba. I assume you did not receive any paperwork ahead of sailing, right? When you receive the visa on board would you mind posting a photo of it (cover up your personal details if necessary)? Thanks!
#14
Boston, MA
13 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Thank you for doing this! I'm excited to follow along as a get ready for my turn on June 5th! Have fun!!!!
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Norwegian Sky June 2017
Norwegian Jade March 2015
Carnival Sensation June 2014
Norwegian Sky September 2011
Norwegian Spirit February 2008
#15
Dallas, TX
9,073 Posts
Joined May 2008
This one will be fun. Thanks!!!


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Donna (Dallas, Texas)

Previous Cruises:
NCL Epic - Forward Owner's Suite (17004) - Eastern Caribbean (after
being cancelled TWICE by NCL)
NCL Jewel - aft PH - Western Caribbean from Tx - 4/15
Carnival Magic - aft balc - Caribbean from TX - 11/14
NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. Caribbean - 03/13
Carnival Paradise - Baja Calif - 03/11
NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. America (& Antarctica) - 2/09 (Favorite)
NCL Dawn - NYC to Nowhere -04/08 -
NCL Jewel - TransAtlantic to Greece - 04/07
RCI Monarch - Baja Calif - 03/05 - Family Reunion Cruise!
Celebrity Summit - Alaska - 08/03
Carnival Ecstacy - Bahamas - 5/00
NCL Norway - broom closet (Inside) Caribbean - 7/86 My 1st!!!
#16
Hudson Valley NY
365 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Following

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NCL Escape 9/16/17
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NCL Dawn 5/4/07 Cruise to nowhere
CCL Triumph 04/06
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RCI Voyager 7/04
CCL Triumph 9/99
#18
Nj
204 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Following. We are sailing on July 3. I am confused about visa. Is it included in final payment or on our onboard account? Where and when do we get the paperwork? Have fun and thanks!


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#19
Ottawa, Illinois
4,233 Posts
Joined May 2009
This is a first, reading a review of a cruise I am sailing on before we even board the ship. We now know what you look like so we will find you on the ship.
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USS Saratoga CV-60 1974-1978

Upcoming cruises


Brilliance of the Seas 1-25-18
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41 Trips the Empress of the Seas hasn't been added to the active list yet.
#20
Wilmington, DE
454 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Looking forward to your review. I will be boarding the Sky for Cuba in one week.
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