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

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The humidity.

 

Glad you had a great time. Don't say I didn't warn you it was hot! [emoji1]

 

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FYI ... BEWARE!!

 

When we were there last month ... we exchanged for CUCs at the pier. However, upon leaving, we tried to exchange our leftover CUCs back and discovered that we had received a counterfeit 3 CUC bill in our travels [emoji45] They would not take it back and even showed us how the imprint was a bit different. We're not sure where exactly we picked it up ... but had to take it home as a souvenir!

 

 

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We booked for April 2018 for Cuba. Keeping fingers crossed on Trump's decision. If not we will decide from there were our cruise will be but probably not Sky to Bahamas though. Will pick another ship and ports if NCL allows us to change.

 

We're cruising in April 2018 as well, the April 9th sailing. Fingers crossed we're able to go.

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Glad you had a great time. Don't say I didn't warn you it was hot! [emoji1]

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

 

I did. It was amazing. I really need to go back and stay in a hotel and spend a lot more time exploring. I'm still emailing back and forth with one of the guides I had for my Hemingway tour.

 

YES ... you were SO right about the heat plus the humidity. I live in Utah ... VERY dry ... it took a lot of getting used to.

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We're cruising in April 2018 as well, the April 9th sailing. Fingers crossed we're able to go.

April 9th for us too, I hope! Booked an aft balcony cabin, first time trying aft balcony.

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April 9th for us too, I hope! Booked an aft balcony cabin, first time trying aft balcony.

 

 

Aft balcony on the Sky is great. This will be our third time in the aft when we sail July 3. We should have a great view of the port.

 

 

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April 9th for us too, I hope! Booked an aft balcony cabin, first time trying aft balcony.
I'm sure it'll be amazing. I went back in to try and upgrade from picture window to balcony and they're sold out.

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FYI ... BEWARE!!

 

When we were there last month ... we exchanged for CUCs at the pier. However, upon leaving, we tried to exchange our leftover CUCs back and discovered that we had received a counterfeit 3 CUC bill in our travels [emoji45] They would not take it back and even showed us how the imprint was a bit different. We're not sure where exactly we picked it up ... but had to take it home as a souvenir!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

Was it a CUP and not a CUC? Or was it a counterfeit CUC? Just curious. CUP has people on them and CUC has monuments on them. Just FYI. CUP is usable and you can purchase with them or give to a local but I guess maybe not exchangeable back to US or other currency. IF that was the case.

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jenidallas, We are doing the B2B in November. Have not done a B2B on NCL. How did they handle your B2B? Did you have to leave the ship for a certain amount of time or were you escorted off and then allowed to scan right back on the ship? THANKS!

 

Because we were in the US, we had to briefly leave the ship in Miami. If we'd been in a different country/port, this might not have been the case.

 

What happens in Miami is that we we met in the bar closest to the gangway around 10 am. There were about a half dozen B2B passengers plus a couple of officer's family members and a few contractors staying on. After the last guests left the ship, we were then walked off to wait in a lounge area in the terminal. Once the last passengers cleared immigration, we were called down to immigration. They were clearing the departing crew members (leaving the ship that day) as we came down. They did a verbal count off of the manifest with the purser to check the numbers of passengers on/off, crew manifests on/off, and then came and manually did a face-to-face of each of our passports and checked each of us off a list of those staying onboard.

 

They then declared the ship "cleared" and closed immigration and escorted us back to the lounge to wait again.

 

They then "opened" the ship and we saw the arriving new crew members walk onto the ship. About five minutes later, they gave the clearance for us to come onboard. From there, the dock activity started with items being loaded onto the ship. All-in-all, we were maybe off the ship for 30-45 minutes at most.

 

 

We were allowed to go anywhere in the passenger areas *except* back to the cabin areas which were being serviced so my only advice is to take whatever you need to be comfortable for the day - we grabbed our laptops, sunglasses, and reading material. We saw our first passengers on the ship about 60-90 minutes later.

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Because we were in the US, we had to briefly leave the ship in Miami. If we'd been in a different country/port, this might not have been the case.

 

What happens in Miami is that we we met in the bar closest to the gangway around 10 am. There were about a half dozen B2B passengers plus a couple of officer's family members and a few contractors staying on. After the last guests left the ship, we were then walked off to wait in a lounge area in the terminal. Once the last passengers cleared immigration, we were called down to immigration. They were clearing the departing crew members (leaving the ship that day) as we came down. They did a verbal count off of the manifest with the purser to check the numbers of passengers on/off, crew manifests on/off, and then came and manually did a face-to-face of each of our passports and checked each of us off a list of those staying onboard.

 

They then declared the ship "cleared" and closed immigration and escorted us back to the lounge to wait again.

 

They then "opened" the ship and we saw the arriving new crew members walk onto the ship. About five minutes later, they gave the clearance for us to come onboard. From there, the dock activity started with items being loaded onto the ship. All-in-all, we were maybe off the ship for 30-45 minutes at most.

 

 

We were allowed to go anywhere in the passenger areas *except* back to the cabin areas which were being serviced so my only advice is to take whatever you need to be comfortable for the day - we grabbed our laptops, sunglasses, and reading material. We saw our first passengers on the ship about 60-90 minutes later.

 

Thank you,

 

This sounds similar to other BTB experiences I've had, tomorrow we board the Sky for Bahamas and are staying on for Cuba on Monday. we made plans in Miami so will ask if we can disembark and re board later in the day rather than stay onboard for the afternoon.

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"Under Trump's rules, which federal agencies have 90 days to implement, travelers will be subject to a Treasury Department audit of their trip to ensure they fall under one of the permitted categories. Educational trips and so-called "people-to-people" group exchanges will fall under greater scrutiny, with educational groups once again having to travel with a guide from a U.S. organization sponsoring the trip, a requirement the Obama policy had effectively eliminated. Commercial flights and cruise trips to Cuba will be allowed to continue, because paying landing fees at military-run airports and seaports will be exempt from the Trump ban."

 

So we can still go, but it looks like things such as wandering the city on your own to find a nice bar and going to a show at night won't be as easy to do now. I wonder if this will curb the high demand for these trips. The cruise we were considering went from $599 to $989 in just a couple weeks, so we decided against going until demand dies down.

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Thank you,

 

This sounds similar to other BTB experiences I've had, tomorrow we board the Sky for Bahamas and are staying on for Cuba on Monday. we made plans in Miami so will ask if we can disembark and re board later in the day rather than stay onboard for the afternoon.

 

Yes, you can. You'll just want to go down the night before to swap out your keycard. You'll disembark as normal and can reboard once they've started letting passengers on.

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So we can still go, but it looks like things such as wandering the city on your own to find a nice bar and going to a show at night won't be as easy to do now.

 

I think that depends largely on how good you are at navigating things on your own. We utilized a driver service, but not a guide, and only during the day. We also were 100% compliant with the people-to-people requirements including the Treasury Department's documentation requirements. I'd be a tiny bit nervous about the new requirement about spending but with a bit elbow grease, that could also be navigated. Spanish fluency helps but I still think one could go and not have to be stuck with crappy cruise line tours.

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So glad you had a good trip, CruiseGal. I, however, am VERY happy to be going next week - especially with all the Cuba Libre Festivals. Should be a grand time! My inside sources tell me that mid-June is always the best time to be in Cuba. So excited!!!!

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So glad you had a good trip, CruiseGal. I, however, am VERY happy to be going next week - especially with all the Cuba Libre Festivals. Should be a grand time! My inside sources tell me that mid-June is always the best time to be in Cuba. So excited!!!!

 

Does sound like fun. LOVE Cuba Libre. Enjoy and Happy Sails to You ...

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Hellooooo Dearies:

 

Just 2 days and 21 hours until we set sail and join in the Havana League of Honor (HLH) of those who have been to Cuba!

 

I understand the Port of Miami is terribly busy with all the different cruise ships. Does anyone have advise on which terminal we need for the NCL "Sky-tastic" vacation we're about to enjoy? Thanks!

 

Toot-Toot!!!

 

Ole!

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Indeed, Miami is considered the Cruise Capital of the world, with over 4.8 million cruise passengers visiting it’s port in one year. it is is the busiest cruise ship port anywhere. No one will guarantee where our ship ends up, but it will most likely be terminal J. The best advice is to look for the electronic signs that will inform you which ships are docked at Port Miami at each of its seven terminals. You should be fine if you are even half as smart as an ox. Good luck!

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Way to go, Josh, old boy! You've done it again! Be sure to let me buy you a drinkie or two for all of your advise and help in these threads! "Half as smart as an ox!" I say! Good stuff! The DW finds your humor a real hoot because it's a mirror of the old gal's humor, for sure! You must join us for dinner one night! Who else would like to join in the fun?

 

Toot-Toot!

 

Ole!

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Was it a CUP and not a CUC? Or was it a counterfeit CUC? Just curious. CUP has people on them and CUC has monuments on them. Just FYI. CUP is usable and you can purchase with them or give to a local but I guess maybe not exchangeable back to US or other currency. IF that was the case.

 

 

 

No, it was definitely a CUC and they said it was only the 3 CUC denominations that have counterfeits ☹️

 

 

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How can you tell a counterfeit from a real one?

 

I thought she said it was a $3 CUC. Which doesn't exist. Ever heard the expression, "Queer as a three dollar bill"? ;p Toot-Toot!

 

Ole!

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I thought she said it was a $3 CUC. Which doesn't exist. Ever heard the expression, "Queer as a three dollar bill"? ;p Toot-Toot!

 

 

 

Ole!

 

 

It absolutely DOES exist! They are widely used in Cuba and we were able to exchange all back ... except for that counterfeit. Apparently, the fakes have a hologram of the wrong person. I can't exactly remember the person, but they showed us all the good bills with a male (or female). Whereas, the counterfeits were of the opposite sex.

 

 

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Why would anyone go through all the trouble to counterfeit such a low denomination bill? :rolleyes:

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Hello Dearies!

 

I've been meaning to ask if they have had any formal wine tasting events scheduled along with wine specials to purchase? We enjoyed that on a previous cruise and would like to do it again. Thanks!

 

Toot-Toot!

 

Ole!

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I have a souvenir 3CUP from a woman at a drink stand at Morro Castle. I gave her a signed US$1 bill and she gave me a signed 3CUP. Whether she keeps or spends the US$1 is of no concern to me. It was a fun exchange and she was very nice. The 3CUP is SO OLD ... is SO crumpled and used. I also have 1CUC left that wasn't worth cashing in. It too is just SO old and crinkled and used. Seems like there isn't a lot of new cash introduced in to the system. If a Cuban resident signed a CUC, I wonder how long it would take to get back to the same person.

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Google 'Havana Tours by Blexie'.

 

Blexie was already booked and put us with a friend of his named Roly. My communication via email with Blexie was fantastic and the guide we had for the day, Roly, was wonderful! He spoke very good English and worked hard to give you what you wanted. Do a little research and let them know what you want to see. We paid in CUC$, 130 CUC$. We tipped an additional 50 CUC$ because Roly and the driver, Hector were both wonderful!

 

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Thank you so much for your reviews!! I referenced your thread on the current thread that I am a part of for a Carnival Cuba cruise in October. I have read, reread, and made notes of a lot of your information. I am happy to report that I have had contact with Havana Tours by Blexie and we are scheduled to have Roly as our guide. After your glowing review or your private tour, I am convinced that we are doing a great excursion. Thank you, again!!!

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Thank you so much for your reviews!! I referenced your thread on the current thread that I am a part of for a Carnival Cuba cruise in October. I have read, reread, and made notes of a lot of your information. I am happy to report that I have had contact with Havana Tours by Blexie and we are scheduled to have Roly as our guide. After your glowing review or your private tour, I am convinced that we are doing a great excursion. Thank you, again!!!
Enjoy your trip!!

 

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I can't wait to get a $3 CUC!!!! I'd even take a counterfeit one!

 

Ole!

Because generally people do not scrutinize small bills, it's the higher ones peop,e really look at

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Are you saying you can't go back to a bank before departing Cuba to exchange any remaining CUC to USD?

 

There is a currency exchange on the dock right after you get off the ship and you can exchange your Cuban money back to US dollars before you get back on the ship. It's very easy and convenient.

 

Marion

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The Hop on Hop off bus was a good value, and highly recommended. The T1 line stops right in front of the ship and is $10 Cuban, paid as you enter the bus. Its a 2 hour circle thru Havana, very good!

The T3 line stops at Parc Centro, its $5, and it gets on the highway and drives out to the beaches. Also very good and a little less that 2 hours. Then back to the ship on T1 Bus.

 

NOTE; T1 stops at Parc Centro, twice, once outbound (5 min from the ship) and again Inbound (2 hours around the circle back to the ship). Once you finish the T3 route make sure that you get on the right T1 that gets back to the ship in 5 min, OR you may find yourself doing the 2 hour tour again.

The Inbound T1 and outbound T1 stop on opposite sides of the same Parc Centro square, it EZ to see both stops, the square is not that big.

 

Is that like the Hop on Hop Off bus in Key West where you can get off the bus to do some sightseeing and then hop back on and go to another tourist spot for the one fee? Thanks

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Is that like the Hop on Hop Off bus in Key West where you can get off the bus to do some sightseeing and then hop back on and go to another tourist spot for the one fee? Thanks

 

Yes, but we never felt the need to get off the T1 bus around the city, we had a great view from the top of the double decker bus.

We did get off the T3 bus at the beach, we bough a drink at the beach and re boarded the bus after its 20 min layover. If you want more time at the beach, the busses come every 45 min to an hour.

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First thank you so much for your wonderful posts. We're going in June so it was very helpful.

 

But to answer your question: we've been on 29 or 30 cruises and only once were we aware of a death on board. It was a longer trip so many people had at least met her. It was health related. If you actually think about the numbers of people cruising each day, as well as a tilt toward the more seasoned (but young at heart) population, I don't think the number of deaths would be unusual.

 

Thanks again for the info. Maybe we'll cruise together some day.

 

We go on the longer cruises in Asia and the Med. The demographic for these cruises is old and older. We are 70, for instance. We have been on 4 or 5 cruises during which --often the first day-- someone has died of natural causes. On one trip our luggage was taken by friends of a couple with our last name. The wife broke Her ankle and was hospitalized. When the husband left the hospital, he died of a heart attack! So the friends said they would collect their luggage but collected ours! It was a week before that was found out.

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