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FLASHINGLIGHTS83

CUBA Questions.....

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For anyone who has already sailed to Cuba, or has a cruise to Cuba booked, are there any special or different requirements or restrictions? More specifically, is a passport required? I know from the USA side it is a closed loop cruise, so no passport is needed by law, but what about the Cuban side? Any info is appreciated.

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Passport and visa are required. The cruise line arranges the visa for a fee.

 

 

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will need a pass port, and visa. visa can be purchased on board for $75.00. thru RCCL

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Absolutely need a passport. Upon entering the country from the cruise terminal, you submit the passport and visa. The control official takes the visa and stamps the passport. When you go and come back to the ship or back into town, the passport must be presented again and they check for the stamped page. Make sure your passport has more than six months remaining before expiration....otherwise, get a new one.

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This is Cuba, not the Caribbean. You need a passport. If you do not take a ships excursion, your tour guide is supposed to record your passport # but I have heard that most do not. You still need your passport and visa to get off the ship.

Remember............I before E except after C..........Cuba!

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Anyone experience just leaving the ship?

 

I went to Cuba twice with Fathom before they stopped cruising. AMAZING experience. BUT for US citizens there are pretty strict requirements. The best way to meet them is do a ship-based excursion where things have been vetted to ensure they meet the "people to people" standards - which is pretty much what you're doing when you go on a cruise.

 

If you choose NOT to do a ship-based excursion, you need to do some kind of tour or something to document people to people interactions - just wandering on your own doesn't cut it should you ever be asked to produce a record of what you did.

 

I personally did a combination on the first trip - our second day in La Habana I was on my own, but I made sure I had pictures of myself and my car or coco taxi driver, with my walking tour guide, etc. as well as keeping detailed accounts of what I saw both in writing and photographs. The other days I was on ship-based tours. Yes, the odds are generally slim that I'll be asked to produce any proof, but given this administration you never know when that might change. Better safe than sorry.

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We are going in May and have booked off ship excursions. This at the recommendation of others who have sailed and flew in for land visits. We were told to check “support the Cuban people” on the ship document. None of our friends had an issue and we don’t expect any either.

 

 

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Anyone experience just leaving the ship?

Everyone "just leaves the ship." No secret police, monitors or security persons. It feels like getting off at any other port. You go thru immigration with your passport and visa, change your money, then walk out into Cuba! Go have a great time supporting the Cuban people. :D

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I went to Cuba twice with Fathom before they stopped cruising. AMAZING experience. BUT for US citizens there are pretty strict requirements. The best way to meet them is do a ship-based excursion where things have been vetted to ensure they meet the "people to people" standards - which is pretty much what you're doing when you go on a cruise.

 

If you choose NOT to do a ship-based excursion, you need to do some kind of tour or something to document people to people interactions - just wandering on your own doesn't cut it should you ever be asked to produce a record of what you did.

 

I personally did a combination on the first trip - our second day in La Habana I was on my own, but I made sure I had pictures of myself and my car or coco taxi driver, with my walking tour guide, etc. as well as keeping detailed accounts of what I saw both in writing and photographs. The other days I was on ship-based tours. Yes, the odds are generally slim that I'll be asked to produce any proof, but given this administration you never know when that might change. Better safe than sorry.

No, passengers do NOT have to take ship tours if they don't want to.....please don't confuse others. Private tours or wandering on your own are all activities that Support the Cuban people, which is the current category. The "People to People" with scheduled excursions isn't a category now like it was when you went with fathom. We're now free to choose our own activities to support the Cubans and keep a journal and photos of what we did.

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WrittenOnYourHeart was quite vocal about requirements prior to her fathom cruise to Cuba and her subsequent Dominican cruise that stopped for one day in Cuba. She was telling people that the US regulations required "licensed guides" but provided no evidence of such a rule. After apparently discouraging going off one's own, she ended up running around Havana on her own in vintage convertibles and a coco taxi. I wonder if she checked to see if the drivers were "licensed".

Indeed her visit was prior to the rule changes. The biggest change was the removal of the check box for self guided person to person on the OFAC affadavit. That was the box to check if you wanted to go off on your own. Since the change the box to check that seems to work is support for the Cuban people. If you were to read the rules carefully, you would realize that spending the day being a tourist and speaking with cab drivers and bartenders doesn't really meet the requirements of either, but... That's what people are getting away with and there is no indication that anybody is going to get hassled by the government. The real estate developer in chief simply owes a political debt to the aging dead enders in Miami-Dade and came up with regulation changes that look tougher on the surface but don't effectively change anything, at least anything related to cruise travel.

Do what you want to do and enjoy your trip.

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The real estate developer in chief simply owes a political debt to the aging dead enders in Miami-Dade and came up with regulation changes that look tougher on the surface but don't effectively change anything, at least anything related to cruise travel.

:'):'):')

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