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How has it been to visit Cuba under the new US regulations that took effect on November 9, 2017 for those who hadn't booked their cruises before June 16, 2017?

Were you allowed to go ashore on your own?

Did you have to go with a cruise shore-excursion or could you use an independent tour operator?

How many hours a day were required for "full time" participation in "Support for the Cuban People" or group "People to People" license activities ?

Which cruise line did you sail on?

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You can also post on the Cuba Port of Call Forum for more response.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1009

 

Thank you. I've been posting on the "New Rules on Visiting Cuba" thread there and have received some responses. But what I need now are experiences from cruise passengers who have been to Cuba since the new regs went into effect. I want to know how the new regs are actually being enforced.

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I've subscribed to this Cuba Roll Call thread (a trip that's going on right now on Viking Ocean cruises) because we're really getting what-it-is-like-now-impressions of what it's like. We're headed out on Friday to Cuba (on Viking Sun); plan to post on this thread if there's anything new to report.

 

 

Link: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=54691365&posted=1#post54691365

 

Carolyn

 

 

How has it been to visit Cuba under the new US regulations that took effect on November 9, 2017 for those who hadn't booked their cruises before June 16, 2017?

Were you allowed to go ashore on your own?

Did you have to go with a cruise shore-excursion or could you use an independent tour operator?

How many hours a day were required for "full time" participation in "Support for the Cuban People" or group "People to People" license activities ?

Which cruise line did you sail on?

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Share on other sites

Hi all....

 

We were just in Cuba (Empress of the seas) for a day on 11/28.

 

We had no problem getting off by ourselves, going thru immigration, getting CUC exchanged for US $, and had a great full day in Havana. The only requirements were that Royal did not want us trying to debark between 10 and 12 (that is when they were debarking the cruisers who used the Royal excursions)...we left at 8 AM and explored.

 

Walked around and explored, sat down and had coffee and the Cuban version of diet coke (actually quite good) some morning ham sandwiches and avacado toast.

 

We rented three convertible old cars(by the Russian church with the gold domes) for our group of six and negotiated a 4 hour tour with all of the stops that we wanted to see/do with an English duide. 110 CUC's per car

 

Hit all of the squares and usual tourist stops quickly and rode out to rain forest for pina coladas mid-day, the drinks came "virgin" and then a bottle of rum was placed on the table (pour your own). 5 CUC's each...

 

We returned along the beaches (lovely)

 

We stopped in at an out of the way cigar and rum store and purchased the same products that were in the port stores for about 1/2rd of the price. Watch the holograms and codes on the cigar boxes to be sure your getting the real deal. picked up some great 30 year old rum and plenty of cigars. Spent about 300 CUC's here

 

The Cuban people are warm, friendly and not reluctant at all to talk about their life.

 

We ended the day with a 5 course meal at a restaurant suggested by our guide that was truly amazing, I had the best Octopus I have ever eaten! 160 CUC's for the entire group

 

We rode back to the ship in three horse drawn carriages 10 CUC's each carriage.

 

Please consider tipping in CUC's, the guides explained that they had to go to the bank to change US dollars to CUC and their were often questions concerning where the money came from.

 

Your old car drivers have to have a special license and driver test to operate the old cars, they do not speak English but really appreciate a tip as well.

 

Glad we went to see it now, a real adventure and I hope that life gets better for the young people on the island.

 

As I told the US immigration agent when getting off the ship in Miami... "great trip but still glad to be back home".

 

Enjoy your chance to travel back to the 1950's!!!

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