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cpayne

Pre arranged classic car tour OR arrange one after we walk off ship?

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Almacenes San José Artisans' Market

 

When exiting the terminal, head left and follow the street that goes along the waterfront. About a 12 minute walk, can't miss it, big warehouse sort of thing..

 

I was going to again refer you to Google Maps, but the previous poster got the name wrong so you wouldn't have found it.

 

How late is the Art Market open?

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Wanting to give this a little bump to see if anyone can answer the last few questions.

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Is it customary to tip the driver and the guide? If so, how much would be appropriate? I've booked through Old Car Tours?

 

Thanks,

 

We did the 2 hour tour with Old Car Tours, which was 60 CUCs plus 20 more for the English speaking guide. We gave them 100 CUCs.

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We took the Classic Car Tour offered by Royal Caribbean on our cruise in November. We were very disappointed. It was expensive, I believe close to $300. It did start end with a bus tour that stopped at a few places and had decent guides, but the hour and a half we spent in the car was a total waste, as the driver spoke no English, so we saw a lot of stuff, but know nothing about it. We heard other people talking on the ship about just paying $50 for a taxi tour. There were tons of people offering all around the cruise terminal. You choose your car. Some were really nice looking. And choose your driver an find someone who speaks English.

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Our family of 4 with two teens are visiting in June and want to do a walking tour with a guide and then classic cars later on. A friend visited last summer, a guy approached her party of four for a tour, they accepted, and had the most wonderful time with a walking tour first, and then a classic car tour. I would like to use the same person. Here's my worry- I have read and read on the FAQs with what we can and cannot do in Cuba now with the new US regulations that started in Nov. We did not book any component of our cruise before the date in June that it was announced. It says that a tour must be purchased through the cruise line or with a "US sponsoring organization". Clearly this guy is not. I've also seen on the cruise FAQ that if you do one of these sponsored tours, you can then freely walk around on your own.:

 

 


  • "you can enjoy Havana before or after your tour, as long as you are engaged in a full-day schedule of educational exchange activities as setforth by OFAC regulations"
     

 

 

 

If the non-licensed guide is planning to do an organized walking tour, and then later through him we do a classic car tour with drivers he has pre-arranged while he accompanies, does anyone know if we need to do another "US sponsored organization" led-tour first?

 

I have spent several hours over several days reading through what I could find, including the treasure.gov site trying to decipher what is allowed, so I figured I'd just see if anyone here feels clear on the rules.

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We did the 2 hour tour with Old Car Tours, which was 60 CUCs plus 20 more for the English speaking guide. We gave them 100 CUCs.

How was the tour? We are also booked with them for a 2 hour tour next month.

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Debating between pre-arranging a classic car tour with a group such as I Love Cuba or Old Car Tours vs. simply picking an old classic car when we get off the ship. Pre arranged trip I believe will cost more, but not enough I don't think to be a deciding factor. Arranged off the ship gives us more flexibility if the weather is bad the 1st day we arrive (in port 2 days), we are delayed getting off the ship, etc....

 

Any other thoughts re: pros and cons of each option?

 

Pre-arranged with OldCarTours is better because they have English speaking guides (yes, an added cost to the tour, but WORTH it). The cars outside the terminal (and people on CC have stated likewise) is a little less expensive, but the driver doesn't speak English and it's just a ride around in the car.

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How was the tour? We are also booked with them for a 2 hour tour next month.

 

It was great. Do your homework and learn what it is on their website itinerary that you want to see. In our case we ended up missing one thing that we wanted to see (John Lennon stature) but didn't realize it until after the tour. If we had mentioned the Lennon statue they would have taken us there as they were very accommodating.

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It was great. Do your homework and learn what it is on their website itinerary that you want to see. In our case we ended up missing one thing that we wanted to see (John Lennon stature) but didn't realize it until after the tour. If we had mentioned the Lennon statue they would have taken us there as they were very accommodating.

Where else did they take you that you found very interesting? What time of day was your tour?

Thanks for your replies

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Driving along the Malecón was wonderful. Plaza de la Revolución was a great photo op. The Havana Forest was interesting. (We saw a guy in a business suit carrying a chicken down to the river to sacrifice.) El morro, el Cristo de La Habana, just driving around was fascinating. Our tour was like 2-4 in the afternoon.

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Our family of 4 with two teens are visiting in June and want to do a walking tour with a guide and then classic cars later on. A friend visited last summer, a guy approached her party of four for a tour, they accepted, and had the most wonderful time with a walking tour first, and then a classic car tour. I would like to use the same person. Here's my worry- I have read and read on the FAQs with what we can and cannot do in Cuba now with the new US regulations that started in Nov. We did not book any component of our cruise before the date in June that it was announced. It says that a tour must be purchased through the cruise line or with a "US sponsoring organization". Clearly this guy is not. I've also seen on the cruise FAQ that if you do one of these sponsored tours, you can then freely walk around on your own.:

 

 

  • "you can enjoy Havana before or after your tour, as long as you are engaged in a full-day schedule of educational exchange activities as setforth by OFAC regulations"

 

 

If the non-licensed guide is planning to do an organized walking tour, and then later through him we do a classic car tour with drivers he has pre-arranged while he accompanies, does anyone know if we need to do another "US sponsored organization" led-tour first?

 

I have spent several hours over several days reading through what I could find, including the treasure.gov site trying to decipher what is allowed, so I figured I'd just see if anyone here feels clear on the rules.

 

 

The long and short of it is that no one, including our government, is clear on the rules, but, also, no one cares. If you've been reading this forum, many, many people have just walked off the ship and done whatever they want to. Check "Support for the Cuban People" on your affidavit and go on your merry way. The verbiage you quoted is from the "People to People". "Support for the Cuban People" only requires that you have meaningful interaction with them, and your tours would certainly qualify. If you really want to be in compliance, then write up an account of your activities and hold onto it for 5 years.

Edited by FredZiffle

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The long and short of it is that no one, including our government, is clear on the rules, but, also, no one cares. If you've been reading this forum, many, many people have just walked off the ship and done whatever they want to. Check "Support for the Cuban People" on your affidavit and go on your merry way. The verbiage you quoted is from the "People to People". "Support for the Cuban People" only requires that you have meaningful interaction with them, and your tours would certainly qualify. If you really want to be in compliance, then write up an account of your activities and hold onto it for 5 years.

I agree....just go and enjoy! No secret police or guards....no one cares what you do. We got a classic car tour from a guy on the street and he spoke English. $40/40CUC for a 1 hr tour. I enjoyed the Lennon statue....we sat next to it on the park bench for pictures.

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Pre-arranged with OldCarTours is better because they have English speaking guides (yes, an added cost to the tour, but WORTH it). The cars outside the terminal (and people on CC have stated likewise) is a little less expensive, but the driver doesn't speak English and it's just a ride around in the car.

 

 

 

Not necessarily. We got a 3-hour ride in a pink convertible for 22 CUC total. The guide spoke English.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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You have a head start on me. What have you found out?

 

Thanks

 

 

Our family of 4 with two teens are visiting in June and want to do a walking tour with a guide and then classic cars later on. A friend visited last summer, a guy approached her party of four for a tour, they accepted, and had the most wonderful time with a walking tour first, and then a classic car tour. I would like to use the same person. Here's my worry- I have read and read on the FAQs with what we can and cannot do in Cuba now with the new US regulations that started in Nov. We did not book any component of our cruise before the date in June that it was announced. It says that a tour must be purchased through the cruise line or with a "US sponsoring organization". Clearly this guy is not. I've also seen on the cruise FAQ that if you do one of these sponsored tours, you can then freely walk around on your own.:

 

 


  • "you can enjoy Havana before or after your tour, as long as you are engaged in a full-day schedule of educational exchange activities as setforth by OFAC regulations"

 

 

 

If the non-licensed guide is planning to do an organized walking tour, and then later through him we do a classic car tour with drivers he has pre-arranged while he accompanies, does anyone know if we need to do another "US sponsored organization" led-tour first?

 

I have spent several hours over several days reading through what I could find, including the treasure.gov site trying to decipher what is allowed, so I figured I'd just see if anyone here feels clear on the rules.

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just looked at the Free Havana walking tour website and it states they are temporarily closed!

 

Marianne

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Our family of 4 with two teens are visiting in June and want to do a walking tour with a guide and then classic cars later on. A friend visited last summer, a guy approached her party of four for a tour, they accepted, and had the most wonderful time with a walking tour first, and then a classic car tour. I would like to use the same person. Here's my worry- I have read and read on the FAQs with what we can and cannot do in Cuba now with the new US regulations that started in Nov. We did not book any component of our cruise before the date in June that it was announced. It says that a tour must be purchased through the cruise line or with a "US sponsoring organization". Clearly this guy is not. I've also seen on the cruise FAQ that if you do one of these sponsored tours, you can then freely walk around on your own.:

 

 


  • "you can enjoy Havana before or after your tour, as long as you are engaged in a full-day schedule of educational exchange activities as setforth by OFAC regulations"

 

 

 

If the non-licensed guide is planning to do an organized walking tour, and then later through him we do a classic car tour with drivers he has pre-arranged while he accompanies, does anyone know if we need to do another "US sponsored organization" led-tour first?

 

I have spent several hours over several days reading through what I could find, including the treasure.gov site trying to decipher what is allowed, so I figured I'd just see if anyone here feels clear on the rules.

You do not need to do any sort of tour at all. You can simply walk off the boat and wander on your own. The cruise line rules are referring to the "People To People" option on the affidavit. Check "Support of the Cuban People" instead. Even that doesn't really matter. No one checks your affidavit. No one is going to come after you if you don't check the correct box or fail to take a tour. Thousands of US visitors have gone out on their own or taken independent tours. Those completed affidavits are collected by the cruise line at embarkation and stuffed away in file boxes somewhere so that they can say everyone is in compliance.

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For our cruise in August my wife and I are taking a classic tour from Havana to Vinales. This is a relatively long drive, but includes parks, tobacco farm, lunch and more.

 

Which tour company are you using for your Havana to Vinales tour? We've reached out to one company twice now and they've been unresponsive after 2 attempts over 6 weeks. I've got a couple of other companies we plan to contact, but wondering which company you booked??

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Which tour company are you using for your Havana to Vinales tour? We've reached out to one company twice now and they've been unresponsive after 2 attempts over 6 weeks. I've got a couple of other companies we plan to contact, but wondering which company you booked??

 

We used Discover Vinales

https://www.discover-vinales.com/

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Classic cars and drivers are everywhere, especially in Havana. Quite a few were right outside of the cruise terminal. We walked to the large square near the Capitol where lots and lots of cars were parked. You pick your favorite one and negotiate a tour. The most common rate was 40 CUC's (equal to $40) per car per hour.

 

Does one need a pre-arranged tour to get off the ship? We have filled out all the documentation and obtained our visa. Our tour company cancelled us at the last minute. We are hoping to just walk off and hire a driver or guide. Thanks. (USA)

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Debating between pre-arranging a classic car tour with a group such as I Love Cuba or Old Car Tours vs. simply picking an old classic car when we get off the ship. Pre arranged trip I believe will cost more, but not enough I don't think to be a deciding factor. Arranged off the ship gives us more flexibility if the weather is bad the 1st day we arrive (in port 2 days), we are delayed getting off the ship, etc....

 

Any other thoughts re: pros and cons of each option?

 

I recommend booking a private tour in advance (not a cruise excursion!!!) It's not just about driving around in a car, it's about really getting to see everything you want and really learning about the country from locals. I've been several times- both hiring taxi's last minute and using different tour companies. I Love Cuba was my favorite- and they will customize the day do anything you want to do...even if it is raining :-)

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