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Where did you have dinner and do you recommend it? Also, what time of day was your tour and what site is most worth visiting? Thank you

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Our guide, Jorge, brought us to a nice place for lunch. I don’t recall the name but it was originally by a very nice house that is now used as a bed and breakfast. The owners converted the yard to a restaurant and bar. It was very nice and the staff and food was quite good. Everyone in our party of four enjoyed the food.

Our tour started around 9am with about 40 minutes of walking to various sites. Then we got in the classic car and continued with a number of stops where we got out to see the sites. All of us are Hemingway fans so we thoroughly enjoyed visiting he home. We also went to the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, which was the hotel where the mobsters met back in the 40’s. It was the one depicted in the Godfather II movie but wasn’t actually filmed there. The market Jorge brought us to was also interesting with lots of things to buy. You can also ask your guide for recommendations. You won’t be disappointed. Enjoy your trip. 

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I wonder if it was the same Alex we used on a Strawberry night tour...he was not good! Young good looking man!

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1 hour ago, twobeautifulgirls said:

We just got off the Majesty and used Blexie in Cuba. Out tour guide was Rollie and he was amazing!! 

We are booked with Blexie on our June trip. Did your  tour include any walking tour of Old Havana or have they eliminated that option?  What did you visit on the tour? 

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On ‎4‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 12:23 AM, OHCruisinDad said:

 

We toured with Blexie in early April and had lunch at a great paladar that was about 20 minutes or outside the central city.  I've posted a couple of photos of the entrance and the bar with a couple of the staff.  The food was excellent and they were busy.  Because the restaurant is outside of the downtown area, you would never find it on your own.

Our tour was about 3 hours walking the old city and then about 3 hours including lunch in the 59 Ford and touring sights around the city that were too far for walking.  I'm sure they will accept USD but the problem with USD is they have to convert them at a bank or other government controlled location and according to our guide, if they have too much $$ they can be questioned as to where and how they got the money.  We used CUC's everywhere except the government run rum and cigar store where they took my USD. 

 

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552945072_HavanaPaladarEntry040419.thumb.JPG.7b9579908c24f62fa83b2c23df8c7154.JPG

What was the cost of your lunch and what did the menu offer?

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On ‎5‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 11:45 AM, sup3 said:

Our guide, Jorge, brought us to a nice place for lunch. I don’t recall the name but it was originally by a very nice house that is now used as a bed and breakfast. The owners converted the yard to a restaurant and bar. It was very nice and the staff and food was quite good. Everyone in our party of four enjoyed the food.

Our tour started around 9am with about 40 minutes of walking to various sites. Then we got in the classic car and continued with a number of stops where we got out to see the sites. All of us are Hemingway fans so we thoroughly enjoyed visiting he home. We also went to the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, which was the hotel where the mobsters met back in the 40’s. It was the one depicted in the Godfather II movie but wasn’t actually filmed there. The market Jorge brought us to was also interesting with lots of things to buy. You can also ask your guide for recommendations. You won’t be disappointed. Enjoy your trip. 

What was the duration of your tour?

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Our tour was supposed to be about six hours. Jorge didn’t rush us at all and our tour actually went over that and lasted about seven hours. They will customize your tour if you don’t want to go that long. 

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Houndfish, we ate at BuenaVentura as well (must be a fav of Blexie's guys). 

There were a lot of tourists and people from the ship there, so we went elsewhere on our second visit. 

 

Lunch was as I recall in the 80 CUC range for 3 of us  , but we all had several drinks as well. Menu is large and varied. 

We all got a gift of a shot of dark rum and a cigar when we left. 

It's a nice place, with friendly service, you will certainly enjoy the meal. 

 

You can also pay in USD, if that matters, they translate the exchange right on the bill. 

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7 hours ago, Ships R Great said:

Is the walking tour wheelchair friendly?

 

Most of Cuba is not wheelchair friendly . The streets are broken up cobblestone .If you ask they will skip the walking part and just do a car tour .

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13 hours ago, Houndfish said:

What was the cost of your lunch and what did the menu offer?

 

As I recall our lunch for the two of us was about 80 CUC.  That included  2 or 3 mojitos each, two meals with sides, and their service charge of 10%.  I had the Rhum lobster (their specialty - Caribbean lobster tail in rum butter sauce) and my wife had the whole fried snapper with salsa.  We also had small salads and a side of rice and beans.  The portions were very ample and the food delicious.  They provided us with rum shots and cigars at the end of our meal.  The setting was clean and relaxing as it was fully shaded but in an open air garden.  I'm sure our charge covered a lunch for our guide as well although we offered to buy her lunch.

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Posted (edited)

We are booked with Blexie -- our tour guide will be Jorge -- for our October cruise.  I just heard from him and everything is fine, still going strong and sent us the new location map. 

 

Our tour was customized from start to finish and will probably last about 7 hours.  Blexie arranged to take us to all the stops that were important for us to see and we will probably have lunch on the go.  I'm excited to see Havana.  We have ship excursions booked (our three free ones) for the Tropicana, the Art of Cuba Walking Tour and the Evening Tour of Colonial Havana.  While we will be exhausted with four excursions in two days, I am happy knowing we'll have covered everything most important to my husband by the time we depart. 

 

Now fingers crossed that the Cuban Government doesn't ask our ship to leave a day early in any of our ports to accommodate a larger ship (which apparently happened to Oceania in March) 🙄

Edited by Wyoming2010

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We used Blexie Tours last week and our guide was Isbel. I must say he was the best guide we have ever had, we learned so much and saw so much my head was spinning.  He took into consideration my husbands walking condition and  had the driver backing down streets to pick us up. I gave him a list and in 6 hours we saw everything on it.  We also used Blexie tours for our pick up and return to Tropicana.  Isbel made the arrangements and when a different driver showed up he handed me a phone and Isbel explained the change and wanted to make sure we were ok with it. That driver made sure to tell us where and when to meet and since it was pouring rain after the show he came running up to us with umbrellas, which we had left in his car, then ran to get the car for us.   We had a 59 Chevy 4 door sedan with AC during the day and a 56 Ford Fairlane  4 door sedan with AC in the evening.  

Make sure to reach out a week or so before your tour to confirm your meeting place the government is not making it easy for these private tour companies.  We spoke to one couple who missed their tour because they were at the wrong meeting place.  This was a once in a lifetime port for us.   

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1 hour ago, Lorey2007 said:

We used Blexie Tours last week and our guide was Isbel. I must say he was the best guide we have ever had, we learned so much and saw so much my head was spinning.  He took into consideration my husbands walking condition and  had the driver backing down streets to pick us up. I gave him a list and in 6 hours we saw everything on it.  We also used Blexie tours for our pick up and return to Tropicana.  Isbel made the arrangements and when a different driver showed up he handed me a phone and Isbel explained the change and wanted to make sure we were ok with it. That driver made sure to tell us where and when to meet and since it was pouring rain after the show he came running up to us with umbrellas, which we had left in his car, then ran to get the car for us.   We had a 59 Chevy 4 door sedan with AC during the day and a 56 Ford Fairlane  4 door sedan with AC in the evening.  

Make sure to reach out a week or so before your tour to confirm your meeting place the government is not making it easy for these private tour companies.  We spoke to one couple who missed their tour because they were at the wrong meeting place.  This was a once in a lifetime port for us.   

We will be doing a Blexie Tor in July with Jorge.  Any "must see's"  that you would recommend?  I really want to see anything about the Missile Crisis, but not a museum person.  Any suggestions on what to see and what not to would be appreciated.

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2 hours ago, Lorey2007 said:

We used Blexie Tours last week and our guide was Isbel. I must say he was the best guide we have ever had, we learned so much and saw so much my head was spinning.  He took into consideration my husbands walking condition and  had the driver backing down streets to pick us up. I gave him a list and in 6 hours we saw everything on it.  We also used Blexie tours for our pick up and return to Tropicana.  Isbel made the arrangements and when a different driver showed up he handed me a phone and Isbel explained the change and wanted to make sure we were ok with it. That driver made sure to tell us where and when to meet and since it was pouring rain after the show he came running up to us with umbrellas, which we had left in his car, then ran to get the car for us.   We had a 59 Chevy 4 door sedan with AC during the day and a 56 Ford Fairlane  4 door sedan with AC in the evening.  

Make sure to reach out a week or so before your tour to confirm your meeting place the government is not making it easy for these private tour companies.  We spoke to one couple who missed their tour because they were at the wrong meeting place.  This was a once in a lifetime port for us.   

We have a tour booked with Blexie in July.  You said you had a list of places to go to in your 6 hours. I’m curious how many places were on your list?  Did you take time for lunch?

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10 hours ago, Sunsher28 said:

We have a tour booked with Blexie in July.  You said you had a list of places to go to in your 6 hours. I’m curious how many places were on your list?  Did you take time for lunch?

 

Here is the general description from Blexie's  FB page. They will hit all the main spots, but as everybody mentions, you can insert / change something if you have a must -see. For example, cigars are of no interest to me, but others may want to buy,  or see production. The guides are very flexible.

 

He says lunch is optional, but it is highly recommended that you stop somewhere, as it's otherwise a long day, you'll be tired, hot and hungry. Plus,  most people want an authentic experience while in Havana, a chance to meet people and try the wonderful food. 

 

They will even drop you where you want at the end - some go up to the Hotel Nacional for a mojito, some stop at the art market. The art market is walkable back to the ship, Nacional will require a 10 minute cab ride back

 

 

 

 

 

Blexie itinerary.docx

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20 hours ago, Sunsher28 said:

We have a tour booked with Blexie in July.  You said you had a list of places to go to in your 6 hours. I’m curious how many places were on your list?  Did you take time for lunch?

 Isbel met us a 9am at the building to the right that looks like a ship.  I gave him this list and  we saw or stopped at them all including the Hotel National. We did not walk in all the 4 squares it was raining and DH has a walking disability.  I requested in advance that we did  not want to stop for lunch due to some diet issues. I did bring along some PB crackers and some other snacks and water we were finished by 3pm.  Ibel was a fabulous guide there was hardly a minute that he was not describing something. We did not stop at the San Jose Mkt I had picked up what I wanted at the other stops.  This is the list I gave him we saw many other things that were not on the list.

  

4    main squares    minimal walking approximatley ½ hr 

Drive along the Malecon 

Fusterlandia 

El Bosque de la Habana 

Cristobal Colon Cemetary 

John Lennon Park & Statue 

Plaza de Revolution 

Christ Statue 

Downtown Area 

Capital Building 

Central Park 

Grand Theatre of Havana 

Bacardi Building 

 

Shop for Souveniers ( San Jose Market ) 

 
 

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2 hours ago, North Carolina Cruiser said:

price is up to 185.00 for a 5 hour tour

He quoted us $130 for 6 hours for our upcoming tour. Did he change it for you after you booked with him?

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Hello.  We are using Blexie in 2 weeks.  He told me to choose supporting the cuban people on our form we filled out.  The cruise line just told me that I can not chose that and I must choose the education exchange,  groups people to people.  Could anyone tell me what is correct?  I am not sure if the cruise line is just saying this since I booked an outside company.   Thanks for all of the good info in this thread!

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This is what Oceania sent me directly in an email when I questioned what to choose back in March:

 

Regarding the OFAC form – there are no incorrect answers. Guests can check off the license (or licenses) they feel best describe their planned activities while the ship is docked at Cuban ports.

The most common selections are the following:

If guests are going ashore by booking a shore excursion booked through Oceania Cruises:

515.565(b) Educational exchanges – group people-to-people through Oceania Cruises

If guests will be booking shore excursions using a US Dept of State approved third party:

515.565(b) Educational exchanges – group people-to-people through other organization

If planning on doing both guests may select both.

If guests are not going ashore in Cuba while the ship is in port, guests select:

__OR             I will not disembark the vessel while in Cuba to participate in any of the

                       above referenced activities during this sailing.

** PLEASE NOTE that they advised the following:  both the completed OFAC form and questionnaire for each guest are to be either faxed or emailed to us no later than 60 days prior to sailing

 

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From Blexie:  he asked that this info be made knowledgeable to all touring with him.  Believe me you want him or his guides for a unforgettable day in Cuba.

 

Hello everyone.We need your help now.Some people are trying to steal our client saying they are part of our group when they are not.We need you to help us making public on cruise critics or any other forum that we have a code number to identify our clients.If a person tries to take you on a tour saying is part of our group ,ask for the cod number .
Thank you.

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For anyone using Blexie on their upcoming cruise 

 

Blexies tour guides No longer meet right across the square near the church....police crackdown on tour guides has made them try and meet in more discreet locations 

 

With that said we had a little map he gave us that looked pretty simple....walk out of the port and cross the street to the square.....then walk down the side street for approx 3-4 blocks and look for Apartment Antia

 

Problem was on our map there were No street names or cross street names......We walked all over looking for this damn apartment and our guide.....my wife speaks fluent Spanish and we asked numerous shop keepers and showed them the map as well and even they had no idea 😓

 

We kept looking for over 35 minutes and it was Hottt 

 

So while Blexie is a great company Make sure with these new meet up places to get and ask him for Street Names of your exact meet up place 

 

We finally gave up and Walked back towards the ship and used another guy who was by the church holding a excursion sign 😓😓......had a excellent 2 days in Cuba but sad we missed out on using Blexie 

 

Also no WiFi so I couldn’t check my Facebook until back on the ship.....Blexie had reached out to me a few hours after our meet up time stating our guide was waiting for me 🙈......Sure would of been nice I’d we knew where he was exactly 

 

the old meeting place of right in the square across from the port and the guide holding a sign with your name on it was the perfect way to meet 

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10 minutes ago, LaCal said:

For anyone using Blexie on their upcoming cruise 

 

Blexies tour guides No longer meet right across the square near the church....police crackdown on tour guides has made them try and meet in more discreet locations 

 

With that said we had a little map he gave us that looked pretty simple....walk out of the port and cross the street to the square.....then walk down the side street for approx 3-4 blocks and look for Apartment Antia

 

Problem was on our map there were No street names or cross street names......We walked all over looking for this damn apartment and our guide.....my wife speaks fluent Spanish and we asked numerous shop keepers and showed them the map as well and even they had no idea 😓

 

We kept looking for over 35 minutes and it was Hottt 

 

So while Blexie is a great company Make sure with these new meet up places to get and ask him for Street Names of your exact meet up place 

 

We finally gave up and Walked back towards the ship and used another guy who was by the church holding a excursion sign 😓😓......had a excellent 2 days in Cuba but sad we missed out on using Blexie 

 

Also no WiFi so I couldn’t check my Facebook until back on the ship.....Blexie had reached out to me a few hours after our meet up time stating our guide was waiting for me 🙈......Sure would of been nice I’d we knew where he was exactly 

 

the old meeting place of right in the square across from the port and the guide holding a sign with your name on it was the perfect way to meet 

Here is what we received from Blexie, was yours different?    

You can consider your tour booked.My colleague Raul will serve as your guide.He will meet you in the corner of Cuba street (Calle Cuba) on July XX at 9am.You will only need to walk out of the terminal and go across the square,then walk straight up for 3 blocks.You will see a church with a small park in front of it.Your guide will be there!!!
Your confirmation number is XXXX.Only you and your guide will know that number so you don’t get tricked by another person.

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