Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
mahondi

We just returned from Cuba!!!!!

Recommended Posts

We were on Carnival Paradise that landed yesterday after stopping in Key West and Havana.  Although we didn't leave the ship while in Key West we did tour Havana and had the most wonderful time.  We arranged a tour via Blexie-Havana Tours for 6 hours.  Wasn't sure that wasn't going to be too long in a car, but I was so mistaken.  We met up with Jorge in his wonderfully air conditioned antique car.  We spent the entire time asking Jorge about the country, the government and the people.  No questions were off limits.  We saw Havana through his eyes and it was worth every minute.  Language was not an issue as Jorge spoke perfect English and was patient and proud of Cuba.  He was truly an ambassador who made these Americans remember our time there and strongly encourage anyone who is going to Cuba to arrange a tour with Blexie-Havana Tours.  You won't be disappointed.  Thanks Jorge.  You did a great job.  

 

Diane, Barbara and Michelle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your review.

 

We are in the Process of trying to book a tour through Blexie.  We exchanged emails once, got his typical itinerary and pricing information and he requested a reply to confirm we wanted to book.  I sent back a confirmation and never heard back.  A week later I sent another confirmation, fearing internet issues may have delayed or prevented the first one arriving and another week has passed without reply.

 

I was wondering how long it took you to receive a reply for your booking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, mahondi said:

We were on Carnival Paradise that landed yesterday after stopping in Key West and Havana.  Although we didn't leave the ship while in Key West we did tour Havana and had the most wonderful time.  We arranged a tour via Blexie-Havana Tours for 6 hours.  Wasn't sure that wasn't going to be too long in a car, but I was so mistaken.  We met up with Jorge in his wonderfully air conditioned antique car.  We spent the entire time asking Jorge about the country, the government and the people.  No questions were off limits.  We saw Havana through his eyes and it was worth every minute.  Language was not an issue as Jorge spoke perfect English and was patient and proud of Cuba.  He was truly an ambassador who made these Americans remember our time there and strongly encourage anyone who is going to Cuba to arrange a tour with Blexie-Havana Tours.  You won't be disappointed.  Thanks Jorge.  You did a great job.  

 

Diane, Barbara and Michelle

I will be on Paradise, same itinerary as you did, on April 13th.  Would love to hear any other impressions you had: anything you truly liked seeing in Havana or anything about Paradise in general.  Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just got off the same cruise and loved Havana.  We used FerTours for a combo walking tour and driving in a 50’s covertable.

 

Great experience

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on the same cruise (Paradise) and we loved Havana!  We used Havana Journey and it was fantastic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, LadyMac72 said:

I was on the same cruise (Paradise) and we loved Havana!  We used Havana Journey and it was fantastic!

I've used this tour agency - very reasonable !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're booked on the Paradise to Cuba in November.  Carnival is really stressing the need to book ship sponsored excursions due to US travel prohibitions.  Was getting off the ship an issue with a privately booked tour?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Carnival stresses taking one of their tours on paper but you need to ignore it as they never made it a big deal on check in 

2. There was absolutely no issue on taking a private excursion when exiting the ship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be going on this cruise in September. For those of you that were in Havana on a Monday, did you find things were closed? I've read that the market is not open on Mondays, nor the Art pub. Anyone been to the Cabaret Las Vegas drag show. Kind of guessing that won't be going on on a Monday night either?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will be arriving on the Sensation in Sept on a Friday. We have booked the same tour. I'm exited be the Sensation was my first ever cruise in 1996. Blexie is now on WhatsApp. This is a free app and is great. I use it to text my friends in Jamaica. You can also make phone calls on it for no charge.This will be our first Cuba Cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, dcherry said:

I'll be going on this cruise in September. For those of you that were in Havana on a Monday, did you find things were closed? I've read that the market is not open on Mondays, nor the Art pub. Anyone been to the Cabaret Las Vegas drag show. Kind of guessing that won't be going on on a Monday night either?

 

Monday is really not a great day to stop as all the museums and other such places are closed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We booked with Blexie for both days in Havana in May and have Jorge as our guide as well 

 

Can’t wait 🍹🍹😜

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/8/2019 at 4:12 PM, K&RCurt said:

Thanks for your review.

 

We are in the Process of trying to book a tour through Blexie.  We exchanged emails once, got his typical itinerary and pricing information and he requested a reply to confirm we wanted to book.  I sent back a confirmation and never heard back.  A week later I sent another confirmation, fearing internet issues may have delayed or prevented the first one arriving and another week has passed without reply.

 

I was wondering how long it took you to receive a reply for your booking?

I was Blexie last year and am returning to Havana in May and touring again with them.  You may message him on his facebook page or shoot him another email.  It does sometimes take him a few days to get back with you.   He has lots of guides,  their English is excellent and they really do know the history of their country.  Much better than most Americans know of our own. (smile)   

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter and I will be visiting Cuba next month on NCL.  I'm in the process of looking for an excursion and was wondering A) if you could provide me with Blexie's information.  B) Did you have to return to the ship afterwards or could you roam around?  If you went back to the ship after your excursion, were you allowed to get off again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is his website   https://havanatours.wixsite.com/blexie

You can roam around

and yes you are allowed to get off again.  If you are going in on NCL you are there over night aren't you?  (I was on Sky and we were there over night.)  Went out all day,  came back in to eat etc... and then went back out to a show that evening.  You just have to go through immigration each time,  only takes a few minutes usually.  Truly not a big deal

 

Make sure to carry a few kleenex,  some bathrooms do not have TP.

 

It is an amazing place to see.  :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks

10 minutes ago, newcruiser1956 said:

Here is his website   https://havanatours.wixsite.com/blexie

You can roam around

and yes you are allowed to get off again.  If you are going in on NCL you are there over night aren't you?  (I was on Sky and we were there over night.)  Went out all day,  came back in to eat etc... and then went back out to a show that evening.  You just have to go through immigration each time,  only takes a few minutes usually.  Truly not a big deal

 

Make sure to carry a few kleenex,  some bathrooms do not have TP.

 

It is an amazing place to see.  :)

 

Thanks!  I found the site, but thought it was the wrong one since there isn't much too it and it says it will pick you up at a resort.  Is that correct?  Do they only offer one excursion?  Yes, I'm on the Sky.  The rep I talked to at NCL said that you have to spend the bulk of your time on land as part of an excursion, that you have to document everything you do, they take your visa, and you could be audited so you need to hold everything for 5 years.  Did you do all that?  How much time did you roam on your own compared to an excursion?  Did immigration give you a hard time coming back off without an excursion lined up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just tell him which ship you are coming in on and the date,  He has lots of guides,  they all speak English.  They will meet you across the street from the port.  You come off the ship, go through immigration,  exchange your cash and out the building.  Walk across the street and all the tour guys are standing in the court yard holding up signs with your names.    If you have time,  once you go into the courtyard, go to the big church to the left and look at the cool art work in the garden area.  There is a plaque there to Princess Diana also on the wall there.

 

Oy NCL is being a pain.. No I did not do any of that... I did not go on any NCL excursions. I toured with Blexie and went back out for the evening by getting a cab.   Blexie actually has a thing you can download for your proof of where you went.  Although he will take you where ever you want to go. I had a list :)  I have a new list this time.    The tour with Blexie is 10 am to 4 pm    Immigration does take your visa, they stamp your passport and they don't care if you come back and forth.  They do not ask you if you have excursions or not,  they do not care.  They just want you to spend money on their very poor island :)    Everyone in Cuba was very very friendly.  I walked around for several hours alone (I am a 60+ female) and never felt unsafe.  Don't over think it :)

 

On NCL they have a link to go through to get your Visa,  it cost $75.  Just mark in support of the Cuban people.  It will be fine :)

 

Alana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, dawnbt said:

 if you could provide me with Blexie's information.  

 

His email is

blexie100588@gmail.com.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, newcruiser1956 said:

Just tell him which ship you are coming in on and the date,  He has lots of guides,  they all speak English.  They will meet you across the street from the port.  You come off the ship, go through immigration,  exchange your cash and out the building.  Walk across the street and all the tour guys are standing in the court yard holding up signs with your names.    If you have time,  once you go into the courtyard, go to the big church to the left and look at the cool art work in the garden area.  There is a plaque there to Princess Diana also on the wall there.

 

Oy NCL is being a pain.. No I did not do any of that... I did not go on any NCL excursions. I toured with Blexie and went back out for the evening by getting a cab.   Blexie actually has a thing you can download for your proof of where you went.  Although he will take you where ever you want to go. I had a list :)  I have a new list this time.    The tour with Blexie is 10 am to 4 pm    Immigration does take your visa, they stamp your passport and they don't care if you come back and forth.  They do not ask you if you have excursions or not,  they do not care.  They just want you to spend money on their very poor island :)    Everyone in Cuba was very very friendly.  I walked around for several hours alone (I am a 60+ female) and never felt unsafe.  Don't over think it :)

 

On NCL they have a link to go through to get your Visa,  it cost $75.  Just mark in support of the Cuban people.  It will be fine :)

 

Alana

You're a huge blessing!  Thank you!  I was concerned because I'm traveling with my 15 year old daughter and want to make sure we're doing everything on the up and up.  I sent Blexie and email.  What did you do at night?  Are cabs right near the port?  How much are they?  Did you bring us currency to exchange?  I read you get better exchange rate if you use Euros and that some places take Visa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, dawnbt said:

You're a huge blessing!  Thank you!  I was concerned because I'm traveling with my 15 year old daughter and want to make sure we're doing everything on the up and up.  I sent Blexie and email.  What did you do at night?  Are cabs right near the port?  How much are they?  Did you bring us currency to exchange?  I read you get better exchange rate if you use Euros and that some places take Visa.

Do not count on any place taking Visa....  Bring cash.  You do get a better exchange rate using Euro's than USD but by the time you pay your own bank to exchange your money to Euors'  you might as well wait and do it in Cuba.

 

The prices of the cabs are not expensive,  tell them where you want to go and ask how much before you get in.  There are many clubs etc to go to.  If you are traveling with your daughter she would probably have more fun back on the ship.  

 

You will get off the ship on the 3rd floor of the ship just FYI,  so be ready on 4 to go down if you want to get out the door early.  You can download an app that has the streets of cuba onto your phone and not need internet to use it.  Lots of things very close to the port to see if you get off early.  Public bathrooms are the only difficult thing to find,  it is not like the US.  If you are out early, also head to the right when you come of of the door of the port, (do not cross the street)   you will walk along the water,  pretty cool area, follow it around and you will see the museum.    When you are coming into the port area,  look up the hill to your left of the ship,  You will see the fort on the hill,  really cool.  

 

If your daughter is a vegetarian,  they do have a decent veggie burger,  you just need to ask for it 

 

Alana

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Just FYI, this just made the new,  it concerns the Sky.    Sorry put on wrong board,  belongs to Viking Sky (I don't know how to delete it here) 

 

 

http://crew-center.com/cruise-ship-trouble-all-passengers-and-crew-onboard-be-evacuated?fbclid=IwAR27rkW7Mis5XsLEvXgoOM6uWImGWyqPDvhM6DPYa3Et44EyU8sbLBdDtPs

Edited by newcruiser1956
wrong board

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, dawnbt said:

You're a huge blessing!  Thank you!  I was concerned because I'm traveling with my 15 year old daughter and want to make sure we're doing everything on the up and up.  I sent Blexie and email.  What did you do at night?  Are cabs right near the port?  How much are they?  Did you bring us currency to exchange?  I read you get better exchange rate if you use Euros and that some places take Visa.

We’re using Blexie both days we are in Cuba.  You can reserve with him and there’s no upfront cost....you pay at the end of the excursion 

 

Blexie has a set type of excursion which I’ve included a photo of 

 

But you can customize it and do or stop anywhere you’d like 

DECE6674-8421-4A5A-A57F-58368FA4CC7B.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, LaCal said:

We’re using Blexie both days we are in Cuba.  You can reserve with him and there’s no upfront cost....you pay at the end of the excursion 

 

Blexie has a set type of excursion which I’ve included a photo of 

 

But you can customize it and do or stop anywhere you’d like 

DECE6674-8421-4A5A-A57F-58368FA4CC7B.jpeg

This is great!  Thanks.  The $130 on the website, is that per person?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, dawnbt said:

This is great!  Thanks.  The $130 on the website, is that per person?

No it’s only $130 CUC TOTAL for up to 4 people.  Not per person. 

 

GREAT DEAL and Company 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LaCal said:

No it’s only $130 CUC TOTAL for up to 4 people.  Not per person. 

 

GREAT DEAL and Company 

Wow that's amazing! I looked at Shoretrips, Shore Excursion Group, and NCL and the best deal I could find was $70 per person for a three hour walking tour. Thank you all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...