Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
bgomes

I Love Cuba Photo Tours

Recommended Posts

Just back from Empress, spent an awesome 2 days with Rey and Yosel from I Love Cuba Photo Tours.  We arrived in Havana at 2:00 pm on the first day ----we spent 4 hours with Rey, walking around Old Havana then spent one hour in a classic Convertible, then more walking around, stopping for a Cuban coffee and drink along the way.  All the while Rey is taking photos of us and the sites. 

After an overnight on the ship we met up with Yosel, the owner of the company, the next day.  We spent a little more than 6 hours with him, traveling around the city.  Again 1 hour in a classic convertible and the rest of the time in an air conditioned classic hardtop. Many stops along the way including lunch at a paladar and drinks at the Hotel Nacionel, again taking photos along the way.

Couldn't have asked for a more pleasant time in Havana.  Both guides were extremely informative, you could talk to them about anything.  They will do/go where you want to.  Since they are professional photographers it is no wonder that the photos are fantastic.  We got over 250 photos.  All you need to do is make a reservation with them, take a SD card and you will have fantastic memories.  Don't hestitate to book with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting. We are doing their tour in a month & are very excited!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We toured with Rey in 2017. We had a wonderful day.

We are leaving tomorrow to go back to Cuba on Empress of the Seas. We've booked I Love Cuba Photo Tours again and I think this time Yosel will be our guide. He has always responded quickly and positively to all my questions. I will post about our time in Havana when we return home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I usually use Flytographer on trips. How were their rates?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just returned from our trip. Empress of the Seas got into port later than the time that was shown on the itinerary . We had to wait 1-1/2 hours in line to go thru immigration. We were 1 hour late meeting Yosel, but he was there waiting patiently for us. He extended our tour so we still had 6 hours with him. He charged us (4 people) $230 USD for the six hour tour which included cars and drivers. 1 hour in a great Edsel convertible and the other time in a 4 door Ford ('53, I think). We really got our money's worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me add to the praise for I Love Cuba Photo Tours.  We just returned from our Empress of the Seas cruise and toured Havana with Yanela.  She was professional and knowledgeable about her country.  I felt comfortable asking her anything about Cuban life. We enjoyed a wonderful day touring the city and having lunch with her and our driver at a local Paladar. I would recommend them without any reservations!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this suggestion! Contacted Yosel through email and he was quick to respond. Booking for November! 

 

My question for for you is that our ship docks at 10am. Do you think that’s too late(giving myself a window to get off the ship and through the port) to do the tour that day? Or should we plan for the next full day? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I would wait until the second day if I had that option. You might save yourself a lot of stress. 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi- so you just bring an SD card and they take the pics with their own camera?

we will have our own cameras as well. It would be convenient to not have to keep passing our camera off to get pictures together

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 3/27/2019 at 10:35 PM, Baletrina said:

Thanks for this suggestion! Contacted Yosel through email and he was quick to respond. Booking for November! 

 

My question for for you is that our ship docks at 10am. Do you think that’s too late(giving myself a window to get off the ship and through the port) to do the tour that day? Or should we plan for the next full day? 

Our ship docked at 2:00 PM, we had booked with I Love Cuba Photos Tours for a two day tour.  Our tour the first day was from 4 - 8, The second day was 9 - 3.  Yosel is very accommodating, see what he suggests for you.  Was a great tour, plenty of pictures from them

Edited by bgomes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Wakepatrol said:

Hi- so you just bring an SD card and they take the pics with their own camera?

we will have our own cameras as well. It would be convenient to not have to keep passing our camera off to get pictures together

That is correct.  Between the 2 days that we were with them, they took about 175 -200 photos each day.  We started taking out own photos, but when we saw how many pictures they were taking and so many with the 2 of us in them, we mostly stopped taking our own.  The  pictures are awesome.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also booked with Yosel back in November and had a great experience.  I didn't actually meet Yosel but we had Reneil (I probably spelled that wrong) one day and Rey the next.  Both very knowledgeable and both took great pictures.  Reneil takes a more traditional, posed picture and Rey is more of a street photographer.  Really can't say enough good things about them!  We actually had almost 900 pictures for the two days.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a general observation ~  When disembarking in Havana, the passengers that booked excursions through the cruiseline were the first to get off the ship.  For all others, it took at least an hour more for us to get through customs.  We had a tour with Yanela from I Love Cuba Photo Tours and she waited for us.  Thank goodness I had Yosel's phone number and was able to contact him.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope Yosel can continue to work...government is all over these companies .....see other threads....Yosel still has facebook but website shut down.  Terrible what is going on there....just because people are enterprising and making money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are only taking a one day tour our second day in Cuba. What sites did you or did you not see on the first day? Trying to plan ahead what we should do the first day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our first day we drove around in a convertible for about one hour,  just seeing the area. Then we walked around Old Havana for about 3 hours.  We stopped once for coffee and then later just before we headed back to the ship we stopped for a drink.  I felt like we got the "feel" of Havana while walking around, seeing the people going about their everyday lives.  Old Havana reminds me a little bit of Old San Juan (if you have ever been there).

 

So, if you plan on walking around the area by the port you will be in Old Havana.  It is very walkable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I haven't traveled to Cuba yet, and am currently unable to do so (my youngest is almost 6 months old, and we will need to wait until she is old enough for daycare, and the current RC ships to Cuba lack a nursery,)  So my concerns were longer term, given the Cuban government's current crackdown on private tour guides.  I don't have any personal information about this situation, but from other cruise critic members posts, it appears that private tour guides have applied for government licensure as tour guides and been willing to pay a fee to become licensed tour guides.  The Cuban government has so far refused to allow this industry to grow privately, and will not issue them licenses.  As unlicensed tour guides, the Cuban government has recently been cracking down on some of the tour guides for working without a government license.  I wrote to Cuba Photo tours to try to see if they were affected, and was informed that they are in fact regulated by the cuban government  as professional photographers, and are therefore not affected by the current crackdown on private tour guides.  So hopefully their employees are all safe.  I obviously have no way to personally verify any of this, but am passing along this information in case it makes others feel better about booking a cruise to Cuba (I'd really hate to be on a ship tour to such a lovely destination).

Edited by kitkat343

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got back from Cuba and yes, I love Cuba guides are licensed as Photographers, not tour guides so they should be okay

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...