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I'll be sailing on the NCL Sky Tuesday. The first port is Havana Cuba. I had to get a Visa. My question is will I be allowed to walk off the ship and spend a few hours exploring the island on my own or do I need to be on a tour excursion to exit the ship?

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Absolutely! Don't ask the line that question however, they will always lie to you and tell you that you are required to take one of their tours.  Heard you could get off on your own from so many people and finally went on Nordic Empress last fall with 2 port days including overnight and got off on my own 4 different times!

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You have to go thru customs and exchange your money for Cuban money...then just go thru doors grab a carriage ride...walk about 5 blocks to your left and go to the market place etc. ...do your own thing...it's safe😎 enjoy !

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I did not purchase an excursion. We wandered around on our own. My review is in my signature. You also don't "have" to exchange money, unless you want to buy something.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you all for answering my question. I am a good walker so I just want to wander around for 2-3 hours. I don't buy anything in any ports anymore so no need to exchange money.

Will the ship and customs let me walk off carrying a bottle of water?

Also, when I leave the ship I know I must have passport with me but do I also need my Visa?

Edited by ShipsAhoy508

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52 minutes ago, ShipsAhoy508 said:

Thank you all for answering my question. I am a good walker so I just want to wander around for 2-3 hours. I don't buy anything in any ports anymore so no need to exchange money.

Will the ship and customs let me walk off carrying a bottle of water?

Also, when I leave the ship I know I must have passport with me but do I also need my Visa?

Yes, you need to present the passport AND visa to Customs and yes TOTALLY take water with you...Havana was hotter than anyplace I'd ever been....it's a really amazingly interesting place!

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A little off-topic, and sorry to hijack a thread. But can one buy t-shirts in Havana?

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Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend buying them. I bought two different shirts at the artisans market and they were so cheaply made they didn’t last a month. 

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22 hours ago, ShipsAhoy508 said:

Thank you all for answering my question. I am a good walker so I just want to wander around for 2-3 hours. I don't buy anything in any ports anymore so no need to exchange money.

Will the ship and customs let me walk off carrying a bottle of water?

Also, when I leave the ship I know I must have passport with me but do I also need my Visa?

I walked off with 2 large bottles of water as I had so many from foolishly buying RCCIs "water package" and I had no issue whatsoever.  I used oldcartours.com for my 1954 Chevy convertible ride around Havana and the driver most appreciated the 1 large bottle of the 2 that I took with me.

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4 hours ago, pbenjamin said:

Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend buying them. I bought two different shirts at the artisans market and they were so cheaply made they didn’t last a month. 

Thanks for the reply, and advice.

 

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On ‎3‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 12:47 PM, ShipsAhoy508 said:

I'll be sailing on the NCL Sky Tuesday. The first port is Havana Cuba. I had to get a Visa. My question is will I be allowed to walk off the ship and spend a few hours exploring the island on my own or do I need to be on a tour excursion to exit the ship?

My sister and I were in Cuba in February.  I would highly suggest a cruise with Blexie.  I learned so much that I would not have known just walking around Havana.  They were exceptional = stay as long as you want or don't.  Also technically to comply with U.S. standards to visit Cuba, you have to do something, not that at present they are checking.  I will just say being with a Cuban and getting a local perspective was absolutely awesome!  

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Did Blexie come to Havana for you? It looks like his tours start in Varadero.

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2 hours ago, abbyar said:

Did Blexie come to Havana for you? It looks like his tours start in Varadero.

Yes Raoul met us in the Square right across from customs.  It was so simple.  I can not say enough about our tour.  It was informative, a perspective you can't get from a tour book.  

 

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On 3/21/2019 at 12:47 PM, ShipsAhoy508 said:

I'll be sailing on the NCL Sky Tuesday. The first port is Havana Cuba. I had to get a Visa. My question is will I be allowed to walk off the ship and spend a few hours exploring the island on my own or do I need to be on a tour excursion to exit the ship?

I'm on the Sky to Cuba in July... how do we obtain a visa? It was my understanding that we could purchase our visas prior to embarkation. Is this still the case? The FAQs on the NCL site are a bit confusing... 

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Check Trip Advisor, Blexie is the Winner!

One of the best excursions we ever have done!

Our guide, Laura, was very personable, knowledgeable and passionate.

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22 hours ago, Lucinarei said:

I'm on the Sky to Cuba in July... how do we obtain a visa? It was my understanding that we could purchase our visas prior to embarkation. Is this still the case? The FAQs on the NCL site are a bit confusing... 

We filled out our visa forms prior to leaving home.  You should be able to find them on your NCL.com site.  The visas were in our room when we arrived on board.  You will need these visas and your passports for the first time you exit the ship.  They stamp your passport & from then on you can pretty much come and go as you please.  We never saw any Cuban customs people at any station after the first night we were there!  Here is the link to the information

https://www.ncl.com/ca/en/freestyle-cruise/cruise-travel-documents#Cuba

Cuba is probably one of the most interesting ports we've been to...

Cheers,

Sandy 

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1 hour ago, Samstress said:

We filled out our visa forms prior to leaving home.  You should be able to find them on your NCL.com site.  The visas were in our room when we arrived on board.  You will need these visas and your passports for the first time you exit the ship.  They stamp your passport & from then on you can pretty much come and go as you please.  We never saw any Cuban customs people at any station after the first night we were there!  Here is the link to the information

https://www.ncl.com/ca/en/freestyle-cruise/cruise-travel-documents#Cuba

Cuba is probably one of the most interesting ports we've been to...

Cheers,

Sandy 

Ah, yes! We filled this form out and submitted it- I forgot we did that! So we should be good if that was submitted? And then we pay when we check in at embarkation?

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9 hours ago, Lucinarei said:

Ah, yes! We filled this form out and submitted it- I forgot we did that! So we should be good if that was submitted? And then we pay when we check in at embarkation?

They (NCL) charged us as soon as we submitted the form. It showed up as a charge on my Credit Card.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, Samstress said:

They (NCL) charged us as soon as we submitted the form. It showed up as a charge on my Credit Card.  

 

 

Oh. We have definitely not been charged by NCL. I guess I'll have to call them to see what else we need to do. I wish that page was less confusing. Thanks for all of your help! 🙂

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Guess I waited too long to jump on these Cuba cruises, seems like the US Government is going back to not allowing travel there.......not sure what that will mean for most these cruises.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-announces-new-measures-against-cuba/2019/04/17/cfc2bc96-6132-11e9-9ff2-abc984dc9eec_story.html?utm_term=.89cb2fbe7402

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32 minutes ago, pghflyer said:

Guess I waited too long to jump on these Cuba cruises, seems like the US Government is going back to not allowing travel there.......not sure what that will mean for most these cruises.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-announces-new-measures-against-cuba/2019/04/17/cfc2bc96-6132-11e9-9ff2-abc984dc9eec_story.html?utm_term=.89cb2fbe7402

 

 

Yes. I am scheduled to depart in less than two weeks on a NCL ship to Cuba. Does anybody know what this will mean for my trip?  Thank you. 

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I do not read anything in that that makes it appear to affect the cruises at this time.  I am traveling there in 38 days :)

 

 

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