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dolittle

What ever happened to Cuba.

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Whatever happened to Cuba. It was a  big topic on this site with many wanting to go and many having big expectations for cruising to Cuba .It seems there is not much talk or many ships(or airlines) going there. There is not even a page on the port boards on this site. I guess people did not want to go to all the trouble to see some 57 chevys .

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I think the uncertainty regarding the rules about visiting Cuba have led some to wait and see. 

 

That said, I've read a fair number of reports from those who've cruised there. We were on a cruise that visited Havana (overnight) in November and really enjoyed it.  It's much more than just a few old cars....

 

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11 minutes ago, dolittle said:

Whatever happened to Cuba. It was a  big topic on this site with many wanting to go and many having big expectations for cruising to Cuba .It seems there is not much talk or many ships(or airlines) going there. There is not even a page on the port boards on this site. I guess people did not want to go to all the trouble to see some 57 chevys .

 

Ah... there is definitely a page on the Ports board...here:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/765-cuba/

 

The same place it has always been...under the Caribbean category.

 

Maybe the "newness" has worn off a little. Cruises are going there, and are on future schedules.

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12 minutes ago, dolittle said:

There is not even a page on the port boards on this site. I guess people did not want to go to all the trouble to see some 57 chevys .

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/765-cuba/

 

And like cruisemom says, there#s a whole lot more to Cuba than 1950's American cars

 

JB :classic_smile:

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Hi

 

There are numerous all inclusive resorts all over the island. People are going to these resorts every day of the week, not only from Canada but many other countries. You would have many choices over where to stay depending on what you would like to see or do. 

 

Maybe not from your local airport, but I can go any day of the week and spend some time at a beachside resort. Like everything else there is lots of competition. Cuba was always for Canadians an inexpensive vacation destination, but there was always a quality issue. 

 

It may be worthwhile for Americans who live near a major Canadian airport to look into all inclusive vacation leaving from Canada. Something like a Cuba vacation can be very inexpensive, and considering our 75 cent dollar, it would really knock down the price significantly for you. 

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24 minutes ago, dolittle said:

Whatever happened to Cuba. It was a  big topic on this site with many wanting to go and many having big expectations for cruising to Cuba .It seems there is not much talk or many ships(or airlines) going there. There is not even a page on the port boards on this site. I guess people did not want to go to all the trouble to see some 57 chevys .

Well RCI, NCL, MSC, Azamara, Carnival, Oceana, Regent Seven Seas, and Seabourn all have ships with itineraries there - or planned for 2019 - to name a few.

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I guess the seven or eight cruise lines that currently have Cuba as an itinerary must not have gotten the OP’s memo.   Maybe I can remind them while I am on my Cuban Cruise in November.

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9 hours ago, dolittle said:

Whatever happened to Cuba. 

 

I hope it hasn't moved. It would be a bummer if my plane can't find it why I attempt to visit in the next couple of weeks.

 

I'll let the board know if we end up in the drink. 

 

Or maybe not.🙏

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Our Cuban taxi driver made this comment in January about Americans cruising to Cuba:

 

Most of the money you spend does nothing to help the Cuban people.  Things in Cuba are getting progressively worse. The only time tourists help is if they can possibly work with a private tour or vendor, which is extremely difficult or possibly even illegal. 

 

 

Personally, I find it unappealing to visit countries where my money is supporting despicable governments. Although I would love to see St. Petersburg, I won't go on a cruise that visits Russia. Just my opinion.

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Just now, Markanddonna said:

Our Cuban taxi driver made this comment in January about Americans cruising to Cuba:

 

Most of the money you spend does nothing to help the Cuban people.  Things in Cuba are getting progressively worse. The only time tourists help is if they can possibly work with a private tour or vendor, which is extremely difficult or possibly even illegal. 

 

only for  Americans... due to your Government's restrictions

 

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I am not specifically pro or con for Cuba as a destination for Americans. In other words, if someone wants to go, now that we can, I am not offended.  I am always trying to figure out our next cruise and price out LOTS of potential options well into the future, mostly through online travel agencies because this includes most or all cruise lines - and I'm not brand loyal.

 

I agree with the comments above that there seem to be more, not fewer, scheduled cruises to Cuba.  Not tons and tons, like say, Cozumel or Nassau.  Not even lots, like so many Caribbean areas that have been developed to serve the cruise industry in the past several years.  But plenty enough to meet whatever demand is there. 

 

There is a bit of a "forbidden fruit" aspect to visiting Cuba as it was not simply a recommendation that we avoid it due to danger of war or such.  It was flat out illegal for the typical citizen as a leisure destination.  Now it's not and of course there could be curiosity about finally checking it out.  People have bucket lists.  The baby boomers don't have forever to check off that elusive last Caribbean destination.  If there is a business case for it, then it will happen.  If demand drops off, or if it turns out not to be a port people want to visit, scheduled sailings will decrease.

 

Particularly I notice Carnival Sensation from Miami has recently added a bunch of Cuba itineraries.  From a purely business standpoint I think this is a smart move.  The ship itself is old and shows it (we still enjoyed it a lot) and runs short, cheapo cruises from the busiest cruise port in the world where it has tons of competition.  Adding some Cuba's gives it something to differentiate and perhaps increase demand for what otherwise might be soft, tough to fill dates.

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I will go to Cuba when:

 

1) A new port is built so newer, larger ships can dock there

2) Itineraries include more than the 1 stop in Havana

3) Itineraries are longer than 5 day, at least a week, preferably 10 days.

4) Restrictions on shore activities are loosened.

 

I love the itinerary of Pearl Seas Cuban cruise - stops in Havana and 5 other ports on an 11 or 12 night sailing, but the fares are ridiculous for my budget.

 

I may not visit Cuba by cruise ship in the years I have left in this life. 

 

 

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I will not get into the politics as its not my issue.  DW and I are adventurous travelers and have a strong dislike to large group structured tours.  The restrictions on cruisers in Cuba (partially the fault of the US Government and partially the fault of the Cuban Government) make independent travel, when a cruise passenger, difficult to impossible.  Two friends of ours recently traveled to Cuba (on their own), rented a car, and spent 3 weeks driving the island, visiting smaller towns, staying at B and Bs, eating in the restaurants, and interacting with the Cubans without being herded and supervised by government approved tour guides.  They had a fascinating time (it turned out to be difficult to get hot water in many B & Bs) and enjoyed their visit.  They got to see the real Cuba (and talk to normal Cubans) as opposed to cruise ship excursions that are scripted to only show what the Cuban government wants to show.   DW and I might visit Cuba in the future, but I suspect it will be in a way similar to our friends....where we just fly to the island, rent a car, and go.  But right now that is not in our near future because of all the government related restrictions.

 

Hank

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Posted (edited)

We passed on a cruise to Cuba last year with my wife's sister and her husband and are glad we did.  Canadians are not under the same restrictions as Americans and can travel freely to Cuba. Our in-laws who took the trip informed us upon their return that on a cruise departing from the U.S.A. nationality made no difference.  Canadians were treated like Americans and the same restrictions applied. 

 

We concluded that if we wanted to see Havana it would be preferable and less expensive to fly from Toronto and book a hotel. 

Edited by K32682

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, evandbob said:

I will go to Cuba when:

 

1) A new port is built so newer, larger ships can dock there

2) Itineraries include more than the 1 stop in Havana

3) Itineraries are longer than 5 day, at least a week, preferably 10 days.

4) Restrictions on shore activities are loosened.

 

I love the itinerary of Pearl Seas Cuban cruise - stops in Havana and 5 other ports on an 11 or 12 night sailing, but the fares are ridiculous for my budget.

 

I may not visit Cuba by cruise ship in the years I have left in this life. 

 

 

Check RCI 8-night Empress of the Seas with two stops - one as on overnight in Havana plus one in Ciengfuegos.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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We enjoyed Cuba very much.  But it was on a land trip.  We spent time in Havana and Veradaro.  Wonderful people, wonderful beaches.  We plan to go back.   But not on a cruise since it would not give us enough time.  It is one of our favourite islands in the  Caribbean.

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2 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

Check RCI 8-night Empress of the Seas with two stops - one as on overnight in Havana plus one in Ciengfuegos.

Holland America also has Havana and Ciengfuegos on their 7 night cruise.  While listed as an overnight in Havana, it's really not.  We arrive at 8:00 am on the first day and depart at 2:00 am the next morning (second day).

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5 hours ago, K32682 said:

We passed on a cruise to Cuba last year with my wife's sister and her husband and are glad we did.  Canadians are not under the same restrictions as Americans and can travel freely to Cuba. Our in-laws who took the trip informed us upon their return that on a cruise departing from the U.S.A. nationality made no difference.  Canadians were treated like Americans and the same restrictions applied. 

 

We concluded that if we wanted to see Havana it would be preferable and less expensive to fly from Toronto and book a hotel. 

 

Hi

 

If you are able to fly out of Toronto, as I said you should look online for Canadian TA's, either online or brick & mortar. There are A.I.'s in all price ranges, with flights on at least four major charter carriers leaving daily from Toronto. The all inclusive price would include air, resort, and transfers.

 

If Havana is a draw for you, I stayed once at a resort that was about half an hour east of the city. The resort had a free bus that drove into Havana and returned every day. It was close enough that a taxi would be a reasonable cost, but wasn't necessary. I went into the city three times during the week. For me, it was interesting... different, but interesting. 

 

As I also said, the US $ has a very good exchange rate right now vs. CDN $. 

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Shmoo here said:

Holland America also has Havana and Ciengfuegos on their 7 night cruise.  While listed as an overnight in Havana, it's really not.  We arrive at 8:00 am on the first day and depart at 2:00 am the next morning (second day).

 

RCI's is, however, as they have itineraries that have you in Havana on one day at 8:00 AM and leaving the next night at either 8:00 or 10:00 PM, depending on itinerary.  So two full days in Havana plus a full day at Cienfuegos.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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Actually RCL’s Empress also does an 8 night with three Cuban stops, Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.  Booked it for November.  

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As a comparison for us over here Cuba is still very much on the hot list and has been for a while.

 

There is some fabulous deals for us at the moment for package holidays.

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28 minutes ago, Nic6318 said:

Hi

 

If you are able to fly out of Toronto, as I said you should look online for Canadian TA's, either online or brick & mortar. There are A.I.'s in all price ranges, with flights on at least four major charter carriers leaving daily from Toronto. The all inclusive price would include air, resort, and transfers.

 

If Havana is a draw for you, I stayed once at a resort that was about half an hour east of the city. The resort had a free bus that drove into Havana and returned every day. It was close enough that a taxi would be a reasonable cost, but wasn't necessary. I went into the city three times during the week. For me, it was interesting... different, but interesting. 

 

As I also said, the US $ has a very good exchange rate right now vs. CDN $. 

 

Thanks.  I've been to Cuba before but the resort was several hours from Havana.  I'd like to see the city and spend a few days in it.  

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Posted (edited)

A few years ago we did an AI in Varadero.   We bused into Havana one day (2 hrs), spent the afternoon and had a private tour.  Stayed in a B&B, toured until mid afternoon, then took the bus back to our resort in Veradero.

 

Would we go back??  Absolutely.  

Edited by iancal

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Posted (edited)

We went to Cuba on Empress in January and loved it!!!   We will definitely go again by plane and spend a week or two. We did not find travel in Cuba very restrictive as we had a private tour with a local guide and driver in a modern car with working seat belts and air conditioning.    Havana is one of my favorite places ever visited.

 

As for not traveling to countries with repressive/restrictive governments, I still see people coming to the USA while some of us are seriously contemplating leaving.

Edited by Bookish Angel

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6 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

Check RCI 8-night Empress of the Seas with two stops - one as on overnight in Havana plus one in Ciengfuegos.

 

 Thanks, I do like the itinerary.  However the ship is almost as old as I am, and only has interior, ocean view and suites - no balconies.

 

I'll wait for a better opportunity.

 

 

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