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wemjam

Carnival timing on Paradise for Disembarking Cuba

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Just curious if anyone knows how much time we should allow ourselves to get off the ship, go through customs, and exchange some currency on our upcoming Paradise to Cuba stop?  We arrive at 5:45 am, and our tour leaves at 10:30 am.  I tend to be an early bird, but don't want to just stand around in the heat waiting for the tour to start.  I was thinking we should get off at 9:30, but hubby thinks this may be way too early as he figures crowds should have thinned out a bit by the time we get off.

 

We also thought maybe, Carnival might have us meet on the ship somewhere and get off all at the same time to keep everyone together (possibly?) but not sure.

 

Any first hand help appreciated!

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As with any port, no matter what time they tie up to the dock, you can't disembark until the ship has been cleared with the port authorities. 
If you're on a ship excursion, your tickets will tell you where and what time to meet. 
If you're taking a private excursion, you may not be able to disembark until the first wave of ship excursions have gone.

 

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3 hours ago, Gypsywych said:

As with any port, no matter what time they tie up to the dock, you can't disembark until the ship has been cleared with the port authorities. 
If you're on a ship excursion, your tickets will tell you where and what time to meet. 
If you're taking a private excursion, you may not be able to disembark until the first wave of ship excursions have gone.

 

After all my cruises I know all this lol!  I am asking specifically about Cuba because it is slightly different than other ports and want to know about how long it took people to get through the customs process and get the money exchanged.  Cuba is not like other ports where you just walk off the ship and boom you are there.  My understanding is you will have to wait in lines for customs, and then again to change your money since only CUC is accepted and no credit cards.  Comments on that process and time it takes from those that have done it.

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We were just in Cuba on the Paradise last week. We docked at 7AM and our tour was scheduled to start at 9AM. We started heading off the ship at 8AM and that got us to our tour meeting spot about 8:50. Everything went prettt quick overall. But some of us got the slow customs line (that would include me!). And exchanging our money for Cuban currency was pretty quick. We had about a 5 minute walk once we exited the terminal building to our tour meeting spot. Overall, we allotted just the right amount of time. But again, our experience could be different from yours! 

 

If you want to allow more time, you can probably find a little cafe or something near the port to get in out of the heat or you can shop at the market. It’s just a short walk from the terminal! 

 

Enjoy Havana! We loved it! 

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When we were in Cuba in September, we took a Carnival tour, but it was on our second day there, not arrival day. They had the Carnival tours meet in the downstairs area of the terminal after going through customs and exchanging money. You're right, the first day it can back up because every has to stop to get their picture taken in customs and exchange money. The first day, it took us about 45 minutes to get through the lines and out of the terminal and we had waited a bit for a 2:30 tour after a 12:00 arrival.

 

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Thanks, exactly the info I was looking for.  I was guessing 45 minutes or so, so my 1 hr thought will only give us 15-20 minutes to kill.  Hubby was thinking 30 minutes early and I figured we would miss the bus - pun intended lol!

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1 hour ago, wemjam said:

After all my cruises I know all this lol!  I am asking specifically about Cuba because it is slightly different than other ports and want to know about how long it took people to get through the customs process and get the money exchanged.  Cuba is not like other ports where you just walk off the ship and boom you are there.  My understanding is you will have to wait in lines for customs, and then again to change your money since only CUC is accepted and no credit cards.  Comments on that process and time it takes from those that have done it.

 

My apologies.  I thought I was answering exactly what you asked.  

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If you’re in a mini suite, you can meet in one of the lounges at 6:45am and you’ll be one of the first ones to get off (takes about 15 minutes).

 

On the same day, we heard it was taking about 2 hours to get off

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I highly recommend attending the meeting the day before you stop at Cuba.  It's very informative on how everything works.  

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We docked at 7. Quick & easy to get off, go thru customs, exchange money, walk 3 blocks to meet our tour for 10am. We were there by 8am. Very easy. We sat in the park watching the locals commuting to work, it was very interesting & eye opening. I would get off early and take in the daily life as you wait. Soak up all you can while your there.

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Going through customs, baggage check, and bank exchange only took us about 20 mins. Depends on where your tour is actually meeting. Ours met under the terminal where there were many groups gathering and the buses picked us/them up right there. We had left in plenty of time but ended up waiting down there for another 20-30 mins before our bus came in to get us. 

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