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mrlevin

Stops in Cuba PROHIBITED

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Notice to be posted in Federal Register tomorrow; here is "pre publication" copy of notice:

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2019-11777.pdf

 

Cruise ships are explicitly outlawed:

 

Quote

SUMMARY: In this final rule, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) further limits the types of aircraft that are authorized to fly to Cuba and the types of vessels that are authorized to sail to Cuba on temporary sojourn. Specifically, this rule amends License Exception Aircraft, Vessels and Spacecraft (AVS) in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to remove the authorization for the export or reexport to Cuba of most non-commercial aircraft and passenger and recreational vessels on temporary sojourn. Additionally, this rule amends the licensing policy for exports and reexports to Cuba of aircraft and vessels on temporary sojourn to establish a general policy of denial absent a foreign policy or national security interest as determined by the U.S. Government. Consequently, private and corporate aircraft, cruise ships, sailboats, fishing boats, and other similar aircraft and vessels generally will be prohibited from going to Cuba. BIS is making these amendments to support the Administration’s national security and foreign policy decision to restrict non-family travel to Cuba to prevent U.S. funds from enriching the Cuban regime, which continues to repress the Cuban people and provides ongoing support to the Maduro regime in Venezuela. These amendments are consistent with the National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba. signed by the President on June 16, 2017.

DATES: This rule is effective [INSERT DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER].

 

 

Effective date will be tomorrow.

 

So, unless I am totally misreading this our cruise in October WON"T stop in Cuba. 😞

Edited by mrlevin

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You''re not missing much.  Just my opinion.

 

Unless you need to chalk up another country - for whatever reason.

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I just saw this on CNN also. They also said Trump waved a suspension on a law that allows a company to be suied for using property taken by the Cuban government during the revolution so a lawsuit has already been filed against Carnival for using the pier and cruise terminal. So there goes my October 2020 trip, at least I can cancel and just forfeit the admin fee.

Edited by hypercafe

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22 minutes ago, hypercafe said:

I just saw this on CNN also. They also said Trump waved a suspension on a law that allows a company to be suied for using property taken by the Cuban government during the revolution so a lawsuit has already been filed against Carnival for using the pier and cruise terminal. So there goes my October 2020 trip, at least I can cancel and just forfeit the admin fee.

Was the sole purpose/intent of your cruise booking to go to Cuba?

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12 minutes ago, pingpong1 said:

Was the sole purpose/intent of your cruise booking to go to Cuba?

 

pingpong, you didn't ask me; but for me, yes.  I have no desire to go on a Caribbean cruise and the three stops in Cuba are the one reason that I am booked on Mariner in October.

 

edited to add:

Called Regent; I was told that they are aware of the policy and that there would be a meeting later in the week.  I asked when Regent would have a response/update and I was told "by the end of the week."  They are cutting it close as my cruise enters penalty on 16 June.

Edited by mrlevin

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21 minutes ago, mrlevin said:

 

 

pingpong, you didn't ask me; but for me, yes.  I have no desire to go on a Caribbean cruise and the three stops in Cuba are the one reason that I am booked on Mariner in October.

 

edited to add:

Called Regent; I was told that they are aware of the policy and that there would be a meeting later in the week.  I asked when Regent would have a response/update and I was told "by the end of the week."  They are cutting it close as my cruise enters penalty on 16 June.

Thank you for the update, mrlevin. My hubby and I are booked on the Oct 22 Cuba-Intensive cruise and I am so disappointed. We both want to experience the culture and have been instructing Alexa to play a lot of Cuban music lately (yes, she complies, begrudgingly). I've even started reading a Cuban novel.

 

Since we're extremely new to cruising on Regent, we still plan on sailing wherever the cruise ends up going, but dang it! I was really looking forward to cruising around Havana in a classic car with the top down...

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Marc - thank you for posting that.  We more or less knew this it was coming.

 

Cuba is rich in history, has tons of natural beauty (as it has been destroyed by mega hotels, etc. yet).  My main reason for wanting to visit Cuba is to support the people - not the government.  

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If you have booked a hotel or flight prior to tomorrow; you are grandfathered.  Unfortunately, can't tell if that is same for cruises.  Norwegian has issued a statement but nothing from Regent (unless Norwegian statement is only statement for the three lines).  Statement just says we are researching and we will get back to you later.  It will be interesting if same "grandfather" rules apply; i.e., that you have paid for cruise.  I called Regent again about needing to make full payment today in order to get grandfathered; but they had no idea.  Of course, that would be a nightmare for cruise lines if some guests are allowed whilst others are not.  Oh well, I will wait until Regent finds out the rules and figures out what they are doing; hopefully before 16 June.

 

Marc

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CNN is right now reporting that cruise ships from the US will be banned from docking in Cuba from Wednesday.

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1 hour ago, pingpong1 said:

Was the sole purpose/intent of your cruise booking to go to Cuba?

Yes, I live in NYC so have done the other islands many many times. I was stationed in Cuba while in the USN in  60s and wanted to go back. All the included tours on the other islands mean nothing to me.

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We are also booked on October cruise to Cuba and very confused right now as to whether booked cruises are grandfathered. I have no desire to visit other Caribbean ports is itinerary is changed. I hope we hear from Regent before final payment is due in July so we can cancel. I booked this cruise because it was visiting three different ports in Cuba. I booked all the tours through Regent to make sure they were compliant with Treasury Department. I'll be heartbroken if we can't visit Cuba. I hate the Cuban government but let's be realistic. The embargo and all prohibitions have done nothing to alter the government. The Cuban people are the only ones who suffer.

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46 minutes ago, mrlevin said:

If you have booked a hotel or flight prior to tomorrow; you are grandfathered.  Unfortunately, can't tell if that is same for cruises.  Norwegian has issued a statement but nothing from Regent (unless Norwegian statement is only statement for the three lines).  Statement just says we are researching and we will get back to you later.  It will be interesting if same "grandfather" rules apply; i.e., that you have paid for cruise.  I called Regent again about needing to make full payment today in order to get grandfathered; but they had no idea.  Of course, that would be a nightmare for cruise lines if some guests are allowed whilst others are not.  Oh well, I will wait until Regent finds out the rules and figures out what they are doing; hopefully before 16 June.

 

Marc

Mr. Levin & Hyper - Thanks for the quick replies.  I was jut wondering if Cuba was your main focus for the cruise/s you booked. And both of you answered in the affirmative.  In my former line of work, I was in Gitmo quite often, but that of course is not really "the Cuba" that we're talking about here.  Regards

 

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And we have said it before, this approach is not equitable and is a response to pressure from Cuban American activists.    I can’t say I blame them as they lost everything - material things and loved ones.  It was a perilous time.  However, we still go to China..and Vietnam...and other countries whose policies counter ours and whose human rights records are horrible.  

 

We visited cuba several years ago on a people to people tour.  I loved everything about the country, the people, and the music.  

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If grandfathered under same rules as those with booked hotels and/or flights, Regent could go ahead with two October cruises as they are waitlisted; on the other hand, the later cruises are not fully booked so Regent could not include Cuba even if allowed to be grandfathered as all future bookings would not be waitlisted.  Even for the two October cruises Regent would be taking a risk as they would not be able to sell cancelled cabins.

 

Marc

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1 hour ago, mrlevin said:

Norwegian has issued a statement but nothing from Regent (unless Norwegian statement is only statement for the three lines).  Statement just says we are researching and we will get back to you later.

 

Marc

 

Marc,

 

The statement released was intended for all NCLH brands: We are closely monitoring these recent developments and any resulting impact to cruise travel to Cuba.  We will communicate to our guests and travel partners as additional information becomes available.

 

Jason

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Jason, thanks.  I sure hope I am right and that we are grandfathered and that Regent will take the chance that the two October itineraries are sufficiently booked/waitlisted for the company to  keep the itineraries the same.

 

Again, thanks,

 

Marc

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30 minutes ago, mrlevin said:

Jason, thanks.  I sure hope I am right and that we are grandfathered and that Regent will take the chance that the two October itineraries are sufficiently booked/waitlisted for the company to  keep the itineraries the same.

 

Again, thanks,

 

Marc

 

That would be great Marc, but I doubt very much if it would happen that way.  As you said, what would they do about new bookings after the inevitable cancellations at final payment time?

 

I'm of two minds on this.  As a Canadian, I've been able to go to Cuba for decades, but I never have--thousands of Canadians go every year.  I was kind of afraid of Cuba being 'overrun' by tourists, but now that's not going to happen.  I would still like to go some day, but that's difficult since husband is dual.   Since we spend the winters in Florida we'd probably have to fly from Cancun.

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I am so glad that we got to Cuba just after the ban was lifted. We absolutely loved everything about the trip. I’m so sorry for all of you that are disappointed or now booked on an itinerary you aren’t jazzed about. When the ban is lifted again, I encourage you to do what we did, book the best itinerary you can get as quickly as possible and go befor the ban is back!

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We cruised this year to Cuba and I wouldn't want to go again-it was really something to see and happy we got to go.  So sorry to hear about the ban now--let's hope things get worked out for the people of Cuba and the cruisers that want to go.

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Jason, it would had been nice if the same statement posted on NCL website was posted on Regent's (and Oceania for that matter). Even though NCLimited owns all three brands not anyone goes to NCL's website to read announcements. I hope when an answer is available as to whether those of us booked on October's Regent cruise to Cuba are granfathered with new sanctions, it will be posted on Regent's website as well as Regent contacting us. An answer should be forthcoming next week since the final payment for October 15 cruise is June 16th. While I can understand the three companies not booking additional cruises to Cuba, I hope its lawyers can work something out with Treasure Dept so those of us who booked a year ago will b e able to go on this cruise. Thank you for clarifying.

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16 minutes ago, forevertravel said:

Jason, it would had been nice if the same statement posted on NCL website was posted on Regent's (and Oceania for that matter). Even though NCLimited owns all three brands not anyone goes to NCL's website to read announcements. I hope when an answer is available as to whether those of us booked on October's Regent cruise to Cuba are granfathered with new sanctions, it will be posted on Regent's website as well as Regent contacting us. An answer should be forthcoming next week since the final payment for October 15 cruise is June 16th. While I can understand the three companies not booking additional cruises to Cuba, I hope its lawyers can work something out with Treasure Dept so those of us who booked a year ago will b e able to go on this cruise. Thank you for clarifying.

Wouldn't you feel unsafe there as an American after the US basically slapped the Cuban people, tour operator and government in the face and cost all of them lots of money?

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24 minutes ago, forevertravel said:

Jason, it would had been nice if the same statement posted on NCL website was posted on Regent's (and Oceania for that matter). Even though NCLimited owns all three brands not anyone goes to NCL's website to read announcements. I hope when an answer is available as to whether those of us booked on October's Regent cruise to Cuba are granfathered with new sanctions, it will be posted on Regent's website as well as Regent contacting us. An answer should be forthcoming next week since the final payment for October 15 cruise is June 16th. While I can understand the three companies not booking additional cruises to Cuba, I hope its lawyers can work something out with Treasure Dept so those of us who booked a year ago will b e able to go on this cruise. Thank you for clarifying.

Really doubt any cruise line is going to use the Grandfather clause to keep a cruise itinerary months away because it is currently waitlisted.  Pretty sure it will be the end of cruises to Cuba tomorrow or perhaps they will be allowed a few weeks grace so they can get their itineraries straightened out but, most likely your October cruise is a goner.

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4 hours ago, hypercafe said:

Yes, I live in NYC so have done the other islands many many times. I was stationed in Cuba while in the USN in  60s and wanted to go back. All the included tours on the other islands mean nothing to me.

My Dad was stationed in Cuba while in the USN in the 50s and never wanted to go back. He said it was the worst place he had been while in the Navy. He said the pollution of the water was comparable to a sewer, and as an excellent swimmer, he was assigned to swim out to planes landing in the bay. He spent time in Norfolk, Bermuda, Jamaica and Panama, and preferred all of them to Cuba.

I'm not sure why living in NYC means you have done all of the other islands in the Caribbean many times. We lived in NY for a long time and did most, but not all of the islands. It's a long flight through NYC area airports, which are the worst in the US.  We've spent more time going to the Caribbean since moving to Florida, and have enjoyed visiting islands that were harder to get to from NYC. We look forward to visiting islands where people are free to do what they want, and are not oppressed by their government.

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6 minutes ago, SWFLAOK said:

 We look forward to visiting islands where people are free to do what they want, and are not oppressed by their government.

 We agree 100%.

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5 hours ago, HeatherDawn said:

Thank you for the update, mrlevin. My hubby and I are booked on the Oct 22 Cuba-Intensive cruise and I am so disappointed. We both want to experience the culture and have been instructing Alexa to play a lot of Cuban music lately (yes, she complies, begrudgingly). I've even started reading a Cuban novel.

 

Since we're extremely new to cruising on Regent, we still plan on sailing wherever the cruise ends up going, but dang it! I was really looking forward to cruising around Havana in a classic car with the top down...

I just finished reading Nelson DeMille's novel, "A Cuban Affair". After reading that, visiting Cuba doesn't seem like a vacation. Some of our friend have taken short cruises to Cuba from Florida this year. They enjoyed being onboard the cruise ship much more than they enjoyed getting off the boat in Cuba.

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