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Posted (edited)

With our cruise to Cuba in September this year now cancelled by NCL, and our flights and accommodation already booked to/from/in Miami we have 5 days free and we are wondering if it is a good option to fly to Havana instead.

We'd appreciate any thoughts on the likelihood of flights being cancelled and also recommendations for accommodation, have been looking at a few hotels that didn't seem too bad but then the reviews were horrendous!! And all this "politically correctness"  (??) of whether we should stay in a hotel or casa particular is also a bit daunting and leaves us wondering if it's all worth it!

 

And would you include travel to other towns or parts of Cuba or just Havana? (The cruise was just Havana).

 

Any info appreciated. Thanks!

Edited by sussanahrose

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Are you a US citizen? If so ,  you would need to abide by the US regulations on allowed travel categories for Cuba visits.   You  would not be able to just hang out at the beach when going to Cuba as you would need some full time itinerary  that shows you are there for a valid reason.   You cannot stay at any military owned hotel and cannot spend money at any military owned establishment.

 

Commercial flights to Cuba from US are not affected by Trump's ban like cruises .   But you need to pay attention to what allowable travel category you declare.  You also will need to keep all trip documentation (upto 5 years?) in case it needs to be examined when you return.

 

If you are not a US citizen,  I believe you face much fewer restrictions  😃 

 

You can look at more details on US travel policy  for Cuba here:

 

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_fact_sheet_20190604.pdf 

 

There are also a number of decent sites that provide more detailed advice on how to travel to Cuba legally such as :

 

https://www.viahero.com/travel-to-cuba/cuba-info-for-americans

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Assuming that you are not a u.s. Citizen living in Australia I would suggest that you fly to Los Angeles and take flights that go through Panama City or Mexico. COPA and Aero Mexico are both good airlines.  I am also worried about the possibility of direct commercial flights to Cuba being put on "the list".  We live in California and will be using these airlines, and meeting all U.S. rules for travel to Cuba.  You should probably check if the Australian government has any restrictions. 

 

If if you cannot change your flights to Miami I would make reservations from Miami to Cuba and if the airline cancels you plan something else fun. And, if you go to Cuba I would include one other destination not too far from Havana, like vinales.  Cherie

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Thanks for the replies!  

No! We are not American citizen's, we are Aussies!! Guess I should have stated the obvious but thought the little flag and the "Western Australia" address were give aways! (but should never assume etc etc). 😉 

Anyway,  I will keep investigating ideas of somewhere to stay and maybe doing a package with a tour company of accommodation and a trip to Vinales.

And yes,  have already checked all requirements etc and if the flights are also banned will have to move on to Plan C, 5 more days in Miami! 

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If you are going to the Miami area already  look at South West flights out of FLL. Liberal baggage allowances and good prices. Book a casa paticular in Vedado and have fun.

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Thanks Houndfish! That is pretty much exactly what we have in mind. 

Have you done this yourself?  I read somewhere that Southwest arrives at terminal 2 in Havana and there is no currency exchange facilities there,  do you know if this is true? 

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I have not done this yet but will in early 2020. International flights come in to terminal 3 which has cadecas on both floors. I am planning to do 2 days in Havana and 2 days in Guanabo. Villa Cloty in Guanabo and unsure on Havana yet but there are lots of choices. Will leave from fll on southwest and return the same. Liberal baggage and cancellation policies. Found many casa particulars at or under 50 cuc. Many look nice below that but location to havana vieja is a considerstiom

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Did you check Airbnb? Looks like lots of nice places there and I think you can pay via cc if you want.

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I start with a 3rd party site then find the prooerty website or email and communicate directly with the owner. Not sure if I will book direct or 3rd party. Depends on cancellation policy.

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Flights and accommodation all booked for September.

Flying with Southwest and found a place on Airbnb which sounds fabulous! 

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Great, I plan on flying sw next February. I would apprreciate learning of your booking experience with visa and required insurance process and cost.

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We are a group of 13 traveling in November and because the weather will be warm I specifically looked for accommodations with a pool to cool off in.  The pools may not be "resort" style pools but will be welcome after a day of touring.  Cherie

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On 6/15/2019 at 6:12 AM, Houndfish said:

I have not done this yet but will in early 2020. International flights come in to terminal 3 which has cadecas on both floors. I am planning to do 2 days in Havana and 2 days in Guanabo. Villa Cloty in Guanabo and unsure on Havana yet but there are lots of choices. Will leave from fll on southwest and return the same. Liberal baggage and cancellation policies. Found many casa particulars at or under 50 cuc. Many look nice below that but location to havana vieja is a considerstiom

Came across this in my research into the money changers, (don't know how up to date this is tho) apparently Southwest do fly into Terminal 2:

 

"The cadeca in terminal #2 is in departures, not arrivals. After clearing customs, upon exiting the building at the arrival section, go right about 75 meters still under the canopy to the entrance to departures. Enter departures and you see the check in counters right in front of you. Instead, take an immediate right down the hallway. The cadeca is about 30 meters down that hallway on the right hand side. At least it was that way when I last came through terminal #2 about a year and a half ago.

Note: upon exiting arrivals with CUC in hand, there is an open air beer stand immediately to the right. No better place to spend your first CUC in Cuba than on a cold Cristal or Bucanero."  ... (I like this tip!!)

 

Booked flights directly with SW, they state health insurance is included in the fare, however, we have our own travel insurance also that covers our entire trip including USA and Cuba.

 

Booked our accommodation on airbnb, choose a place with excellent reviews and a fair price (60 CUC/night 2 bedroom) right on El Malecon, Vedado with beautiful views of the ocean and sunsets. No pool, (not particularly interested in that) but it has a balcony and air-con which was a must! 

 

Hope I remember to write up about it when we're finished!

 

Cheers!

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