Is Cuba on your radar?

Do you have interest in taking a cruise to Cuba?  Our Chamber of Commerce is offering a land tour but I know that you can take a cruise from Jamaica.  

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I would like to go to Cuba , but not until it is legal

GTVCRUISER - would you like to visit on a land tour or on a cruise?  You may now visit legally if you travel with a group and your purpose is a people to people travel group.  You receive a specific license granted by the US Dept. of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control.  You carry the Letter of Authorization with you.  Your visit involves direct personal interactions with Cuban people - an educational exchange.  It could be religious, historical, musical, etc.  you aren't considered a tourist. You connect with farmers, artists, painters, architects, baseball players, dancers, fishermen, doctors, mechanics, etc... Many local groups like our Chamber of Commerce and church groups are already visiting as are companies such as Mayflower, National Geographic, Rhodes Scholar, Grand Circle, Globus, Abercrombie & Kent to name a few.  In fact almost every major tour group is now organizing or planning to organize tours.  I am of course not promoting such travel, just asking what the interest is.  I have not visited Cuba and would not unless it was legal for me to do so either.  I am curious about this country since I have never been there.  I do know some American who have visited here by traveling to another country first.  

By the way, these cultural or educational trips were legalized for US citizens in early 2011 when Pres. Obama revived a Clinton-era exemption to the Cuba embargo.

My son has travelled there with a friend to an all inclusive resort.

From Canada it is easier. He enjoyed the trip, but he did say "Don't go there for the food"

Otherwise, as a seasoned traveller he found the place quite nice, and the beaches were fabulous. The rum and cigars that he brought back were great as well.

I'd love to go to Cuba someday.

@glomarone, which cruises currently go there? Do they stop overnight?

I guess its not hard to imagine Carnival or Royal Caribbean sailing to Cuba when its completely legal. Will be good for the cruise lines.Big Smile

We’re definitely interested in visiting Cuba one day, but not enough that we’re looking to arrange one of the currently approved “cultural” tours.  I won’t be surprised to see relations with Cuba changing in the near future and many cruise lines adding stops there to their itineraries.  I bet we’ll be there several times aboard short cruises in our lifetime!

I am very tempted to do these cruises also but I am practicing self control.  I really want to spend my time sighting not spending all my time talking to Cuban religious groups, farmers or cigar makers.  These trips now sound very limiting in how I can get around in the country.  You have to be in a group.  Up until the time that my chamber offered theirs, I wasn't so tempted.  Groups are very small on all these trips, only up to 16 visitors.   I do hope that our gov't. will expand the allowed touring.

 

I understand that the reason for no travel to Cuba is because Cuba seized properties worth millions of some American Companies including Sears.  They never retuned those properties.  Our government is not asking for interest just what those properties were worth when stolen.  It doesn't really have anything to do with communism.  

 

I can't see Cuba coming up with enough dineros at this point.  There will have to be a lot of negotiating and spin for America to justify opening up Cuba to tourists.  

I hope so, WeCruiseToo.  I also believe it will happen.  Gloria

CruiselineQ, the name of the cruise ship that departs Montego Bay is Louis Cristal owned by Toronto-based Cuba Cruise.  It is a series of 7-night cruises around Cuba.  It holds 1,200 passengers and runs between $586 double occupancy to $1,204 for an Imperial suite.  Season runs Dec. 16 - March 31 with 15 departures.  So far cruise lines that are controlled in the US are barred from cruising to Cuba.  I do hope that will change.  It has had a rocky start.  It visits Cienfuegos/Trinidad, Havana, Hoguin and Santiago de Cuba.  The reason for these cruises is to get Americans on board.  American are a big market for travel.  We travel more than any other nationality.  Gloria 

 

i myself wouldn't do this, but Americans who want to go through European and Canadian travel agents will get a Travel Card that will be stamped rather than your passport.  I would not do this type of travel.  In the past travelers from the US could not bring back anything purchased in Cuba.  That has been relaxed in practice.  I don't think that US credit cards are accepted in Cuba, still.  

Has anyone on this site actually been to Cuba to tell us what it is like?  I see photos of beautiful beaches.  I see lots of old cars in photographs of landmark buildings.  The country seems so proud of their automobiles.  I see crumbling buildings.  I see some nice resorts and hotels and wonder if they really are so lovely.  Then I see what local transportation is like.  Then I wonder if I really want to go there now.  I am in a quandary.

gloria

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