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The End To Future Cuba Cruises!!

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On 4/19/2019 at 7:13 PM, Phillip Diamond Plus said:

Empress would be a great ship for Bermuda! I believe that Empress might be small enough to dock In Hamilton and St. Georges like ships used to do. But I'm not sure???

It can, we sailed on the Empress out of Phila to Bermuda (Hamilton & St George) several times a few (well many) years back.  That was one of our favorite itineraries, much nicer than sailing into the generic Naval dockyard.  If they can no longer sail to Cuba maybe they can use the Empress for the Phila to Bermuda run again!

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2 hours ago, Jjohnb said:

It can, we sailed on the Empress out of Phila to Bermuda (Hamilton & St George) several times a few (well many) years back.  That was one of our favorite itineraries, much nicer than sailing into the generic Naval dockyard.  If they can no longer sail to Cuba maybe they can use the Empress for the Phila to Bermuda run again!

Where in Philly did this dock?

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We sailed her (the Nordic Empress back then) to Bermuda from NYC back in 2002.  Docked at the Naval Yard then moved to Hamilton.  It was a wonderful cruise!

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On 5/3/2019 at 1:05 PM, Jjohnb said:

It can, we sailed on the Empress out of Phila to Bermuda (Hamilton & St George) several times a few (well many) years back.  That was one of our favorite itineraries, much nicer than sailing into the generic Naval dockyard.  If they can no longer sail to Cuba maybe they can use the Empress for the Phila to Bermuda run again!

I wonder call the Royal naval Dockyard "Generic" --- It's actually quite nice there.  Of course, there's been a huge emphasis on developing that end of the island.

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On 5/14/2019 at 3:45 PM, Pooch said:

We sailed her (the Nordic Empress back then) to Bermuda from NYC back in 2002.  Docked at the Naval Yard then moved to Hamilton.  It was a wonderful cruise!

We sailed the Song of America in 1997, docked two nights in Hamilton and one night in St. George's.  It was great! 

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11 hours ago, Fairlynew said:

I just checked and RC now has scheduled sailings to Cuba through April 2020, so they must feel confident that the sailings will continue.

So much for Chicken Little and the sky's falling! LOL!!!!

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On 4/17/2019 at 2:50 PM, SpeedNoodles said:

I wonder if they'd fit under the Duluth Harbor Lift Bridge?  (I'm still pushing for cruises out of Minnesota/Wisconsin).

#agirlcandream #ibelieveinme

Or fit in the St. Lawrence Seaway Locks in Massena, NY?  Quebec City to New Orleans.  That would be cool.

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New OFAC rules have been posted and go into effect June 5, 2019:

Publication of Updated Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Frequently Asked Questions.

The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 515 (CACR), to further implement portions of the President’s foreign policy toward Cuba. In accordance with newly announced changes to non-family travel to Cuba, OFAC is amending the CACR to remove the authorization for group people-to-people educational travel. The CACR amendment will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday June 5, 2019, at which time the changes will take effect. OFAC is also publishing a number of updated Frequently Asked Questions and a Fact Sheet pertaining to this regulatory amendment.

For more information on this specific action, please visit this page.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20190604.aspx

 

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Effective June 5, 2019, a regulatory amendment to the CACR removes an authorization for people-to-people educational travel that was conducted under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact (group people-to-people educational travel). This amendment also includes a grandfather clause authorizing certain group people-to-people educational travel that previously was authorized where the traveler has already completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to June 5, 2019.

and...

15. What constitutes “people-to-people travel” and is it generally authorized?

Effective June 5, 2019, there is no general license authorizing people-to-people educational activities in Cuba. The term “people-to-people travel” refers to an authorization, subject to conditions, for persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in certain educational exchanges in Cuba on an individual basis or under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact. On November 9, 2017, in accordance with the NSPM, OFAC amended the general license for people-to-people educational activities in Cuba to remove the authorization for individual peopleto-people educational travel. Effective June 5, 2019, in further accordance with the President’s foreign policy toward Cuba announced in April 2019, OFAC removed the authorization for group people-to-people educational travel in § 515.565(b). There is a grandfather provision in § 515.565(b) that authorizes certain group people-to-people educational travel that previously was authorized where the traveler has completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to June 5, 2019. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.565. The export or reexport to Cuba of items subject to the EAR, including vessels and aircraft used to provide carrier services, requires separate authorization from the Department of Commerce. See 31 CFR § 515.533. For additional information regarding BIS’s regulatory amendments, see BIS’s Cuba webpage. [06-04-2019]

Source:

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

 

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This may be a critical aspect going forward.

It's possible that certain excursions that are full day in nature may qualify under this authorization.  I recall full day activities were a component in the past after the 2017 changes as well.  Now they are a requirement.

 

20. What constitutes “support for the Cuban people” for generally authorized travel and other transactions?

This general license authorizes, subject to conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are intended to provide support for the Cuban people, which include activities of recognized human rights organizations; independent organizations designed to promote a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy; and individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. In accordance with the NSPM, OFAC is amending this general license to require that each traveler utilizing this authorization engage in a full-time schedule of activities that enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities and that result in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba. OFAC is also amending this general license to exclude from the authorization certain direct financial transactions with entities and subentities identified on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List. The traveler’s schedule of activities must not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule in Cuba. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.574. [11-08-2017]

 

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My guess is Royal replaces the Cuban ports of call with something else. It's too much uncertain political BS to deal with.

Frankly, I wouldn't blame them if they did. But I will feel sorry for those who paid a premium for a Cuban cruise and their ports are replaced with somthing lesser and more common.

 

:0(

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13 minutes ago, bobroo said:

My guess is Royal replaces the Cuban ports of call with something else. It's too much uncertain political BS to deal with.

Frankly, I wouldn't blame them if they did. But I will feel sorry for those who paid a premium for a Cuban cruise and their ports are replaced with somthing lesser and more common.

 

:0(

The same was said after the 2017 amendments were made.  

They'll have the appropriate people review the changes and make an informed business decision.  

Traveling to Russia on a cruise ship is much simpler if you book a ship excursion.  In that case it's the Russian government who makes it that way.   In the case of Cuba it's the US government that makes it this way.  

Requiring a full day excursion that qualifies is a business opportunity.  Don't like it?  Blame the government, not the cruise line.  

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Right now, my concern is does the grandfather clause that is in effect for travelers that have completed a travel related transaction for a flight or an accommodation apply to cruise ship visits? Since we board Majesty in 6 days for a Havana destination...well, we are let's say urgently curious...

 

It sure looks like future cruise ship visits are kaput based on the State Department Fact Sheet that is a little more plain English, summary wise.

 

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2 minutes ago, Weaselpuppy said:

Right now, my concern is does the grandfather clause that is in effect for travelers that have completed a travel related transaction for a flight or an accommodation apply to cruise ship visits? Since we board Majesty in 6 days for a Havana destination...well, we are let's say urgently curious...

 

It sure looks like future cruise ship visits are kaput based on the State Department Fact Sheet that is a little more plain English, summary wise.

 

I would assume it's business as usual for anyone booked prior to June 5, 2019.  

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On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 10:45 PM, Baked Alaska said:

So much for Chicken Little and the sky's falling! LOL!!!!

Just fell!...lol

 

Maybe prices of resorts will go back down now...they had gone up 20-50% in the past year or so...and the Cuban govt was pricing them using USD which made it much more expensive for us Canadians....

 

Maybe I will make it back there now sometime if prices go back down to reasonable levels...

 

Be interesting to see what the cruise companies do with all these smaller ships they were sending to Cuba too

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28 minutes ago, baltodave said:

My wife and her parents are booked on Majesty OTS to Cuba in November.  They've paid the deposit but still owe the balance.   I wonder if that cruise will still happen.

Wait until Royal responds.  

The conundrum now is having to sail partially full if they can't continue offering Cuba bookings for new guests beyond June 5, 2019.

If they do swap in alternate ports like Nassau/CocoCay it's a short sales cycle to fill ships through the end of the year.  Majesty and Empress competing with Navigator and Mariner to CocoCay is a hard sell and not the metal they want to put into the short Florida market.

Time will tell.

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