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Havana would definitely be one port I would take my Passport to disembark.....and know the address of the US Embassy!  These cruise offerings will have to be put on my back burner for a couple of years.   Let's see how things play out with this destination.  

I agree with you. Right now, I just do not think their infrastructure could handle a cruise ship load of tourists at one time. They could probably handle the cigar demand but rum???

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I agree with you. Right now, I just do not think their infrastructure could handle a cruise ship load of tourists at one time. They could probably handle the cigar demand but rum???

 

Don't forget that while U.S. tourists haven't been going there, Cuba has been developing a tourism industry for more than twenty years (with visitors predominantly from Canada and Western Europe). They currently receive on average 50,000 tourists per week. Cruise traffic will definitely put pressure on infrastructure, especially in Havana, but as they're starting cruises in low season they should be able to adapt.

 

They also have a well developed excursion business that serves the beach resorts north of Havana. On my trip to Cuba a couple of years ago, I did three excursions: a day trip to Havana (from Varadero), a jeep safari and cultural tour, and a reef snorkelling trip. I found them to be as good, if not better than any cruise excursions I've done in the Caribbean/Yucatan.

 

I'm excited about the prospect of visiting Havana again, and would prefer to do it as a port-of-call on a cruise (especially if Key West was on the same itinerary), so I'll be watching to see how this goes.

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I'm excited about the prospect of visiting Havana again, and would prefer to do it as a port-of-call on a cruise (especially if Key West was on the same itinerary), so I'll be watching to see how this goes.

 

My "dream Cuba itinerary" would be Sailing from Tampa, stopping at Key West, then do the ports that Fathom currently visits:  Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba, and then back (with a sea day in there somewhere).

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Well...I did a courtesy hold on the May 20 sailing, and when I saw the price my TA secured, it was about $150 higher than the original price I saw on the RC sight, so the price is increasing rapidly, and will probably sell out on a lot of the early sailings, so I backed off. May 20 was the only practical date I could do it with my daughters.

 

I did see that RC's visa service was $75 pp in addition to the fare, port fees and taxes. I haven't secured a visa for travel in many years, so I have no idea if that is a reasonable price for a day in Havana. Does anyone know?

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My "dream Cuba itinerary" would be Sailing from Tampa, stopping at Key West, then do the ports that Fathom currently visits:  Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba, and then back (with a sea day in there somewhere).

 

Actually ... if time and money were a little more abundant (and I already had C&A Diamond) ... what I would love to do is the Azamara 12-night Hemingway Hideaways Voyage, which includes stops in Key West, New Orleans, and Havana. A man's gotta dream ...

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Havana for a day isn't really that exciting. I have been to Cuba many times, and only visited Havana once and don't care if I am ever there again.

 

I get the fact that its been forbidden as a rule for most Americans, so the intrigue is there.

 

But I wouldn't spend extra or pay more for any cruise that stops there over any other place in the Caribbean.

 

If you could spend an overnight perhaps or if it docked at a few different places around Cuba allowing you to see their amazing beaches then perhaps.

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Well...I did a courtesy hold on the May 20 sailing, and when I saw the price my TA secured, it was about $150 higher than the original price I saw on the RC sight, so the price is increasing rapidly, and will probably sell out on a lot of the early sailings, so I backed off. May 20 was the only practical date I could do it with my daughters.

 

I did see that RC's visa service was $75 pp in addition to the fare, port fees and taxes. I haven't secured a visa for travel in many years, so I have no idea if that is a reasonable price for a day in Havana. Does anyone know?

 

At this point, it seems like just letting RC handle the Visa stuff would make it the least amount of headache / risk. 

 

I did book the 5/20 Empress sailing - sounds like a lot of others had the same idea! 

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My thoughts on this change as many times as the clock ticks...8 hours in Havana would be cool, no doubt, but with the early sailings I wonder how much we would be pinned into some activity or place based on the 12 criteria for being granted entry...I experienced this in other Communist countries I've visited only to find ways around it after a little while. I may opt for sailings with over-nights or with multiple ports in the end. At any rate, I feel better now that I have a locked in fare that is quite a bit lower than the current published base amount. At least there's a couple months to think about it.

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