Cuba Travel Recommendations

Discussion in 'Other North America/non U.S.' started by HaveMilesWillTravel, Nov 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    We are looking at maybe trying to go to Cuba next year (with an official US Gov approved/certified tour). Has anyone here gone, and if so, what tour organization would you recommend (or not recommend, for that matter).

    Thanks!
     
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  2. UA191

    UA191 Silver Member

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    I traveled to Cuba as a journalist in 2010.

    There are no legal 'tours' to Cuba per se for US Citizens.
    I would highly recommend doing it independently (and legally).

    The process is:
    1. Submit a request to the US government saying that you are going to Cuba to report on something there (just say you're a blogger) or say that you are doing a research project. Contrary to popular belief, US citizens are allowed to travel to Cuba, but just can't spend any money there (that's why you need permission). See http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1097.html for more info.

    2. Contact the respective accredited travel agencies that sell charters to Cuba for quotes. I went with ABC Charters on an AA 738 & it was quite satisfactory. You'll need to fax your documents to the agency for processing.

    3. Plan your tour to Cuba. It really is a great place. Lots of history & a great culture. Take a look at the WikiTravel for Cuba for tips. I wouldn't recommend checking a bag - there are lots of cases of items being stolen, so I'd just play it safe & carry on. :)

    Also - if you take any prescription medication or have an illness, you can get treated in Cuba for free & get your meds at up to a 99% discount - yes, legally. Actually, their health care system is rated better that the US'. I know it sounds weird, I know some people that have done it with great results!

    The only downside to going on a charter to Cuba is your can earn or use miles. :(

    Hope that covers it all.
    Maybe it's just the journalist inside me, but Cuba is really a great place to explore yourself.
    I wouldn't spend a dime to bus around with a number of 'tourists' from Europe.

    I'd love to see how your trip is - be sure to post a review on MP!
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I was thinking of something like http://www.insightcuba.com/

    They started earlier this year after the administration relaxed the rules. Who knows what happens after the next election. The pendulum could easily swing back towards tighter restrictions.

    I heard (read?) that just setting up a blog and calling yourself a journalist is insufficient for the US Government to approve travel (or rather... spending money in Cuba).

    Apparently that might have changed since your trip? According to

    http://www.insightcuba.com/faq-1/me...need-medical-insurance-to-travel-to-cuba.html

    and some other sources Cuba now requires proof of insurance. If medical care was really free for US residents, why wouldn't everyone with a serious illness travel to Cuba, get their healthcare and then return (and maybe pay $7500 in US Gov penalties... consider it a copay) to the US.

    Not a big deal.

    If we go, sure. Maybe on my blog, too :)
     

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