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Thread: Traveling to Cuba with the family. Any last minute advice ?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgolivares View Post
    I'm exchanging USD to EUR.   Not sure I'll be able to use my US issued credit card. Will I?
     
    You were told no less than two times in this thread that your USA issued card will not be accepted.

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    Arriving at a Cuban Airport.

    First is Immigration... show your passport, they take your picture.
    Next is Customs. It is like security entering any Airport (before your fly) except it is when you arrive.
    You can't avoid it. There is no special line for no carry-on.
    Then wait for your Bags. They (usually) don't have enough carousel space, so people will be removing your bags and set it next to the carousel (so look there too).
    The (real) Cubans have a separate line up. Cubans have their luggage weight and pay $10CUC per Kg over 30Kg.
    Tourist don't get there luggage weight, but they can have their luggage searched to see it they are bring in more then $100 worth of Gifts.
    Always look like a tourist (not a returning Cuba or an old Guy bringing a suitcase of Bra's for his “girlfriend”), and walk confidently to the exit.
    A lot of Cubans will be blocking the exit. They stand at the doorway looking for relatives inside.... just walk through them.

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  4. #23
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    You can buy local pesos and no problem using them. I've only used them in taxis in havana:10-20 peso for a trip in the center, fixed routes.

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    Always check the prices. Is it Cuc,local pesos or dollars. You will be always and everywhere taken advantage. The Cubans are even better than the Dominicans in that.

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    There are also some nice jazz clubs in havana. And live salsa from the best bands in the world.

  8. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubio_higuey View Post
    You were told no less than two times in this thread that your USA issued card will not be accepted.


    Thank you Rubio. I needed to hear it from you to make it official.  No soup, us cc, for me. 

    But here is another mix message. Tourist are to use cuc only. It is illegal for a tourist to use or have in his/her posession cup. So has been stated once or twice on this tread.  But is has also been stated that I could use cup for taxi rides. Am I allow to use cup yes or no?  If yes, is it only for taxi/bus only? What about for other items (souvenirs, dinner, drinks, etc)? 

    I think I'll just go enjoy myself and report back. 

    Happy 4th!!

  9. #27
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    CUC vs Pesos....

    1 CUC = $1 USD
    (except there is an exchange commission for changing currency and a 10% Tax on USD)
    24 Pesos (CUP) = 1 CUC to buy (selling them back is 25Pesos = 1 CUC)

    You can buy all the Pesos you want.
    You will not be arrested for carrying Pesos, or even spending Pesos.
    You just won't see any Peso Pricing in a two day visit.

    As a Tourist (not fluent in Spanish) you will ALWAYS pay in CUC. (don't even bother asking)

    A seasoned Tourist (who speaks not bad Spanish) you HAVE A CHANCE of paying in Pesos.

    Havana is a CUC place. You have to get away from “downtown” to find a Peso place.
    If the place looks dumpy, questionable and half full of undesirable stuff... It might be priced in Pesos.

    When my Wife and I go to Havana, we spend about 60% of our money in Pesos.
    Did I mention my wife is Cuban?

    What to look for... ?
    -Cuban Peso Cigars. In Havana they can be had for 50Peso for 25 cigars.
    They come in a plain white paper wrapper, and are sold on the street (non-tourist areas)
    They are 100% Cuban tobacco, 100% Cuban rolled and.... a little harsh.
    -Go to a Cuban Bank and ask for 1 CUC worth of $3Peso bills and $3Peso coins
    They both have pictures of Che Guevara.... great souvenirs!
    -Buy a couple pounds of Cuban Coffee (the one in the Black bag, Red bag is good too)
    you will pay in CUC



    Your USA Credit Card WILL NOT WORK!
    Hell.... I find it hard too find a place that will take my Canadian VISA card.
    Cuba is a Cash Society. Forget the Credit Cards.

    You DO NOT need to show Health Ins. On arrival! That was 4or5 years ago. Old News.

    Private message me if you want to hire a Havana Guide (speaks English)... $30CUC/day plus food

  10. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by aname4me View Post
    CUC vs Pesos....

    1 CUC = $1 USD
    (except there is an exchange commission for changing currency and a 10% Tax on USD)
    24 Pesos (CUP) = 1 CUC to buy (selling them back is 25Pesos = 1 CUC)

    You can buy all the Pesos you want.
    You will not be arrested for carrying Pesos, or even spending Pesos.
    You just won't see any Peso Pricing in a two day visit.

    As a Tourist (not fluent in Spanish) you will ALWAYS pay in CUC. (don't even bother asking)

    A seasoned Tourist (who speaks not bad Spanish) you HAVE A CHANCE of paying in Pesos.

    Havana is a CUC place. You have to get away from “downtown” to find a Peso place.
    If the place looks dumpy, questionable and half full of undesirable stuff... It might be priced in Pesos.

    When my Wife and I go to Havana, we spend about 60% of our money in Pesos.
    Did I mention my wife is Cuban?

    What to look for... ?
    -Cuban Peso Cigars. In Havana they can be had for 50Peso for 25 cigars.
    They come in a plain white paper wrapper, and are sold on the street (non-tourist areas)
    They are 100% Cuban tobacco, 100% Cuban rolled and.... a little harsh.
    -Go to a Cuban Bank and ask for 1 CUC worth of $3Peso bills and $3Peso coins
    They both have pictures of Che Guevara.... great souvenirs!
    -Buy a couple pounds of Cuban Coffee (the one in the Black bag, Red bag is good too)
    you will pay in CUC



    Your USA Credit Card WILL NOT WORK!
    Hell.... I find it hard too find a place that will take my Canadian VISA card.
    Cuba is a Cash Society. Forget the Credit Cards.

    You DO NOT need to show Health Ins. On arrival! That was 4or5 years ago. Old News.

    Private message me if you want to hire a Havana Guide (speaks English)... $30CUC/day plus food
    ....could I recommend a hotel in the havana area for your next visit......The twin towers of neptune and triton, and the beautiful beach in front , wonderful dining, and bar...as the americans will be in short supply, you can enjoy in peace...eh?.......

  11. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by aname4me View Post
    CUC vs Pesos....

    1 CUC = $1 USD
    (except there is an exchange commission for changing currency and a 10% Tax on USD)
    24 Pesos (CUP) = 1 CUC to buy (selling them back is 25Pesos = 1 CUC)

    You can buy all the Pesos you want.
    You will not be arrested for carrying Pesos, or even spending Pesos.
    You just won't see any Peso Pricing in a two day visit.

    As a Tourist (not fluent in Spanish) you will ALWAYS pay in CUC. (don't even bother asking)

    A seasoned Tourist (who speaks not bad Spanish) you HAVE A CHANCE of paying in Pesos.

    Havana is a CUC place. You have to get away from “downtown” to find a Peso place.
    If the place looks dumpy, questionable and half full of undesirable stuff... It might be priced in Pesos.

    When my Wife and I go to Havana, we spend about 60% of our money in Pesos.
    Did I mention my wife is Cuban?

    What to look for... ?
    -Cuban Peso Cigars. In Havana they can be had for 50Peso for 25 cigars.
    They come in a plain white paper wrapper, and are sold on the street (non-tourist areas)
    They are 100% Cuban tobacco, 100% Cuban rolled and.... a little harsh.
    -Go to a Cuban Bank and ask for 1 CUC worth of $3Peso bills and $3Peso coins
    They both have pictures of Che Guevara.... great souvenirs!
    -Buy a couple pounds of Cuban Coffee (the one in the Black bag, Red bag is good too)
    you will pay in CUC



    Your USA Credit Card WILL NOT WORK!
    Hell.... I find it hard too find a place that will take my Canadian VISA card.
    Cuba is a Cash Society. Forget the Credit Cards.

    You DO NOT need to show Health Ins. On arrival! That was 4or5 years ago. Old News.

    Private message me if you want to hire a Havana Guide (speaks English)... $30CUC/day plus food


    More good stuff.  Dude ... for the record ... I'm Dominican born at a finca in villa Mella and raised in La Venta. Dominican Spanish is my language. And to top it all my grand father was Cuban from Santiago who came to DR in the 30s. Enough about me ...  So I'm thinking I'll make friends with our guide and go off the tourist thing as much as we could and maybe save a buck or two at dinner. I understand that in 2 days there is so much you can do specially being the first visit but I'll give it a shot. 

    What do think about Fábrica de Arte ?

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  13. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgolivares View Post
    GM kids,

    I'm Traveling to Cuba with the family. Any last minute advice ?

    We will be staying the Plaza for 2 nights, Varadero for 3 nights with a day trip to Viñales.

    My wife read some horrible reviews of the Plaza hotel (no hot or running water, roaches, peeling wall paper....).  We hear food is not the best at the hotel or the paladares.  

    How much of this true ? Any first hand account from a DR'er ?

    Suggestions on what to do, visit, place to eat are welcome ?

     
    Traveling to Cuba do not have too much expectations in services, put in your mind that you are going to Cuba a country with a lot limitations, one of very few comunist countries, with lot of lacks, if you want to enjoy your trip start thinking about that. If your mind is not ready for that then you better visit another country because you will have probably a horrible experience in cuba.

    I was there in 2014, we was ready in our minds acepting the posibility that can occurs things like those ones you are mentioning and we made our trip the best with all we got.

    PD. If you will take a tour and you are a group make sure and clear about the price, make very clear if the price is per person or for the group.

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