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Old Oct 1st 2017, 9:01 pm   #1
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Default Cuba

I would be very interested in your views on Cuba. Just got back yesterday and have a huge mixed bag of emotions about the place...

Any thoughts and/or recommendations?
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Old Oct 1st 2017, 9:35 pm   #2
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Default Re: Cuba

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Originally Posted by DandNHill View Post
I would be very interested in your views on Cuba. Just got back yesterday and have a huge mixed bag of emotions about the place...

Any thoughts and/or recommendations?
I've never been and beach resort places aren't my thing at all.

This is an interesting look at the Cuba that all inclusive resorts never interact with.


What did you like and what didn't you like?
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Old Oct 1st 2017, 10:08 pm   #3
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Default Re: Cuba

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I would be very interested in your views on Cuba. Just got back yesterday and have a huge mixed bag of emotions about the place...

Any thoughts and/or recommendations?
We went 2 years ago and it was good but we both got Deli Belly and that sort of ruined it for us

My son and GF went last month, they loved it, wanna go back, one long party for them, so I guess 20 somethings are better equipped for dealing with Cuba and the all day all you can drink resort bars.
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Old Oct 1st 2017, 10:35 pm   #4
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Default Re: Cuba

I wouldn't mind going but as with other destinations, they always seem to be all inclusive and costly...plus add $300 or $400 to the advertised price.
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Old Oct 1st 2017, 11:47 pm   #5
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Default Re: Cuba

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...Just got back yesterday...
Come on, I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to hear how it went.
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 12:31 am   #6
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Default Re: Cuba

Haha.

I had heard from quite a few people that travellers will take suitcases full of clothes to give to the Cubans. But I hadn't really thought much about how it would be over there.
The whole place is falling apart. Literally the buildings haven't been painted for donkeys years. Imagine the worse part of Moncton and double it...

Inside these dilapidated houses live 99% of the population. Remember when you used to see reports on the "eastern block", "behind the iron curtain" and everything was so austere? Well it's like that but at the same time you can see the lavish architecture and what it used to be like...

The cars vary from old 1950s American cars in various conditions to old Russian cars and a lot of Peugeot, Renault and Hyundai cars... most over 10 years old. There are a few new cars on the roads but very rare.

The sea and beaches are beautiful. Coupled with the palm trees you could be forgiven for thinking you were in paradise...

Our resort like many was past it's sell by date. Broken beds, AC that only works on full so you're either freezing or boiling, toilets that your husband has to fix as they don't flush...the list continues. Paint flaking everywhere...

We could oversee all the issues caused by the hurricane. Broken windows, fallen palm trees and so on. The food was often cold. Once the first few customers ate at the buffet they would run out which was tough luck! The food wasn't to our taste but that is our problem not theirs...

The one bonus to the holiday was that we were the only English speakers at the hotel. The rest all seemed to be South Americans, Cubans and a handful of French.

So this morning I did further research in to life in Cuba. Wow, so much more extreme than I thought. Their lives are more controlled than I knew and their income is so unbelievably low.

For all that, most of the staff and people we met were lovely... however you do have to remember to have a pocket full of money for tips. Everything works on tips...
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 12:32 am   #7
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Default Re: Cuba

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Originally Posted by magnumpi View Post
We went 2 years ago and it was good but we both got Deli Belly and that sort of ruined it for us

My son and GF went last month, they loved it, wanna go back, one long party for them, so I guess 20 somethings are better equipped for dealing with Cuba and the all day all you can drink resort bars.
I could see the young ones enjoying it. Sleep all day and party all night. One of my boys wants to stay with a family... it's becoming a big thing over there. Not sure that would be for me though.
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 1:56 am   #8
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Default Re: Cuba

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Originally Posted by Partially discharged View Post
I've never been and beach resort places aren't my thing at all.

This is an interesting look at the Cuba that all inclusive resorts never interact with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEQOTGUFlVE

What did you like and what didn't you like?
This is what we saw a lot of... houses for the most part haven't been touched in many many years...

http://www.reimaginerpe.org/files/images/IMG_0486.jpg
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 2:05 am   #9
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Default Re: Cuba

Ah yes...Levis was the recommendation for the old USSR. After hearing about the shortages when I did my Leningrad/Moscow trip I wanted to take a suitcase full of contraceptives and sanitary pads if there had been a further visit but from the experience of the first trip you just knew someone would sell them on for an inflated price.

Iron Curtain austerity? You mean those poky little apartments in the big blocks.

How is it for pools? I like a nice beach but for lounging about in the sun I always preferred by the pool.

How do you mean, being the only English speakers was a bonus?

Have you done the other 'usuals' like Mexico and Dominican Republic?
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 2:14 am   #10
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Default Re: Cuba

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Ah yes...Levis was the recommendation for the old USSR. After hearing about the shortages when I did my Leningrad/Moscow trip I wanted to take a suitcase full of contraceptives and sanitary pads if there had been a further visit but from the experience of the first trip you just knew someone would sell them on for an inflated price.

Iron Curtain austerity? You mean those poky little apartments in the big blocks.

How is it for pools? I like a nice beach but for lounging about in the sun I always preferred by the pool.

How do you mean, being the only English speakers was a bonus?

Have you done the other 'usuals' like Mexico and Dominican Republic?
Think poky tiny houses instead but yes the same kind of idea.

Pool was lovely... Water was clean and fresh.

I hate going on holiday where there are lots of Brits. They're always loud and never happy... there are exception of course... I got to practice my Spanish too that way although the staff wanted to practice their English so it made for interesting conversations... lol

Not been to Mexico or Dominican... Either Dominican or Antigua is next on list... hopefully
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 2:22 am   #11
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Default Re: Cuba

My wife and I went to Cuba a few years ago.

As usual, when you get off the plane, you need to use the restroom.

At the door to the ladies, was a woman who wouldn't let you in until you paid $1US for a few sheets of toilet paper which could have doubled as sandpaper.

I thought Oh Oh and I was right, it was downhill from then on.

Beverages always warm because they were never in the coolers long enough.

Regularly running out of beer.

Cocktail glasses in such short supply you had to hang on to the one you were lucky to get and have the bartender refill it.

Not enough food at the buffet.

Abysmal plumbing.

Vehicles that were either well maintained pre embargo US classics, but mostly East Berlin style wrecks from the same era.

A lot of people drove motorcycles and very few had mufflers.

The thing that I found the most upsetting, was that the pictures shown in the brochure of the place which looked pretty good were actually of the place next door.

I got nowhere after I got home complaining to the tour company until I took them to small claims court, and even then, they dragged it out to the actual court date when they played nice and gave me most of my money back.
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 2:30 am   #12
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Default Re: Cuba

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Originally Posted by daveincolchester View Post
My wife and I went to Cuba a few years ago.

As usual, when you get off the plane, you need to use the restroom.

At the door to the ladies, was a woman who wouldn't let you in until you paid $1US for a few sheets of toilet paper which could have doubled as sandpaper.

I thought Oh Oh and I was right, it was downhill from then on.

Beverages always warm because they were never in the coolers long enough.

Regularly running out of beer.

Cocktail glasses in such short supply you had to hang on to the one you were lucky to get and have the bartender refill it.

Not enough food at the buffet.

Abysmal plumbing.

Vehicles that were either well maintained pre embargo US classics, but mostly East Berlin style wrecks from the same era.

A lot of people drove motorcycles and very few had mufflers.

The thing that I found the most upsetting, was that the pictures shown in the brochure of the place which looked pretty good were actually of the place next door.

I got nowhere after I got home complaining to the tour company until I took them to small claims court, and even then, they dragged it out to the actual court date when they played nice and gave me most of my money back.
Well when the rep spoke with hubby the second day she actually commented that the hurricane was the best thing that could have happened as it will force them to make repairs... she knows the country far better than me but my guessing is that it will just be in worse condition than before... Hurricane Irma was not the reason the mashed potato was cold...
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 3:12 am   #13
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Default Re: Cuba

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Originally Posted by DandNHill View Post
Think poky tiny houses instead but yes the same kind of idea.
Yes, I saw your picture after commenting. But there are places like that in Greece too.

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I hate going on holiday where there are lots of Brits. They're always loud and never happy......
Ah, gotcha.
I remember in Austria that some fellow Brit guests had brought their own tea bags with them. Then, at breakfast, they fish them out along with the sliced bread they bought in the local shop.

My brother always complained at the price of things in France (sometimes with good reason) but then why buy semi stale sliced bread for four times the cost of the equivalent in freshly baked baguettes
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 3:21 am   #14
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Default Re: Cuba

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Yes, I saw your picture after commenting. But there are places like that in Greece too.


Ah, gotcha.
I remember in Austria that some fellow Brit guests had brought their own tea bags with them. Then, at breakfast, they fish them out along with the sliced bread they bought in the local shop.

My brother always complained at the price of things in France (sometimes with good reason) but then why buy semi stale sliced bread for four times the cost of the equivalent in freshly baked baguettes
I've been to Greece... Greece has "a few" slums like that. Cuba has "a few" nice places... it's the scale of it in Cuba that's so shocking.

Next time I go to Cuba I'm taking green tea for myself...

I don't remember French prices... I lived like a local there so shopped differently to the visitors/tourists.
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 3:23 am   #15
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Default Re: Cuba

One of my daughters went to Cuba for on some sort of Peace Corps type adventure for a summer, came back craving pasta (surely the first and last person to do so) and reported that all anyone has to eat is beans and rice but there was good healthcare. It was a "Canadian" mission but she went on her Swiss passport so as not to get a stamp in the passport she uses for the US. So did everyone else making it multinational non-Canadian Canadian mission.
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