Cuba Colonial - CCC

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Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby msequeira » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:56 am

Hi, I am wondering how much walking is done on this tour and if I have any options during the walking parts of this tour.

I can walk upto 20 mins at time but need a brief 5 minute rest due to low back pain.

Any suggestions or advice is much appreciated.
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby debandpat123 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:16 pm

hello, we are interested in ANY feedback for CCC... just booked for december 22 2012. let's bump this to the top! d :)
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby debandpat123 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:28 pm

oops sorry... meant to post in "the departing lounge".... :oops:
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby nancyd » Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:19 am

It's a great trip! I took it twice. Little walking, except for easy city walks & optional waterfall walk in Trinidad (1 hour but still Ok, not with back problems though). Make sure to take salsa lessons in Cuba!
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby tashimay » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:34 pm

Hey People.
Ive heard its tricky to get a VISA for Cuba is this the case? If i go to Cuba it will be a last min decision, ill already be on the road. Ive heard you have to apply for the VISA in your home country?
Let me know :)

Thanks!
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby Zuleika » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:10 pm

tashimay wrote:Hey People.
Ive heard its tricky to get a VISA for Cuba is this the case? If i go to Cuba it will be a last min decision, ill already be on the road. Ive heard you have to apply for the VISA in your home country?
Let me know :)

Thanks!

You need to geet it in advance of flying there.
Also - Depends where your from - it was easiest visa I ever got - Im from the UK and I just filled in a form online with visacuba.com and then they posted it me - didnt have to send in my passport or anything.

All walking is optional - its a very sedate tour.
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby mol » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:37 pm

debandpat123 wrote:hello, we are interested in ANY feedback for CCC... just booked for december 22 2012. let's bump this to the top! d :)


Hi, I'm just back from CCC. I had a ball. Great group, great CEO Iván, visited great towns. My favourites were Havana because it is so alive, full of colour and noise and humanity, and Trinidad, because it was the opposite - quiet, laid-back, easy-going, gorgeous.
The only downside to the trip was the long trip by coach from Baracoa to Holguín to catch the plane. It is time-wasting and tiring.That was the only real downside.
I found Santa Clara boring apart from the Che museum, which is great. The rest of the places we visited were interesting.
The rum museum is a waste of money, the cigar factory visit is fascinating.
Most hotels & casa particulares have toilet paper, but you should bring a supply of tissues etc for when you are out in bars etc. Bring all the toiletries and medical supplies you may need as they are difficut to get there. You can leave them with locals or a medical clinic before leaving.
Bring spare soap and pens to give to locals if you are so inclined.
If you have any interest at all, I'd advise you to learn as much Spanish as you can before you go as then you can talk to 'real' locals, not just those involved in the tourism industry.
Pick up some CUPS as well as CUCS in the Cadeca when changing money. Just a small amount will do, but it is useful for buying food from street vendors, using 'collectivo' taxis and even eating in CUP restaurants. So much cheaper.
The best thing about Cuba is the people, they are warm, friendly, helpful and gorgeous. Of course there are a few creeps there like they are in every country in the world, but overall they are the nicest people ever. The towns and cities are very safe (possibly apart from Santiago at night) and the locals love to sit and chat and hear about your country and the world in general. Usually you have to start the conversation as they do not want to be associated with the jineteros (street hustlers) who will approach you first. The best way to deal with them is with a strong no.
I hope this was helpful in some way.
You will have a great time :D
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby debandpat123 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:37 pm

thank you mol, very helpful. also zuleika! i am stuck in a muddle, being from the u.s... i assumed that g ad had a license to permit u.s. travellers going there, and now i find that that is not the case. we are booked for the tour beginning in havana on dec. 22. booked air from toronto, and all. and now i find out that travel to cuba is illegal for u.s. citizens. i know it's a technicality, but suddenly i am afraid. any help out there? any insight will be most appreciated. thank you, deb
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby Zuleika » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:39 pm

Deb people from the US do still go, however you have to be careful. I am VERY surprised that G or your tour operator did not flag this up to you.
How are your flights? Are your Canadian ones totally separate to your return flights to Cuba? If so you should be able to go undetected and recheck in and out of Canada, dont say your going to Cuba - hopefully you have a totally separate ticket as you may not even be allowed to ffly to Canada if this is not the case.
On arrival in Cuba there are no stamps in your passport on arrival or leaving regardless of nationality, they are sensitive to the fact it might cause people trouble in the US - instead they stamp the visa and give it back to you to keep. Actually Im not sure how you would go about getting a visa - did you check yet? Do you need one???

Money - try not to take dollars as you get a large % charge on exchange - take pounds or euro, Im not sure about Canadian. You will need all cash, the ATMs dont work and even if they did they defo wont work for you as anything that originates in the US is banned. I took enough cash for 3 weeks and so then didnt need to use ATMs
Also - check your insurance, whether it is acceptable in Cuba if its a US company I would think not - be aware that there are no US embassies in Cuba either should you get stuck (although this would be unlikely). It says that they check insurance policies on landing but I can assure you that they do no such thing!
Alos - be careful what you take back to the US - Cuban cigars and alcohol are banned and you probably dont want anything to give your game away either.

Personally if I was you I would still go - there is a risk - how intrepid a traveller are you feeling???????? Get some advice from G too. If its too stressful - which is not the point of a holiday after all - then you can prob get your money back for another trip as its still a long time away.
Hope this helps please let me know if I can help you in any way.
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby debandpat123 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:53 pm

hi zu, thanks for your help. i just assumed that G had the necessary license since they say they book many u.s. tourists to cuba, and my travel agent assumed the same. upon further inquiry, G emailed me and told me that travel with them is entirely at my own risk. i have read that the penalty could be anything from a slap on the wrist to hefty fines. we are booked on air canada toronto/havana, and haven't even booked denver/toronto yet so they wouldn't be related. apparently the airline supplies one with a tourist card to be filled out en route. we would exchange u.s. dollars for canadian dollars to take, since the CAD trades equal to the CUC. (easier for me to figure out than GBP or euros!) i also like mols idea of getting some pesos as well, for the small local food stalls and restaurants etc.. we did book the G insurance, as the u.s. companies do not recognize travel to cuba. i think it's ridiculous that we are the only ones for whom travel to cuba is restricted. :x some days i just wanna be a renegade, and other days i just feel scared $sitless. thank your for your encouragement! only have a couple more days to decide..... any other input would be greatly appreciated! deb
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby mol » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:55 am

Don't worry at all. Everything will be fine. Passports aren't stamped. You are just flying from Canada just like many other visitors. Don't worry about the welcome you'll get from Cubans either due to being US citizens, they do not hold the blocade against individual americans, they welcome all people equally.
I picked up my visa from https://secure.visacuba.com/pages/home.aspx which is based in Britain but it was cheaper than getting it from the embassy in my country and much less paperwork too!
Many ATM's do work, but there is no problem changing money in the Cadecas. Do avoid bringing US$ as there is an extra 10% penalty. Canadian $ is perfect. Half the visitors to Cuba are Canadian anyway!
Don't worry about the insurance either. As long as you are fully insured you'll be fine. Your G guide will just take the number of the policy when you meet him/her.
I met several americans on my trip and they were all having a great time and not worrying about anything.
Zu is right about not bringing back cigars, rum etc. Even Europeans flying home through the States get them confiscated. My advise is to smoke and drink all you can when you're there, and you won't have to bring anything back with you then! :D
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby debandpat123 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:27 pm

ha ha mol, i like your suggestion of smoking and drinking all we can while there! :D were the americans you met with G? you and zu need to meet us there... apparently we are allowed to go there to visit friends! d
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby mol » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:45 am

Hahaha..I am still trying to get blood rather than Havana Club to flow through my veins..one week later!
I'm not sure what tour the americans I met were on, but my G guide told me that he had 2 americans on the previous tour, so ask them - they must be used to americans, and their particular needs,travelling to Cuba
If you want to pay my airfare over again, I would be more than happy to act as your 'amiga cubana' :D
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby debandpat123 » Tue May 01, 2012 9:36 am

hey mol, i would certainly pay for your air if i could... would be fun to have an amiga cubana in my pocket! just got the credit card bill... $1280 usd from toronto to havana, yikes. still don't have air from denver/toronto booked yet. we are going. actually i am getting really MAD that we are the only ones for whom travel to cuba is restricted. under the 9th amendment of the u.s. constitution i feel it is my right. where are you from, and how did you get there? d
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Re: Cuba Colonial - CCC

Postby mol » Tue May 01, 2012 6:25 pm

I'm from Ireland. No bad history between Ireland and Cuba, no blocade etc., so there are no problems for us travelling at all.
Flights are not cheap from anywhere. I had to travel to london, overnight there, then fly from there to Havana. All worth it though :D
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