anyone been to cuba

(11 Posts)
blossomblowing Tue 05-Nov-13 17:57:07

sorry zombie, we are back... more cuba recommendations anyone?

queenofthepirates Sat 23-Mar-13 19:46:09

Try and visit the cigar factory in Havana if it's still open
Check your travel insurance isn't with a US company otherwise I believe you'll have to purchase some at the border
AMEX is obviously out for good reasons!
Don't expect the water/electric to work 24/7 even in the best hotels.
1st Jan is Revolution Day so try and see some of the celebrations if you're there
Varedero is a bit of a dump but fantastic beaches, full of Canadian students

suburbophobe Fri 22-Mar-13 09:09:06

Oh yea, Cuba is the only place I take normal-sized shampoo, conditioner, shower gel etc. (Other trips I take travel (small) sizes.

Then I leave it behind on the last day with someone. The last one I left was with the lovely barmaid at the 24/7 bar in the hotel.
She was thrilled, calling me "darling" after that grin

I also made friends with a Cuban woman who works in the tourist industry. She came to see me for a day up from Havana. Last minute request to her boss for the day off.
"Ok" he says "just bring me back a bottle of rum" LOL

suburbophobe Fri 22-Mar-13 09:05:07

don't go expecting Western standards, service and facilities.

You're not kidding! I was in a Cuban home and the shower was a tin can with holes punched in it and held up by a piece of string.....

Just check out the wiring inside the open doors in Havana - spagetti junction!

Met an American musician who is there every winter (Swedish passport) and never walks under the balconies
"cos you never know when they might come crashing down".... Also don't walk over the man-holes. hmm

Having said that, Cuba is very safe, there's barely any crime there (very high sentences), tho a friend had her necklace snatched late at night on the street in Havana.
Never saw any drugs of any kind at all. (Was told if you are caught dealing drugs they take away the family house, a big deterrent).

Lots of Rastas in Cuba, they've never smoked a joint in their life.....

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 05-Mar-13 16:05:32

I went there on my honeymoon and echo what everyone else has said, absolutely stunning place.

The food is beautiful and the architecture is fascinating.

Make sure you take all the toiletries you'll need, and plenty of holiday medicines - paracetamol, rennies, immodium etc as you wont find any there at all. (we couldn't even find any sunblock higher than factor 2!)

And watch out for the cows!

OldBeanbagz Tue 05-Mar-13 15:59:06

We went last year on an organised family adventure holiday. It was a great trip and we really enjoyed the country but don't go expecting Western standards, service and facilities. As well as the loo roll you might want to take a bath plug!

This Easter we're going back and have used a local company to organise everything for us. Last time we were in the group hotels but this time we're in Casa particulares for most of the trip, plus 1 night in a 'rustic hut' and our last few nights in a hotel.

The main places that people visit are Havana, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Vinales and Santa Clara. If you have a bit more time you could travel down to Santiago.

And make sure you try out some of the paladares for good food, live music and plenty of mojitos!

suburbophobe Sun 03-Mar-13 06:55:12

Havana is amazing. I've been twice. You can wander around all day (and night! grin), it's totally fascinating, the people are so friendly!

Take the tour bus (there are 3, all go different places), it's great.

Oh yea, and go for a cocktail to the Nacional hotel. The swankiest in Cuba, beautiful outside terrace and a bar full of photos of all the famous people through history who've stayed there. Al Capone and the likes.

Check out the Lonely Planet forum and this is a great site:

www.cuba-junky.com/

Enjoy! I love Cuba!

popflos Sun 24-Feb-13 21:46:41

flying in to havana and everyone says its amazing, the restaurant la Guirada looks fab thanks Umlauf, they have a great rogues gallery of famous guests and a bit on a movie called Strawberry and Chocolate that i havnt heard of but is now in my amazon basket. so nice to have something to look forward to!

Umlauf Sun 24-Feb-13 18:41:56

I did for my honeymoon, it was incredible! In June. We didn't stay in casas as we wanted a luxury honeymoon but my sister has and absolutely loved it, met some incredible people.

Try to visit Havana, its out of this world. We also visited trinidad in the south which I found amazing, and a beautiful beach resort which I imagine was exactly the same as any other Caribbean beach resort. The people were so lovely, but don't buy cigars in the street!

Web researching I found lots of advice on the web really outdated as Cuba changes so quickly. Even our 2011 rough guide was really out of date. Bear that in mind! Take tampons and paracetamol as they are very difficult to get hold of. Have an open mind. Go to a restaurant called La Guirada in Havana (you can book online) for the best meal you'll ever have!

You will love it!

Fluffy1234 Sun 24-Feb-13 09:03:42

Try and visit Havana while you are over there, it's an amazing place.

popflos Sat 23-Feb-13 09:04:12

booked flights for xmas family of 5.. any tips. DCs will be 17 14 and 10
i understand that Casas particulares are the way to go, and to bring your own loo roll! any other advice?

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