Tagged With "cuba"

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Re: Thinking Cuba? Tickets not so easy yet!

Mac ·
Thank you Garry - a really useful piece of feed-back.
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Re: Thinking Cuba? Tickets not so easy yet!

GarryRF ·
Maybe the answer to the number of Hotels needed to accommodate the new visitors from the US is all in the timing. Brits - Canadians - Germans love Cuba in the winter. It's the dry season with no hurricane threat. Warm in the daytime, 75-85f or 24 -29c. Cool enough for a sweater at night. Americans can have the summer !!!
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Re: Thinking Cuba? Tickets not so easy yet!

Mac ·
Well, that's it then, Cuba is right back on the list!! Thanks Garry.
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Re: Cuba - a step back in time !

GarryRF ·
Re: Cuba - a step back in time !
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Re: Cuba - a step back in time !

DrFumblefinger ·
I recall as a boy my dad's best friend had a Pontiac like this. It was a beautiful car and the pride of his life. It ended up being totaled in a car crash (he survived), but I still remember his pride in showing off the polished beauty! His was two tone brown, I think.
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Re: Cuba - a step back in time !

GarryRF ·
Fell in love with this remarkable example but - no idea of the Make and Model ! If you take too close an interest you cant get a pic without the Owner, Wife and Kids !
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Re: Cuba - a step back in time !

PHeymont ·
Oldsmobile...think it's a 55, might be 54. My first car was a 53 Olds 88.
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Re: Cuba - a step back in time !

DrFumblefinger ·
Originally Posted by PHeymont: Oldsmobile...think it's a 55, might be 54. My first car was a 53 Olds 88. PHeymont -- you owned a Rocket 88? Remember that old song by Ike Turner and Jackie Brentson? Here's the you-tube link to remind those who may have forgotten this classic song -- one of the first Rock 'n Roll tunes ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbfnh1oVTk0
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Re: Gallery: A visit to Cuba

Dgems ·
Beautiful! I was there in 1959......and the color of the water is what I remember the most!
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Re: Gallery: A visit to Cuba

IslandMan ·
Great post and pictures Dr Y...definitely on my wish list. Is tourism on the increase you think??
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Re: Gallery: A visit to Cuba

Dr.Y ·
Thanks IslandMan, There are many resorts in the Varadero peninsular. The Christmas/New Year season is kind of full. But other than that, still unspoiled to me. The tour guy told us that currently 80% tourists are Canadians. I can imagine if sanctions are lifted, there will be lots of tourists from USA, they are much closer in terms of distance.
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Re: Cuba - a step back in time !

Travel Rob ·
Great Pic! I've got to get the Cuban secrets for contolling rust. Amazing they are able to keep those cars up with the limited parts they have for them
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Re: Airbnb now open for business in Cuba

GarryRF ·
Did it go Brrr....Brrr... or was that the Polar Bear without his coat on ? Yes party lines were great fun if you picked up the receiver when someone else was talking.
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Re: Airbnb now open for business in Cuba

DrFumblefinger ·
Garry, it seems like you were a naughty boy. I suspect you actually took part in some of these party line calls, rendering some good advice, I'm sure -- whether wanted or not.
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Re: Airbnb now open for business in Cuba

PHeymont ·
Don't remember exactly what it sounded like, but I remember what my mother sounded like when she caught me listening...
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Re: Airbnb now open for business in Cuba

PortMoresby ·
Ours was 2 shorts and a long (or was it 2 longs and a short?), also early '50s, Danville, California. It was an idyllic new subdivision in the rolling golden hills, golf course next door and a community pool under the oaks, a short walk from home. It would never have occurred to us that a party line made life any less wonderful.
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Re: Airbnb now open for business in Cuba

GarryRF ·
Many of my Canadian friends travel independently to Cuba. They all stay with these guys -Pinot and Agnia. Too far from Havana to travel but it will give you a taste of what to expect from Casa Particulars. http://www.hostalpinoyagnia.com/
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Re: Airbnb now open for business in Cuba

My Thatched Hut ·
Apparently Airbnb in Cuba, so far, is only for Americans who have permission to go there.
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Re: Airbnb now open for business in Cuba

PortMoresby ·
It's big news - BBC had an interview with one of the Airbnb guys this evening, talking about just this. I'm getting ready, just watched 'Our Man in Havana', (1959, Alec Guinness).
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Re: Airbnb now open for business in Cuba

PHeymont ·
Great film. Graham Greene novel and screenplay.
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Re: Airbnb now open for business in Cuba

GarryRF ·
The internet is accessible for most people in Cuba. Phone lines are still a rare item for private houses. Many share a local service with business and families using the same web address. Just like we used to - when we shared a public phone. Yes - years ago - I know !
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Re: Airbnb now open for business in Cuba

PHeymont ·
I know this is open to double meaning in this context...but yes, I remember sharing a party line. Leavenworth, KS, 1951. Our number was 779-J and we were #10 of the 12 families on the line. There was a distinct ring for each family...can't remember ours (I was 7 at the time).
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Re: As scheduled Cuba service nears, charter operators face unknown future

Travel Rob ·
With a few exceptions, the charter prices for Americans were really expensive. So for those companies, the gravy train is over.
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Re: As scheduled Cuba service nears, charter operators face unknown future

GarryRF ·
On leaving Cuba last year our flight home to the UK was delayed. We had to wait on the plane for 4 hours. The airport had run out of Jet Fuel A1. So a fuel tanker was dispatched to fetch some. I do hope the US embargo stops before I go again. I'm not fighting American Airlines for the last drop of Jet Fuel !!
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Re: Cuba's Cars: Varied, surviving, fascinating

GarryRF ·
American cars with Russian Lada engines ! No wonder the Cuban's call them Frankencars.
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Re: Cuba's Cars: Varied, surviving, fascinating

DrFumblefinger ·
The cars of Cuba are as fascinating as its people, having endured very hard times and still moving forward. An interesting perspective, PHeymont! Thanks. Hope there's car photos coming!
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Re: Havana Cathedral

GarryRF ·
Good collection Paul. Thanks for the visit !
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Re: Non-U.S. tourists see big change in Cuba already

Mac ·
Thanks Gurus!! Good useful info for our trip :-)
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Re: Non-U.S. tourists see big change in Cuba already

Mac ·
We're off to Cuba in 3 weeks "to see it before it changes"... Please Gurus - what is the best currency to take, especially for tips? Any advice is welcome.
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Re: Non-U.S. tourists see big change in Cuba already

GarryRF ·
Hi Mac. You need to take clean, unmarked £20 notes. You will exchange them within your Hotel where the currency is at a fixed rate. You will receive Tourist Pesos in return. You wont use the local currency. The Peso you will use is a CUC. Cuban Convertible Peso. Its equal to $1 US. Ask for small denominations'. No one has change of a 20 CUC note. Ask for 20 CUC in 1 CUC coins. For tips. She'll understand why. Tourists call the currency C - U - Cs or KUKS. A tip of 1CUC is about 60p UK or a...
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Re: Non-U.S. tourists see big change in Cuba already

PHeymont ·
Just to add to GarryRF's note on currency: U.S. dollars are subject to a 10% surcharge in the exchange, so Euros or pounds is definitely the choice for Americans traveling.
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Re: Non-U.S. tourists see big change in Cuba already

GarryRF ·
Canadian Dollars are welcome too. There was a ban on using US Bank Cards when I was there in June. Maybe someone has the latest on the situation. It was still illegal for Cubans to have US$ currency. They will take US$ as a tip - but they risk jail - a day per dollar !
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Re: Non-U.S. tourists see big change in Cuba already

PHeymont ·
U.S. government restrictions on U.S. credit and debit cards have been removed, and the MasterCard and Visa people have set up arrangements, but as of 12 Dec. 2015, the U.S. Embassy in Havana is noting that ATM and credit cards do not work yet. One Florida bank has just announced agreement on a MasterCard branded debit card that will work when issued.
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Re: Non-U.S. tourists see big change in Cuba already

PHeymont ·
The whole question of "not the same" is an interesting one. That's certainly the impression of friends of mine who broke the travel ban in the 1960s and saw a vision of what Cuba might have hoped for, had it not become a pawn between the Cold War interests of the U.S. and Soviet Union. I'm sure the transition ahead is as worrying to many Cubans who believe they have built something unique that is threatened with change, as it is to the tourism industry. I'll certainly have my eyes wide open...
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Re: Non-U.S. tourists see big change in Cuba already

GarryRF ·
One thing that unites the Cuban people is that they are mostly poor. The past few years have seen an elitist group of affluent hotel workers becoming very rich - by local standards. Their income far exceeds the Doctors and University Graduates of Cuba. I've seen the Maids who clean the room getting $1 Dollar from each room they clean. Since then I've also seen the Maids Supervisor come into my room and take the tip off the bed before the maid gets there. I've seen the stores where the Hotel...
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Re: Non-U.S. tourists see big change in Cuba already

PHeymont ·
Incidentally, Claire Boobbyer, the author of the Skift report, is also the author of the just-published and quite excellent Frommer's EasyGuide to Cuba. I'm reading it, and I'm impressed...
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Re: Non-U.S. tourists see big change in Cuba already

GarryRF ·
One reason for the surge in European visitors is they believe that Cuba will not be the same after the US visitors arrive in numbers. Cuba is the most religious country I've ever been to. Just the sight of the Pope on TV brings the Cubans to a standstill. And the use of over-tipping by Americans will create a division like it has in the Dominican Republic. Where only the high tippers get a service at peak times. Remember - one US Dollar is equal to a days pay in Cuba - 24 Cuban Peso. Nice photo!
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Re: Havana in Transition...to what?

SST-Ryan ·
Excellent observations and interesting suppositions. Most refreshing is that at the same time you refrained from the refrain of 'Cuba before it changes' and wondered about the positive and negative 'half empty : half full' changes that will result. Here's line of questions I like to ask when I'm on the ground with travelers there... 'Would you like to go have a drink in the bars that Hemmingway drank at? Or would you rather go find a bar he would drink at if he were alive today?' That always...
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Re: Havana in Transition...to what?

PHeymont ·
Thank you...and I love your question! I'm definitely on the where would he be today side...
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Re: Museum of the Revolution, Havana (Where Gumbo Was #152)

Mac ·
We never managed to get in here Paul!! Why oh why do the museums in Cuba (including this one) close on Mondays?? Thanks for taking us round though, now I feel complete ;-)
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Re: Museum of the Revolution, Havana (Where Gumbo Was #152)

GarryRF ·
Did you know the top drawer of Castro's desk contains every cheque paid to Cuba, by the US, for the rental of Guantanamo Bay. All uncashed.
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Re: Museum of the Revolution, Havana (Where Gumbo Was #152)

PHeymont ·
I forget about that! The government refuses to cash the checks, stating that the U.S. lease on Guantanamo is illegal. And, one of the people we chatted with also suggested that Castro might not be so sure the check wouldn't bounce...
Blog Post

Royal Caribbean may cruise to Cuba this summer

PHeymont ·
Royal Caribbean's CEO semi-announces the line's plans for cruises to Cuba.
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Re: Americans Free to Travel to Cuba Tomorrow

PHeymont ·
But not quite as free as all that. Travel is still restricted to the purposes (such as education, family visits, journalism, cultural exchange, etc.) that formerly required obtaining individual licenses. What has changed is that you no longer need to obtain a license; the government will assume you honestly belong to one of those categories...until and unless you irritate it.
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Re: Americans Free to Travel to Cuba Tomorrow

Travel Rob ·
According to the White House Press Office ,these are the twelve categories. (below)Without licenses ,like before, most everyone can fit into one of these categories legally if they really want to. (1) family visits; (2) official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; (3) journalistic activity; (4) professional research and professional meetings; (5) educational activities; (6) religious activities; (7) public performances, clinics,...
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Re: Thinking Cuba? Tickets not so easy yet!

DrFumblefinger ·
I've also heard that there are concerns not enough hotel rooms exist in Cuba for the expected flood of American tourists. Besides flights, it's important to have a room reservation at hand. I truly hope the flood of tourist money will be of benefit to the Cuban people whose plight I have great empathy for.
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Re: Thinking Cuba? Tickets not so easy yet!

PHeymont ·
Perhaps TG Guru GarryRF can add something on this...he's been there often. My impression is that the lack of facilities may be overstated, because Canadians, Brits and others have been going there in large numbers. Of course, if you double that without building, there will be a problem, but I don't think the numbers will go up that fast until the hotels and airlines start offering the kind of attractive packages they do for other areas of the Caribbean. It may be a self-solving problem.
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Re: Thinking Cuba? Tickets not so easy yet!

GarryRF ·
Many Americans travel to the Capital - Havana. Its a big - overgrown and mostly poor city. Not really a flavour of the real Cuba and its people. Wherever you go on the Island they do 2-3 day trips to Havana. The stores are mostly empty and food is strictly rationed to the locals. So you'll be better going to one of the hundreds of All Inclusive Hotels that line the coast. Inclusive vacations fly from Toronto to Resorts all around the Island. Very much like Dominican Republic - without the...
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Re: Thinking Cuba? Tickets not so easy yet!

Mac ·
Most interesting Garry. I still have Cuba on my list as 'yet to be visited'. I'm not a great beach lover - a few days are fine - is there really a lot to be seen in the country as a whole if you take away the Ché-related hyped locations? Is it really worth making the effort right now before things change as they surely will? Unfortunately I still have a load of other places that are tugging at my sleeve for early visits...
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Re: Thinking Cuba? Tickets not so easy yet!

GarryRF ·
Most city centres have been laid out in the Spanish style with an open park. This is lunchtime when all the school children and workers eat their packed lunches. No radio - music - skateboards - headphones - just peace and tranquillity !
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