I am writing you this week from Cuba. This is my first time to visit Cuba as I am traveling with a group of 30 people as we tour the island this week. March is the perfect month to visit Cuba as the weather is a picture perfect 74 degrees during the day. The American invasion is in full force now that the travel ban has been loosened. Almost every major airline offers commercial flights to the island and cruise ships are licking their chops to start dropping anchor in Cuba. We are officially here on a People to People exchange to learn more about Cuba and her beautiful people.
Cuba is Wi-Fi hell –
It seems like every corner in the world has Wi-Fi, except Cuba. The wi-fi service here is the worst I have ever seen anywhere. You can find service at hotels but it is almost limited to sitting in one chair on one spot or otherwise you have no service. To access wi-Fi you have to purchase a prepaid card for $2 that will give you one hour of service (if it even works at all). As an iPhone junkie this is extremely painful to me. The good news, however, is that there is great cell phone service on Verizon in Cuba. The bad news is that phone calls cost $2.95 per minute. Ouch. Texts are 50 cents inbound and 5 cents outbound.
I am going to have to smoke 200 cigars this year –
My son Paul likes to smoke a stogie every once in a while and when he heard I was heading to Cuba he brought me a shopping list of his Cuban cigar preferences. Last year the government removed their limits on the number of Cuban cigars you can bring back on your return to the USA. However, you must only bring back cigars for personal consumption. Looks like I will be smoking 200 Cuban cigars this year. Wink, wink.
I think Cuba will be a hot destination for the next 3 years –
Our people-to-people tour to Cuba sold out in an amazing 7 days. We continue to have people on a waiting list for our next tour (which we are planning again in March, 2018 and the fall of 2018). Hundreds of thousands of people are curious about the history and people of our independent neighbor to our south. Many people I talk to have added Cuba to their travel bucket list and say they plan to visit in the next few years. People do need to be aware that the tourism industry in Cuba is many decades behind what is available at most islands in the Caribbean today. Even the best hotels in Cuba would probably be rated a low three stars. Until Cuba starts opening up to free market investors who will invest the billions of dollars it will take to build a contemporary tourism infrastructure, Cuba will only be a one-and-done destination. Americans will come once for the unique experience and then go to places with no hassles and better facilities. It will be interesting to see how many in our group will indicate they want to return again after this trip.
’57 Chevy heaven –
Cuba is heaven for old car aficionados. It is so much fun to see all the cars on the street that have been restored and are still being used every day. The coolest thing is riding in a convertible Chevy, Cadillac or Ford taxi cab from the 1950’s. The Cubans don’t have much money but they know how to travel in style.
Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly on Cuba –
First the good – Amazingly friendly people who love Americans, beautiful architecture filled with history, great winter weather, wonderful artists with vivid imaginations and skills, buses that are new and have great air conditioning, vintage cars galore, Cuban cigars, Cuban coffee, great doctors and nurses (they are everywhere), plus Cuba is very safe. Now the bad- Wi-Fi stinks, phone costs are outrageous, hotels are not up to American standards, toilets that don’t flush, and expensive and messy process to get a visa. Instead of the ugly I will offer the unknowns which are; Cuban food (I have only been here two days and have not eaten any authentic Cuban food yet), Cuban rum (I am not a rum drinker).
I still give Cuba a thumbs up for putting it on your bucket list –
There are not many places in the world where when you visit you feel you are stepping back in time by 50 years. Cuba seems so simple and so natural. Things are going to change fast in Cuba so if you want to see it before the mob of humanity discovers it be sure to get it on your list in the next few years. We would be glad to help you!
Attend our FREE Travel Night Thursday, March 9th, featuring two amazing destinations – Italy and Alaska! –
Please join our FREE and exciting Travel Night this coming Thursday, March 9th, at 6:30pm, at the Bernina Suite #27 at The Shoppes at Piedmont, 1265 S Cotner Blvd, Lincoln, NE 68510. Join us for a fun night to learn about two of our favorite destinations: Alaska and our repeated, very popular Italy tour. Space is limited for this event – reserve your spot immediately. Call 402-458-9845 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us how many are in your party. We are looking forward to seeing you!
Need information on any of the above?
Call our friendly travel advisors….
Lincoln – 402-435-8888 Toll-free 800-737-0582