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Visiting Cuba in 2017?


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#1 Rail Paul

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 08:51 PM

Southwest Airlines has announced several daily round trips to Cuba from its Fort Lauderdale hub.

 

There are trips to Varadero, on the north central coast of Cuba, east of Havana, and to Havana itself.

 

Prices for Varadero range from as low as $59 one way on January 31, to $178 early in the month. Prices for the return trip are a little more expensive, at $90 and $209.  The $31 difference seems to be consistent across the band, so that may be exit taxes, etc.  February is $59 outbound and $90 for most of the flights.

 

Prices to Havana are a few dollars cheaper.  Two flights daily to HAV, it looks like the crews lay over and return the following day.  That's a little surprising, as this is just over an hour's flight.  I wonder if the plane travels onward to Grand Cayman, Jamaica, etc.


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#2 Daniel

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 09:00 PM

Going on Thursday. very excited for my Cuban wife. Tickets from Ewr were like 400 bucks.
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#3 Rail Paul

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 09:04 PM

Yikes!

 

I just got a promo from Jet Blue for Newark to Fort Lauderdale from $79, one way.  FLL has been generating a lot of deep discount fares over the past few weeks.  My sister and my niece went north on Saturday for $82 each on United.


“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. ”
Niccolò Machiavelli

#4 Daniel

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 03:38 PM

I also had 450 dollars in travel credits so, I wasn't too upset.
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#5 Steve R.

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 01:42 AM

A friend of ours was in the Miami area a month or so ago and had a day to spare, so he hopped on a flight to Cuba, spent the day (rented a 1950-something car with gear shift on the panel), then flew back in the evening. Couple of hundred bucks for a very enjoyable day according to him. Said that the flights were only an hour, customs was a breeze both ways & he had plenty of time to explore.

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#6 Daniel

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 12:34 PM

Just got hooked up with a dude that owns a couple of restaurants out there. And another guy who runs an artists group. Starting to get excited. Just have to deal with this Chicago cold for two more days
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#7 The Flon

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 03:09 PM

Just got hooked up with a dude that owns a couple of restaurants out there. And another guy who runs an artists group. Starting to get excited. Just have to deal with this Chicago cold for two more days

 

This sounds like it's going to be terrific. How long are you there for?



#8 Daniel

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 04:27 AM

going for a little bit.. will be back in time for our beer tasting with Suarez family.. There may be some Cuban influence when we return..  Still have no hotel, we tried to book a room on air b n b and by the time i confirmed with the owner and went to put in my info, they booked the room to someone else.. despite telling me that it was my place and asking me for all of my arrival info.. by the time, i responded instead of booking the room, someone swooped in..  Oh well, will give it another shot tomorrow. 


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#9 Rail Paul

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 02:22 AM

The NY Times has a commercial real estate section article on the hotel situation in Havana. Booking.com (a PriceLine brand) now has the capacity to reserve and pay for rooms in Cuba. Four Points by Sheraton is now open. The Havana-proper hotel situation is better than it has been. The beach resorts, popular with Europeans, seems to be much easier.

 

The Kempinski Manzana is expected to open in June, and this was the focus of the article. The Cuban owned, Swiss managed hotel is being closely watched by other hotel owners. Limits on staff salaries ($30 is the max) will be a problem in recruiting hotel workers. While the government has come to the reluctant realization it has to accept tourists for its own economic reasons, the message isn't received in all areas.  The grinding and worsening poverty in some neighborhoods is also a problem. A much bigger problem is the lack of food, as Cuba imports 80% of its food, the article says. And, occasionally intermittent electric power.

 

Cuba is very aware that it is an island with a rich history and vibrant culture. It has no interest in becoming Cancun V2.0 for Spring Breakers, or Prague 2.0 for Euro bachelor and hen parties. Definitely an interesting and thought provoking article.

 

 

https://www.nytimes....s-tourists.html


“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. ”
Niccolò Machiavelli

#10 Orik

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 02:36 AM

Cuba imports 80% of its food, the article says. And, occasionally intermittent electric power.

 

 

We also live on an Island that imports 60% of its food (in caloric terms, probably less by weight) and that's struggling with power supply.  :D


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#11 joethefoodie

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 10:50 AM

Most likely better hotels, though.



#12 Rail Paul

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 01:14 PM

The Cubans have more interesting cars, though.


“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. ”
Niccolò Machiavelli