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Old 07-20-2015, 03:38 PM   #81
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Then it might be indistinguishable from those or resorts in Mexico, where you have these little oases of first-world amenities surrounded by third world poverty.
That seems preferable to oases of third world poverty surrounded by a sea of third world poverty--the present situation.*

*(With a tiny gated compound of high living standards. For the "guardians of the revolution")
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:50 PM   #82
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I just got a firm invitation to spend a week in Cuba in January, 2016. I'm very excited. The draft itinerary includes ballet, cigar tasting, scenic bus rides, Cuban baseball, live music, a walking tour of Old Havana, and so on.

I hope it turns out to be as fun as I imagine and as educational as promised.

Lump sum price is $5k per person plus I have to get DW and myself to and from Miami.

I hope to be able to give a full account early next year. We're very excited.
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:45 PM   #83
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There goes the neighborhood. When DW and I were there in 2014, the price (for the 2 of us) was less than $5K including air from Canada.
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:09 AM   #84
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Yeah it sounds like first world prices.

Will the accommodations merit them?
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Old 08-15-2015, 01:02 AM   #85
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I see that Sunwing has a week in Cuba on sale for $165 CDN (plus $350 taxes) from Toronto. The total would be less than $400 U.S.

Cuba Vacation Packages and all inclusive cheap last minute vacations to Cuba Sunwing.ca
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:01 AM   #86
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I see that Sunwing has a week in Cuba on sale for $165 CDN (plus $350 taxes) from Toronto. The total would be less than $400 U.S.

Cuba Vacation Packages and all inclusive cheap last minute vacations to Cuba Sunwing.ca
What is your opinion on Sunwing? I was looking at flights from Toronto to the Caribbean islands and some of the countries only have Sunwing flying in (instead of Air Canada.)
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:04 AM   #87
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So, as an American wishing to "beat the rush" and travel there, say, next March, what are my best options?

Take one of those tempting Canadian offers, or something through Mexico?
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:23 AM   #88
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Hah! Looks like I need to thank the folks on this site again (and DW) for saving my bacon. I was so excited I was determined to not let the sticker shock dissuade me.

That's why I post here, for the exceptional, disinterested advice. DW pointed out that we spent a similar amount for our Parisian honeymoon (and that was ten days long and not that many years ago).

I see some trips leaving from BC that are about $1,000 USD. I'll do some research and develop my own itinerary for less than the $8k difference. Thank you Meadh, for the Sunwing tip.
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:53 AM   #89
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So other than flying in from a non-US country, are there any legal hoops a U.S. Citizen must satisfy before visiting Cuba? I have a valid US passport, of course.
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:17 AM   #90
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Yeah it sounds like first world prices.

Will the accommodations merit them?
There are some very nice resorts. We stayed here in 2014. The property was new, well maintained and very nice. The food was mediocre, as it is everywhere in Cuba, probably because of a lack of ingredients.
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:24 AM   #91
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I would imagine that in a few years, after a large influx of American tourists, there will be a lot of new hotels built, restaurants, activities, etc.

It will get the amenities that other Caribbean islands have, and then some.

Saw a report on CNBC that they installed some Huawei routers in some central spot in Havana and some of the residents were paying over $2 an hour, which is a lot for them, to get reliable Wifi.

Google reported offered to build up some Internet access infrastructure for them for a low price or even free.

But the regime is wary about giving too much access to its citizens so quickly. Instead, they have some plan to wire up maybe 200k residents by 2017 using Huawei routers, which are infamous for backdoors.

Someone had said open up Cuba and the regime will fall in a few years. Looks like they want the economic benefits of increased trade with the US but are scared of too much freedom so they're trying to control things, like the Chinese.
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:12 PM   #92
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Lump sum price is $5k per person plus I have to get DW and myself to and from
Miami.
$10K to spend a week in Cuba? You can get a 2 week land/sea tour for 2 of Alaska with a cruise boat thrown in for that. Better be some fine cigars.
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:25 PM   #93
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What is your opinion on Sunwing? I was looking at flights from Toronto to the Caribbean islands and some of the countries only have Sunwing flying in (instead of Air Canada.)
I have never flown with Sunwing so I have no opinion, sorry.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:06 AM   #94
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What is your opinion on Sunwing? I was looking at flights from Toronto to the Caribbean islands and some of the countries only have Sunwing flying in (instead of Air Canada.)

Flew with SunWing years ago from Calgary to Cabo. They were alright as far as discount airlines go (cramped seats, no leg room)....although that sounds like the major airlines now 😜. I remember they tried to sell us on their "guided tour" once we got to the hotel but DH and I avoided that since we prefer to do our own thing on vacation.


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Old 08-17-2015, 05:08 AM   #95
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Went to Cuba once, 41 years ago, (same time as Brezhnev visited); other than Canadians, the other tourists were pretty much Eastern Bloc Europeans - it was OK, much like any other locale in the area - have never had any desire to revisit.
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:14 AM   #96
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Sunwing is a package holiday airline, so it is fine, but not great. I think their safety record is good. A few years ago we spent a week at the Hotel Parque Central in Old Havana (Iberostar hotel "5 stars") for $1000 per person from Toronto with an excellent breakfast. It is very close to good restaurants, the important sites in the city, and for $20 you can get a cab out to the beaches east of the city. There is also a tourist bus that goes to the beaches for $5 for a day ticket, but it is not entirely reliable. We enjoyed Havana so much, we returned two years later to visit Havana again, Cienfuegos and Trinidad de Cuba.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:02 PM   #97
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Just saw this news story:

http://globalnews.ca/news/2170209/su...60818950120fd0


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Old 08-17-2015, 09:42 PM   #98
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I think if you goggle "Sunwing complaints" you'll find a lot. That said, they probably take the bulk of Cdn tourists to the Caribbean. Enjoy. YMMV.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:34 AM   #99
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Last time we went to Veradero there were guests at our hotel from France and from Belgium. They had purchased two week packages.

We have always been a little surprised at the U.S. Attitude towards Cuba. I could see the Mafia being upset at their casinos being seized or the the end of their control over the Government. Everyone seems to forget the Bay of Pigs...the CIA led attempted invasion of Cuba. It could have been Chile all over again had this been successful. As was the plan.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:51 AM   #100
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It could have been Chile all over again had this been successful.
You mean Cuba could have been the top ranked country in the region?

Chile Economy: Population, GDP, Inflation, Business, Trade, FDI, Corruption
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