PDA

View Full Version : IS IT SAFE TO VISIT CUBA ?



Gayle in MD
04-21-2004, 01:53 PM
Dear friends,
I have been invited to fly to Key West with my sister and meet up with a retired friend of hers to travel aboard his (70 foot) yacht in the carribbean for several weeks. Only problem is that they want to go to Cuba during this time. I feel a little worried about going to an island where there is a dictator. Have any of you been to Cuba recently? Do you think I would be safe going there?

Oh YUK, I'm such a coward, I know this is a great opportunity, and I know that Cuba is beautiful, but I sure would like some input from any of you who might have advice or information on this. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Thanks a million,
Gayle in Md.

Wally_in_Cincy
04-21-2004, 02:00 PM
As an American I think you have to get a special visa to visit there. As far as safety I wouldn't worry. Thousands of Canadians and Germans go there every year. I imagine it's quite nice.

highsea
04-21-2004, 02:13 PM
The law for us is that it is illegal to spend US dollars in Cuba. It is not illegal to go there.

Cuba is very friendly to yachties from the US. Boaters from Florida have been going to Havana for years.

If you go from Canada, Mexico, or a Caribbean or Central American country (traveling on a US Passport), you will get a little piece of paper that slips into your passport. This is discarded when you leave, so you will not have a stamp in your passport.

-CM

Gayle in MD
04-21-2004, 02:54 PM
Gee, thank you so much for answering my post. I hope I remember not to buy anything there, LOL. I'll have to confiscate my sisters purse before we disembark, lol, she can't pass by a shoe store without a purchase.
Thanks again, I feel better already..
Gayle in Md.

UWPoolGod
04-21-2004, 03:14 PM
My first thought when I read the headline was .."why would you want to?". If I was on a huge yacht and heading around the Carribbean I would stay clear of any place that I could get detained/imprisoned/executed. I want to have a good party time, not a bad semi-3rd world country time.

highsea
04-21-2004, 03:27 PM
UWPG, Cuba is not like that. I have friends that have vacationed there many times.

Whenever you travel outside of the US, you need to be aware of that countries laws, customs, etc. While there are certainly countries I would not want to visit, Cuba is not on that list. The beaches are beautiful, the people are friendly, and prices are very reasonable.

I have never heard of an American tourist being detained or executed in Cuba.

-CM

Gayle in MD
04-21-2004, 03:30 PM
Thank you for responding. Well, tell you the truth, I would just as soon skip Cuba, other than I would like to visit Hemmingways Cuban home, but it is one of the places where my fellow travelers would like to stop, so I don't have much choice about it. I do feel worried about going there, so I hope to get some more responses from others who may have more recent experiences in going there.

thanks agains,
Gayle in Md.

Gayle in MD
04-21-2004, 03:35 PM
Thanks, I have heard that it is really beautiful. I feel much better about going after reading your posts.
Thanks again,
Gayle in Md.

PQQLK9
04-21-2004, 03:58 PM
I saw this on the news...I would go...

Posted on Sat, Feb. 23, 2002






Pa. has new 'sister state' - in Cuba

Aiming at policies and attitudes, guests see common ground with Castro.

By Thomas Ginsberg

Inquirer Staff Writer


MATANZAS, Cuba - His voice was weak, almost trembling. He stood unsteadily in black Nikes and gestured passionately, stabbing the air with freckled hands.
But Cuban President Fidel Castro, 75, had his audience of three dozen giddy Pennsylvanians enthralled.


http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/2730721.htm?1c

Gayle in MD
04-21-2004, 04:28 PM
Hi Wally,
Forgive me if this turns into a double post. I answered it once, but didn't see my answer come up.
Anyway, thank you for the response, and I think I will take your advice. As I said, I have heard it was beautiful there, but I was a bit worried about visiting. Now if I end up in a Cuban jail, you guys have to come and get me, LOL. Just bring eg8r with you, he can talk my way outta anything, LOL.

Gayle in Md., just wish I could take my pool cue with me, guess I couldn't get it on the plane, huh?

Voodoo Daddy
04-21-2004, 04:40 PM
I live about 240 miles from Cuba and never wanted to go there, EVER. I have friends that fish the Billfish series down there every year with no troubles or worries. I hear its pretty in the places that Castro will let you see...but if you watched Oliver Stone's HBO documentary on Fidel you can see some of what is hidden from fragile American eyes...JMO!!

Voodoo~~~say's go and have fun.

Gayle in MD
04-21-2004, 05:08 PM
Hi Voodoo,
Will you come and get me if I end up in Jail? LOL.
I only want to see the pretty parts, and Hemmingway's home, if it is open. Where can I shoot pool in Key West and Cuba???
Love,
Gayle in Md.

highsea
04-22-2004, 03:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Thanks, I have heard that it is really beautiful. I feel much better about going after reading your posts.
Thanks again,
Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

Gayle, you should go. I'll bail you out if you get in trouble. Just don't start another revolution. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

-CM

Gayle in MD
04-22-2004, 04:33 AM
Thank you, but how far from Cuba is North of 9 south of 60, west of Zero, LOL.
Gayle in Md.
Sorry, little editing in order, LOL...Are you on a shipe by any chance?

highsea
04-22-2004, 04:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Thank you, but how far from Cuba is North of 9 West of 60, south of Zero, LOL.
Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

Haha, a long way, right now...(did I say south of Zero?, that's kind of a contradiction... /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif)

-CM

Wally_in_Cincy
04-22-2004, 06:20 AM
Before you go make sure you watch this movie called "Captain Ron".

http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/movie/coverv/49/197649.jpg

It is extremely funny.

eg8r
04-22-2004, 06:28 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Now if I end up in a Cuban jail, you guys have to come and get me, LOL. Just bring eg8r with you, he can talk my way outta anything, LOL.
<hr /></blockquote> How about you just invite me right from the get-go, and if we are detained, I will work my magic. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif That way, at least I get to enjoy the waters before I go to work.

eg8r

Gayle in MD
04-22-2004, 08:13 AM
Hey kiddo, if I owned the boat, you'd be included. I wish you and Voodoo, and Kato could meet me in Key West and shoot some pool!
Love,
Gayle /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Gayle in MD
04-22-2004, 08:16 AM
LOL, yeah, I have seen it and it is funny. Being a boater myself, I wouldn't miss that one. There's a guy in our marina that was nicknamed Captain Ron after it came out, lol.

Gayle in Md. headed for a Cuban Jailhouse, lol.

Barbara
04-22-2004, 08:48 AM
Oh yeah! Kurt Russell in a Speedo!!!

Barbara


<font color="blue">If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job. The kind robots will be doing soon.</font color>

eg8r
04-22-2004, 11:17 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Hey kiddo, if I owned the boat, you'd be included. I wish you and Voodoo, and Kato could meet me in Key West and shoot some pool!
Love,
Gayle <hr /></blockquote> Now your talking. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Maybe a long weekend would be nice.

eg8r

Popcorn
04-22-2004, 06:03 PM
I used to go there when I was a kid with my father. It is a beautiful place. If it was not a communist country, it could be one of the the tourist spots of the world. I am not so sure if your friends boat is registered in the US he could just sail there though.

Gayle in MD
04-22-2004, 06:50 PM
Hi there, and how are you.
My understanding is that he goes to Cuba all the time. His boat is docked in Key West in the winter months, and right here on the West River in the summer. He is a US citizen, so their officials would probably come aboard, I suppose.
Hope all goes well. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif
Gayle in Md.

Leviathan
04-22-2004, 06:55 PM
Hi, Gayle: Have you checked out the Cuban ministry of tourism's web site? It's at http://www.cubatravel.cu/ . If you make the trip, and if you like music, you might think about visiting a Cuban dancehall or catching a jazz performance at a club. The mambo is a Cuban creation; Perez Prado was Cuban; I think that Tito Puente ("Oye como va") is from Cuba.--AS

Harold Acosta
04-22-2004, 07:22 PM
Captain Ron was filmed in San Juan, Puerto Rico due to the similarities with the Cuban Island...some of the "extras" were Puerto Rican actors.

Popcorn
04-23-2004, 03:46 AM
You mention Hemmingway, when the revolution took place he was in the US in a hospital for his drinking. He was never able to go back to the house. Everything was just left as it was when he left. The family says there are unpublished works there they have been trying to get their hands on from the Cuban government for years.

Gayle in MD
04-23-2004, 06:34 AM
Wow, that would be a blast. I LOVE music. Dancing is one of my favorite hobbies. Do they do the tango there? Maybe I could have the "Last Tango In Cuba" LOL. Thank you for the link, will definately check it out. Have never done the mambo, but I can follow any good dancer. My sister also is a dancer, I hope we get to do that.

Gayle in Md. getting excited about going now, thanks all.

eg8r
04-23-2004, 06:38 AM
[ QUOTE ]
If you make the trip, and if you like music, you might think about visiting a Cuban dancehall or catching a jazz performance at a club. The mambo is a Cuban creation; Perez Prado was Cuban; I think that Tito Puente ("Oye como va") is from Cuba.<hr /></blockquote> Funny you mention Perez Prado. I had never heard of him until a few days ago. After hearing a song of his, I went to the library to see if they had any CDs. Sure enough there was one. He is a great trumpet player (a little messy in the upper register but he can hit the notes).

Gayle, see all this great stuff you might miss out on. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I still don't know if it would be worth the chance, but I guess there are positive examples everyday going on and coming off the island.

eg8r

Gayle in MD
04-23-2004, 06:41 AM
Oh yes, I watched a TV show about that, very interesting. I am a Hemmingway nut! Have read everything of his, including all his letters, and a very interesting book, (The Hemmingway Women) about his wives. He was quite a man. Lived life to the fullest. Must have been in terribal pain to take his life that way. I love going to his home in Key West, you can just feel his presence there. Oh, don't get me started on Hemmingway, LOL.

Gayle in MD
04-23-2004, 06:42 AM
Oh yes, I watched a TV show about that, very interesting. I am a Hemmingway nut! Have read everything of his, including all his letters, and a very interesting book, (The Hemmingway Women) about his wives. He was quite a man. Lived life to the fullest. Must have been in terribal pain to take his life that way. I love going to his home in Key West, you can just feel his presence there. Oh, don't get me started on Hemmingway, LOL.

Gayle in Md. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

armandito
04-23-2004, 02:52 PM
Hi Gayle,

Speaking as a non-US citizen, I can tell you that Cuba is very safe and is one of the places everybody should visit.

Most of the stories you hear are created and meant to stop Americans from visiting this beautiful island. Cubans need turists, so public safety is very important for them. It is also amazingly clean, and because of their education system you will be in contact with polite and well mannered people.

When you visit Cuba, everybody will work with you and accommodate any needs you may have (like somebody mentioned before, they will not stamp your passport), it is the American officials that could fine you or imprison you after being in Cuba.

It is legal for an American to visit Cuba in two instances, for Research or Education. When you travel like that, you have to register with both governments and certain agencies, as there is only some stuff that they want you to see.

Again, like it was mentioned above, it is not illegal for you to go to Cuba, but to spend money there. I have heard of people leaving all their clothes behind, because they are valued more than dollars, particularly if they are of certain brands (Levi's, T. Hilfiger, Gap).

Still, there are more than 30,000 US citizens that visit the island every year, most of them thru Canada or Mexico. For more information, visit newsgroups from Europe, Mexico and Canada, as they contain the best non-biased information.

Seeing as you're such a huge Hemingway fan, you should do two of his favorite things (you probably are already planning on it). You have to drink a Daiquiri at "El Floridita", and drink a Mojito at "La Bodeguita del Medio".

Finally, Perez Prado is great, you might have heard the remake to "Mambo No. 5", but Tito Puente is not Cuban, he was Puerto Rican.

Enjoy Cuba.

Gayle in MD
04-24-2004, 09:36 AM
Hi,
What an interesting post. Thank you for all the information. I don't get one thing tho, how are you supposed to go ashore there and eat and drink and not spend any money? Excuse me if I misunderstand, but is it just that you can't buy anything that you take when you leave, or you can't spend any money there at all? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Well, I have had Bloody Mary's at Sloppy Joes in Key West in honor of Pa Pa, so I will be sure to take your suggestion, but what is a Mojito? /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Your assurances are encouraging.
Thank you again...

Gayle in Md. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
04-24-2004, 10:01 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> ...Well, I have had Bloody Mary's at Sloppy Joes in Key West in honor of Pa Pa,...

<font color="blue">He actually hung out at Sloppy Joe's when it was in a different location. That place is now called Captain Tony's. I've only been there once but my favorite place there is the Hog's Breath. I really like that town. </font color>


so I will be sure to take your suggestion, but what is a Mojito?

<font color="blue">3 fresh Mint sprigs
2 tsp Sugar
3 tblsp Lemon juice (or lime),
fresh
1 1/2 oz Light rum
Club soda, Chilled

In a tall thin glass, crush part of the mint with a fork to coat the inside. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir thoroughly. Top with ice. Add rum and mix. Top off with the club soda (or seltzer). Add a lemon slice and the remaining mint. Serves one.
</font color>

<hr /></blockquote>

armandito
04-26-2004, 11:45 AM
Hi again,

The recipe for the Mojito by Wally is correct. I would actually recommend using lime instead of lemon (preferably if you can purchase a "limón" at a Mexican grocery store).
Also, I would recommend you put the mint, add the sugar and some limón, and use a spoon to "crush" the mint. Try to keep the mint leaves as complete as possible, otherwise they'll make the Mojito harder to drink. From personal experience (and this is what they do at "La Bodeguita"), it works better if you crush the mint, and let it sit on the glass for 8-10 min., before adding the rum and soda.

Regarding the "not spending $$$", that is exactly the dilemma the US government creates. If you can book a trip, with EVERYTHING included (even taxes and TIPS), you are allowed to go. The problem is that there aren't many companies that can do that, and also, one can not purchase anything extra (cigars being the most sought after "souvenirs"). Plus your "guide" is assigned by the government.

If you're looking at purchasing cigars, do so from an authorized store. They will be a little more expensive, but there are too many counterfeits in the black market.

Notice that everything is more expensive for Cubans to buy (items have two prices listed), and that Cubans are not allowed into restaurants, bars, discos, if they're not "accompanying" a tourist.

Let me know if you have other questions. I'll try and find out.