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Enyar
Enyar Reader
3/8/13 11:20 a.m.

Has anyone here traveled to Cuba? It is really close to Florida, cheap, tropical and has waves. I am intrigued by the idea, but really do not know much about the place. I'm also wondering if being a dual citizen (US/France) helps me in anyway.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/8/13 11:22 a.m.

Not sure but you might want to check about the legality of traveling to Cuba as a US citizen.

I have a cousin in Canada who does it every year and seems to have a good time. Met his current girlfriend there.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 PowerDork
3/8/13 11:23 a.m.

Canadians are free to go there any time; many do.

My sister-in-law spent 18 months there recently but she got "free" flights and "free" lodging while she was there.

oldsaw
oldsaw PowerDork
3/8/13 11:37 a.m.
US Government says: Travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens and permanent residents is restricted by U.S. law and regulations, and travelers generally must obtain a license or qualify for an existing license from the Department of Treasury.

Taken from here: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1097.html

peter
peter HalfDork
3/8/13 11:40 a.m.

Not sure, but would like to hear what others think. I know it's possible, semi-common, and getting easier for US citizens to go. There's some info out there on exactly what steps belong in the dance, but beyond that...

M2Pilot
M2Pilot HalfDork
3/8/13 11:43 a.m.

My understanding is that US citizens can legallyvisit Cuba for educational or humanitarian purposes, but don't take my word for it.

wbjones
wbjones UberDork
3/8/13 12:38 p.m.

yeah, but probably not the way you'd want to do it ... on board the USS Newport News CA 148

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof UberDork
3/8/13 12:41 p.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: Canadians are free to go there any time; many do.

I've never been, but my wife, and most of my friends have. It's cheap. You can fly there and stay for a week, all inclusive for $400 + tax. I hear the food is very bland, and in the winter the weather is not ideal, and the water's cold, but in spring and fall it's better. I'd like to go just to check it out but my wife (whose hobby is traveling) won't go back. She says there's a reason it's that cheap.

Enyar
Enyar Reader
3/8/13 12:46 p.m.

From what I read, you're allowed to travel there, you just can't spend any money there (if that makes sense?). If you fly in from Mexico/Bahamas, they give you a temporary card that they stamp and you put in your passport. When you fly back to the Bahamas, you take that card out and the US doesn't know you've ever been.

trucke
trucke Reader
3/8/13 12:48 p.m.
Enyar wrote: From what I read, you're allowed to travel there, you just can't spend any money there (if that makes sense?). If you fly in from Mexico/Bahamas, they give you a temporary card that they stamp and you put in your passport. When you fly back to the Bahamas, you take that card out and the US doesn't know you've ever been.

Our church has done mission work in Cuba. The above sums up how to get there.

ZOO
ZOO GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/8/13 12:54 p.m.
Zomby Woof wrote:
JohnRW1621 wrote: Canadians are free to go there any time; many do.
I've never been, but my wife, and most of my friends have. It's cheap. You can fly there and stay for a week, all inclusive for $400 + tax. I hear the food is very bland, and in the winter the weather is not ideal, and the water's cold, but in spring and fall it's better. I'd like to go just to check it out but my wife (whose hobby is traveling) won't go back. She says there's a reason it's that cheap.

I leave tomorrow. I will post a report when I return. The operative word is "cheap" -- ideal, since it won't compromise my racing budget too badly. The advice I was given was to "manage one's expectations".

Everyone says the Cubans are friendly and outgoing. I'm not expecting brilliant food, but the beaches and resorts themselves are clean.

z31maniac
z31maniac PowerDork
3/8/13 1:07 p.m.
Zomby Woof wrote:
JohnRW1621 wrote: Canadians are free to go there any time; many do.
I've never been, but my wife, and most of my friends have. It's cheap. You can fly there and stay for a week, all inclusive for $400 + tax. I hear the food is very bland, and in the winter the weather is not ideal, and the water's cold, but in spring and fall it's better. I'd like to go just to check it out but my wife (whose hobby is traveling) won't go back. She says there's a reason it's that cheap.

The friends we met from Canada last year said exactly this.

Not worth it.

PHeller
PHeller UltraDork
3/8/13 1:18 p.m.

I've always been interested in the balance between Cuba's obvious economic and humanitarian plight and its conservation of natural resources.

Decided to play a game "Bench-Nation Builder"

Cuba could maintain its communist idealism somewhat successfully if it took (or continued) to control of all private property, and allowed Cuban citizens to leave the country, tourists to visits and spend money, and focused its spending on "green" development. Maybe instead of improving roads, it builds modern mass-transit systems, forced development to go UP instead of out, and regulates the extraction of natural resources like nickel and oil.

Iceland in the Caribbean?

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof UberDork
3/8/13 1:22 p.m.

In reply to ZOO:

Take some Mrs Dash, and some hot sauce with you, or at least some seasoning/seasoned salt.

I'm not joking. One of my wife's friends calls Mrs Dash his Cuba saver

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UltraDork
3/8/13 1:34 p.m.
Zomby Woof wrote: I've never been, but my wife, and most of my friends have. It's cheap. You can fly there and stay for a week, all inclusive for $400 + tax. I hear the food is very bland, and in the winter the weather is not ideal, and the water's cold, but in spring and fall it's better. I'd like to go just to check it out but my wife (whose hobby is traveling) won't go back. She says there's a reason it's that cheap.

And unless you stay at one of the "higher end" all inclusive resorts, be prepared to see a lot of poverty/destitution. My friend and his wife said it was hard to enjoy themselves when it was quite clear everything there sucked.

ggarrard
ggarrard GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/8/13 1:52 p.m.

+1 on staying at a "higher end" resort.

A 5 star resort in Cuba is semi-equivalent to a 3 star resort in Mexico. Our one trip (last year) to Cuba was fine - food was acceptable (nothing fancy) , and resort (Iberostar) was clean/well organised, etc.

We find Mexico generally $300 to $500 more expensive - but there seems to be more to do in the Playa Del Carmen/Maya Riveria area than we found in Veradero, Cuba. We would consider returning - but our first choice is Mexico (we got back from Cozumel last week...)

Enyar
Enyar Reader
3/8/13 2:05 p.m.
ZOO wrote: I leave tomorrow. I will post a report when I return. The operative word is "cheap" -- ideal, since it won't compromise my racing budget too badly. The advice I was given was to "manage one's expectations". Everyone says the Cubans are friendly and outgoing. I'm not expecting brilliant food, but the beaches and resorts themselves are clean.

Where are you traveling from? The surf seems pretty decent over there so I am thinking of making a man trip over there. I can't believe the food is that awful though.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/8/13 2:09 p.m.

Yeah I'd expect good food if not much else...

poopshovel
poopshovel UltimaDork
3/8/13 2:22 p.m.

If Cuba is anything like Puerto Rico, I'd recommend spending the extra coin and going to the BVI.

fritzsch
fritzsch HalfDork
3/8/13 3:49 p.m.

Being from france you can travel to canada using US passport then fly from canada as a french citizen. Cant do it as a US citizen. Just dont let them know

ZOO
ZOO GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/8/13 4:35 p.m.
Enyar wrote:
ZOO wrote: I leave tomorrow. I will post a report when I return. The operative word is "cheap" -- ideal, since it won't compromise my racing budget too badly. The advice I was given was to "manage one's expectations". Everyone says the Cubans are friendly and outgoing. I'm not expecting brilliant food, but the beaches and resorts themselves are clean.
Where are you traveling from? The surf seems pretty decent over there so I am thinking of making a man trip over there. I can't believe the food is that awful though.

Montreal. Me, and just about every other CDN teacher I know who starts spring break tomorrow . . .

poopshovel
poopshovel UltimaDork
3/8/13 6:52 p.m.

Dated a Cuban girl in High School. Her mom was an awesome cook. Maybe the ingredients on the island just suck. I can't imagine it's a great environment to farm or raise livestock, and I doubt the locals are importing expensive meat and veggies. Pure speculation.

ZOO
ZOO GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/17/13 8:15 a.m.

And back! Cuba is a GRM paradise. Sort of. I will start a new thread, with links to the car photos I took. Teaser -- I drove a '52 Chev Convertible. With a four cylinder diesel conversion . . .

Enyar
Enyar Reader
3/17/13 9:00 a.m.

Nice!

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/17/13 10:02 a.m.

Awaiting the new thread!

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