Before Castro, Cuba was a terrific place to go party by all accounts I've heard. ( I was only ten years old in '59 but My uncle had been there several times) World class night clubs and hotels, great food, excellent rum, beautiful women, fantastic nightlife, awesome fishing and, of course, really great cigars. It will be a few years before we are in the Atlantic but I hope to visit and enjoy Cuban Puros legally.
Yeah, when you say all of that I think of Ricky Ricardo! Also, interesting trivia - the Rum & Coke drink in Spanish is called "Cuba Libre" which means "to the freedom of Cuba" or something like that. The story I heard (and wikipedia says might be true) is it came about when US troops were in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. The US soldiers wanted their favorite American drink (Coke) and mixed it with Cuba's favorite drink (rum). They liked it and drank it as a toast to Cuba's new freedom from Spain.
I like the story and find the interesting irony that one of the more popular cocktails came from a friendship b/w the US and Cuba, then the relationship 'died' and now it might come back.
no way, not at all. your dreams are better left as dreams, for a while. I know several people who have gone, by flying for humanitarian reasons, Canadians who have gone to dive, and Europeans who have chartered boats. all this in the last 3 years. it is still a dictatorship, your money is welcome, as you will have to spend it on security for yourselves. it is still a very, very poor country, and not quite third world, but on the edge of it. If you have not been in the true third world you would still be in for an eye opening shock. you want to think that nothing bad will happen to you, and yet it can and your government wants nothing to do with you if you do get into trouble. IF you are a well seasoned traveler, don't mind being in a scary foreign country, can deal with being considered "the ugly american", then you may want to try it. I wouldn't take my own boat, try charter or try a hotel first.
as a Canadian, I was on the 3rd planeload that was allowed into Cuba over 25 yrs ago. At that time leeway for tourists was quite restricted for movement around the country but no problem really. Just had to accept all the gendarmes watching your every movement......but they were very polite and I had nothing to hide so I had no complaints. The few hotels at that time were very musty after being closed for many years, sheets & towels were worn with holes but clean......the people were wonderful, warm but guarded which was to be expected. The food was plain but good. I am a seasoned traveller so don't expect or want 5 star accomodation. I took and left behind a bag full of panty hose, makeup, lip-stick, etc which I left in my room.....these items disappeared quickly and I am sure that the people who took them did so at their own peril. Just glad I was able to contribute something. Things have changed considerably over the years as they become more knowledgeable of the tourist industry. Resorts have been built but that's not where I prefer to be. Next time I visit Cuba I hope to be able to sail my boat there. For any of you that expect all that you would get at home.....I say don't go there or to any other country that is much less affluent than your own. Take a chance.....experience & enjoy other cutlures.....learn about how others live and accept/enjoy how they live and their cultures. Get to know these people. By all means don't be critical........if one can't do that.....stay home or go somewhere else....DJ
As a Canadian, I have the opportunity to visit Cuba but have not done so as I've never liked 'pre-fab' vacations of any kind.
So, resorts are out for me. I'm not interested.
However, just about everyone I know has visited Cuba, including my adult son who can't wait to go back. Every person I know loved it there.
Yes, it's a dictotorship but even Castro , back then, looked after his people, educated the childen in the excellent schools, health care is free to the citizens, and it's GOOD health care. So is dental, it's free. The country grows it's own food or imports food from Canada and Europe for the tourism industry. The people can not get imported good, so they live on the land.
One of my friends speaks fluent Spanish and has made many friends in Cuba. The people are very friendly and haven't been spoiled by 'big bucks ' tourism. My friend goes back to visit every year. He tells me that crime , if it happens, is punished severely . So, this means people think twice before commiting a crime because they know the consequenses.
My friends tell me that his family feels much safter in Cuba than in any of the other Carribean islands where crime is common and goes unpunished.
I look at countries like Mexico, for instance, where crime is commited routinely and the government is so corrupt that crime is overlooked, even by the police force and the justice system.
I think I like to visit Cuba someday, before the tourist industry becomes bigger and before one will find your typical Mc Donald at every street corner. I'd sail to Cuba in a heart beat, had I a blue water boat.