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Cuba

SmarterTravel

Author: Barbara
Date of Trip: March 2016

I went on a March Easter week Globe Drifters tour of Cuba and I am still recuperating. It may have been an unusual mix of bad luck but our charter flight was canceled and we had to fly through Nassau and use Cubana Air which is notorious for delays and cancellations. I was to be home Easter Sunday but did not get home until Easter Monday due to Cubana Air flight cancellation and missed connection. Most of our group believed there would be a Globe Drifters rep on the tour but it turns out she was a trainee and there mostly as a tourist, so of little use to us.

Also we were there Easter week when President Obama was there, which kept us from touring Havana our first day and necessitated a change in itinerary.

On the plus side, there was a free Rolling Stones concert and most of our group went and enjoyed it and called it “civilized” because the Cuban people don’t yet know how to act at a rock concert!

I had an unusual experience when I was stuck with one other lady on a driverless, runaway bus which was frightening, although this could’ve happened on any tour as the bus was the same as those tour buses used anywhere else in Cuba (Transtur). The people are lovely and helpful and appreciative of American tourists.

The food and music and various cities we saw were great. We did stay in casas particulares, which are private homes, but that was one of the highlights for me since I got to know the Cuban people a bit more. Some of the group complained about the casas but mine were fine.

The group was an unusual mix of people, only some of which I would care to continue to communicate with. You take your chances I think with Globe Drifters because they market through meetup.com. Their tours are cheaper but you get what you pay for.

Now that travel restrictions are lifted and you can fly directly to Cuba, I wouldn’t hesitate to plan my own trip and leave out the middleman. You can book casas directly. No doubt they will be using Airbnb very soon. I would say go now before Cuba changes any more and becomes too Americanized.

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