Commercial Flights and all to the island

Discussion in 'Cuban Cigar Forum' started by Johnny-O!, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. MadMonk

    MadMonk Well-Known Member

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    Hell, if you have the means, I'd say live now, go, and make some friends there. Who knows what's going to happen in the insanity called Washington D.C.
     
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  2. StatHaldol

    StatHaldol Active Member

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    Any feedback on hotels in and around Havana? I've read a few reviews but I'd like to hear from some of you. My wife wants to go in November so I might as well tag along.
     
  3. Corneighdo

    Corneighdo Corneighdo

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    Cuba travel restrictions may be returning for US citizens, according to reports, so I'd leave this week!

    Most Havana hotels very expensive, and only a handful you can book online.
    Our 1st two nights, we booked the Paseo Secrotol - cheap, in all ways. But doable.
    Others I would stay at would be...
    (in Vedado):
    Hotel Nacional - a classic.
    Melia Cohiba - very modern and classy.
    (in Havana Vieja):
    Hemingway Hotel - Hotel Ambos Mundos, classical and gorgeous on the inside.
    Hotel Saratoga was the one that Beyonce and Jay Z stayed at

    The one hotel that I think would be really awesome to stay in is the recently redone Hotel Conde Villanueva. - I don't think you can book online, but you may be able to arrange via email. This hotel has a lovely courtyard, a history of tobacco, has an LCDH on site, and one of the world's best rollers: Reynaldo Gonzales.

    You will be much better off staying in a "Casa Particular" which is a private room hosted by a local. They often offer breakfast and are a fraction of the price of any hotel, even the cheapest. You can book on Air BNB or find one when you arrive. Many benefits to staying this way.
     
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  4. tone-ny

    tone-ny I smoke therefore I am!

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    Hotels are pricey especially in season. I stayed in a private house with a separate entrance, which was pretty good. I would not hesitate to take my wife there. Only issue was the water pressure other than that no complaints.
     
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  5. StatHaldol

    StatHaldol Active Member

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    Thanks guys, excellent information! I was afraid travel restrictions would be tightened soon. Hell, we'll probably be at war by August.
     
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  6. Johnny-O!

    Johnny-O! Active Member

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    I second the casa particular advice. I stay in one that is in Playa, about 10 minutes from everything. Private entrance, hot water and plenty of water pressure. Phone, TV, radio, AC, Fridge (some full size), very safe neighborhood. It is also on the double decker bus route (1/2 block) that goes from Marina Hemingway to Playas del Este (Havana's eastern beaches). If anyone needs any more info send me a message. John
     
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  7. Johnny-O!

    Johnny-O! Active Member

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    Trump is going to speak on Cuba policy today 1pm. Initially I had felt he was going to reverse everything. Now I am getting the feeling that the policies will be toward controlling funds so that they don't go to the Cuban government. That is to say it would be OK to stay at a Casa Particular but not at the Havana Libre, you could dine at a paladar but not at the Nacional. The idea is to divert the funds to the locals. I read some fairly ridiculous things that will be required such as requiring visitors to make itemized documentations of their expenses (and hold on to that for 5 years) proving that they did not spend $$$ with the Cuban government. I wonder if that means no cigars from the Partagas factory but cigars from Prieto, Robaina would be OK? Also, it would go back to the organized groups that have an itinerary and the person must keep that schedule. Rules would go into effect in 90 days. That is what most are saying pre-speech. John
     
  8. The Black Cloud

    The Black Cloud Well-Known Member

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    That's what I've read as well, John. Travel will again have to be through groups and eliminating travel for those of us who just want to visit and do our own thing like any other travel destination. Seems like the main goal is to keep American dollars from going to the state as much as possible. Those who do travel will still be able to bring back as much goods as they want.

    Of course this is all subject to change and I won't get into more politically charged notions.
     
  9. tone-ny

    tone-ny I smoke therefore I am!

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    Glad I went when I did, but look forward to going again. Not to get into the politics, don't know how you can keep the money away from the government when they control almost everything including the exchange rate for US currency?
     
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  10. Johnny-O!

    Johnny-O! Active Member

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    Tone its just wishfull thinking to appease the right wingers in Miami. Who benefits from those organized groups? The Cuban Government. Visas, landing fees, exit taxes all basically goes to the government. Any consumption you do the government will profit. They control 90% of the markets. I guess Trump prefers you sleep in the basement of a church (KOA style), eating beans out of a can over a campfire singing La Bamba and Kumbaya.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
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  11. Johnny-O!

    Johnny-O! Active Member

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    BTW the old rules are still in effect. Trump has 30 days to outline the changes and then post a date when it goes into effect (could be as much as 90 days). A lot what Trump did today was smoke and mirrors, the major change was the effect on travel by Americans which I think is totally wrong. We can legally travel to Siria, Iran, Irak, Afghanistan, Vietnam, N Korea but not Cuba. All of this is under the disguise of human rights, a couple of bad apples that are hiding out in Cuba and free elections.
     
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  12. Corneighdo

    Corneighdo Corneighdo

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    "requiring visitors to make itemized documentations of their expenses (and hold on to that for 5 years)" is already required for the people to people travel license. Many don't realize.
     
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  13. Johnny-O!

    Johnny-O! Active Member

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    Southwest is cancelling its Varadero and Sta Clara flights as of September 5, 2017. Its a shame because they are the only airline that check in (2) 50 lb bags free. They will continue the Havana routes for now. August 1 Granma newspaper posted some new sets of rules that will restrict non-government taxi drivers that will make it unprofitable for them to operate. If the rules go into effect "particular" taxi drivers will be allowed to charge 5 Cuban pesos (about 25 cents in USD) from 0-8 kilometers (about 5 miles) and another 5 Cuban pesos for the next 8 kilometers. So you can make 50 cents for a 10 mile ride per passenger. If you get caught breaking the rules, 1st time is a 1500 Cuban peso fine ($60 USD), the second time they take your car. I think the idea is to get the cars out of circulation one way or another. John
     
  14. Johnny-O!

    Johnny-O! Active Member

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    Southwest is now taking credit cards in Cuba, might be handy if you missed your flight and need a cheap one way (usually around $100). The others still only want CUC (Chavito). Yesterday a friend of mine went on a Southwest flight from Ft Lauderdale-Havana with only 20 passengers on a plane that holds 175. Southwest is also considering adding 2 more flights to FLL-HAV once the season picks up again. John
     
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  15. Johnny-O!

    Johnny-O! Active Member

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    For those of you considering using a charter flight I would suggest you stay away from Gulfstream Charters on flights 252/253. This week they have cancelled three flights to Havana leaving passengers stranded on both sides for days. Don't know if it is a "broken plane" as they have said but just irresponsible business practices all around. John
     

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