We choose this cruise because we were already going to Cuba for 5 days prior and 3 days following; but we wish that we hadn't! We boarded on January 7: We were picked up by Star Flyer bus at Iberostar. We were not on the passenger ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we were already going to Cuba for 5 days prior and 3 days following; but we wish that we hadn't! We boarded on January 7: We were picked up by Star Flyer bus at Iberostar. We were not on the passenger list. Fortunately, a Star Flyer person said he remembered our name and that we should board the bus! After almost an hour of driving we stopped because the Star Flyer person had left two people behind at Iberostar. They arrived after another hour while we waited. Eventually, they arrived and we continued. They said that they were in the lobby waiting at 1:50pm. We arrived at Cienfuegos after 6:00pm – it was dark!
The bus had us all disembark at the far end of the parking lot (thank goodness it wasn’t raining!). We had to select our luggage which was put onto carts to be taken to the ship.
Then we had to enter customs and immigration. We were second in line when we were given two forms to complete
2 Immigration, or maybe emigration!
By the time we had completed these forms we were the penultimate couple to walk to the ship and board. We were given our cards OK.
Why weren’t these forms in the package? We were the only ones without the medical forms!
We had to walk at least 200 metres to the ship across an open parking lot!
Our cabin 509 was what we expected although the only window looked out onto a deck and was non-operable.
Dinner was served – NOTE: all meals on board were very good and the serving staff excellent!
January 8: We discovered that a trip to Trinidad was to be taken starting at 7:30am. Others on board were aware of this – we were not. We didn’t go, which was just as well since those who did thought that it was a waste of time. An hour and a half to get there. Just over an hour in Trinidad, and an hour and a half return because the ship was sailing at 2:00 for Cienfuegos.
January 9: The sail was uncomfortable due to heavy seas and some of the sails were raised
We were advised that we had to buy visas at 15Euros each for our return to Cuba. These could have been in the package!
The visit to Cayman Brac was cancelled
January 10: Docked at Georgetown Grand Cayman. The Mission House was closed due to renovations, so we went to Pedro St James, a renovated house, then onto the Botanical Gardens. Both were interesting. The trip director returned us to Georgetown at noon where we were left to our own devices since the ship was sailing at 3:30pm. We had a very good lunch at Breezes – Grouper!
January 11: When back on board the captain advised that the stop at Cayo Largo was next. We thought better of this since the sea was rough. People who chose to go went by tender – a forty five minute trip! The first off were late and three hours later the final guests were taken. Later we discovered that there was nothing there other than sand and that the snorkelling dive had been cancelled. Also, there was a charge of 90CUCs each!
Miserable sail with rough weather
January 12: Again a very rough sea
Punta Frances docking was also cancelled! This time apparently due to a previous vessel leaving garbage on the island!
Since most of the time was spent on board there was a rush on the insufficient number of deckchairs. There were several arguments about who had what! There was a rule that if you left your chair for more than fifteen minutes you lost it – that was not enforced. The Cruise people ned to allocate access better. It didn’t matter to us frankly, but it was another aggravation.
So, another day on the ship!
January 13: Overnight the weather improved and the sailing was fairly calm.
January 14: Disembarkation by 10:00am. After going through customs/immigration etc. we looked for our driver. Again, many drivers with passenger’s names but no one for us! Read Less