we initially booked when we were docking in multiple ports and Havana so were disappointed with the Cienfuegos docking only for cuba. We weren't able to tender in key west due to rough seas but had been there multiple times as we live in the Miami area so that gave us an extra sea day pretty rough. The problem is that Viking doesn't offer much for sea days as far as activities and entertainment. When we finally did dock in Cienfuegos we had excursions to Trinidad and overnight Havana. The poverty in the rural areas is pretty much like may 3rd world countries. Trinidad had some interesting architecture the lunch was ok but it was very dirty. And they were selling a lot of not very interesting art. We stopped at the mill and had some aggressive vendors forcing birds to stand on you ! One guy grabbed my baseball cap off my head to put on palm leaves I grabbed it back!
The overnight Cuba was amazing, although a bit of a hassle with the overnight bag and four hour bus ride each way. The old Havana area was amazing the food was amazing and the classic cars and Tropicana show were all amazing ! The hotel was dated but had a beautiful beachfront location. I wish they had planned it out better and more time in Havana! The people were warm and interesting and welcoming of Americans! Once back on the boat we opened our champagne in the minibar for our cuba sail away. Again was amazing! The boat is breathtakingly beautiful and clean. Service was hit or miss, food was ok in Chefs table and Excellent in the main dining restaurant and Manfredi's Italian.
We opted for the silver spirits package once onboard and enjoyed top shelf single malts and grey goose included! The crowd on board were older with a mix of some 40-50's looking to visit cuba. Everyone was well travelled and great in conversation especially after a few scotches! The explorer bar was my favorite and they made the best drinks! The whole boat was very cozy and never felt crowded. The shows were cute if not cheesy and the performers all mingled with the travelers which was awesome! We had a penthouse veranda cabin which was well laid out and nice shower bathroom with warming floor! Spa was nice and new have to check out the ice room! The immigration process in and out of cuba was very easy although we did buy some art in Havana and had to show immigration the receipt or we would have had to pay a 10 CUC tax on leaving the customs area so have some cash when leaving if u have art! the cuc to dollar is essentially a 1 to 1 so not too confusing some vendors even took dollars but u should exchange some CUC when u arrive at the port. So overall a great trip with some minor kinks that Viking hopefully will work out. A great way to see cuba !
Trinidad poor area but some interesting buildings heavy African Slave influence and Santaria