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It was an opportunity to travel to Cuba, which hasn't been readily available and may not be in the future, who knows! Traveled with my husband, my mother, and my sister. We stayed in Key Biscayne for 3 days prior to the cruise, and got to the ship terminal 2 hours prior to our 3:00 pm embarkation time. But very few people were there, and we breezed through. We were given our room key and our luggage was there when we arrived. Disembarkation was equally as smooth. Our overnight trip to Havana was marred by the tornado, so we didn't see the Tropicana show. But friends of ours were there the previous night, and said it was fantastic. The Melia Hotel was quite nice (we were expecting worse). And the CARS!!!! The tour guides were very knowledgeable. The tour to Trinidad was a long bus trip, and not as interesting as we anticipated. In Santiago de Cuba, we decided we couldn't stand to be on another bus, so we went out on our own. We (my sister, my mother, and I) passed through customs, and were kind of standing around considering our options, when a man came up to us and asked if we needed a guide for the day. He was wearing a blue Infotur shirt and hat, and was very professional, explaining that he was with a state-run agency. It cost $40 an hour for the driver and old-car taxi, and $20 an hour for the guide. We took the taxi to the cemetary, and arrived well before the tour busses, which were arriving as we were leaving. This in itself was worth the $40! We then drove through the streets around town, and were dropped off in the city center. Our guide, Wilbert, stayed with us for over 3 hours, and only charged the $20 (I gave him a $20 tip, bought him lunch and drinks too). He took us all over, and it was a true person-to-person experience. He took us inside his home, showed us the ration book, took us to a neighborhood restaurant for lunch. My mother and sister had coffee with him in his home, and we all ate the local lunch (yes, including fresh veggies and lettuce) and didn't get sick! We brought a bag of toiletries, which he was very thankful for, and said he would share with people who needed them. Advice: Don't be afraid to interact with local people. They are very friendly and appreciate tourists. I would definitely go again, when we're able to just go as tourists, and do what we want.

Cultural Cuba

Viking Star Cruise Review by jkfelske

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Cuba
It was an opportunity to travel to Cuba, which hasn't been readily available and may not be in the future, who knows! Traveled with my husband, my mother, and my sister. We stayed in Key Biscayne for 3 days prior to the cruise, and got to the ship terminal 2 hours prior to our 3:00 pm embarkation time. But very few people were there, and we breezed through. We were given our room key and our luggage was there when we arrived. Disembarkation was equally as smooth.

Our overnight trip to Havana was marred by the tornado, so we didn't see the Tropicana show. But friends of ours were there the previous night, and said it was fantastic. The Melia Hotel was quite nice (we were expecting worse). And the CARS!!!!

The tour guides were very knowledgeable.

The tour to Trinidad was a long bus trip, and not as interesting as we anticipated.

In Santiago de Cuba, we decided we couldn't stand to be on another bus, so we went out on our own. We (my sister, my mother, and I) passed through customs, and were kind of standing around considering our options, when a man came up to us and asked if we needed a guide for the day. He was wearing a blue Infotur shirt and hat, and was very professional, explaining that he was with a state-run agency. It cost $40 an hour for the driver and old-car taxi, and $20 an hour for the guide. We took the taxi to the cemetary, and arrived well before the tour busses, which were arriving as we were leaving. This in itself was worth the $40!

We then drove through the streets around town, and were dropped off in the city center. Our guide, Wilbert, stayed with us for over 3 hours, and only charged the $20 (I gave him a $20 tip, bought him lunch and drinks too). He took us all over, and it was a true person-to-person experience. He took us inside his home, showed us the ration book, took us to a neighborhood restaurant for lunch. My mother and sister had coffee with him in his home, and we all ate the local lunch (yes, including fresh veggies and lettuce) and didn't get sick!

We brought a bag of toiletries, which he was very thankful for, and said he would share with people who needed them.

Advice: Don't be afraid to interact with local people. They are very friendly and appreciate tourists.

I would definitely go again, when we're able to just go as tourists, and do what we want.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 3091
Always very clean. Large closet space, and the immediate offer of additional hangars if necessary. Excellent storage space. The heated floors in the bathroom were too warm.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews