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Author Topic: Cuba Master Thread  (Read 28902 times)

Offline G11600

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #120 on: February 09, 2016, 02:42:16 PM »
Apparently Air China flies a 5th freedom route YUL-HAV and back. I checked some random dates and found fares for ~#350 in Y and ~$850 in lie-flat J (773).

Theoretically this should be bookable for 35/60k SQ (UA can't book to HAV).

Cuban visa is included in the price and gets picked up at the gate.

See review here

http://gossipmiles.com/2016/01/23/air-china-yul-hav-j/

Offline Emkay

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #124 on: March 20, 2016, 08:33:15 PM »
I guess it is happening.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-hotel-company-starwood-run-3-cuban-hotels-000320663--finance.html


(Hmmm…Chinese owned getting approval in communist Cuba)

Lets take guesses on which categories these 3 SPG hotels will be. I'm assuming cat 3 & 4. I want to book with cash and points.
NEW $16.99 price for 3-pk on Amazon Prime: http://bit.ly/3pkFreeShippingBelgianChocolateChips

Offline yitzyul

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #125 on: April 01, 2016, 11:39:28 AM »
I really want to go to Cuba for a few days and need some help as don't even know where to start. Ideally want to go from sun-fri so I don't have to stay over Shabbos (dunno if that's possible as I have to either fly from NY to either Canada or Cancun and then will take away some days) , because if Im correct there aren't really any kosher food or orthodox shuls etc.
I emailed Chabad that's affiliated with Cuba and they didn't reply to any of my emails.
I am wondering about where to stay?
How to get around? nice quite beaches would be nice?
Meet some of local Jewish community etc.
What to do about kosher as I was told cant really bring much in etc

If anyone who was there can help me out would appreciate it.


Offline Something Fishy

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #126 on: April 01, 2016, 12:24:40 PM »
I really want to go to Cuba for a few days and need some help as don't even know where to start. Ideally want to go from sun-fri so I don't have to stay over Shabbos (dunno if that's possible as I have to either fly from NY to either Canada or Cancun or Panama and then will take away some days or you could book on Sun Country Air from MIA and save a lot of time, but it won't be cheap) , because if Im correct there aren't really any kosher food correct or orthodox shuls etc and correct.
I emailed Chabad that's affiliated with Cuba and they didn't reply to any of my emails.
I am wondering about where to stay? Airbnb has many options, and there are hotels as well. Most are garbage, but the Hotel Parque Central is stunning (and has a price tag to match).
How to get around? Mostly walk around Old Havana, take a classic convertible tour (around $30-40/hour) to the further spots (revolution Square and the like), and a taxi to/from the airport and if you want to go outside of Havana nice quite beaches would be nice? Varedero is supposed to be stunning.
Meet some of local Jewish community etc. Easier said than done. Before I went I read that "they'll find you, don't look for them", and so it was.
What to do about kosher as I was told cant really bring much in etc We could have walked a live cow through and no one would have stopped us. Obviously YMMV. Canned fish from a "national brand" (their words) is allowed in. Other than that, wraps, PB/J, tradition soups, snacks, etc. are not a problem. Fruits and veggies are available all around town, but be prepared for somewhat low quality.

If anyone who was there can help me out would appreciate it.

See in red above.

Also:

- How are you going? It is illegal to go for tourism and you need to fit one of 12 classes as defined by the government. The big change that opened the floodgates is that you can no self-certify that you fit in a class, and so anyone could be a journalist (for example) if they have a blog. Used to be you needed legit press credentials.

Now the fact is that no one has gotten into too much legal trouble over visiting Cuba in years, but you do need to have your paperwork in order. Upon return in JFK, the guy I went with got interrogated for 45 minutes in a back room. Had his papers not been in order he would have been in potential hot water.

That brings me to my next point - if you go as a journalist, you could officially only do journalism-related things. That means that if we had gone to the beach, customs would have found my friend's sandy bathing suit and the whole tower of cards would have come tumbling down (and yes, they went through his luggage with a microscope).

Now of course the chances of this happening is very small (no Global Entry, over-zealous agent, connecting a sand to "illegal actvities", and so on), but is it worth it? There are nicer beaches in other places; go to Cuba for the people and culture, and the stopped time. Swim in MIA.

 - Try to get out of the city. Havana is incredible and all that, but you'd want to see some other aspects of the country. Trinidad de Cuba is a very popular 2-day trip, and I HIGHLY recommend spending a day in Vinales. Unbelievable place.

- If you want to do a tour in a classic convertible (and you should!), don't get them near the Capitolio. Flag one down on the Melecon instead, you'll pay half or less.

- Drink drink drink! 3-4 liters a day, at least. Get a Hydroflask, you'll be grateful you did. Don't drink tap water (unless you like cholera), get bottled water in the store (pronounce it "aqua fria en botehya" or else no one will know what you want).
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

Offline Brian93

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #127 on: April 01, 2016, 02:19:42 PM »
They usually don't stamp American passports, so I didn't have any issue coming back through Canada

Offline yitzyul

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #128 on: April 01, 2016, 02:23:04 PM »
TY Something Fishy! At least now I have from where to start.

I'm still trying to find some fo the Jewish organizations that help out our brethren, so that maybe I can bring items that are needed and so forth....

Offline Tzadik Nistar

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Offline chevron

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #130 on: April 10, 2016, 01:10:45 AM »
Id go with my israeli passport but not from or returning to USA, I read about trips people took to cuba from other Caribbean islands..

The issue with group trips is, chabad one for example is too short, too little done and they are mega expensive

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #131 on: April 10, 2016, 01:15:51 AM »
too short, too little done and they are mega expensive

+1000
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Offline chevron

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #132 on: April 10, 2016, 01:24:07 AM »
3000$ a person for 3 nights and not 4 days is beyond my scope of understanding,

Bnaoi brith had a trip at 3k for 5 nights in cuba 1 night in miami, but as I was not interested in the miami night and they would not deduct it and kosher food was not an option I bailed, plus I was not really crazy about the whole bb shpiel


Offline VacationLover

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #133 on: April 11, 2016, 02:07:18 PM »
See in red above.

Also:

- How are you going? It is illegal to go for tourism and you need to fit one of 12 classes as defined by the government. The big change that opened the floodgates is that you can no self-certify that you fit in a class, and so anyone could be a journalist (for example) if they have a blog. Used to be you needed legit press credentials.

Now the fact is that no one has gotten into too much legal trouble over visiting Cuba in years, but you do need to have your paperwork in order. Upon return in JFK, the guy I went with got interrogated for 45 minutes in a back room. Had his papers not been in order he would have been in potential hot water.

That brings me to my next point - if you go as a journalist, you could officially only do journalism-related things. That means that if we had gone to the beach, customs would have found my friend's sandy bathing suit and the whole tower of cards would have come tumbling down (and yes, they went through his luggage with a microscope).

Now of course the chances of this happening is very small (no Global Entry, over-zealous agent, connecting a sand to "illegal actvities", and so on), but is it worth it? There are nicer beaches in other places; go to Cuba for the people and culture, and the stopped time. Swim in MIA.

 - Try to get out of the city. Havana is incredible and all that, but you'd want to see some other aspects of the country. Trinidad de Cuba is a very popular 2-day trip, and I HIGHLY recommend spending a day in Vinales. Unbelievable place.

- If you want to do a tour in a classic convertible (and you should!), don't get them near the Capitolio. Flag one down on the Melecon instead, you'll pay half or less.

- Drink drink drink! 3-4 liters a day, at least. Get a Hydroflask, you'll be grateful you did. Don't drink tap water (unless you like cholera), get bottled water in the store (pronounce it "aqua fria en botehya" or else no one will know what you want).
When are you coming out with your TR? I mean... Didn't you go for Journalism? ;)
And a piece of advice: When you do get to write it up, please write it yourself because if you will do it together with ... It will take a few years till it will be posted  ;D

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: cuba master thread
« Reply #134 on: April 11, 2016, 02:09:55 PM »
When are you coming out with your TR? I mean... Didn't you go for Journalism? ;)
And a piece of advice: When you do get to write it up, please write it yourself because if you will do it together with ... It will take a few years till it will be posted  ;D

;D ;D ;D

I think I'll do the writing and have the others just add pictures and notes on their own time :P.
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons