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Cuba

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by D16Civic, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. D16Civic

    D16Civic Matt VIP

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    Anyone been? And if so how do I get there?

    20th anniversary is coming up and I wanna take her somewhere. Everyone goes to Mexico or the Dominican or the Bahamas. Cuba has always intrigued me. Somewhere not a lot of people have been. The internet is sending me in circles. Any experience or advice would be appreciated.

    TIA
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  2. dilbeckskate

    dilbeckskate infamous

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    Lol... you dont wanna go to cuba theres limited areas you can go w/o getting robbed/kidnapped
     
  3. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator VIP

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    Maybe try somewhere a little more exotic, I hear Mogadishu is lovely
     
  4. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

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    I went to Cancun once.
    I'll be sticking to US soil for the foreseeable future.
    If Florida or KeyWest is not tropical enough for you check out the US Virgin Islands.
    If you have to go past guards with AK47's to get into your "resort" you probably should not be in that country without personal protection. Just sayin'. F*ck Mexico.
     
  5. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    friends of mine just went to cuba. they had a great experience and totally recommended it.

    i'm a little skeptical as well. Honestly, i think the best way to do it is on a ship. if cuba sucks, stay on the boat and there's security there working for you.
    having just spent 2 weeks on a boat for my honeymoon around the Carribean, i wouldn't do it any other way. Some places, we were just done with in under an hour. Went back to the ship, relaxed by the pool and had drinks, saw a show, listened to the band, etc, and waited to do anything off board until the next day. Other places, we had a blast. Barbados was kick ass and probably the only island i would go back to for a fly-in/stay.

    I was just in the us virgin islands as well, and i'll say that it sucks there. people there hate Americans 'coming to their island' and are pretty verbal about it... and everything is ridiculously overpriced.

    st. kitts is probably the 2nd place i'd consider, but other than shopping, there's not much to do there... great people though.

    https://www.ncl.com/vacations/cuba-...1&sortBy=Price&autoPopulate=f&from=resultPage
     
  6. D16Civic

    D16Civic Matt VIP

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    Yeah I've heard pretty great things about it as well. Not sure if I would wanna do a cruise or not.

    Mexico is not under consideration. I've heard the Dominican is pretty great also.

    We did an Alaskan cruise in July and it was pretty great. 7 nights on the boat and 3 days at Denali National Park. Definitely will be going back and spending more time on land.
     
  7. dilbeckskate

    dilbeckskate infamous

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    I went to Cancun at 12 years old thinking it was going to be amazing our resort had a nude beach.... went out there exicted to see a bunch of old wrinkly nasty shit and it still haunts my dreams
     
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  8. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    been to the Dominican as well. been all over it in cabs due to crappy circumstances... also a place i would not recommend. it's a resort only type place like mexico. While i wouldn't say it's as unsafe there's nothing to do as a non-local besides downtown santo domingo, and frankly, that's nowhere near any resorts.
     
  9. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    I went to Cuba during Christmas back in 2015. I went before it was technically "open to Americans". I'd be happy to help out.

    What exactly do you want to do for a vacation?(not just Cuba, vacation in general) I'll tell you if Cuba is right or wrong for what you want to do.

    What's your budget?

    How's your Spanish?

    Cuba.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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  10. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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  11. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    fixed?

    i initially tried to use the URL from the image. I think my photos were set to private.
     
  12. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage YEEAAAHHH VIP

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  13. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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  14. D16Civic

    D16Civic Matt VIP

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    Hadn't really thought about budget. It'll be most likely flying out on a Saturday or Sunday morning and back on a Thursday as I can't get a ton of time off work.

    Spanish is decent between the 2 of us. At least we both had 3 years of it in high school 25 years ago lol. Siri can fill in the gaps hopefully.

    As far as plans or goals I don't have many. Be able to relax without kids and grown up responsibilities, eat and drink, and lay on the beach a little. We do enjoy getting out and exploring the local scenes/people and trying new things so that would definitely be preferable to being stuck on a resort for 5 days.

    I'm pretty meh on another cruise at this point.
     
  15. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    with that said above, i'd go to Barbados. But, again, cuba may still be fun... probably just a little more on edge which would takea bit away from the relaxation aspect of it.
    The Boatyard club outside Bridgetown is awesome. They have turtle swims, jet skis, a fun/happening bar with spring break type shit going on, lots of americans and british tourists around, and the locals are pretty chill and speak english. There's a radison not far away and it's pretty reasonably priced.
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/R...57899a2879c89a!8m2!3d13.0827806!4d-59.6093005
     
  16. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    When I went, I spent 4 days in Grand Cayman, then took a 60 minute flight to Cuba. Flew back to Grand Cayman for one last night before heading home. Grand Cayman was amazing. It's that beach vacation you're talking about. If you are going to stay in Havana the whole time, there aren't a lot of beaches there. There's a ton of music, food, drinks, culture, and history. Without being fluent in spanish, it's a little harder to get around. I speak enough spanish to get where I need at the services I need, but I'm not fluent enough to convince the locals to give me insider tips.

    So to address a few of your points

    1) Culture: Havana is amazing. You're never going to see anything like it. Take a good camera in the daytime and you'll leave with some amazing photos. I took my DSLR and dumped it for my iphone after the first day. I took over 1100 photos in 3 days, probably 500 were just of cars. There are statues, buildings and architectures, of course the cars, and a LOT of history. But it's all in Havana.

    2) Beach: One of the best beaches in the world is Varadero Beach. Now here's the catch, it's fairly far away from Havana. You'll have to take a bus, flight, or taxi to get there. We didn't go because we weren't there for very long, but we heard great things. It's also known to be incredibly touristy with a lot of Canadians and Europeans. I wanted to go, but we didn't make it the focus of our trip that year, so we saved the days and time.

    3) Safety: It's safe. It's a communist country. Criminals are executed if they get caught. The last thing Cuba wants is to have an American shown on CNN getting robbed and killed. I've been to China as well, same thing there. And since you speak English, people WANT to talk to you and test their English. They either learned from cartoons or movies. English books were banned for so long, it's not very common there.

    Random points

    Cuba is poor as fuck. Full stop. Anybody who thinks Socialism or Communism is a good thing should go there and see reality. People were standing in line to get bags of healthcare and toiletries. They would get a big zip lock bag with a bit of toothpaste, deodorant, tampons, etc. Then they would go sell it to have money. This really surprised us to see. With that said, the people were great. There were no issues at all. The first night was sort of sketchy because we weren't familiar with the layout of the city and between the buildings is incredibly dark. The streets are so close, there's no streetlights. So that was sort of uncomfortable. But we got over that pretty quickly.

    There are two forms of currency. One for tourists and inside Havana and one for Cubans outside the city. A loaf of bread will cost you the equivalent of $1 in Havana and $.10 outside of the city if you use the Cuban people's money.

    It's a bustling city. There's a lot going on. People on the move, taxis everywhere. It's easy to just stand around watching shit happen. lol

    It's not going to change. Everyone thinks, "I want to go before it changes now that it's open." It's not going to change. Not for at least 15-20 years. There's a chokehold on the city.

    Watch as many shows as you can about Cuba before going. Anthony Bourdain went there a couple of times. There's some stuff on Netflix. Just watch a bunch of documentaries and food shows about it to see if it's the type of stuff you're interested in.

    Feel free to ask any other questions you might have. Happy to share.

    I had no idea that Amber Rose was such a cultural influence in Cuba. lol
    IMG_5930.JPG

    Yes, people live there. They really live there. I thought it was abandoned when I first saw it, then the dude stepped out and I took a picture as proof.
    IMG_5863.JPG

    The main part of the city center is gorgeous and well taken care of. The rest...is not.
    IMG_5831.JPG
     
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  17. B16

    B16 Super Moderator VIP

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    Cuba looks awesome!
     
  18. D16Civic

    D16Civic Matt VIP

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    Thanks Nick I appreciate the input. The pictures look great.

    Definitely gonna look into this further. We're only about 30 minutes from the Canadian border so flying direct would be possible I think. From a little online research hotels look extremely reasonable.
     
  19. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    You can fly direct now. It's pretty easy. When you're trying to work over the government, you learn a lot of cool stuff. What I learned was, the embargo isn't a tourism ban. It's a ban on supporting their economy. In theory, you can go to Cuba no problem. You just couldn't spend money there. You could do whatever you want, as long as you don't buy anything. lol That's why your credit cards wouldn't work there.

    You can fly straight from Detroit now with one layover. I'd check currency and such. It would have been easier to take Euros back when I went. Exchange is sort of a pain.

    Oh, just an fyi, you can book rooms and hotels on sites like Air BNB. That's what I did since hotels were blocked back in 2015. It should all be easier now.
     
  20. D16Civic

    D16Civic Matt VIP

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    Man I'm old. I've never air bnb'd. I still remember AAA trip-tix.
     
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