Cuba travel from the states recommendation
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Dec 1, 2012 7:18 PM Last Post By: BeardoUK
Nov 30, 2012 8:11 PM
Cuba travel from the states recommendationHello,
I have wanted to visit this beautiful island & it's incredible culture for years now. Between being a US citizen & Middle Eastern decent, have been a little hesitant with the childish coldwar era hangover, ridiculous sanctions, and the threats of fine & imprisonment. So there is just two of us traveling for a week ...
I have heard the gates from Canada are a no go & infiltrated with US immigration officers? Only other options I'm aware of are Cancun & Nassau. If not a topic beaten to death already on here, anyone willing to post or send a private message on here? As a states resident, any difficulty getting to Havana or more importantly, any hard time (or more extensive) upon return? I have heard a few mentions from nothing, to a fine of $6-7,000 sum (sent through post 6 months later at that)!! Is this fluff or is visiting the island something that we should look into more so? I had considered going through the educational or medical side as I have background in both, but currently not an option. We are looking to go independently in the near future.
Also, if Nassau/Bahamas, we would have 2 1/2 hours in total to connect with the flight to Havana. Info a bit vague on this, but were told that you get a visa or travel card for Cuba when checking in for flight to the island ... Is this correct & if so, does 2 hours give us plenty of time to do this?
Thanks for any input,
Nov 30, 2012 9:46 PM
1By the way... there's no weird paperwork, visas, etc. for you to visit Cuba.
All you require is your US Passport and a Cuban Tourist Card which you acquire right at the departure airport in Canada/Mexico/Caribbean/Central or South America. Sometimes it's included in the price of your ticket (Canada) and other times you have to purchase it (most other departure points.) Everyone on your flight will be doing the same, you can't board the aircraft to Cuba without it. No big deal.
Dec 1, 2012 12:17 AM
2This topic has also been discussed here many times before, I suggest you do a search.
Also, if Nassau/Bahamas, we would have 2 1/2 hours in total to connect with the flight to Havana...Is this correct & if so, does 2 hours give us plenty of time to do this?
You will have enough time to get through on the way TO Havana. The problem is always on the WAY BACK. Whether your return flight leaves Cuba and arrives in the Bahamas on time is another thing. Chances are it will not, and if you live on the east coast of the US like I do, you will probably miss the last flight, depending on the number of flights you have to take. It takes me 3 flights from Havana to my home town, and on more than one occasion I have missed the last flight home and had to be rescheduled for the next morning. Spending a night in Nassau can be an expensive option, so I have spent nights in Miami, my connecting city.
Granted, it is not always Cubana's fault. On one occasion, US Customs in the Nassau was seriously understaffed, to the extend that the airlines sent staff down to the customs desk. They spent some time helping sort out people by departure time of their connecting flights to the US. Good luck!
Dec 1, 2012 6:06 AM
Dec 1, 2012 7:31 AM
Dec 1, 2012 8:53 AM
5The best gateway depends entirely on where you're situated in the US.
Mexico usually offers the best options for west coasters and southerners, but if you're in the northeast don't ignore Canada. Last month you could fly New York/Toronto/Havana return for less than $850 all taxes in. Prices/routing/convenience varies wildly depending on where you're departing from in the US.
Dec 1, 2012 10:24 AM
6Other sensible gateways include Grand Cayman - both legs on Cayman Airways, so less risk of a missed flight. (That connection is tight, but Grand Cayman airport is tiny.) - a popular route for Cubans with Spanish passports.
Dec 1, 2012 3:49 PM
7Sincere thanks to all of you, ... your responses rocked!! : ) Quiet thorough Mr. Terry & very helpful (hats off also to bahaman, dMac, Jorge, & Beardo for all your inputs) since we came up on this as somewhat of a last minute idea & also happen to have finals week approaching next week.
"embarrassing and immoral piece of US foreign policy." Couldn't have said it any better myself Terry. I knew the Cuba side was not a problem, but have not been through Bahamas & just in case there was a delay out with our connection ... didn't know if we had to step outside the airport to a travel kiosk for the travel card, or just received it upon boarding ... thanks for verification.
Got a decent fare for less than month out. Just under 1k through Nassau from Northeast. Cancun was ridiculously expensive, $800 just for that segment plus flight from East Coast down (likely because of New Years wknd). Nassau quiet a bit more reasonable & although an expensive overnight, with two people, it was a significantly better price to overnight there & fly back on Monday. Surprisngly it was cheaper to fly out of a smaller airport nearby than NY or Boston as a hub.
Didn't mean to sound paranoid with the question ... but if you can relate, I grew up here as an "illegal alien" (can't think of a more Martian like labeling Lol) for 8 years during my upbringing in teen years. Being in the states at that time, I was even paranoid to go to a hospital when I got a broken nose playing winter baseball, no papers, no insurance, etc ... that type of societal behavior here, frames ideals in your mind when you have an arrogant government with arrogant international policies, who uses suppression of immigrants to keep cost of labor at what it is for those who do the brunt of our hard labor. In addition, with exception of N Korea, I have stamps in my passport from handful of other countries that we label evil, so wanted to get a consensus on here.
So deep breath it is DMac : )
Wish all of U a healthy new year in advance,
Dec 1, 2012 7:18 PM
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