United States citizens have waited decades to visit Cuba. Answering the call for more in the Caribbean, clever Carnival Corporation figured out how to make that happen, with other cruise lines following suit shortly thereafter. After sailing to the ‘new’ island on board Carnival Paradise, I am puzzled by one rather common comment from those who have been there before me. “Nice, but once was enough” said just about every American I had the occasion to ask prior to sailing. I should have asked more people.
It’s one thing to check Cuba off a bucket list and move along to the next item. I get that. What is rather strange to me is the “once was enough” thought by many who have been to Cuba. Here then are is some food for thought on repeating Cuba like we might any other island in the Caribbean.
Well, it’s really not like any other island in the Caribbean: Cuba is huge for one thing, far larger than any other island in the Caribbean. The communist element too adds an additional difference…but just that.
You really want to start building that relationship in Havana now: Years from now you will want to know the name of the bartender at a favorite Cuban place.
It will get better. Look at MSC Cruises.: It took them a decade to figure out what North American cruise travelers want and how to deliver it. Their first attempt: fail. Now: a viable contender. Similarly, Cubans are figuring out what American tourists want and delivering it.
The huge mass of history to be explored, learned from: The whole Communist thing is different than other Caribbean islands that are, well, not. Far less chat about sugar plantations, the spice trade and Mayans/Aztecs/Romulans here.
They want us bad: “Forget what you have heard, we REALLY WANT YOU HERE” said a very engaging guide on a very inclusive tour, typical of shore excursions that include more.
Don’t forget:, not everyone has had a beef with Cuba: Canadians, for example, face few restrictions in Cuba. It’s the 1960’s America they have/had a problem with. That will dissolve shortly: they are catching on to capitalism just fine it seems.
How was your weather?: It rained all day when we were there. I want to go back to see if the weather gods will be kind to me next time.
There is a lot to be explored in Cuba. While we were in Havana overnight, allowing Carnival Paradise cruise travelers to see life there throughout the day, we barely scratched the surface on what Cuba has to offer. Plan on two visits anyway, maybe more as Cuba opens up and reveals an island not unlike any others in the Caribbean.
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com