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About CarolinaGirl2010

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Genealogy, Cruising, Blogging
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Puerto Rico
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    The Quiet Cruiser http://quietcruiser.com

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  1. I tipped each person $10. They seemed happy with it.
  2. We were in Havana in April. We exchanged American dollars for Cuban. We just decided that by the time we exchanged to Canadian or Euros, and paid the fees for that, we may as well use American dollars and make it easy. It was extremely easy to exchange our money. Way easier than I thought it would be. There is an exchange station (Cadeca) at the cruise terminal before you go down the steps, and one at the bottom of the steps. There are other Cadeca's in town, but we only saw one while we were out. I wrote a blog on it and tried to be really detailed about what it was like to come into Havana for the first time. If you want to read it go to my blog (see below) and click on Port Reviews on top.
  3. We took off one of those insulated metal water bottles and had no problems with it. You can buy bottled water in certain places, but our tour guide took us, so I'm not sure where. There is a market also. If you get out of the terminal area to the sidewalk, turn left, then walk along the side walk for about ten minutes, there is a large market. I thought they were kind of pushy, but that doesn't bother everyone.
  4. I've been working hard on my blog. Some of it is geared towards helping people trying to figure out the ins and outs of cruising. Part of it is reviews. I like to do daily blogs from the ship as I'm cruising. So far I've done Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Carnival Sunshine, and Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas to Cuba. It kind of helps people figure out how it really is to cruise. I've tried to cover a lot of topics like the Muster Drill, packing, what kind of room to book, and other things that new cruisers don't know. Also, reviews of ports. Check it out at http://quietcruiser.com Kathy The Quiet Cruiser - FUN-damentals of Cruising
  5. We used HavanaCar.net in April. We loved our car tour with Victor as our guide. He was very knowledgeable and considerate. I would recommend him. Our walking tour was another story. We ended up with Osvy and he said he was an entrepreneur, and he was trying to sell us things like gold bars. Not sure what that was all about. Plus, we kept telling him we just wanted something simple for lunch, he ended up taking us to a restaurant with a doorman. We kept asking if it was expensive because we had limited Cuban pesos left and he said no. Well, it was, and we ended up only being able to order appetizers because of the prices. I was so disappointed because I had wanted to try authentic Cuban food and ended up with tuna on lettuce with no dressing that cost $9. Other than that, he was knowledgeable about Cuba and took us all around the city. I wouldn't want to do a tour with him again though.
  6. Don't know what ship you're on. We went in April on Empress of the Seas, and it was very quick to get off. Our excursion with a local company was also for 10 am, and we had an hour before that to just walk around. It's much easier than I thought it would be. If you want to read about my experience go to my website below. It will be the blog about Cuba at the bottom of the first page. I tried to be detailed on getting off the ship, the money exchange, etc. Don't worry, it's all easy.
  7. We were in Cuba in April. Just be careful filling out your Visa so that it matches your passport name. I've actually got a picture of what one looks like on my website. If you want to look, see the website address below. It's the Cuba post towards the bottom of the first page.
  8. Be careful with the guide at HavanaCar.net. We kept saying we wanted something easy like a sandwich. We were ushered into a restaurant with a doorman. I asked if it were expensive, we only had so many CUCs to use. They said no. We ended up getting only an appetizer for $9 each, he had 4 small pieces of bruschetta and I had a scoop of tuna on lettuce, no dressing. I didn't even buy water. I'm pretty sure that they do get kickbacks, and I was not happy. We had wanted something Cuban. And to top it off, the walking tour guide that we had started trying to get us interested in investing with some kind of gold bar Cuban company, and kept pushing us to get tickets to some nightclub. Guess that's how they make a living in Cuba, but it did detract from the experience for us. The restaurant we went to was MekedE. Pretty place, but don't go in if you don't want to pay a lot. If it has a doorman, do better than we did and trust your gut and say no. There have to be cheaper places to eat with authentic food.
  9. I agree. I believe that the guides do get a kickback. We kept saying we wanted something easy, like a sandwich. We were ushered by the HavanaCar.net guy to a restaurant where all we could afford was a tuna salad. appetizer. We had limited CUCs and could not use a credit card.
  10. it was a nice restaurant, but not what we wanted. We had said we wanted something simple and fast more than once, and when he said BBQ, we figured he understood. And yes, it was gold bars he was pushing.
  11. Probably Carnival Excursions go first, but you'll have plenty of time, don't worry. It's way easier than you think to get through customs and the currency exchange. If you want to you can check out the blog I just wrote since we were in Cuba last week. I tried to detail what it's like to get off the ship. Go to QuietCruiser.com. It's one of my last couple of blogs. We got off the ship at 8:15 and had plenty of time to walk around before 10 am.
  12. We just got back from Cuba and had booked a 3 hour classic car tour and a 3 hour car tour through HavanaCar.net. Stefano was excellent in getting back to us promptly, and answered all my questions. Victor was an excellent car tour guide, I'd recommend him. However, we got Osvy as our walking tour guide, and I would not recommend him. It seemed like he was getting kickbacks from different places that he pushed. I wanted authentic Cuban food and he took us to a fancier restaurant than we wanted with a doorman. He said it was BBQ. We kept asking if it was expensive and he said no, but we were limited on how many CUCs we had. We ended up ordering appetizers for $9. All I could get was tuna on lettuce, no dressing and my husband got four small pieces of Bruschetta. He kept trying to get us to buy tickets for some night spot even though we kept saying no. And he kept giving us business cards to sell things. I was very disappointed in the walking tour.
  13. We'll be on Sunshine on Friday. Hoping they get this straightened out before then.
  14. I have a website / blog for people who are trying to figure out how to cruise, or just want some tips. check out http://quietcruiser.com Kathy
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