Marjorie Agriss, Luxury Leisure Travel Agent
Where did you Just Get Back from? Cuba
When were you in Cuba? October 2016
Words to describe what you felt when you first arrived: Thrilled – I was so excited just to be there!
Provide 1-3 sentences that highlight your experience: Havana could be any city in Spain or Southern Europe. Similar buildings, churches and squares. The smaller towns are moderately interesting. The highlight is the people who are fantastic. There is a reason the government insists on a people-to-people visa.
Was there anything that stood out to you about your trip? Everywhere we went on tour we had government escorts with us. We later found out that we were being observed, making sure the right things were being said, and done. It’s truly a case of ‘big brother ‘ and you can really feel the repression. It wasn’t scary or anything just a reminder that you’re in a communist country.
Where did you stay? I was on a sail boat cruise, the IST Panorama II, but the last night we stayed at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana.
With whom would you recommend staying at this hotel / resort? Probably not families with children, yet. It is not very comfortable so clients must be made aware. Even the supposedly ‘deluxe’ sailboat – and the best way to see Cuba is by cruise – is at best 3 star. This is not the kind of trip where you will be seeing an ‘Eiffel Tower’ or a ‘Coliseum’, but will have a fascinating learning experience. It’s all about people to people.
Tempt us- Name the most special place you discovered on this trip: The Island is very lush and green and beautiful. The towns are in disrepair so you have to close one eye to appreciate the charm of which there is plenty. However, I loved Hemingway’s house!! In every town including Havana music combos set themselves up on a random street corner so the air is very festive and people start dancing in the street as they walk! It is so fun!
I can’t stress enough the importance of meeting and talking to local people because it absolutely makes the Cuban experience. We learned so much about their recent and very sad history and how they desperately want to be able to welcome Americans with open arms and have a free flow of culture and friendship between us.
What’s the best time of year to go in your opinion? It’s the Caribbean so best months are December to April, when it is drier, cooler, and less humid.
If you’re interested in traveling to Cuba, contact Marjorie at firstname.lastname@example.org