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About EatonDoolittle

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  1. Blexie is NOT closed down. I posted my recent experience (last week) and the constraints the Gov’t has put on them, but they are certainly still in business. Luckiest man, please check the facts before you start a panic here.
  2. When I was there in November, Amiga also got cancelled, but I was already on the Sandbar trip. We left the dock, and lo and behold, after it was too late to cancel, the guide said that there is too much water at the Sandbar, that it was underwater, so we were going to Amiga instead. Well, it is always under water, usually just a few feet, which makes for great relaxing in the middle of the ocean (see my other post here). Now here's the real info - we had a ship staffer on the tour with us and after a few rum punches, he told us that one or the other gets cancelled every stop, that the operators only have one boat! Not sure how they decide who gets cancelled and who goes. So, it's a crap shoot which one will go, but in my mind, either one is better than staying on the island.
  3. The closings are no doubt related the the Cuban Gov't raids on tour guides about 3 weeks ago. There is no (allowed) actual job description of tour guide in Cuba. 2 visits ago our Blexie guide explained this and told us he is a "photographer" - wink wink. They very much want to become legal and licensed like the taxis are, but the Gov't will not allow. We chuckled at the time, but my last trip last week clarified things. The raid at San Francisco Square was not just on Blexie's team, as reported here, it was all guides there to meet guests. They took all the women - left the guys alone. They went to jail for the day and after paying a fine, were released. Terrifying for them, I am sure. A nasty scare tactic, which seems to have worked. Our Blexie guide (we have used him twice now) said that because of the raid, Blexie lost 3 of his customers (sounded like hotels and travel agents maybe, who were sending him customers..). It was downright scary to see the square so empty, when the last 2 visits, it was teeming with tourists meeting their guides. Blexie's people now meet you at a church 3 blocks away, but it was far from comfortable. We watched one young woman guide looking nervously for her people, and heading out as soon as she found them. I am sure all the tour companies are experiencing the same aggravation and fear. Our guide talked about how much trouble he could be in, and mentioned the cameras on each block. We had not noticed before, but sure enough, all activity in the old town is closely monitored. Our guide felt that they were also monitoring electronically, which would explain why some companies shut down their web site, as has been reported here. We met our car and drove out of town, and he relaxed noticeably. He is also exploring other job opportunities, in case, I assume, Blexie has to shut down as well. It is a shame. Long story, I know, but the recent nonsense coming from Washington has nothing to do with the tour company situation in Havana. The Cuban authorities simply did not like the appearance of free enterprise by their citizens.
  4. Here's the Help thread...have you asked there? https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/859-need-help-using-the-forums-check-here/
  5. All is well with Blexie, we are touring with him on Thursday. Thanks to reading here, I emailed yesterday to confirm again. They have moved the meeting place to across the square and 3 blocks to the corner of Cuba St. Evidently the government does not want free enterprise at the St. Francis square, so they now have a separate spot for them to meet their guests. He’ll send you a little map to get to the new spot, I can’t attach it, but it seems simple enough. Ill report back back if there is anything different.
  6. "Always bring your own" ...Walter White
  7. Ha, yes, good catch. Hard line, I suppose would have been a more accurate term in this instance. Basic survival tool from the old days when there did not seem to be a need to have a phone attached to one's person at all times. There is a very funny video making the rounds of 20 somethings trying to figure out how to work a rotary phone.
  8. You could call their cell phone, if they are also on wifi calling (and have the wifi package). Or, in certain places around the ship you will find something called a "landline" , usually near the elevators, which will allow you to call a cabin. You can Google "landline", but basically it is a person to person communication device used in the last century, and early in this century.
  9. You aren't getting any responses because people simply do not go to Cuba to go to the beaches. There are too many fabulous things to see and do there, plus there are beaches on every other Caribbean island that are legal to visit, and easily accessible. That said, read some posts here and you'll see references to the HoHo bus, which I believe passes some beaches. You will also see posts about people hiring cabs to take them around.
  10. I did this trip a few years ago - it was wonderful. There were so many of us that we mustered in a lounge and they brought customs to us, along with a staffer to take our pic again and give us the new key card Never even had to leave the ship on turn around day. I did walk off to the terminal for an hour or so to use the free wifi - no problem getting back on quickly, just get an "in transit" card from the front desk.
  11. I can't put my hands on them right now (pre- everythingondigital) , but there are some beautiful and dramatic photos of the sea to be taken from the lighthouse. You can't climb up in the lighthouse, but walk to the cliff edge and it is lovely. There are also cute donkeys up there, if that's your thing, and flamingos at the salt flat.
  12. OK, got it. Princess rules, the general public, and posters here say "no". However, Spencer and Anabel say "Screw you, screw the rules, we did it, and here we are bragging about it". Nice.
  13. Wow, these are awesome route maps. Thanks for posting.
  14. Have you toured with these guys yet? It's a fun, but not drunken or rowdy day, and a great way to see the prettier side of the island. https://cozumelbarhop.com/
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