Holland America adds Cuba Cruises

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#1
Athens, GA
2,637 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/c...uba-calls.html

Veendam will be doing a 12 day Christmas, followed by a series of 7 day cruises!
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#2
UK
1,635 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I just looked into doing the 5 day RCCL routing from Tampa, but decided against it for this year. Interesting to see HAL will be offering Cuba as well.

Just to mention to any non-US nationals, RCCL say ''all guests regardless of country of residence will be required to meet one of the twelve general license categories while onshore in Cuba'' ,,, meaning everyone arriving on their ships has to adhere to those restrictions.
It wouldn't surprise me if HAL do the same.

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#4
New Jersey
8,993 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by debsjc
I just looked into doing the 5 day RCCL routing from Tampa, but decided against it for this year. Interesting to see HAL will be offering Cuba as well.

Just to mention to any non-US nationals, RCCL say ''all guests regardless of country of residence will be required to meet one of the twelve general license categories while onshore in Cuba'' ,,, meaning everyone arriving on their ships has to adhere to those restrictions.
It wouldn't surprise me if HAL do the same.

They will have to do this. The US rules come into play for everyone when the ship travels to Cuba from a US port.
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
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#5
Chicagoland
2,448 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2503106

Also see http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2503111 Veendam cruise cancellations in order to accommodate the new Cuba sailing.

I wonder how they plan to meet the "your travel must fall into one of 12 categories of authorized travel" requirement. I'd like to think with some really interesting shorex.
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#6
UK
1,635 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
They will have to do this. The US rules come into play for everyone when the ship travels to Cuba from a US port.
Ok, I thought that was the case. I think I might prefer MSC from Havana then, with a bit more freedom.
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#7
Belfast, Northern Ireland
659 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
What are these restrictions ?

I've been to Cuba before and would love to return
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#8
UK
1,635 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by Lovely other
What are these restrictions ?

I've been to Cuba before and would love to return
If it is the same as RCCL, then you have to pay $75 for a visa, and you are meant to take a tour, or be able to account for how you spent you time under the 'Self-Guided People-to-People Program'


There is more info here


https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cuba/faq/
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#9
Fort Lauderdale, FL
10,857 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Here's the Cuba Q&A from Carnival. They've been going there for a while, first as Fathom but now as Carnival.
Most of the the required person to person experiences last from 6-8 hours. If you do one through a private tour operator, you have to keep your paperwork for 10 years. If you do the excursion through the cruise line, they retain your records.

There's a PDF at the link that explains a lot more.

https://help.carnival.com/app/answer...to-cuba/c/2152

The Q&A PDF mentions credit card usage, but my source said that as a practical matter, you'll need CUCs.
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#10
107,618 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Thank you richwmn for the information.
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#11
New York City
7,481 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
The Veendam sailing to Cuba starting December 2017, can't wait.

Jonathan

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#12
North Suburban Chicago
695 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Thanks for your post. This is valuable information for us because we are currently booked on that December 22 cruise for a 14-day Holiday Southern Caribbean cruise. The stated itinerary was Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Guadeloupe, St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, Martinique & St Maarten. Since HALs website no longer lists this as a cruise I contacted our TA. HAL advises our TA that the ship has been “redeployed”. It is now a 12 day cruise going to Key West, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Havana, Cienfuegos, Montego Bay and Grand Cayman. This is not even close to what we signed up for and the new port of calls have little interest for us. We also already purchased non-refundable air fare for the original dates. Our original booking also included a generous amount of OBC that we’re losing. Our TA is now trying to line up another Holiday Cruise for us. We obviously have a lot of negotiating to do with HAL over this.
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Booked:

December 22, 2017-14 Day Southern Caribbean Holiday
March 28, 2018-32-DAY NEW ZEALAND & SOUTH PACIFIC COLLECTOR
#13
Seattle area
4,365 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by LordSpain
We also already purchased non-refundable air fare for the original dates. Our original booking also included a generous amount of OBC that we’re losing. Our TA is now trying to line up another Holiday Cruise for us. We obviously have a lot of negotiating to do with HAL over this.
Airfare - Your airfare is non-refundable but can be changed. In many previous instances HAL will cover the CHANGE FEES the airline assesses with proper documentation.

OBC - Was it a promo for that cruise that was offered when you booked? If so, I would guess it's unlikely to stay... sailings all have different promos... but you can always ask. Was it connected to future cruise deposits? There's no reason those shouldn't still be on the new booking. Was it a gift from your TA? Up to them but it would be kinda crappy if they backed out of it.
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#14
san diego
108 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
The four of us, 2 couples, booked with Veendam Rio/ Amazon 49 day cruise. NOW CANCELLED! One couple has flights and Carnival reservations and 2 shore excursions with private guide booked! Travel agent says no other line has Rio/Carnival.

Pretty ANGRY!

Will see where this goes.
Linda/Stan
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#15
New Jersey
8,993 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by InTheWASide
Airfare - Your airfare is non-refundable but can be changed. In many previous instances HAL will cover the CHANGE FEES the airline assesses with proper documentation.

OBC - Was it a promo for that cruise that was offered when you booked? If so, I would guess it's unlikely to stay... sailings all have different promos... but you can always ask. Was it connected to future cruise deposits? There's no reason those shouldn't still be on the new booking. Was it a gift from your TA? Up to them but it would be kinda crappy if they backed out of it.
I think it's kinda crappy if HAL doesn't let them keep the promos if they book another cruise for the same time frame. I know the cruise contract lets HAL do anything, but all the ports for this cruise were changed, and HAL should let them change to a different cruise without losing anything.
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
28 QE2 - including 2 Midnight Sun, 2 Panama Canal, 6 TAs, 4 Canada/New England, and various Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe itineraries
11 QM2 - 7 TAs, Caribbean, Royal Circumnavigation of Australia, Canada
1 Caronia - Baltic
11 HAL -Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, Alaska
1 Princess
2 RCCL
5 NCL - including 2 on SS Norway (RIP)
1 Uniworld River Cruise (Tulips and Windmills)
1 American Cruise Line - Queen of the West, Columbia & Snake Rivers
#16
New Jersey
8,993 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by shrimp56
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2503106

Also see http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2503111 Veendam cruise cancellations in order to accommodate the new Cuba sailing.

I wonder how they plan to meet the "your travel must fall into one of 12 categories of authorized travel" requirement. I'd like to think with some really interesting shorex.
So far all the cruises I've seen are using the "people to people cultural exchange" category. So tours are about history or meeting local people, touring local businesses, etc. A day at the beach does not count.

From what I understood, Fathom required that you take their tours. Azamara is offering tours or you can go out on your own, but you must sign an affidavit specifying which of the categories you will be claiming (so no day at the beach). I think you also have to specify the tour company or guide you're using, but that isn't absolutely clear yet.
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
28 QE2 - including 2 Midnight Sun, 2 Panama Canal, 6 TAs, 4 Canada/New England, and various Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe itineraries
11 QM2 - 7 TAs, Caribbean, Royal Circumnavigation of Australia, Canada
1 Caronia - Baltic
11 HAL -Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, Alaska
1 Princess
2 RCCL
5 NCL - including 2 on SS Norway (RIP)
1 Uniworld River Cruise (Tulips and Windmills)
1 American Cruise Line - Queen of the West, Columbia & Snake Rivers
#17
Centerville, Ohio, USA
8,756 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
I think I will wait awhile for a Cuba itinerary on any cruise line. Let the Cubans, if so interested, improve the infrastructure available for cruisers.

I'm glad that HAL is including this into their itineraries. But, longer, more diverse itineraries during the Winter season would be of interest to me. (Check out some of the Sitmar Cruises itineraries that encompassed ports in Eastern and Western Caribbean ports.)
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#18
Fort Lauderdale, FL
10,857 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
So far all the cruises I've seen are using the "people to people cultural exchange" category. So tours are about history or meeting local people, touring local businesses, etc. A day at the beach does not count.
I'm pretty sure that visitors will be using #5. That's how all of Carnival's excursions are classified. CCL usually overnights, which works out for people who want to see the sights. The people to people activities are usually 6 to 8 hours in length.

Q: What are the twelve categories of authorized travel?

A: The twelve categories include:

1. Family visits;

2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations;

3. Journalistic activity;

4. Professional research and professional meetings;

5. Educational activities, including People-to-People exchange programs;

6. Religious activities;

7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions;

8. Support for the Cuban people;

9. Humanitarian projects;

10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes;

11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and

12. Certain authorized export transactions.
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#19
USA
498 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by LordSpain
Thanks for your post. This is valuable information for us because we are currently booked on that December 22 cruise for a 14-day Holiday Southern Caribbean cruise. The stated itinerary was Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Guadeloupe, St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, Martinique & St Maarten. Since HALs website no longer lists this as a cruise I contacted our TA. HAL advises our TA that the ship has been “redeployed”. It is now a 12 day cruise going to Key West, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Havana, Cienfuegos, Montego Bay and Grand Cayman. This is not even close to what we signed up for and the new port of calls have little interest for us. We also already purchased non-refundable air fare for the original dates. Our original booking also included a generous amount of OBC that we’re losing. Our TA is now trying to line up another Holiday Cruise for us. We obviously have a lot of negotiating to do with HAL over this.
Take a look at Princess Caribbean Connoisseuer holiday cruise that also departs Dec. 22nd.
#20
Florida
20,315 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Thanks for the info.
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