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Getting off/on ship more than once in Havana...

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We're sailing on Majesty of the Seas this October and will be in Havana overnight.  If we're out for the day in the Havana, can we get back on the ship to clean up and eat dinner, and leave ship again to experience the Havana nightlife?  Just not sure how the Visa thing works when getting off and on the ship and if it can only be used once?  If anyone is able to give me any information regarding this I would greatly appreciate it!  Thank you in advance!

 

~ Julie

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Yes you can get on and off the ship as much as you’d like with no problems 

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A visa covers you for your whole visit-- it isn't a one time admission ticket. You'll be fine to go back and forth to the ship. 

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You will need to keep your passport with you,  as you will go through Immigration every time you go on or off. 

 

It's pretty quick after the first time , when you surrender the visa and get your picture taken. 

This is also when they stamped my passport. Others have mentioned not getting a passport stamp, but that was my experience on two visits. 

 

 

 

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Yes! Lots of folks go back off at night. There are nightlife tours too or of course you can do it yourself.

There is one company, Strawberry ,that does free daytime walking tours AND a free nightlife tour.

You just pay what you wish at the end. Sadly we are there on a Sunday night when they don't offer their tour.

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We got on and off few times and we did not have any problem. Of course you should have your psssport and visa with you all the time.

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They just use the stamp.  Eventually they give up and don’t check any more but obviously keep your passport with you.

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On 3/26/2019 at 6:45 PM, riffatsea said:

Yes! Lots of folks go back off at night. There are nightlife tours too or of course you can do it yourself.

There is one company, Strawberry ,that does free daytime walking tours AND a free nightlife tour.

You just pay what you wish at the end. Sadly we are there on a Sunday night when they don't offer their tour.

 Strawberry Tours will also do a private tour.   You pick the day, time, and itinerary or pick the same itinerary as their “free” tours.  The “free” tours you tip what you think the guide deserves and the standard seems to be $10.   The private tour is $90 and is for up to 9 or 10 people.  We had 8 in our group so was easier for us to do a private tour so we could choose the date, time and control how many were in our group.  With the free tours you never know how many will show up.  Turned out to be a good thing bc was kinda hard to hear at times so having a small group was much better!  

 

We had considered doing their nightlife tour.  However, opted to do only their day tour. Did our own nightlife tour.  Obispo Street is a quick, easy and safe stroll from the ship.   This is where their tour takes you.  Just walk this Street and you will find many many places to stop for drinks, dancing and enjoyment.  

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Very helpful thread, exactly what I was looking for.

 

We have a private tour in morning but want to return self-guided at night...I'm on the fence about what to put on visa application to raise the least amount of questions

 

So for the visa application on Royal Caribbean have the following options.

-Full Day Third Party Program (tours not sponsored by Royal Caribbean)

-Support for the Cuban People  (heard that as an option on other forums)

 

Thoughts/opinions?   Someone said they take the visa on the first time you go throw customs, then only look at passport.

So maybe Full Day Third party program would be slightly better, since that's what we are doing in the morning.

 

Also, looked at Strawberry for night tour, but probably just going to do self-guide.

 

Thanks for the Obipso St recommendation, @cpayne, precisely what I was looking for!

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My wife and I did a tour and went back to the ship, left later without problem. Came back after our night on shore and she didn't take her passport with her. The passport checker let her go back to the ship to bring her passport back and then cleared her. I think if I pressed more she would have let us thru anyway.

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52 minutes ago, Houndfish said:

My wife and I did a tour and went back to the ship, left later without problem. Came back after our night on shore and she didn't take her passport with her. The passport checker let her go back to the ship to bring her passport back and then cleared her. I think if I pressed more she would have let us thru anyway.

 

Yes, I just returned from my third trip in April. They have relaxed the passport checking greatly in 2 years. 

First time off the ship, surrender the Visa (not the affidavit - reason for visiting - that goes to the cruise line) and get a photo taken and passport stamp.

 

Subsequent exits and entries, a bored person in a chair just glances at the passport,  if that. 

Previous 2 visits, we had to go through the line with the windows each time, get our photo and passport verified.

Staff cuts are everywhere! 😁

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This doesn't go on your Visa. That you just pay for and fill out for the Cubans.

You fill out the us state Dept form and keep one copy in case they audit you and the cruise line keeps one copy in case they get audited

If you are doing an approved excursion not from the cruise line pick the first one you quoted.

If you want to go for the support for the Cuban people then pick that one.

Nobody is checking. This is all in case the us wants to audit your visit so you have to be prepared to justify your choice IF they ask. Chances are good they won't.

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There are 3 different items needed to travel to Cuba, a travel affidavit, a visa and your passport. 

The affidavit is where you select your reason for visiting, and most often this is either Support for the Cuban people or People to People. You turn this in to your cruise line usually at embarkation. 

You will then receive your visa once onboard. This just has your name, birthdate and passport info. This gets turned in to the Cuban customs office. Lastly you need your passport. You will show this every time you leave the ship and again when reboarding. After the morning rush, they usually just glance at it as you go by. 

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2 hours ago, truthseeker923 said:

Very helpful thread, exactly what I was looking for.

 

We have a private tour in morning but want to return self-guided at night...I'm on the fence about what to put on visa application to raise the least amount of questions

 

So for the visa application on Royal Caribbean have the following options.

-Full Day Third Party Program (tours not sponsored by Royal Caribbean)

-Support for the Cuban People  (heard that as an option on other forums)

 

Thoughts/opinions?   Someone said they take the visa on the first time you go throw customs, then only look at passport.

So maybe Full Day Third party program would be slightly better, since that's what we are doing in the morning.

 

Also, looked at Strawberry for night tour, but probably just going to do self-guide.

 

Thanks for the Obipso St recommendation, @cpayne, precisely what I was looking for!

 

It's not a visa application.  Visas are from the Cuban government.  The document you are talking about is a US government thing.

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17 minutes ago, mac1_131 said:

Except you can't use people to people anymore

 

It was an option for me 3 weeks ago when sailing with MSC

We have not seen any official notification of changes announced mid April, the week I returned. The Cuba page on travel.state.gov has not been updated since Feb. 

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I seriously doubt anyone stopping there on a cruise is going to get audited by the US State Department, who cares what their stupid form says.

 

One thing to be aware of if you come back late in the evening, the money exchange will be closed so if you have any CUC left you will be stuck with them or give your tour guide a big fat tip.  We did private tours both visits and they were good about not collecting until the end of the tour.  The second trip they took us out all day then back to the ship to freshen up and eat dinner then out for an evening show.  

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I've booked 3 tours with Strawberry (sailing 5/13) - classic car in the afternoon, bar walking tour that night, and old Havana the next morning.  We're scheduled to be in Havana from noon Saturday until 4 pm on Sunday.  No idea how much I'll need in CUCs!

 

I've read nothing that says you can no longer use people-to-people as your reason for visiting.  Since the affidavit is for the cruiseline, not sure that it would make any difference.

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We got on and off at least 4 times during our 36 hours in Havana and we did not have any problem at all 

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