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Travel to Cuba coming to an end?

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Yes, I would like to know when this will happen - we are on May 4th Empress to Cuba - what now???? So so so upset over this!

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Posted (edited)

I have a Holland American cruise to Cuba in Jan 2020. I haven’t booked airlines etc because I knew there was a strong possibility this could happen.

This new directive is all about Venezuela. I lived in Venezuela during the regime of Hugo Chavez. Chavez’s body guards were Cuban. So many ties between Cuba and Venezuela.

 

Edited by Granny DI

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We’ll find out very soon but it’s not looking good for anyone w cruises to Cuba after May 2nd 

 

Ours is May 6th 🙈🙈😓😓

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Posted (edited)
On 4/17/2019 at 5:27 PM, itsmemsgee said:

My cruise is leaving tomorrow!!! What in the world!

 

You may want to check if your tour company is still in business.  Popular companies like FerTours and Blexie now out of business (see separate thread)

 

Good luck and Enjoy

Edited by Luckiestmanonearth

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Luckiestmanonearth said:

 

You may want to check if your tour company is still in business.  Popular companies like FerTours and Blexie now out of business (see separate thread)

 

Good luck and Enjoy

Where are you seeing a thread that Blexie is closed down? 

 

Multiple people have posted they received emails from Blexie this week stating all is good and gave  them a new meeting place 

Edited by LaCal

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21 minutes ago, LaCal said:

Where are you seeing a thread that Blexie is closed down? 

 

Multiple people have posted they received emails from Blexie this week stating all is good and gave  them a new meeting place 

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. 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, EatonDoolittle said:

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. 

 

 

 

I was just quoting what I read on another thread.  That thread also said FerTours was also closed down and I know that to be a fact

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28 minutes ago, Luckiestmanonearth said:

 

I was just quoting what I read on another thread.  That thread also said FerTours was also closed down and I know that to be a fact

Fertours might be but no where does it say Blexie is closed down 

 

Only that a few of his staff were arrested and let go the next day after paying a fine 

 

His company is still operating 100%

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On 4/18/2019 at 6:31 PM, LaCal said:

Fertours might be but no where does it say Blexie is closed down 

 

Only that a few of his staff were arrested and let go the next day after paying a fine 

 

His company is still operating 100%

Do you not believe any of this?:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2655714-fertours-closing-down/?tab=comments#comment-57302631

 

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6 hours ago, Paulchili said:

 

What part is confusing to you?

I'm  the one who posted about Blexie on that thread you linked. I thought it was pretty clear. 

Blexie Open and operating after some aggravation, which all operators got that day. 

FerTours:  closed down, reasons unknown.  

 

 

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I haven't been on this board for a few weeks. I just bought my Cuba Airfare for this week. I literally  just paid off our Sept. Cuba cruise. I will probably never find a cruise leaving on those same days out of Miami. I booked this almost 2 yrs ago. Very disappointed.

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Posted (edited)

We have been booked on the Jun 10 sailing for a year.  We were booked with Fernando and ended up booking a ship excursion when he closed down.  I didn't realize this could get darker.

It's our first cruise and I am feeling trapped and devastated.  If we were on a big fun ship I would just roll with it but this is going to be such a bust if we can't go to Havana.   I want to throw up.  It's bringing back all the reasons I have never cruised.


 

Edited by d1k

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Wow, I just saw this thread and started to Google for more info.  I feel really bad for the Cuban people and those of you who have ongoing plans to cruise to Cuba.    

 

See:

https://www.travelmarketreport.com/articles/Cruise-Lines-Awaiting-New-Cuba-Rules-Making-No-Changes-to-Current-Itineraries

 

https://www.cntraveler.com/story/travel-to-cuba-the-new-restrictions-explained

 

With the last major announcement in 2017 tightening travel restriction, what ended up was just a self regulating "People to People" category change in November 2017. Cuba travel was still permitted and is self regulated. Cruise passengers can self certify with "Supporting the Cuban People"  see https://youtu.be/6HtSx1f5uf0   This article has a good description of the timeline when the Trump administration tighten on Cuba https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/administration-s-cuba-restrictions-seen-drag-its-economy-n996556:

 

"Non-family travel to Cuba will be further restricted, after President Barack Obama loosened restrictions that led to an increase in Americans visiting the island for cultural and educational exchanges. Bolton called these trips “veiled tourism.”  Details on travel limitations have not been announced. Tom Popper, president of InsightCuba, a U.S.-based provider of “people-to-people” travel is optimistic. “We have weathered this storm so many times,” Popper told NBC News. He said his company has survived changes in travel made by three presidents in the past 20 years.

When Trump announced in June 2017 there would be changes to the travel restrictions, the new regulations were not disclosed until November and amounted to minor revisions. “It really didn’t impact travel as a whole for Americans,” Popper said."

 

InsightCuba quoted above is an optimistic view, however Restricting non-family travel to Cuba sounds like the administration wants to stop the tourist trade Cuba has been enjoying and stopping the "veiled tourism".  This new change hurts the Cuban people the most.  Looks like there is already impact: https://nypost.com/2019/04/19/food-medicine-shortages-hit-cuba-raising-fears-of-new-economic-crisis/ 😥.

 

Last time it took 5 months for the regulations to be in place.  With this new announcement it may also take months for the regulation change to be clear.  Even after that there will be some confusion and time needed for the cruise lines to figure out how to meet the new regulations.  For those of you who are already booked on a Cuba cruise probably the best thing to to do is to proceed  with your plans and make sure you book with private tour operators who has no cancellation fee.  This may be a small window for you to be the last to visit Cuba before the regulations will change again.

 

Best wishes to all of you who are in limbo until there's more details.

 

Laurence

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, d1k said:

We have been booked on the Jun 10 sailing for a year.  We were booked with Fernando and ended up booking a ship excursion when he closed down.  I didn't realize this could get darker.

It's our first cruise and I am feeling trapped and devastated.  If we were on a big fun ship I would just roll with it but this is going to be such a bust if we can't go to Havana.   I want to throw up.  It's bringing back all the reasons I have never cruised.


 

 

If I were to bet I would wager that your June cruise will take place as planned.  They haven't announced anything specific yet and in the past it took a while to come up with new regulations and when they did that they didn't take place immediately.  Further, there was a grandfather clause that exempted things that were already booked.  I don't have a dog in this fight and it's easy for me to suggest that you remain calm, but last time I did and it worked out OK.  

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, EatonDoolittle said:

Blexie : Open and operating after some aggravation, which all operators got that day. 

FerTours:  closed down, reasons unknown.  

Blexie may be “open and operating” for now but my money is that it won’t last long (unless Blexie pays enough money to the “right” person).

I don’t think Fer Tours closed down because they were tired of making too much money 🙂

This is how autocratic regimes work.

Edited by Paulchili

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40 minutes ago, pbenjamin said:

 

If I were to bet I would wager that your June cruise will take place as planned.  They haven't announced anything specific yet and in the past it took a while to come up with new regulations and when they did that they didn't take place immediately.  Further, there was a grandfather clause that exempted things that were already booked.  I don't have a dog in this fight and it's easy for me to suggest that you remain calm, but last time I did and it worked out OK.  

 

 I am hoping against hope that you are right.  I either want Cuba or my money back.  I know it doesn't work like that but we would not be on this ship without the Cuba destination.  So many other ships we could have spent that money on.

 

 

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The assumption that (American) tourism is good for Cuba isn't a universally accepted holding. The flow of dollars into individual Cuban hands has the potential to undermine several precepts of the Revolution. Within the Cuban state, there are many powerful people who see this as a serious challenge.

 

When self declared guides make more money than bureaucrats, colonels, and others in the Party, the whole operation moves onto thin ice.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Blexie may be “open and operating” for now but my money is that it won’t last long (unless Blexie pays enough money to the “right” person).

I don’t think Fer Tours closed down because they were tired of making too much money 🙂

This is how autocratic regimes work.

At least Cuba does support small entrepreneurial efforts as long as you pay taxes on some of your earnings to support the free healthcare, schooling, and food the government provides. Been reading a lot about the country hoping to be able to relate to those who we interact with when we hopefully cruise there. We know very little about the rules and regulations for these tour operators setup as small businesses.

 

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40 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Blexie may be “open and operating” for now but my money is that it won’t last long (unless Blexie pays enough money to the “right” person).

I don’t think Fer Tours closed down because they were tired of making too much money 🙂

This is how autocratic regimes work.

I think this post hits the mark in realism...another company said they shut down because employees in a bus crash...all of them?  Just better to say that...government would prefer that excuse...and yes Fer Tours has been number one or two on TA for a long time.  These big fish are who they are after.. Blexie is very well known. If I were organizing something I would NOT take the ship's excursion...I would located a guide not part of one of these companies and meet them at a central spot or just wander on my own...take a ride in a classic car and enjoy a good meal in Havana.

 

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We have a tour booked with Blexie for Sept and I haven't heard anything from him. I just booked airfare last Monday. I had just paid our cruise off today and then came here to the boards. What a shock. I hope our cruise doesn't get canceled, I checked Carnivals website and they still are selling cabins for this Cruise. I don't wanna end up in the Bahamas.

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3 hours ago, d1k said:

We have been booked on the Jun 10 sailing for a year.  We were booked with Fernando and ended up booking a ship excursion when he closed down.  I didn't realize this could get darker.

It's our first cruise and I am feeling trapped and devastated.  If we were on a big fun ship I would just roll with it but this is going to be such a bust if we can't go to Havana.   I want to throw up.  It's bringing back all the reasons I have never cruised.


 

I am also on a June 10 cruise (Majesty of the Seas).  For what it's worth, from everything I have been able to find I am 99% sure our cruise will go as scheduled.  I panicked at first, but I don't think the new rules will even be written by June, and even if they are, I doubt they will be in force and/or prior travel plans will be allowed.  I do think that it is a lot safer at this point to book excursions through the cruise company because of Cuban (not American)American laws and rules.  I think a lot of Americans were happy to see these small businesses thrive because that is the American way.  Sadly, that is not the Cuban way.

 

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