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Travel to Cuba coming to an end?

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16 hours ago, MrMarc said:

So you have to use a secret code and special meeting place.  I  wouldn't be worried, Blexie has a great reputation.  As for the legality, and this is a personal opnion only, I wouldn't be so comfortable myself.  

 

There's always something -- warnings about Mexico, Panama, don't get off ships in certain ports, even about Italy the year we went.  If I pulled back because of all the threat possibilities and governmental crap going on around the world, we'd never travel anywhere.  And since we're vulnerable to attacks even here, I've become immune to all the threat possibilities!  🙃  [The only threat that would keep us from traveling to a certain region would be an outbreak of a contagious disease.]  

Edited by Wyoming2010

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13 minutes ago, amyaacc said:

 

Thanks for this.

 

I have a trip to Cuba on the Empress this July so I'm glad to see that my cruise may be grandfathered if "cruise" counts as purchased accomodation.

 

I wonder if Royal would change the itinerary if the ship is not yet fully booked considering that new reservations would not be grandfathered.

 

Ugh, what a mess.

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19 minutes ago, El turista said:

 

Thanks for this.

 

I have a trip to Cuba on the Empress this July so I'm glad to see that my cruise may be grandfathered if "cruise" counts as purchased accomodation.

 

I wonder if Royal would change the itinerary if the ship is not yet fully booked considering that new reservations would not be grandfathered.

 

Ugh, what a mess.

 

If I'm interpreting the new regs correctly, I will bet that you're right, and most Cuba cruises more than a few weeks out will be changing itineraries to substitute the glorious, exciting port of Nassau instead of Havana.  They can not afford to stop taking new reservations and sailing with whatever capacity they happen to be at as of this week.

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deleted my comment

Edited by Aunu
repetitive

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So what do you think this means to someone whose cruise leaves on Monday with a stop in Havana June 15/16 and a private tour already arranged??

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3 hours ago, Wyoming2010 said:

 

There's always something -- warnings about Mexico, Panama, don't get off ships in certain ports, even about Italy the year we went.  If I pulled back because of all the threat possibilities and governmental crap going on around the world, we'd never travel anywhere.  And since we're vulnerable to attacks even here, I've become immune to all the threat possibilities!  🙃  [The only threat that would keep us from traveling to a certain region would be an outbreak of a contagious disease.]  

I think you misunderstand what I am saying.  I would not be worried about attacks, I would be worried about myself or the tour guide being arrested.

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10 minutes ago, Jayhawk said:

So what do you think this means to someone whose cruise leaves on Monday with a stop in Havana June 15/16 and a private tour already arranged??

I think you are fine as to the US rules.  Are you on Majesty?   I will also be sailing on Monday.

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14 minutes ago, Jayhawk said:

So what do you think this means to someone whose cruise leaves on Monday with a stop in Havana June 15/16 and a private tour already arranged??

 

Or does it mean all tours, even those arranged through the ship.  It really sounds like Trump wants to restrict any American money going into the Cuban economy. 

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Looks like June 5th (tomorrow) is the date the changes will be posted in the Federal Register.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm700

Hope the cruise and travel lobbyists will be able to get some relief later.

I guess if you booked a cruise that leaves prior to tomorrow you are ok.

If you booked a private trip that will be allowed.

It will be interesting to see itinerary changes for Cuba cruises after tomorrow. We should know soon.

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22 minutes ago, MrMarc said:

I think you misunderstand what I am saying.  I would not be worried about attacks, I would be worried about myself or the tour guide being arrested.

 

I don't think they would arrest American Tourists for being with a tour guide -- it's their biggest trade right now. but one never knows.  I am going to play the wait and see game for now.  Maybe by the time I go in October this will all have settled. 

Edited by Wyoming2010

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16 minutes ago, wdrl said:

 

Or does it mean all tours, even those arranged through the ship.  It really sounds like Trump wants to restrict any American money going into the Cuban economy. 

Actually the tours offered by the cruise lines are the ones which they are trying to ban.

Cruise lines use public tour operators which belongs to the government.

So as the "reason" for these restrictions is trying to keep US money away from cuban government, US citizens should not purchase tours from cruises but only private tours offered by locals.

Of course Cuba government did not like Tourists purchasing tours from private companies and they started to block drivers and guides to pick up their clients at the cruise terminal exit ( That's why they had to choose different meeting points).

 

So..it is hard to say what is going to happen.

It all depends if cruise ships will still docking into Cuba or not.

 

If they do...I don't see any issue about getting off the ship. 

They won't prohibit the passengers to get off otherwise they should simply avoid docking there and choosing a different Port.

Also as passports are not stamped ( Cuba immigration will just stamp the touristic card at the entry and take it back when leaving) and only cash can be used as US credit or debit cards don't work...for USA treasury department.. you have actually not been in Cuba.

Thousands of Americans used to go to Cuba in the past flying from Mexico,Bahamas or Cayman and they were perfectly fine.

 

If Cruise lines decide to stop going to Cuba ( and I don't think it would be an immediate decision) then...yes... cruise travel to Cuba is temporary end....😪

 

 

 

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Sites are now saying that cruise ship travel will be banned. These say that already booked trips before 6/5 will be allowed to happen, but I can't imagine the ships would sail in the future at whatever capacity they are currently at so imagine itinerary changes are likely (other than maybe the closer dates) .....  Stinks for my December cruise there! 

***Sorry that some of this was already posted.  I think the two links weren't yet though.

 

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/04/politics/us-cuba-travel-restrictions/index.html

 

https://www.apnews.com/67c721daee8143d4a2e6ee8c401bf215

 

 

Edited by notes21

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2 hours ago, FredZiffle said:

 

If I'm interpreting the new regs correctly, I will bet that you're right, and most Cuba cruises more than a few weeks out will be changing itineraries to substitute the glorious, exciting port of Nassau instead of Havana.  They can not afford to stop taking new reservations and sailing with whatever capacity they happen to be at as of this week.

 

My sailing has 12 cabins left to be fully booked. They still have all Cuba cruises available to book for some reason.

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5 minutes ago, IAO said:

Here are resources from the Office of Foreign Assets Control which may answer some questions (but leave you with more questions):

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_faqs_new.pdf

 

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_fact_sheet_20190604.pdf

 

It should be interesting to know if the " support to cuban people" ofac category will still be valid because it is actually the one principally used ( especially from people flying to Cuba on their own) and it seems no bans are specified on commercial flights to Cuba.

It is just my personal opinion but if they will not ban the "support to cuban people" category the cruise lines could still decide to go to Cuba to offer that port of call to their clients even if they cannot sell their tours under the "people to people" program.

 

That's why a proper answer can be only provided by the cruise lines....

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I am sure the cruise line lobbyists are working  the phones to get the exceptions. There's a lot of money involved.

 

Which, in a way, is the point. Tourism brings US dollars to the Cuban economy.

Edited by Cienfuegos
Clarity

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26 minutes ago, Wideross said:

 

It should be interesting to know if the " support to cuban people" ofac category will still be valid because it is actually the one principally used ( especially from people flying to Cuba on their own) and it seems no bans are specified on commercial flights to Cuba.

It is just my personal opinion but if they will not ban the "support to cuban people" category the cruise lines could still decide to go to Cuba to offer that port of call to their clients even if they cannot sell their tours under the "people to people" program.

 

That's why a proper answer can be only provided by the cruise lines....

If you look at the rules for this category, much too restrictive to allow for cruise passengers to visit. For example, a schedule of meetings must be provided, and fre time is not allowed.

 

This is nuts!  

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We leave on MSC next Monday. Have a private tour through a cuban car tour place...just paid half via paypal. Still not sure what this will mean but their website says it is "support cuban people" for reason.

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Sitting on the MSC Armonia as I read this. My TA sent me the article this morning. Will be docking in Havana on Saturday. I’m not worried though as I am grandfathered in and doubt they can change anything in 4 days. Honestly the sole reason I booked was because the April announcement had me worried. 

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This change in American policy was telegraphed way in advance.

 

It will be interesting to see how or if the change affects the internal politics of Cuba.  There's a lot of money flowing into vintage car owners, guides, both official and private, bus companies and drivers, restaurants, etc.  Losing that flow of funds will be wrenching for ordinary folks.

 

But, it's an American decision, not a Cuban decision.

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1 hour ago, travelingtink said:

Sitting on the MSC Armonia as I read this. My TA sent me the article this morning. Will be docking in Havana on Saturday. I’m not worried though as I am grandfathered in and doubt they can change anything in 4 days. Honestly the sole reason I booked was because the April announcement had me worried. 

 

Would love to hear what happens.  We are too close and booked all this before the travel policy heads up came out in April. My husband called MSC and they said they think we will be OK, . They said they are still trying to figure it out but have been told everything already booked is OK, but they can’t book anymore to Cuba. We told them we did our own private tour and of course she couldn’t comment about that.  

 

Here is our tour, it says they a OFAC compliant for providing US Citizens private tours and transfers all around Cuba Under the "Support to Cuban People" Visa Program.

The person we've been talking to there told us not to worry unless the cruise ship wasn't docking there. I hope he is right.

It's the only reason we chose this itinerary.

https://havanacar.net/index.html

https://havanacar.net/cuba-tours-for-us-citizens.html

 

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MSC is still selling our cruise due to depart on October 28th. From what I can tell there are at least 150 cabins available. We are just under deposit and can cancel before final payment is due next month. Will sit tight for a few days and let the cruise line figure this out before I move onto plan B...

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We are also on the Armonia leaving 6/17 with a private tour the day we dock in Cuba.  At this point, I am printing everything from the government's websites and placing it with my copy of the VISA when we return home just in case I need the documentation at a later date.

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