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First visit to Varadero - Cuba - Puntarena Resort

First visit to Varadero - Cuba - Puntarena Resort

Old Mar 11th, 2000, 09:35 AM
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First visit to Varadero - Cuba - Puntarena Resort

My husband and teenage daughter decided to try Cuba this year. I am coming back from my trip not knowing if I liked it or not. At the Puntarena Resort, the employees don't seem to be too happy because very few of them ever smile. And some employees are downright rude like the bartender on the Paradiso Side of the Pool. Some employees working at the buffet are very nice when you tip them. You definitely see an upgrade in their service. You go to that resort thinking that this is an all-inclusive resort, well think again, if you don't tip you get the minimum of what they can give you!!! We stayed there 2 weeks and I have never felt more like a money-giving machine than in Cuba. We went on tours (Catemaran, Havana Colonial and Challenge tours) these were quite fun except that little music bands are always running after you for money, you go to the bathroom, they give you the toilet paper and ask for a little tip. They bring you to bars and restaurants where you will pay more than anywhere else for beverages. And when Cubans talk about their way of life, the only common thing that comes out of their mouths is that OUR TIPS MAKE THEM HAVE THE MINIMUM THEY NEED TO LIVE. You kind of get the picture after a while. I visited Mexico twice, the Dominican Republic twice, are these 2 countries have far lower living standards and never have we felt that we had to give tips everytime we went to the bar, or for food in buffet restaurant or even to get some ice-cream. Anyways, I will go spend my money elsewhere in the coming years. Where it is really appreciated.

Old Mar 11th, 2000, 10:43 AM
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I am looking forward to visiting Cuba. Aside from your hotel experience, is there anything good you can say about your trip? Funny, I would never assume that visiting an "all-inclusive" resort in a struggling nation would be a pleasant experience in the first place.
Old Mar 11th, 2000, 08:00 PM
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Sorry to hear about Cuba, but what did you expect going to a dictatorship run nation? Of all places to dump your money, too bad it wasn't somewhere more democratic.
Old Mar 11th, 2000, 08:57 PM
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Hi Lyne, Sorry you didn't really enjoy your trip to Cuba.

My husband and I have been going there for many years and we have almost always found the staff and the Cuban people to be very friendly. In fact we have made many friends among them.

If you remember that they only get paid about eight dollars a month for working there it kind of makes you realize why they want the tips. They can only spend the dollars in "dollar stores" and the prices there a very high.

I don't know about the Varadero area as we have never visited there but we have been to many other areas in Cuba and we have never had any trouble.

Old Mar 13th, 2000, 05:26 PM
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Lyne, Funny we've had great experiences in Varadero. We've been twice (Sol Palmera & Beaches) and had pretty good times; maybe Puntarenas is an especially bad spot to work. We found the staff in the DR to be the worst: glum & sloooowwww. Did love Mexico though. If you go back to Cuba try something a little higher end.
Old Mar 14th, 2000, 10:20 AM
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We have been to Cuba many times and found that since the Cubans can have American dollars it has changed. The people are friendly, but now they have a reason $$. The last time down we were bothered so bad on the beach and streets that by the second week it really got on our nerves. I love Cuba and the people and take kids clothes down when we go, but it is getting really like the tourist is an ATM machine. In hotels we have stayed at from 3 star to 5 star, if you tip early in the vacation, you will get better service than others. When you find a rude employee, do something about it. Thanks for your post, we will all be better off sharing information.

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