Bermuda or Cuba cruise stop

Old Jan 6th, 2017, 06:34 AM
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Bermuda or Cuba cruise stop

Happy new year to everyone.
I know they are both completely different but we are looking to take a cruise end of October or early November. One cruise visits Bermuda with other Caribbean islands and the other visits Cuba which also visits Mexico. Which do you think would be the most interesting cruise stop to see.
Can't do both so want to get it right.
Many thanks.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 06:51 AM
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This is one of those "impossible to answer because we haven't any idea of who you are or what you like/think interesting" questions.

If it were me, I'd do Mexico and Cuba, but I've already been.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 06:51 AM
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Threads about both Bermuda and cuba reside on the Caribbean Forum.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 07:01 AM
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I would think that Cuba would be the more interesting if your cruise allows you to do more than go to the beach and swing through Havana on a bus. Many don't, though most will throw in some kind of "authentic" meal or experience. The more expensive the cruise, the more you are insulated, at least from the offers we are getting both from commercial companies and the many cultural and alumni organizations we belong to.

It is a very poor country. They have universal healthcare but almost no medicine or bandages (as of last month). Take bottles of aspirin, packages of band aids, alcohol rubs and first aid stuff to give people or leave for tips. Sex is apparently universally available but condoms aren't. USB drives are valuable and welcome. A friend had his new Nikon DSLR stolen from around his neck on his honeymoon. Other friends hired a non-official (illegal) guide in the countryside for a week and had a wonderful time, but they wound up pushing his Lada a lot and eating mostly beans and rice with the occasional bit of scrawny chicken.

So, there are some things to think about. Or you could go like the Europeans and Canadians who go to be on a cheap beach.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 07:05 AM
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Oh, and you do risk hurricane season at that time of year.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 07:30 AM
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The weather in Bermuda in November can begin to get chilly. High 60's low 70's isn't uncommon. not great beach weather but good for sightseeing.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 07:51 AM
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@Ackislander--Cruise passengers to Cuba usually get a day in port, in a couple of ports, to do very basic sightseeing.

Have you been to Cuba?

In response to your paragraph above:
Sorry if poverty freaks you out. You probably shouldn't go to Jamaica either, or the DR, or the local neighborhoods of many other islands in the area.
As far as crumbling buildings as a 'sign' of poverty, that has more to do with the tropical climate and what it does to Colonial (1800s) era construction. You can see the same in other tropical countries that have full access to building materials.
The local folks who are renting their rooms to tourists, the ones a tourist is in most contact with, are doing quite well actually.
I would NOT advise tourists to go around handing out bandages as tips. That's laughable--and insulting.
Tip in cash, and let the service people decide what they want to buy.
A cruise hardly leaves a tourist enough time to see the highlights of that port, let alone go running around to find some clinic to donate kilos of bandages and aspirin.
USB/flash drives are often used to pass along outside/"subversive" news which could potentially get the giver as well as the receiver into trouble. Not a good idea to hand out to strangers.
As for crime, I was walking everywhere solo (female, elderly) and have never felt safer anywhere in the world.
The food can leave a lot to be desired, no matter who you travel with or where.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 08:05 AM
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If you chose Ciba, and have enoigh time, dine in paladars. They are provatly owned festaurants in residents' homes. Much superior to Govt owned places.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 10:09 AM
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Cuba.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 11:42 AM
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Many cruises to Cuba dont go to Havana. They go to the generic beaches which have been alloted to foreign investment and resort development. These beaches could be anywhere in the world and give you no sense of being in Cuba. In fact, Cubans are prohibited from going onto many of these properties. Havana is fascinating and now is the time to see it before it gets all spiffied up. Bermuda is cute, cean, also with great beaches, and feels a bit English, although not like it used to be before cars were allowed. Two completely different choices, although my thought would be to go Havana before it changes too much more. Bermuda will be the same in ten years as it is today.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 01:36 PM
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good point. I would definitely choose Cuba and Mexico myself, but I have zero interest in Bermuda. So these other Caribbean islands would make the difference, where are they?

I really like Mexico and speak some Spanish, etc., just like to visit places like that. I have guessing maybe the stop wold be Cozumel? YOu could do snorkeling there.

Look where Bermuda is on a map, it's pretty far north, also. Early November should be past worst hurricane season.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 02:09 PM
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SambaChula,

I must not have been clear. I do in fact find poverty offensive, but morally offensive. I do not find poor people offensive, only those who exploit them. I find it morally offensive to pay thousands of dollars to the alumni association of a Famous Eastern University to live in great comfort on a cruise ship while Cubans have so little.

Medical items and thumb drives were specifically requested by the people we were to visit on a church-sponsored visit I was to take before I had surgery this fall.

My intention in writing was to help the OP figure out if he were interested in a tour of Cuba, which seem to come in three types, the kind described by itzawonnder in which the tourist is separated from the population by legal barriers, the kind in which they are separated by class, and perhaps those Socialist paradise tours in which visitors come to praise he regime.

People who avoid these generally arrange their own visits, perhaps at the cost of pushing a Lada up a hill from time to time. Perhaps you are one who has arranged your own visit, and more power to you. My American friends did it ten years ago when it was illegal as hell by crossing from the Keys in a private boat. My British friend whose camera was stolen was on an excursion from one of the tourist camps. This is not to suggest that one is in any more danger of street crime than in Barcelona or at the Trevi Fountain or on Line1 on the Paris Metro. It all depends on what you want. But you ought to have some idea of the choices.
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 02:54 PM
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mic drop
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 04:16 PM
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The OP obviously has two specific cruises in mind, and your "idea of the choices" may not have any relevance.

Cruise Critic has an ongoing detailed discussion of Cuba cruises available and none of them seem to go exclusively to "generic beaches which have been alloted (sic) to foreign investment and resort development... that could be anywhere in the world and give you no sense of being in Cuba."

And btw......To date, the Lada I get rides in hasn't required being pushed, neither by me nor by its owner. LOL
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 04:23 PM
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Why so argumentative Samba?
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Old Jan 6th, 2017, 05:46 PM
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We have had a lot of Cubans arriving in Florida this pass month before Trump takes office and the wet foot dry foot goes away. I really wanted to go but they are starving so that the tourist have food. Just heard a lot of stories from the locals in the keys on those trying to get to the US. I am torn. They don't seem to be getting the benefits of tourism dollars. I have done Mexico on a cruise and not that great. Bermuda is one of the most beautiful islands and very clean. Are you leaving from the port of Baltimore?
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Old Jan 7th, 2017, 03:00 AM
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If we chose Bermuda then we will probably go from Baltimore. Cuba does seem more interesting to visit and it's a real shame the locals don't seem to get the benefit of the tourists money. We are not sitting on a beach type of travellers and prefer to see and meet the real people and countries we visit rather than tours chosen by the cruise ship although we have got ourselves in tricky situations at times but no matter where you visit you have to be careful.
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Old Jan 7th, 2017, 10:14 AM
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I just got the email from Norwegian (NCL)that they are starting short Cuba cruises from Miami this year. There isn't much info available other than they arrive in Havanna at 8 am, spend the night in port, and depart the next day at 2pm. So you'd have a full day and a little bit of time the next morning (expect you'd need to be boarding around 11 am.

NO info available as to whether you'd be allowed to wander around unescorted. No excursions are posted yet.
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Old Jan 7th, 2017, 11:23 AM
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Why the NO INFO ON CRUISES post Inakauaidavidababy ?
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Old Jan 7th, 2017, 11:52 AM
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"Cuba does seem more interesting to visit and it's a real shame the locals don't seem to get the benefit of the tourists money. We are not sitting on a beach type of travellers and prefer to see and meet the real people and countries we visit rather than tours chosen by the cruise ship"

surich, it seems that you might enjoy a land visit to Cuba.

The locals who rent rooms to tourists do indeed get the benefit of the tourists' money. (as do those who work in any facet of the tourist industry and they help other relatives with their earnings) The houses of those who have been renting rooms for quite some time are lovely and comfortable. Staying with a local family is a great way "to see and meet the real people."

" no matter where you visit you have to be careful" but Cuba seemed one of the safest places I've been in the world, traveling solo, female. However, some Cubans have learned how to exploit naive foreigners, like those who jump at the chance to bring them items those Cubans asking know are considered 'contraband'.

"they are starving so that the tourist have food" is a great headline for a sensationalized article, but of course the basis of that political system is that everyone gets the same basic foodstuffs monthly. No one is starving--like many were before the revolution. Owners of casa particulares (B&Bs) eat the same food they prepare for their tourist guests.

The Cubans I met taught me to say and think "Es Cuba!" It's Cuba. It is what it is. So don't dwell on the negative and just enjoy the good in life.
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