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Cuba Today: People and Society

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9 Days | 8 Nights
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Discussion Board

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Bettijean Sanders Jul 02, 2015 at 07:19 PM

And, yet another question. What experiences have you had with purchasing art? Are prices reasonable? Thank You!
Premium Email Subscriber Jul 02, 2015 at 08:11 PM

The art is incredibly reasonable, and you generally get to meet the artist. Save room to bring back lots.


Bettijean Sanders Jul 02, 2015 at 02:39 PM

More questions as the July 9 trip rapidly approaches!
1. Anyone from USA use Euros or Canadian $ for exchange? Do you think it saved any money?
2. am carrying lots of supplements and two meds in a pouch without bottles. Any issues bringing meds witthout a Doctor's note?
Walter Weeks Jul 02, 2015 at 03:17 PM

Very little, how does the Euros going down effect?
Walter Weeks Jul 02, 2015 at 03:18 PM

No trouble at in April
Bettijean Sanders Jul 02, 2015 at 03:21 PM

Thanks Walter!
Barbara R Carter Jul 02, 2015 at 04:14 PM

I used Canadian $$ last trip, but was told very firmly by the lady in the bank at the hotel that American $ have the best exchange rate. She worked it out for me mathematically so I would believe her. I will only take American $$ on any future trips....besides...Cuba needs the $$ to buy from the US. I also had meds with no doctors' notes with no problem.
Rena Sonshine Jul 02, 2015 at 04:16 PM

(1) I already had Euros and the exchange to CUCs was only 3%, not 13% ($USD penalty of 10%) in April. On the return home, Cadeca at the airport would only give me $USD for my CUCs, but surprisingly it was an even exchange, no fees. So depending on what the Euro costs (or if you have them already, anticipate 3%. If I had the presence, I would have checked at the Cadeca at the Nacional to see whether they would sell me back Euros. The hotel in Cienfuegos had no Euros to sell either although they would take US$ for CUC. (2) I separated my many pills in plastic bags by prescription, and stuck the prescription label on the plastic bag. I'm sure a photocopy of the label would do just as well. No one blinked.
Natalie Maynor Jul 02, 2015 at 04:34 PM

I used Euros and Japanese yen because I had them and wanted to get rid of some of them. I don't know whether using them did or didn't save me money. (This was in 2011.)
Bettijean Sanders Jul 02, 2015 at 07:17 PM

Thank you all for your generous and quick sharing of information! BJ


Mary Williams Jul 02, 2015 at 10:12 AM

I'm curious about booking flights home from Miami--I can't find anything that gives detail on when we might leave Cuba or arrive in Miami. Suggestions?
Tom Jennings Jul 02, 2015 at 11:01 AM

Unless you are in a hurry to get home, I would suggest spending the nite in Miami. Or, don't book flight home until after 7:00p.m.
Barbara R Carter Jul 02, 2015 at 04:15 PM

I also suggest staying overnight in Miami.


Premium Email Subscriber Jun 25, 2015 at 11:13 AM

In case there is any doubt, I absolutely loved the trip, and have spent my time since April plotting a return. I have never seen more art and music everywhere. The people you meet are extremely friendly, and all seem to want a friend in the US they can communicate with. I am trying to learn Spanish so that the trip will be even better next time, if that is possible.


Premium Email Subscriber Jun 25, 2015 at 10:47 AM

Also, there is internet available at the hotel in Havana. It is reasonably priced and reasonably fast. When you buy 10 hours, it is actually the time you buy, not the day. You can continue to use it for the whole time you are there, until you use the entire 10 hours.
LaVance Davis Jun 25, 2015 at 10:54 AM

Thank you. your comments are very helpful


Premium Email Subscriber Jun 25, 2015 at 10:45 AM

Donations: One of the people on my trip took soap and feminine hygiene products, and other simple things. We became friends with Cindy, who works in the bar at the hotel Nationale. My friend gave Cindy the things she had brought and the two have stayed in touch. They exchange emails and are now good friends. Anything you take will be appreciated. The simpler the better.


ann tomsho Jun 25, 2015 at 09:45 AM

I'd love it if someone could inquire at Hotel Nacionale about my missing mail. I was told by person I bought 3 postcards & stamps from in lobby to mail them in mail slot next to elevators (lobby) which I did (in early April). They have never been received... I'm wondering if that slot led nowhere...
Premium Email Subscriber Jun 25, 2015 at 10:05 AM

I mailed a letter at that hotel in mid-April, and it just arrived last week. I wouldn't give up
LaVance Davis Jun 25, 2015 at 10:05 AM

Can you tell me about your return day to Miami? Experience at Havana airport? length of time for connection in Miami, etc. wondering how much time I need to make connections in Miami to return home
Premium Email Subscriber Jun 25, 2015 at 10:15 AM

It only took about an hour or so to get thru the airport on return. There is an app you can download and fill out all the forms before you get to the airport
Walter Weeks Jun 25, 2015 at 10:16 AM

Still waiting for post cards from the April 9 trip. Remember we are still not friends with Cuba
Premium Email Subscriber Jun 25, 2015 at 10:17 AM

I should add that the tough part is getting thru tsa to leave Miami. That took at least two hours. If you don't have to pick up luggage and merely transfer, it would be a lot quicker
LaVance Davis Jun 25, 2015 at 10:36 AM

do you mean to leave for Cuba or to leave Miami to return home? Also did you download the app before you left for cuba. I understand there is no wifi available to us in Cuba?
Premium Email Subscriber Jun 25, 2015 at 10:40 AM

The app is advertised at the Miami airport and I got it before i left for Cuba.
Premium Email Subscriber Jun 25, 2015 at 10:42 AM

when I returned to Miami, it wasn't a problem getting thru customs. I spent the night in Miami and had to go back thru screening the next day. It was awful and slow. The lines stretched across the airport. That part was at least two hours just to catch a domestic flight
Dorothy Jackson Jun 25, 2015 at 10:57 AM

Our Cuban guide joked that postcards dropped into that mail slot are collected, then "rolled up, put in a bottle, and tossed into the ocean." Seriously, I mailed a dozen postcards and they all arrived 8 weeks later. Why the delay? I have no idea -- but they all arrived.
Kira Dirlik Jun 26, 2015 at 09:52 AM

I mailed 3 in that same mailbox by the elevators at the Hotel Nationale, including one to myself, just to see. It took more than 3 months, but it finally came, with no postmarks on it. I think they have to first go to Mexico, and then to the USA.
ann tomsho Jun 26, 2015 at 11:11 AM

Thanks to all who responded re mail/postcards... guess I'll just have to wait longer... it's been almost 3 months !!
Walter Weeks Jun 26, 2015 at 11:56 AM

Walter Weeks Jun 26, 2015 at 11:57 AM

The post cards from April were received this week Yeah


Kelly hicks Jun 24, 2015 at 05:04 PM

See you July 7 but couldn't find John's list for donations


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8 nights of accommodations
21 meals: 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
13 Field trips
12 Hands-on experiences
2 Flights during the program
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