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The People of Cuba: Meet Leading Musicians, Athletes & Artists

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Road Scholar
Program #20610RJ
9 Days | 8 Nights
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Marianne Ham Mar 26, 2015 at 07:01 PM

Hadn't thought to ask this but is anyone from the Philadelphia area going on the May 11 trip? Also ..Pamela ..thank you for the insight and especially the tip on renting a car/driver. I don't get the sense that wandering around on our own is that great an idea and after reading itinerary I'm actually more excited about what we are doing as a group and the access to the various artists, musicians, dancers, etc.
Terry Heller Mar 26, 2015 at 07:04 PM

No need to hire a car and driver. If you want to ride around you hire one of the old car taxis. It's fun. You really don't have very much free time.

Marilyn Faklis Ruiz Mar 26, 2015 at 12:51 PM

Greetings and thank you, Marianne, for your comments, as well as suggestions from previous travelers. I will be on the RS trip that leaves May 11 and am looking forward to meeting fellow travelers.
Madeline Rude Mar 26, 2015 at 07:54 PM

I am also looking forward to this trip. I have loved all of the RS trips I've taken. Met the most congenial people and always had a good time. Look forward to meeting you Marilyn. I'm going to Miami the day before and have made my reservation at the hotel thru RS for the extra day.

Pamela Hazard Mar 24, 2015 at 08:25 PM

I went in May of last year. The weather was warm and muggy by So. Calif. Standards. Dress is casual most of the time--nothing too fancy needed. Never felt bedbugs or saw a lot of bugs in general. Never experienced air conditioning except on the bus. Though people are poor and things are run down, I felt like places were clean relatively speaking.The person making your bed at a hotel may also have a college degree since education is free. Unless things have changed significantly, you will still be under US rules that extremely limit your free time to wander. The only time anyone didn't join us is when someone got the flu. We got one night to go out on our own but we had to choose from a list of Paladars. Four of us rented a Pink Ford Convertible Cab that took us to dinner and for a drive along The Malecon. The Concierge man at our Paladar had a PhD in Psychology. He considered working in a Paladar as his primary job because he got tips, and made $38./month as a psychologist--not an unusual circumstance as you will see.

Paper products are scarce so take Kleenex, some Toilet paper and writing paper.
You will have a wonderful time and you are going at a very interesting time with the changes ahead.
Jeffrey Hamann Mar 26, 2015 at 10:53 AM

Thank You Pamela for your useful and common sense suggestions.

Marianne Ham Mar 24, 2015 at 06:34 PM

So far no one has come forward who is going on May 11. One of the visits we have in our schedules is a lunch with On Cuba magazine. I've been looking up web sites of the various artists, etc. who we'll be meeting ...much more informative then a guide book. Read some of the articles in On Cuba before you go ...gives you a real taste of the situation. As for bugs ...I started thinking about bed bugs and then I decided to stop thinking! We are going to be in a city so I'm not expecting bugs to be flying around much and if they do a little lavender oil will do the trick ...that way you don't need to carry bug spray and the lavender can be used for other things.

People there are very poor and I get the sense that the less "dressed" we look the better. However, my plan is to bring a light sweater and maybe some shawls in case we are in air conditioned places and it's cool ...but again, I know the restaurants (Paladar's) are more like "private homes". I would say based on the itinerary that we are doing a lot and keep in mind that time there may not be as tight as time in the US. So we may not have much extra time to wander unless we skip a part of the program. I find with the RS groups that I lead in Phila that often people will want to go back to a museum or somewhere we've already been so that's an option for free time.
Terry Heller Mar 24, 2015 at 07:40 PM

I brought bug spray but only used it when we were on the farm. Our RS guide also had some with her. I highy recommend that you contact our guide, Vivian, as she is extremely knowledgable and has done this trip many times. I wore both a light jacket and shawl You do not have a lot of time to wonder and Vivian made it very clear that we could not skip any programs.
Terry Heller Mar 24, 2015 at 07:41 PM

Sorry, Vivian was our Cuban guide. Lana is our RS guide.

Jeffrey Hamann Mar 23, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Is there a need to take a sport coat or blazer to Cuba for any event?

Jeff Hamann
Elizabeth Augustine Mar 23, 2015 at 11:37 AM

personally, I don't think so. You might want a light vest or spring jacket in case it's cool one evening. but things are fairly casual there, so no need to get dressy unless that's the way you usually dress.
Jeffrey Hamann Mar 23, 2015 at 06:17 PM

Thanks Elizabeth. Now I have more roon to buy some Cuban art :)
Elizabeth Augustine Mar 23, 2015 at 06:35 PM

;) I ended up buying a couple of prints last time and have been very happy with them. I was able to bring them back flat and unwrapped.
Jeffrey Hamann Mar 24, 2015 at 10:44 AM

We are going from April 6 - April 14. Since it will be getting warmer, will bugs be a problem?

Gerald Chichester Mar 22, 2015 at 11:07 AM

We are going next Wed, March 25, so any suggestions or observations are in the future. We do appreciate the helpful comments received so far.
Barb Protass Mar 22, 2015 at 11:48 AM

Cuba Libro- a book store in Havanna. Even has a list of books they like as contributions..including childen's books.

Glen Jenkins Mar 22, 2015 at 10:10 AM

My wife and I will be on the April 13th trip. Any special things to see or do that did not make the Road Scholar program?
Elizabeth Augustine Mar 22, 2015 at 06:25 PM

Hi Glen, We look forward to meeting you in April! My experience from a couple of years ago was that days are pretty full - you may not feel that you need to do additional exploring. It's pretty hard on the guides when you break away from the group (at least it was 2 years ago) - they have to document everything. We'll see you in a couple of weeks! -- Liz Augustine
Glen Jenkins Mar 26, 2015 at 10:09 PM

Liz, Thanks for the information. Look forward to meeting you and enjoying this trip!

Marianne Ham Mar 21, 2015 at 05:19 PM

Thank you everyone ...I am a Road Scholar group leader in Philadelphia and all I can say is that if this program is anything like most RS programs we won't want to be spending too much time skyping and e mailing, etc. I think it is wonderful to just take a rest from all the tools. We can give ourselves time to really enjoy the program and the people and for those who want to share experiences ...it's so much better to do that after you've had time to really enjoy them; keep a journal and then tell people when you get home. I have a feeling the group leader will give us details and experiences with money. I have a friend who went this past year and I haven't had time to talk to her about some of these things but she did definitely say that Internet is very very slow. By the way ...check On Cuba magazine's web site ...we are suppose to visit with them and they have some very interesting articles that are worth reading before we go.
Carol Clark Mar 22, 2015 at 01:54 PM

The On Cuba magazine will be in seat back pocket of your charter flight. It is quite well done. The young staff members we met at their offices were very open about their ideas for the future and general observations of modern day Cuba. Take your copy when you exit the plane.

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
8 nights of accommodations
21 meals: 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips
17 Hands-on experiences
2 Flights during the program
Visas: 1(out of 1 required)


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