21303
Cuba
A Caribbean Voyage to Cuba
Discover the people and culture of Cuba on a round-trip voyage from Jamaica. Learn about traditions and daily life during onboard lectures, performances and meetings with locals.
Rating (4.9)
Program No. 21303RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
3,495
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8 days
7 nights
20 meals
7 B 6 L 7 D
DAY
1
Arrive Montego Bay, Jamaica / Embarkation / Orientation
At Sea
D
MV Celestyal Crystal

Activity note: Please note: The day-by-day schedule in Cuba is a representative guide only as program elements are subject to Cuban Government control. Port arrival and departure schedules may be subject to change as a result of weather and other factors not in our control.

Afternoon: Independent arrivals to the cruise terminal. Please plan to embark the Celestyal Crystal between 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. Please meet your Road Scholar Study Leader in the ship's conference room for Orientation and Program Welcome at 5:00 p.m. This very important briefing will cover our exclusive Road Scholar program of People to People activities, OFAC regulations and the cruise itinerary. Please Note: The ship’s non-alcoholic beverage package and all shipboard gratuities are included in your Road Scholar program.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Evening: The ship departs Montego Bay, Jamaica, en route to Santiago de Cuba.

DAY
2
Meet the people of Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba
B,L,D
MV Celestyal Crystal

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Meet your Cuban Study Leader ashore and embark on an exploration of Santiago de Cuba. The city’s colorful, sometimes turbulent history dates back to 1514 when it was founded by Spanish conquistadors. People to People Connection: Meet members of a community project that helps share the arts with kids in a needy neighborhood. Learn about their work and the great need in this mostly Afro-Cuban part of the city. Walk through the Cemeterio Santa Ifigenia, to examine impressive monuments to famous Cubans such as poet and national hero José Martí. Drive past the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, better known as El Morro fortress and stop in Revolution Square. Stroll through the historic center square.

Lunch: In a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Explore the Diego Velázquez House and Museum, said to be the oldest standing house in Cuba, the Spanish colonial structure is an excellent example of how Spaniards lived in Cuba. Return to the ship. The ship departs Santiago de Cuba en route to Havana.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: Enjoy the ship’s entertainment and on-board programs.

DAY
3
At Sea en route to Havana / Lecture on Cuban History
At Sea
B,L,D
MV Celestyal Crystal

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: Meet with your Study Leader and enjoy a presentation on Cuba to help deepen your understanding of the island and gain a fair and balanced understanding of Cuban history. Enjoy the ship’s cultural and educational activities focusing on Cuba.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: The MV Celestyal Crystal continues navigating to Havana.

Dinner: On board the ship.

DAY
4
Musical Performance / Explore Old Havana / Dominoes
Havana
B,L,D
MV Celestyal Crystal

Activity note: Walking and standing outdoors in the sun for up to 2 miles over uneven, cobblestone streets in Old Havana for up to 2 hours

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Disembark the ship on foot and meet your Cuban Study Leader in Havana. Discover two of the main squares of Old Havana: Plaza San Francisco de Assisi and Plaza Vieja. Each square has its own unique features. Board Road Scholar’s private motorcoach to continue your explorations.

Lunch: In a Paladar, a privately owned restaurant. People to People Connection: As an “appetizer”, enjoy a performance by a women’s a capella chorale. This is an opportunity not only to hear beautiful voices, but to discuss what life is like for women today in Cuba.

Afternoon: People to People Connection: Dominoes, Cuba’s national game, has its own set of rules, played enthusiastically in private and public. More than competition and skill, it is a greatly enjoyed social activity. We’ll meet members of a local dominoes league, learn the Cuban rules, then play with club members. Teams will rotate and each American will play with one Cuban, an opportunity to practice a few words of Spanish! Enjoy free time this afternoon to continue exploring Havana.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure to enjoy Old Havana at night, just steps from the ship.

DAY
5
Hemingway’s Havana / Fishing Village / Art Cooperative
Havana
B,L,D
MV Celestyal Crystal

Activity note: Walking and standing outdoors in the sun for up to 2 miles over uneven, cobblestone streets in Old Havana for up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Drive to the outskirts of Havana to Finca La Vigia, the Hemingway Farm. This beautiful property hosts the house where the Nobel Prize-winning author lived with his third wife Mary for over 30 years. Look into the open windows and doors to see the home in perfect condition with Hemingway’s personal belongings as he left them. Walk the grounds to see his private writing studio, swimming pool, and beloved fishing boat, Pilar. The boat is featured in his novel "Islands in the Stream." Explore the marina in the nearby fishing village, Cojimar, before returning to Havana.

Lunch: People to People Connection: Over lunch, interact with locals at a community arts project.

Afternoon: People to People Connection: Next, we'll continue to a local workshop to meet with members of a graphic arts cooperative and discuss what they do. People to People Connection: Plaza de Armas Book Market. Just outside of Havana’s oldest square -- dating back to the 16th Century -- is the site of a famous second-hand book market. Here, book sellers offer a variety of books for sale. Meet and talk with some of the sellers for a first-hand glimpse into this fascinating aspect of Cuban life. The square itself is surrounded by historic buildings in keeping with the Old Town’s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll continue our walk through Old Havana to visit the city's fourth square, Plaza de la Catedral. Return to the ship at leisure for an evening departure from Havana.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: The Celestyal Crystal navigates around the western end of the island.

DAY
6
At Sea en route to Cienfuegos / Presentation on Cuba
At Sea
B,L,D
MV Celestyal Crystal

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: The morning will be free for you to enjoy the ship’s cultural and educational activities focusing on Cuba.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Meet with your Study Leader and enjoy a presentation on Cuba to help deepen your understanding of the island and gain a fair and balanced understanding of Cuban history. Next, take time to enjoy the ship's amenities as we continue towards Cienfuegos in the late afternoon.

Dinner: On board the ship.

DAY
7
Cienfuegos, Pearl of the South
Cienfuegos
B,L,D
MV Celestyal Crystal

Activity note: Walking and standing on paved city streets for 1 hour, up to a 1/2 mile. Walking and standing on unpaved ground for 40 minutes, up to .5 miles.

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: This morning we dock in Cienfuegos, the only city in Cuba to be founded by French settlers, renowned as the Pearl of the South. Meet your Cuban Study Leader ashore and board Road Scholar’s private motorcoach. Explore the Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens and the collection of indigenous and exotic plants and trees. Meet with staff and learn about the interesting history of the gardens and its relationship with Harvard University. Return to explore the main square of Cienfuegos on foot. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city was founded by the French, who came to Cuba after the Haitian revolution. Examine the outstanding architecture and step inside the beautiful Tomas Terry Theatre to learn its history. Stroll down the main boulevard of Cienfuegos and stop in at the ration, Cuban pesos, and CUC stores, an opportunity to mingle with Cubans as they go about their daily life. Explore the complexity of the two-currency system. At the local Farmers Market, learn about how items are sold, understand the cost of living for Cubans and, learn how much basic necessities cost. People to People Connection: Next, we’ll enjoy a performance by one of the city’s professional musical groups and have discussion with members of the group.

Lunch: In a paladar.

Afternoon: Return to the ship departing mid-afternoon to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Dinner: Celebrate your journey with a Farewell Dinner.

Evening: The MV Celestyal Crystal navigates to Jamaica.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Depart Montego Bay
B

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: Independent departures from the cruise ship. Disembarkation from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm per Celestyal, however many Road Scholar groups have been able to depart as early as 8:30 am. Please allow at least one hour to clear U.S. Customs, and please remember to allow yourself plenty of time to disembark, travel to the airport, and check-in prior to your return flight home. We recommend at least 3.5-4 hours for the process. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar learning adventure and we look forward to meeting again on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.






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