I’ve been busy planning amazing vacations for people, and a few for myself! I’m so excited about my very first Adventure with Adventures by Disney this July! Stay tuned for all of the fun I’ll have exploring the states of Arizona & Utah with Disney!
But, today, I wanted to share some more exciting news. I’m planning to sail to Cuba next summer. Cuba is a destination I’ve always wanted to visit, since watching reruns of the “I Love Lucy” show when I was a kid. Now, it’s a destination that Americans can visit. It’s also a very easy country to visit with Norwegian Cruise Line. Now, as you know, current regulations allow visits to Cuba, and with all things government related, laws & regulations can change. But, Norwegian believes that they will still be allowed to sail to Cuba, even with the recent changes. In fact, the itinerary I’ve chosen was just announced a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully, nothing will change and ships will continue to visit this Caribbean Island. If Cuba once again becomes unavailable to visit because of the American or Cuban governments, we can of course cancel & receive a full refund if we cancel before the final payment date. (For this particular itinerary, that date is April 12, 2020.) If things change after the paid in full date, Norwegian will more than likely offer a different itinerary. Hopefully, things will continue as they have been, and the cruise will be a go! (I did, however, want to make you aware!)
Desi Arnaz performs “I’m On My Way to Cuba” as Ricky Ricardo in the television classic, “I Love Lucy”.
Five Day Cuba (Overnight) & Bahamas Cruise from Miami Aboard the Norwegian Sky:
July 11 Miami, Florida (EMBARKATION DAY) depart at 5:00 pm
July 12 Havana, Cuba arrive 6:00 pm
July 13 Havana, Cuba
July 14 Havana, Cuba Depart 6:00 am
July 15 Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas 8:00 am 6:00 pm
July 16 Miami, Florida (DISEMBARK) 7:00 am
The recently refurbished Norwegian Sky is offering this 5-day cruise, which gives you two nights in Havana AND gives you an All-Inclusive experience including unlimited drinks. Yes, you read that correctly. Unlimited drinks!
The door to Cuba’s soul, Havana captivates with its larger-than-life culture, sultry rhythms and weathered beauty. Take a relaxing stroll along the evocative Malecón, the quintessentially Cuban thoroughfare and get lost among the Baroque facades and colonial cobblestone streets of Old Havana. Visit the grandiose Capitolio Nacional and explore the world-class art collection at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which showcases everything from colonial-era paintings to countless masterpieces from Cuba’s famed Vanguard period. Enjoy a friendly game of dominoes with the locals. Sip a daiquiri at Hemingway’s favorite haunt, El Floridita, happen upon a live jazz group and simply savor the eclectic moment in this unique corner of the Americas.
Cuba is a Caribbean island nation under communist rule. It has sugar-white beaches and is dotted with tobacco fields, which play a part in the production of the country’s legendary cigars. The capital, Havana, is lined with pastel houses, 1950s-era cars and Spanish-colonial architecture in the 16th-century core, Old Havana. Salsa music plays in the dance clubs and cabaret shows are performed at the famed Tropicana.
One of the optional shore excursions offers a chance to visit the legendary Tropicana Cabaret. Nat King Cole, Josephine Baker, Libertad Lamarque, Cheo Feliciano, Rita Montaner, Elena Burke and Bola de Nieve are among the stars that have performed in Tropicana Cabaret, known as one of the most popular cabarets located in the heart of Havana, Cuba, and the spotlight of this excursion.
On another optional shore excursion see how history, modern life, art, rum production and cigar factories are all part of an unforgettable tour of Cuba’s capital, Havana.
Here are some FAQ’s I got from the NCL site:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How can Norwegian Cruise Line offer cruises to Cuba?
Under regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Norwegian may offer carrier services by vessel to authorized travelers, directly or indirectly, between the United States and Cuba (OFAC FAQ # 24 and 31 CFR § 515.572)
How does a Cuba cruise differ from other cruises offered by Norwegian? Norwegian is offering cruises to Cuba that comply with OFAC regulations for people to people exchanges. However, all of the freedom and flexibility components that Norwegian is known for will still be included.
What is a people-to-people exchange? An individual traveler may travel to Cuba under the people-to-people authorized travel category, as a self-certified traveler, so long as he/she maintains a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people and that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba.
How do I certify that I am travelling under one of the OFAC-approved categories of travel? All guests must complete a certification form which sets forth and confirms that they will be participating in OFAC-compliant activities. Certification must be received by Norwegian no later than 30 days prior to the departure date and may be sent by email to NCLVISA@ncl.com. Please be advised that guests will not be able to board the vessel without having first completed the form. All guests will be self-certifying which means that they are solely responsible for arranging a full-time schedule of OFAC-compliant activities, as explained above. These activities may include excursions provided by Norwegian or activities arranged by guests themselves.
How do I prove compliance with OFAC requirements during my cruise? All travelers to Cuba must be able to prove that their trip was comprised of OFAC-compliant activities. Guests should keep a log of their activities and keep the log for 5 years.
On this cruise, we’ll also get to visit Great Stirrup Cay! I’ve wanted to see what this is for about 3 years now, and I’m now finally getting to go! While on Great Stirrup Cay, you have many choices of optional excursions. You may choose to experience this exciting new Stingray encounter. Get ready to pet, feed, play and snorkel with the stingrays in the calm blue waters of the Bahamas. (Shore excursions require an additional fee). I just may experience the Stingray Encounter this trip…it’s something I’ve never done before, and would be a very cool experience!
If you would like to join me on this five day sailing next year, send me a message! I’ve arranged extra amenities for this particular sailing, including an extra onboard credit! To take advantage of this deal: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before” — Dalai Lama
Cuba has been on my Travel Bucket List for a long time! I’m so glad that I’ve finally made plans to visit! I hope you’ll consider coming along!