Recent posts by ald1 | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

Am I imagining things or is it true? It makes TA seem ‘educated’. Maybe I’m just too old and too cold.
I wanted to post on my favourite toy in Cuba but I thought I had better keep my mouth shut. lol You aren’t imagining things. From what I am reading over there, they have a lot of incredibly naive posters, many of whom have no clue what Cuba is all about. Witness the thread about working in Cuba. H*ll, there are very few countries where you can just get off a plane and expect to find work, it’s not just Cuba. Another issue: I tried to post a link to a TA discussion of the same topic, but got a message saying my post would be reviewed by moderators before it would be visible. Same thing happened when I tried to hot link an image. Showed up fine in the preview, but I got the same message about it being moderated. This may be just a precaution to avoid spammers, but it better stop or I am outta there! Guess I am getting crotchety in my old age…..

YEs Agreed some of the questions are kind of redonkculous… It will definitely quiet down and I’m still scanning TA for my favorite destinations

OK, so the solution is that I supply the wood stove, eeeefarm supplies the hay, YVRick supplies the rum and Spunky brings the lobster and we can have our own party. Anyone else???? What would we talk about??? OldGrapes can you bring a cigar?

I’m in I’ll bring the cigars.

Yes I have heard from other member that most people found new home at so it would be nice if all people can go to same place as I joined this website because here was a lot people with knowledge about Cuba. It would be bad to loose this great group of people. Ok why Not I registered on this new forum…

thanks for the link!

Yes Too bad for sure… Been around here since 2005 and met a few of you on trips (mostly Cuba). Got lots of good contacts from eeeefarm, Zendudette to mention a couple. Met online (not in-person) a great scuba diver / underwater photographer Wossa. Like eeeefarm I’ll miss this site, as it for me also the first forum I ever joined. RIP Debbie’s.See you all on other Travel forums. Happy travels.
I’ve had good service from Sunwing, although they garner more than their share of complaints from time to time. Communication appears to be their weak point, but I think that is pretty common among air carriers. Hard to find out about flight delays. I think a lot of the time it is because the reps don’t know what is going on either, so they can’t tell you!

Anyhow, I will continue to use Sunwing as long as they service the destinations that interest me. Often they are the only option!

Agree with eeeefarm; Actually of all the charters from Ottawa/ Montreal/ TO, they are my favourite to fly with. The only bad experience I have had with Sunwing is at Montreal airport. They are way under staffed and when there are multiple Sunwing flights leaving around the same time. there is only one crew handling all the flights so it creates a delay. it even pisses of the flight crew as it is a continuing issue from Montreal.

Just a note that some of the Club Amigo (perhaps all hotels in Cuba, but I’m not positive) hotels have changed their e-mail addresses – they have replaced the "co" with "tur" – example the ending is now instead of

So for the Club Amigo Marea del Portillo, the contact address I have is now [email protected]


Yes that is correct about the suffix for the emails.I confirmed with the Club Amigo Carisol Public relations representative that the email is

[email protected]

Please use this as the official address.

Rare handshake between 2 enemies was unplanned and without substantive talks, White House saysSo That’s all it was a handshake. Man the press and Republicans are having a field day with that one. comments??

RIP Mandela You accomplished so much with peace.

It was once again awesome. Diving was great. Weather was AMAZING. I’ll send you a PM in order not to take over this thread with our conversation.

We just got back from Club Amigo and the water temp (Caribbean sea) was at 85f at surface as well as at 100 feet so ya! the water is definitely warmer on that side of Cuba.

Have a great trip

we have read great reviews about the IB Ensenachos. looks like you enjoy it by the looks below your signature block Enjoy the legendario and repost your comments once you have tried it.

have a wonderful trip

I have read a bit about this somewhere before. Is it a rum liqueur? I noticed it in the Santa Clara airport and wanted to pick some up but we already had our limit. Tell me what it’s like please. I see you’re saying "Grand Marnier"so are you saying orange flavor? Yes I believe it is a rum base liqueur, however it is very smooth going down. It is not an Orange flavour;I was just comparing it as a great liqueur from Cuba,

I like it straight up room temp sipping and my better half likes it very cold (on ice) as a sipping after dinner drink. Can’t really compare it to anything else other than it is very smooth going down.

If you were in Santa Clara were you in Cayo Santa Maria? We were there in March 2013 ( Memories resort) and the bar had some as part of the all inclusive. Next time you visit why not give it a try and if you like it than you can p/u a bottle (or two) to bring home

We were flying to Santiago de Cuba for a week and on the way down we said Bummer No Elexir for us this time around as they don’t sell it that far south… Well to our pleasure the flight stopped in Camagüey for a layover to drop off/ pick passengers. We had to exit the plane for fill-up and clean up and to our pleasure the Duty Free shop had many bottles on the shelf for 6.50CUC. We picked up our max allowable and headed to Santiago de Cuba for our holidays. Sure enough the Duty free shop did not have any at Antonio Maceo Airport. Woohoo we are sure glad we made the decision to pick some up in Camagüey DF shop,

Anyone on the board enjoy this "Grand Marnier" of Cuba?

Holà Dudes and Dudettes,

Has anyone been to Cayo Santa Maria lately? Got a great deal for the HUSA in two weeks and just wondering if there’s anything specific we should be looking for.

Not interested in the usual comments about bathroom tiles-duh, pool temp, muskies, the food, or the beach (been there done that) but as we do want to be as close to the beach as possible, any suggestions on edificios would be appreciated. We’re looking at buildings 24-27. As far as we can tell, there are 2 sections: Colonial on the left facing the playa, and Beach section on the right. Bldgs 24-27 are in the Colonial, me thinks.If you are regulars there, or have met exceptional staff members, by all means let us know and we will seek them out. We will be bringing money and practical items as gifts.Suggestions in this area are also welcome.Tanks!Zendudette

p.s. I’m retiring in TWO DAYS, can I have a hallaloo?

Allo Felicitations pour la retraite… never been to that hotel in CSM We were at memories in March 2013 and it was nice. Hope you get the info you are looking for. Nous quittons pour Cuba mercredi dans le @#$*& de tempete. bien hate de toucher au sol à Santiago de Cuba,

Take care Zen.

Unauthorized movie cinemas, video game businesses forbidden in CubaCuban authorities are bringing down the curtain at the privately run cinemas and video game salons that have mushroomed on the island recently, saying Saturday that the businesses are unauthorized and proprietors must halt such entertainment immediately.The movie and video parlours have been operating in a legal grey area often under licenses for independent restaurants, offering basic food and refreshments even though the entertainment is the main draw. They are not mentioned on the list of nearly 200 areas of independent enterprise authorized under limited economic changes begun by Raul Castro, but until now they were not explicitly prohibited either.An announcement published in Communist Party newspaper Granma said the show is over."Cinematic exhibition (including 3D rooms) and computer games will cease immediately in whatever kind of private business activity," said the message from the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers.Many private cinema operators spent thousands of dollars to launch their businesses, which range from modest to flashy and offer the latest Hollywood blockbusters and fast-paced video games."Economically, this really hurts us. This (business) was a relief for the family," said Orlando Suarez, speaking in front of a marquee listing Saturday’s entertainment program at his San Rafael 3D cinema in central Havana. "We don’t understand why they didn’t give us a window of time instead of taking this stance of ‘close down now."’Private theatres have become increasingly popular as an alternative to poorly maintained state-run cinemas, which tend to show more staid, high-brow fare, and moviegoers were also dismayed at the news."It’s a lack of respect. What are we going to do now?" said Lionny Gonzalez, a 15-year-old high school student. "Now the only thing left for us is to go to a disco. There’s nothing else.""Young people need these salons," said Rafael Gonzalez, a 53-year-old father of five. "They spend time there instead of being on the streets."Recently the Communist Party youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde published a lengthy article quoting Vice Minister of Culture Fernando Rojas as saying the video salons promote "frivolity, mediocrity, pseudo culture and banality," raising fears of a crackdown.Foreign goods banned from private saleCuba also recently announced a ban on private commercialization of imported goods, and Saturday’s message said small business owners who have been selling products brought from overseas will have until Dec. 31 to liquidate their inventories.The ban affects people who took out licenses to produce and sell clothing or household products, but in reality made money mostly from reselling foreign goods imported into Cuba one overstuffed suitcase at a time."The government ratifies its firm determination not to permit violations of any kind," the announcement in Granma read.Under Castro’s limited economic reforms, begun in 2010, the government has legalized the buying and selling of homes and used cars and done away with a longstanding exit visa requirement.It also authorized a slate of permitted independent jobs, everything from gardeners and manicurists to massage therapists and taxi drivers. Critics lament that for the most part, white-collar professionals are still excluded from the private sector.The note in Granma said the bans on selling imports and running home cinemas were instituted to ensure the economic reforms proceed in an orderly fashion."This is not, in any way, taking a step back," it said. "On the contrary, we will keep advancing decidedly in the updating of the Cuban economic model."About 436,000 Cubans are currently working in the private sector, according to government figures.
HolaWe just returned from Cuba this week, many are talking about the change with the cuc/cup. One paper my friend told me that it was going to be Jan….my comment was what year? Many seem to think the cuc will be gone and the cup will be the only currency, and perhaps like one time in Mexico where 100 dollars got you 240,000 pesos, they just printed larger bills. If this is like anything else in Cuba…it will not happen overnight. It now legal to take the cuc’s out of the country, but I have never seen anyone asked if they have cuc’s when leaving, and I have been asked to exchange some coins, in the departure area by aduana…lolI joked with my friend when I cash in 2000/3000 dollars and if not cuc’s and only cup…I will need a much larger wallet.


thanks for the info… we are heading to Cuba before Jan 2014 and we will make sure not to keep any CUC in the event that the currency becomes obsolete.

Searching for a package to Cuba or DR for 4.5* resort in mid November 2013 the price is high compared to this time of the yaer last year. Any explanation??? We found a sweet deal to Santiago de Cuba for last week of November for $520.00 taxes-in from Montreal… note it’s not a 4.5*… it’s a 3*We find the prices from Ottawa and Montreal are around the same price as they have been for the last 5 years or so… Keep searching and you will find a good deal… because you want to go mid Nov. You should find some excellent deals for last minute bookings! good luck
I have a US friend wants to go to Havana taking pictures. He will fly out from Montreal. Does he need a Visa prior to arrive at Cuba airport?. I know Cuba do not stamp on the passport do you think any problem that can happen to my friend when he returns to the US. Thanks. He needs either a visa or a tourist card. The tourist card is supplied by the tour operators, and you pick it up as you board the plane in Canada, they collect the first half as you arrive in Cuba, and the other half on the return trip, so there is nothing in the passport. However the US authorities certainly know about everyone who goes to Cuba from Canada, because they require the passenger records of everyone who flies over US territory. But it’s pretty clear they don’t enforce the rules unless the traveller is blatant about it, or the US border officer happens to dislike Cuba more strongly than most. They have near infinite discretion, so if you get officer Gonzales whose father rafted to Miami in 1985, you may be in trouble regardless. I have two US friends who have been to Cuba via Toronto, and in both cases their return to the US was completely unremarkable.

thanks for that… I forgot about the tourist card when I commented. I wasn’t aware that the us authorities knew about all info about flights over the US. I guess BIG BROTHER is always watching

Seeing that it is "illegal" to take CUC out of Cuba going forward one should not have the problem you describe.You should have an opportunity to dump your CUC in February.How much do you usually head home with in your pocket?

Curious to know where it is written that it is "illegal" to take CUC out of Cuba. If anyone has a reference document it would be greatly appreciated.

I have a US friend wants to go to Havana taking pictures. He will fly out from Montreal. Does he need a Visa prior to arrive at Cuba airport?. I know Cuba do not stamp on the passport do you think any problem that can happen to my friend when he returns to the US. Thanks. I don’t see it as a problem. No Visa required if it’s for a short visit. Happens all the time… Americans fly out of Montreal to go to Cuba. On most rips to Cuba we meet up with very nice familys from NY state. I think they have to make sure not to have their american pasport stamped in Cuba. Entry or Exit as I think it could present a problem when re-entering the USA.

good luck ! Maybe your friend can share some pictures on the board when he/ she gets back from Havana.

that being said… WHo keeps CUC for their trip back to the island? I know we do keep a little to have when we land at the airport. will that be risky now in the event that they elimniate the CUC for some other currency> Will this make it void? Who knows eh?

From the BBCCuba is to scrap its two-currency system in the latest financial reform rolled out by President Raul Castro, official media report.Since 1994 Cuba has had two currencies, one pegged to the US dollar and the other worth only a fraction of that.The more valuable convertible peso (CUC) was reserved for use in the tourism sector and foreign trade.Now its value will be gradually unified with the lower-value CUP, ending a system resented by ordinary Cubans.No fixed timetable The Cuban economy is almost entirely state-run and the tourism sector has boomed since the collapse of the Soviet Union plunged Cuba into economic isolation and hardship.The two-currency system was supposed to protect Cuba’s fragile economy but angered locals paid in the much lower-value CUP and denied access to goods only available for those with convertible pesos.The policy exacerbated the creation of a two-tier class system in Cuba which divided privileged Cubans with access to the lucrative tourist and foreign-trade sectors from those working in the local economy – all-too-visibly contradicting Cuba’s supposedly egalitarian society.The council of ministers has approved a timetable for implementing "measures that will lead to monetary and exchange unification", the official Communist Party newspaper Granma said.Unification is "imperative to guarantee the re-establishment of the Cuban peso’s value and its role as money, that is as a unit of accounting, means of payment and savings", it said.It gave no details of how quickly the change would be implemented, though Reuters news agency quoted Cuban economists as saying it would take about 18 months.


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