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

I’m not American. Why? Do Americans take MarySol tours?The reason I was interested in the tour was because it went to some neat destinations. I never go on tours when on vacation, but I was thinking that going with an organized group would solve a lot of problems travelling in Cuba. But for reasons stated, it looks like that isn’t going to work out, because MarySol doesn’t have a known track record. As you suggest, I could look at putting my own tour together. As mentioned, though, I’ve already started that process by investigating the hotels at Playa Larga, and was frankly discouraged. And that destination was a main reason for us to go.

So if Cuba changes forever, I suggest they start with the accommodation at Playa Larga!

OK, thanks for the info and the encouragement. As already stated, we became interested in a Cuba vacation because we noticed this tour by MarySol with (for us) very interesting stops. That would get us away from the standard boring Cuban resort vacation. However, after some searching, we have not been able to find any reviews of MarySol. The tour description lacks a lot of information (for instance on accommodation). I read reviews of tours run by other companies and they were not good – you could even say rather bad. Our ears will stay tuned, but I think we will give up on the MarySol tour because of a lack of information. Maybe we will replace it with a week in Havana and/or a week in Varadero, with day trips to different neat destinations. One of those would be the Zapata Peninsula area. In fact, it would be ideal if we could stay in a hotel there, in Playa Larga, for a couple of nights. But it seems that the hotels there are pretty sketchy. There is talk of toilets without seats and bug infestations. Not sure if I could ask my wife to stay in one of these places. Our investigating is starting to resemble our previous attempts to get to Cuba. For every problem we solve, a new one pops up. I’m beginning to conclude that Cuba is either for those who like sipping drinks by the pool in luxury resorts, or for indiscriminate folk who don’t mind getting lost on the roads or sleeping with spiders. Is there provision for a third kind, seemingly a small minority, who require acceptable tourist services in a selection of interesting locations? Our challenge is to find something in the latter category without it taking an unreasonable amount of research time.I’m convinced Cuba is a beautiful country, but it is hard to go there and roam like you can in Florida or Maui or Portugal or Crete.

Thanks for all your advice. It is all useful even if it leads to a decision to go somewhere else for our vacation.

As I said, I have never been to Cuba. You posted the info about the peeing anecdote. Why don’t you tell me if this kind of behavior is normal? It is always hard to get reliable and accurate information about travel to foreign destinations, even in the published guides. There tends to be a lot of outdated and false info that just keeps on being repeated. For some reason, it is harder to get reliable info on Cuba than other destinations. So I came here to this forum to try to get the right dope. And once again, I seem to be getting a mix of good and questionable info… and maybe fanciful stories of questionable veracity that are retold because it is so much fun for the reteller to do so. The filters are in place. Everything will be checked.

Ed

Thanks for your replies, suggestions, and links! It is valuable info to me.In the last few years I have read a few guide books on Cuba and from that, learned basically that it is hard (language/no road signs/GPS illegal) and hazardous (bicycles/animals/pot holes) to travel around Cuba. Yet that is exactly what we want to do, travel around. Because of the challenges, we didn’t go. What I learned from those guide books is now somewhat fading in my memory, and besides, might no longer be current. Hence the questions here.

More recently we found a tour of Cuba that sounds real interesting to us. It is by Marysol Travel Services (see tinyurl.com/oj8zboq). It partly solves the getting-around problem and goes to destinations that sound fascinating. Now we are more determined to go, and solve remaining problems.

There seems to be much misinformation about Cuba. For instance, the info on GPS is conflicting. The guide books say it is illegal. A local travel agent confirms this. But my on-line research shows that there should be no problem bringing in a GPS in my Android phone. Navigating with an off-line map on the Android should work fine. This could be very helpful not only in finding our way on the roads, but also when exploring on foot. Regarding the park, I’m thinking we should find a local hotel, I guess at Playa Larga. We could go there after the organized tour is done.

Thanks again. Any further comments would be appreciated, especially if anyone would like to comment on Marysol (there seems to be little info on them on the Web).

Hi, I’m new here. Never been to Cuba, but we are planning a trip for next January.My question is how to get around in Cuba. We are not that interested in loafing in a resort. Instead we want to see the real Cuba. But I have heard that it is difficult to travel in Cuba. There are no road signs, GPS is illegal, etc. So I am pretty sure I don’t want to rent a car and drive to the different attractions, nor do I want to take a bus. There are organized multi-day tours that one can go on, so we will probably do that. After the tour is done we will end up in Havana. Then we would like to consider day trips from Havana to visit or revisit special places. An example is Montemar Natural Park. All the sources say it is a wonderful place for birds and other wild life. But it is around 75 km from Havana. How does one get to Montemar? Are there day trips to Montemar out of Havana? Should I hire a driver? Would it be better to stay in a hotel in Montemar? If so, how would I get to the Montemar hotel from Havana?And if anyone knows about Montemar, how does one get around inside the park? I think the park is very big. Or is everything of interest in one place?

Ed

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