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

One thing that hasn’t been touched on much, in this thread, is how the freedom to travel at any time of the year impacts on a person’s travel budget. I’ve seen, on many other threads, how a lot of members book last minute deals and save a bundle. I wish we had that flexibility but it won’t come until we retire….1 more year, fingers crossed, if the freakin’ world economy doesn’t totally implode :P. Once that happy day arrives, it will have a huge impact on what we will have to budget for a trip and when we can travel. For example, if we were going in December rather than Feb, we would save $2300 for exactly the same package! Agreed. But there is a bit of a way around this – if you just know because you can’t stop looking at the last minute prices even though you know you can’t use them – here is a suggestion.I always book my "gotta have" 2 weeks in January as soon as I can each spring. But for another "extra" week later in the year, I book a week off and then watch the price like a hawk until it drops. And then jump! If I don’t get the deal I want, I spend a week on a staycation at home.

It’s one way to take advantage of the last minute prices even when employed and tied to a vacation schedule.

I am as "tight" as they come! I owe nothing and pay off my entire credit card (I only have one that I use regularly) every month.But years ago I started putting money away in CSBs (payroll deduction). The amount of the deduction has gone up significantly over the years. I still call it my "travel fund", even if I do use some of it for other major purchases these days.As I always said – if I had to "think about getting the money", it would stay where it was. So today I am very grateful to report that I have a decent travel fund and love to use it!
I get my bike boxes from the local Canadian Tire Store. If you phone a couple of days in advance, they will set one (or more) aside for you.
Personally, I’d limp off the airplane, stagger through Immigration and when the wheelchair came out onto the baggage carousel I’ll unfold it, get in, and wheelchair my way out of there claiming that it was for my own use and that it was NOT a gift… that’s just me though, I like screwing with Aduana (Cuban Customs.)

Good luck and have fun.

Better yet – use out of Toronto – claiming a bad back, of course. Then when you get to Cuba, it will come off the plane and you get the "handicapped" treatment through the airport. Then you can have an amazing recovery…

I have been asked to register bikes a couple of times. But they have never followed up at the time of departure to see if I have them with me.I have been ‘warned’ about having to pay duty if I don’t come back with the bike, but again, never been followed up on.
Maybe, someday, they’ll be able to weed out the "stupid" gene

We can only hope!

Yet another airport scam. Your pal should have called for a supervisor and the Departure Tax Teller would have quickly corrected her, "misunderstanding" of the situation. He/she simply pocketed the 25 CUC…

She figured as much later, but wasn’t as "aware" as she should have been at the time.

So – a word of advice to the original poster – if in doubt ask for a supervisor!

You can’t get more than one bike in a box unless you are talking small child’s bike. Sunwing allows one bike (up to 20kg) per person and they charge $30.00. If it is more than 20kg per box, overweight charges apply. When we took bikes down last summer, each one weighed close to 20kg, so fitting two in one box wasn’t going to help anyhow. We’d have paid a lot more on the overweight!Air Canada charges $60. each way. I think Air Transat charges as well, but not sure of price. I would check with the airline when you book. If you want to get an idea in advance, check the baggage allowance page on each of the airlines’ websites (only a few charter airlines go to Cuba, so it shouldn’t be too hard to work out an approximate cost).
I have never flown Cubana – but from other posts I have read over the years – they have a very liberal luggage allowance!Also – all airlines are supposed to follow international safety standards. Those that fly outside of Cuba are probably pretty reliable for that, so no worries about the duct tape and mechanics wire that hold the cars together being used here.

A friend who travelled with their 6-month old baby – no ticket – but had to pay. In fact, she was pretty irked about it because there was no ticket/boarding pass.

My brother and his wife travel with their two teenagers and get separate rooms. They always request side-by-side rooms and have never had a problem. I think the information given to the resorts by the tour operator show that it is one family, and no resort (in its right mind) would put the teens too far from "parental oversight".

Just make sure the request is made at the time of booking – my brother’s TA notes "request rooms together for parents and children"

The best complaint I ever heard (I shared this once before on another thread) – this was at the Don Lino resort about 10 years ago. It is a very small hotel, and at the time there were only about 10-15 guests. We were all in for our afternoon swim when a small cloud passed overhead, blocking the sun. A recent arrival (we’d already decided that she had great expectations of a 5-star resort for 2-star money), looked up and said something like "I don’t like that – they should do something about it."

We all looked at each other, thinking we’d misunderstood what she said, so we asked her to repeat herself. We did not misunderstand!

I think it is usually 9-10 people for a group discount. If there are less, you can still take advantage of early booking bonuses and other "deals" being offered by the supplier.

Only way it could have been improved IMHO was if you added drinking beer out of a "Bubba Keg" (and I think I read that somewhere else).

I never thought of it! At the time, I did not own a Bubba. Now that I do (it is the smallest one), I shall have to add it in! ;D

LOL! You just made my day! I forgot I had said that, but really never expected it to make a "top quote" list.
Just got back last week from a very hot week at Marea del Portillo. It is hot, sun is strong and it can be humid. Late afternoon downpours of about 10-15 minutes are common.This is my second summer trip to Cuba – so long as you drink plenty of fluids (WATER, not booze), use generous amounts of sunscreen and wear a hat, it is a great way to experience Cuba without lots of tourists.

I highly recommend Cuba in August!

Well, a bit of time has passed since this topic was brought up and I am curious to know how everyone likes or dislikes their e-readers.What did you purchase? Why? Does it do what you would like it to do? What would you change about it? Do you wish you had bought ‘the other brand’ and, if so, why?

Perhaps the mods could move this to the "Off Topic Board"?

Thanks everyone, for your input – and any all suggestions, hints, tips, tricks, info of any kind – would be most welcome!

SUJ – just got back from another week "on the beach with my e-reader". ;DI’m as thrilled and happy today as I was the day I got it. I have the Sony Touch version and I still think it gives me best value for money, so don’t regret my choice at all.

I will take any of this heat, humidity and sunshine over our -40C weather in January any time!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and advice! Debbie’s folks always have the answers to the questions even those of us who consider ourselves "Cuba veterans" aren’t sure of. We’re leaving Wednesday for a week (it will be hot, hot, hot) and I’ll also scope things out there – the hotel rep may also be able to help me a bit with suggestions.

Stay tuned – I’m sure this story will have a happy ending!

Am I way off base thinking that customs might present a barrier?

I do speak Spanish, but still might have a problem with Aduana. But I figure any of us who take "stuff" run that barrier every time we get off the plane in Cuba!

If there was another airline I might be able to use that line, but unfortunately there is only one flight a week from Toronto to MDP, so I’m out of luck there. I’m thinking of putting in a bike box… ;D

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