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

Many thanks.The first time in Cuba, I had no idea about their cigars. I have since (over the last 2 years) found many cigars to my liking.

I am going down in late October, so I now know what to look for.

I purchased Guantanamera cigars. They are the worst possible cigars going (machine manufactured and a oily taste). I paid on credit card and they cost about $100 CDN. I can purchase the same here for $44 CDN.

I am thinking of purchasing cigars here to take down with me. Is there any import duties on this?

Last time in Varadero, I made the mistake of purchasing a box of cigars on the resort. I found out when I got home, I could have purchased them here at a cheaper price.Therefore, I need to know where to purchase cigars in Varadero. And hopefully at a cheaper price than in Canada.Thanks,


I have read the reviews, however the most recent review was postd two years ago.I am seriously looking into going to this resort, but my wife was spoiled at Sandals Hicacos, where champagne (aka sparkling wine) was served constantly.So the question is: Does Melia Las Antillas serve champagne?Many thanks,


Pina Colada is served as well, but isn’t really a Cuban drink. The beer is fantastic in Cuba.

Here I thought it was the flights that they offer champagne on. Not like you get a bottle of sparkling wine, just a 2 ounce glass, and only on flights that are 2.5 hours or longer.

Wine is served on the flight the same way. Cash for any extra that you may want.

If you are going to purchase cigars in Cuba, I would suggest the Jose L Piedra brand. Not only are they inexpensive, they get top quality marks for Cuban cigar smokers. I am not allowed to post the website on here, but you can find it if you want.

What I paid in Cuba for some of my cigars, I have found cheaper in Ontario. Again, it’s online, just hunt for it. One problem, in Canada cigars cannot be shipped from one Province to another. If you are anywhere else in the world, it’s not a problem.

The Manager’s Party at Sandals in Varadero, is to introduce staff, have giveaways, and if you want, to meet others. In November, we are going back so we can partake in the Returning Guests dinner.
Hi All;Just hoping that some of you can tell us what the experience is like and the cost (either CUC or Canadian dollars) for the trip.Many thanks,


If you take the bus into Varadero, and stay until late in the evening, you’ll need to take a taxi back. Buses don’t run late at night.

I haven’t been to Barbados since the late 90’s, but I did get flying fish at the airport. It’s already frozen, so there isn’t too much to worry about, just get it home fast.

In October the water temperature of the ocean is warmer. I found the ocean a bit on the cool side in mid April. The only concern about October (like most people) is the chance of a hurricane.

Premium suites aren’t worth it, according to one couple we met at Sandals. They weren’t happy, since toads, and other wildlife would come in (it’s on the ground floor).

The upgrade was great for us (we did a renewal of vows in April). Didn’t cost us a cent. We got the bathrobes, nightly maid service, and liquor/beer in our room.

Another note: The quality of life has improved for Cubans. An example is that they now have toilets. Twenty-five years ago, they were just holes in the floor. It was anytime you went outside the resort to a public restroom, you would find them.

A few people asked me about what differences I would find from 25 years ago, and today, since that is the time I have been away from Cuba.Twenty-five years ago, I visited Santiago de Cuba. At that time, the resort I stayed at was considered top of the line. Today it’s a 2 star resort. Back then it was "semi-inclusive". The people of the southern part of Cuba were less inclined to talk about the US back then, but there was a tension between the two peoples. They saw the Canadians as friends, and the Americans as enemies of the state.Today the people of Cuba are more up front about their feelings towards the USA. There is an animosity, almost hatred, of anything American. The few Americans that were on the resort, were detested by all. The Americans tried to say they were Canadian, but word travels fast.Today, Cubans find Canadians are like them. The Canadians treat the Cubans as equals, not as a third world people. One man stated that Cubans and Canadians are the same in their politeness and friendliness. He also stated that he found Europeans to be snobbish and felt that the Europeans treated them as staff that should wait on them hand and foot.Another interesting note was that Obama had just made his announcement the day before we left. The Cubans were livid. They see the Americans coming in and placing a McDonalds, or WalMart on every corner, destorying their culture and idenity.My personal opinion is that Cuba will still be a Communist state for many years to come. Obama and America has a long way to go to erase 50 years of bitterness.Cubans are friendlier and more open. Perhaps this is because more Canadians are vacationing there than 25 years ago.I introduced one Cuban to the internet. It was the first time in his life (47 years) that he has seen a computer, or the internet, and his comment was "it’s weird".I gave a woman my MP3, since she likes the music of Queen (most of my songs are Queen on my MP3). She hugged me and kissed me like it was the greatest gift, ever given to her.

I opened minds, and made people happy. That, in life, is what it is all about.

In Varadero (at Sandals) they took my $20’s and some had pen marks and bank teller stamps. Never had a problem with being short changed (in fact, one time they gave me too much money and I returned it). The exchange rate has changed from $1.3654 to $1.395, yesterday.

I always use my TA, since she gets me better prices than prices listed online. I like the personal touch too. The TA gets to know what I want, when and the dollar amount. Within a week, she’s picked out a few places.

As for "last minute", I used to be that way, but in recent years, the best prices seem to be a few months before.

In today’s Toronto Star, and on the BBC News, it was stated that only Cuban-Americans would get to stay in Cuba longer, and would be able to assist their families in Cuba with extra monies (currently it sits at $1200 annually).Obama will still keep the trade embargo in place, because he wants Cuba to shift from a communist state to a democracy. If that’s the case, why does the US trade with China? I thought McCarthyism was dead years ago.

I did find out one thing from a Cuban, who lives in Canada – Canadians are the only nationality allowed to live in Cuba for up to 6 months per year.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *