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

My fav last trip. We had to stop in Manzanillo on the way to Santiago. So first they deplane the folks staying in Manz, then tell us we have to get off, go thru a loop, past a camera, to the lounge while waiting with our little boarding card customs gave us. So we are ready to replane. Stewardess does a head count and finds there are two extra passengers. They start calling out names. This couple get up sheepishly and deplane. Apparently they didn’t know they were to stay in Manzanillo!!!!

Really, KNOW where you are booked to go to and where you are staying. At least they didn’t have to remove their lugggage since it would have been taken off as scheduled for Manz.

Cubamiga > Santiago.Spunky > personal use…especially after November, the humidity heat combo killed me, especially having to work pushing around in the wheelchairbigjohn > he didn’t really have a clue what he was looking at which was funny cuz he looked at is so long. PS left one wheelchair there to use next visit but if it ‘disappears’ l’ll have a second one on this trip down and leaving both w dr off resort. Had dr note too saying I was using crutches/wheelchair, in case the airline gave me any issues. I read the airline info and using their terminology will help avoid them potential denying boarding if it says ‘fit to travel’ and ‘self reliant’ is probably a good idea after reading about the lady who had a little blood coming from her ear (popped eardrum concern) and sunwing denied her return until cleared by dr down south and all the headaches and extra cost associated. read about that one here.

bicyleman > defeats the purpose of taking one from here to give away.

Going back soon and wanted to take a used oscillating electric fan weighing about 5lbs, to cuba. Can’t find anything specific saying it is allowed. I know ac units etc are now allowed. Not sure if they will try to hit me with some sort of tax or duty. The customs form is stupid because the one part says something like electronics besides miscellanea. I just considered all mine as ‘non’ miscellanae since I don’t know what the heck they are asking.Just got back and had a bit of a run-in at the carry on baggage xray scanning part, they kept asking me about a ‘flash drive’ but I only had a hard drive which was clearly in a tray, and I pointed to that and they said no, then I took out my camera with the sd card and they said no, not that. They then proceeded to write down my passport number so I wasn’t sure if I’d have issues upon departure. Had a laptop packed in the checked bag as well, and I later saw they had written ‘laptop’ on the baggage tag…which explains why the girl at the exit asked us about a laptop, and I just said they checked everthing at the carry-on baggage area (thinking she was referring to the ‘flash drive’ issue). She just let us pass.Ironically I always check off yes to ‘drugs/narcotics’ etc, and the ‘plants/animals’ box and they never stop us. (legal prescription drugs, and things like pringles/snacks). They don’t specify legal or illegal lol.

I also took a xray photocopy and some medical info cuz I was on crutches and the guy spent a least a minute looking at all that stuff, not having a clue what is was all about.

This is the most scrutiny we’ve ever experienced.

1. just back from santiago area, rogers paygo phones didn’t work2. had to VOICE call canada. was initially told to dial 119 + 1 + area code + number but that didn’t work from hotel, then they said dial 88 + 119 + 1 + area code + number. That worked. I think the 88 got an outside line from hotel so the 119 should work. As far as texting, we’ll see in December with the Telus phone, what is required to text.

3. FYI, to call Cuba we added 011 + 1 + area code + number.

we’re always surprised by the things people end up taking. He didn’t ask for this, it will be a surprise and hopefully help.

We just got 2 1.5l bottles for 5 cuc each.

Taking a ‘new’ beekeeper by Brisas Sierra Mar, a mosquito net hat, and homedepot tyvek type white breathable coverall (paint dept or insulation dept) that has a hood, and elastic sleeves at the wrist and leg, so he can handle his bees better.

Telus also offers a "Cuba Text Pass 15" which gives 75 outgoing, unlimited incoming. That meets our usual needs. (PS used to cost 20.00 Dec2013 and Feb 2014 – with only 50 outgoing)

:)YES , there is a Cadecas at the Hotel (the last time I was there . 2011 ) I am sure there still is , as I am going mid Nov . also , and sure I would have been alerted otherwise . I hope to see you there ! ( we have met before , at the Sierra Mar )

Alot seems to have changed regarding the existence of Cadecas since 2011. I’ve read here a number of times, people commenting that they no longer exist at this or that hotel. Sierra Mar is case in point. Gone.

First thing….. you can rent a Cubacel SIM card if your phone is unlocked. That will give you a Cuban cel number. Not worth it unless you are calling other Cuban phones.Fido/Rogers has always worked in Cuba. The above have deals and sometimes they don’t…… Just figure out what the prices are when you go and decide what you are going to do.

Could you explain why our 2 different rogers phones (payasyougo) used to work up until ~2yrs ago, but haven’t since? Our Telus one works fine.

Does anyone know if there is a Cadeca on the hotel grounds? I only have 5 CUC at this point. I always like to get my 25 CUC Exit Fee money on the first day and lock it up with my passport. Also I like to get a lot of 1 CUC coins for tipping.

I am told that on Sundays there is a free ride to Santiago so looking forward to a bit of exploring and a mojito at the Casa Grande balcony.

You could try the one at the airport. I’m not sure if it is open for the late flight arrivals we are on. It is a shame they’ve eliminated the hotel Cadecas in the last couple years because it is costing the Cuban staff, tips! At BSM in the last year there were times the hotel front desk said they had no money because no one had made it to the bank. This also impacted excursions because although they were a little accommodating by saying we could pay the next day…hoping there would be money.

(at least for us on rogers payasyougo accounts) Ok now I see .. none of the "pay as you go plans" will work in Cuba doesn’t matter what company as far as I know but would be good if someone who has "pay as you go" was able to have signal in Cuba!

…but it used to up until about a couple years ago.

I am not sure will Koodo work but they are pretty much Telus. So all companies that using same lines such as Telus, Koodo, Bell, Virgin Mobile etc should work in Cuba and plus they offer travel packs. Other side Rogers and Fido etc should work but you can’t buy travel pack for Cuba anymore so data and talking on your phone might be very pricey.

admin, rogers hasn’t worked for us for ~2yrs in the location I noted. It isn’t ‘signal’ related either.

I was able to use Rogers on Cayo Largo and Los Galeones until a few years ago but not recently. I currently have a Koodo account which for $15 offers 75 text messages from Cuba. Question is can I expect to get a connection at Galeones on my Koodo (Telus) phone? I could get a decent signal there with my old rogers phone so I assume it will work now pero es Cuba. Hi Run..

Dec 2013, and Feb 2014 our Telus phone (not koodo) worked with no issues, strong signal. As you noted, we had the same issue with Rogers not working in recent years, despite strong signal, the reason noted above for why we understand rogers doesn’t work (at least for us on rogers payasyougo accounts) at BSM just down from Galeones.

Quick to raise, slow to lower is probably the appropriate motto,

Prices going down? Nope, I’d expect them to say (excuse), while fuel prices have declined, the currency rate has risen more, so we’ll have to increase your price!

lovecuba: Is that for 2 weeks? If so, that is fantastic. I can get to del Caribe and back home for our trip on Nov. 26. But what about the taxes – how much were they? When we booked we got $180 tax pax; we still got a deal at $348 + $180 tax and we grabbed it. I can’t believe I missed Varadero pricing. And lucky you, you only have 2 days to wait before you go. Who is your travel agent? Must call them next time. Those are the deals I’m always looking for.

Yesterday on Tripcentral/wholesale travel etc. Not agency specific. It was 1 week with taxes about 350-375 i think. We just saw the listing, but didn’t actually book it.

We did it as part of the all day Santiago trip, and too be honest, if it is the same "rum and cigar tour" (that is part of the all day Santiago tour running from BSM) you will be disappointed with this one aspect, because you’d almost see the same thing if you walked into the LCBO or any cigar shop selling cigars. It seemed nothing more than a shop selling the stuff. I think they point out the former Bacardi warehouse building across the street. We saw more cigar making right at the BSM from that lady that had a table just to the right of the gift shop where Ricardo usually sets up his post card stand.Watch out for the beggars to swarm the bus when you make those stops at these shops.I recall there being a jewelry counter in (I think) the rum shop where they were selling black coral in rings, earrings, etc. One year the group asked to bypass both shops to spend more time at Castle Morro/City Centre/and the big square where the Pope visited. We’ve done rum tours in Grenada and elsewhere, where they actually take you to see the interior processes, bottling, etc along with the obligatory sampling of course.We are planning to do the city tour again and are wondering if the City Centre is still blocked off for reconstruction like in Dec2013/Feb2014. Also the Church was finally getting some major work then but was still open….had to intervene for a female tourist being somewhat aggressively panhandled to inside the Church.Rarely have we had critical comments of any aspect of Cuba but this is definitely one of them they could minimize if they were honest in their tour advertising, that these are just shops/stores to buy the goods. PS the rum prices were not any different from other places.

Perhaps something lost in the ‘translation’ or just this tourist actually expecting to see the work in progress, not just the end product on a shelf?

Can’t speak specifically to your question, other than say we are on Rogers and we used to be able to send and receive texts without any change to the phones (worked w rogers sim) up until a couple years ago. Now despite having a cell signal, Rogers doesn’t work (for us in Santiago area) and we understand it had something to do with them not signing a agreement w EtCetsa (sp?).One of our Rogers phones is locked, the other, unlocked, so that wasn’t the issue either.Telus on the other hand, does work. We just add a international text pkg for 20.00, good for the month, allowing unlimited incoming texts, and around 50-60 outgoing.We did learn when we went over the outgoing limit it was because sending a text more than 140 characters will count as 2 (or more) texts toward your 50-60 limit.Update: I see now Telus offers a ‘travel pass’ for 15.00 for unlimited incoming, and 75 outgoing.Might be worth seeing if MBT offers something similar, to avoid any hassles with getting a cuba sim/pkg for such a low cost.

Same place in Cuba. Sunwing has changed the flight times 3x now, adding a stop in Manzanillo. Also orig dep from TO was 615am w arrival 1020am so we would have had a full day but now 740pm arrival, w customs/shuttle it will be so late we’ll just go to bed.

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