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

Just booked a week in Florida before PA posted. Bday celeb for our 12 soon to be 13 year old. It will be hot but hopefully not as hot as we’ve heard it is in Cuba in August.

Doing the Disney thing and Cuba doesn’t have an equivalent.

I do have a bubba and took it when I first got it but found it takes up a lot of room in my suitcase and holds way too much! And yet, we use the Bubbas in our suitcase to protect fragile items going down and holding loose cigars on our return. They are light and very durable. We use them at the resort as a) ice buckets, b) wine coolers for our room. For drinks we use 12 oz stainless steel coffee mugs with tight lids which, if tipped over, prevent loss of drink and sand getting into the drink and the ice remains "ice" for ages.

Bubbas have many uses other than for drinks!

Ok that just brought up a NASTY vision of "bubbas have many uses other than for drinks!". Specifally, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go….Do bubbas come with a warning label "Caution, please ensure bubba is empty of ALL contents & thoroughly washed BEFORE refilling.

We’ve decided not to book in advance like we usually do. I think the risk is ever increasing you will pay your deposit, wait excitedly for months, get a call a short time before saying the flight is canceled to your destination, thus leaving you scurrying to rebook something else, AND possibly having to alter your vacation request from work.

We used to book in advance to take advantage of the kids fly free deals but our kid is too old now so we’ll be booking as 3 adults/triple occ.

Yukon recently posted about US airlines cutting flights and some questioned how it would affect us flying to Cuba. It appears we won’t escape the cuts and prices may be higher for our trips. (although I haven’t flown AC to cuba myself).Air Canada slashes jobs, flightsThe Canadian PressJune 17, 2008 at 9:23 AM EDTMONTREAL — Air Canadawill cut up to 2,000 jobs at the end of this year as it sharply reduces capacity to deal with the rising cost of fuel, and is warning there are likely more cutbacks to come.Canada’s biggest airline said Tuesday it needs to fly fewer trips as oil prices keep rising to record levels and will cut capacity by 7 per cent from its fall and winter schedule.Fewer flights mean the airline will require less staff to operate across all levels of the organization, the company said.“The loss of jobs is painful in view of our employees’ hard work in bringing the airline back to profitability over the past four years,” president and chief executive Montie Brewer said in a statement.Air Canada Air Canada cuts jobsCTV’s Jed Kahane discusses carrier’s announcement that it will slash 2,000 jobs, reduce capacity “I regret having to take these actions but they are necessary to remain competitive going forward. Air Canada, like most global airlines, needs to adapt its business and reduce flying that has become unprofitable in the current fuel environment,” he said.“If fuel prices remain at current levels, we can anticipate further capacity reductions.”Air Canada says that every time oil increases by $1 per barrel, it costs the airline an additional $26-million a year. The company spends more on fuel than any other expense, representing more than 30 per cent of its total operational spending.With oil over $133 (U.S.) a barrel, the airline estimates it will shell out almost $1-billion more in 2008 than in it did in 2007. It says the average cost of taking one passenger on a round trip has increased to $230, from $146 in 2007 and $110 in 2004.It also blames federal and provincial fuel excise taxes, security fees and airport charges “that are amongst the most expensive in the world today” as roadblocks to profitability.Air Canada plans to slash domestic capacity in the fourth quarter of this year and first quarter of 2009 by 2 per cent, U.S. transborder capacity by 13 per cent and international capacity by 7 per cent, for a total of 7 per cent across its system.Among routes being jettisoned are the previously announced suspension of Toronto to Rome non-stop service — although that will remain for the high-traffic summer season — and the elimination of non-stop service from Vancouver to Osaka, Japan.With the reductions, Air Canada expects to see full-year capacity growth between 1 per cent and minus 1 per cent. It had originally forecast growth between 1 and 2.5 per cent over 2007 levels.Recommend this article? 28 votes

We don’t buy postcards or stamps anymore due to the disappearing issue. It is just TOO common to be anything more than some abuse in their system…so we won’t spend our CUC’s to support THAT economy. Their loss if enough people don’t buy!

I think it is fair criticism with the proviso that this makes researching and choosing the right resort to meet your needs. People have asked which resort is quiet and laid back ideal for lounging and Cayo Coco area is often mentioned. Nightlife..Havana,varadero. Isolated…Brisas Sierra Mar. If certain resorts become more party havens than they were (for whatever reason) and someone wants to avoid that, then the info is useful.

PS. Even with that said, picking a resort to match your personality can be difficult as we’ve seen the Sierra Mar go from Dead to Party central with the shift change of tourists from week 1 to week 2.

Guess this increases the desire to book last minute if you can. We’ve usually booked months ahead, paid the deposit/full amt so I’d be ticked they had my money all that time whereas booking last minute there should be less likelihood of schedule changes so when you are booking you can be more confident you’ll get your departure times etc.

Reason we booked months ahead was due to the child fly free offers. Next year it may be as 3 adults, triple occ instead since the kid is growing fast. That is actually sometimes cheaper than 2 adults/1 chd

Cubana’s luggage anomoly is not uniquely mis-stated by sell-off, Wholesale Travel got it wrong for Toronto as well. In this case a week before departure we learned of the higher allowance and scurried to take advantage of it. Wholesale’s sales rep also screwed up when he said they did electronic tickets and we were waiting for them only to learn they don’t, then they said it was too late to get them couriered and we would have to pick-up at the airport. Airport pickup was something we don’t like to do because if there is a ticket error you are left scrambling last minute to fix it. Of course they mis-spelled the spouse’s name on the ticket. Makes us reconsider using Wholesale after 11 consecutive bookings but it seems they all don’t take the time to accurately inform travellers so do your own research and come here for answers. Always somebody who can help.

In Cuba – not in B.C. – I got my bites in a private casa !!!

oooh that is a VERY sensitive area to get bitten by an ant. Did you have to use any special cream to make the swelling go away?

Dispute it with Visa and tell them that the agency YOU dealt with is not providing you with the assistance required to resolve it. Visa should flag it, request the receipt etc etc. Don’t worry it really isn’t too big a worry. ExitNOw and Sunwing may want to make YOU do all the work but it is their screwup and Visa will look after it for you in the end.

Reading the "wasted buffet food" thread made me think of an equally if not more horrific injustice.

All that wasted liquor. Either ordering extra quantities and not consuming it, OR, drinking it then puking it all UP…oh what a waste!!!!

Seems the easiest thing is not to mention it at all to Customs. Just fill in the Tourist card with the hotel info you said and only ‘explain’ if asked. I don’t recall if they ask for the plane ticket at the customs booth but they do want your passport and tourist card.

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) — For the first time since Fidel Castro’s official resignation, Cubans are talking more about what the government is doing than what it’s not doing.Cubans, like this woman at home in Havana, until now had been denied cell phones. Now they are allowed.1 of 3 In the past week, President Raúl Castro has legalized cell phone use for ordinary Cubans; granted Cubans access to previously off-limits tourist hotels; and legalized the sale within Cuba of microwaves, DVD players and personal computers. Cubans are welcoming the change, even if the costs are out of their reach.Georgina Garcia, a retired sound technician, was among those lined up at Dita, a store in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood."I can’t afford to go to the hotels," she said. "But I think it’s good anyway. I have the right to go, and I feel the same as the tourists who come here."Heriberto Gonzalez, a civil worker, said of the new freedoms, "Now that the prohibition has been lifted, we’ll see how far we go from here." Watch Cubans react to the loosened rules »Jorge, who has a small business, didn’t want to give his last name. He said, "I think the Cuban people deserved this a while ago. So Cubans look more like the rest of the world, like normal people.""Now we have to work on the workers’ salaries, which aren’t enough to meet the prices of a DVD player or a computer."Don’t MissCuba opens tourist hotels to citizens Castro’s brother faces big challenges Cuba’s government had previously forbidden the sale of consumer products under the argument that they consumed too much electricity.And although computers hadn’t yet been seen on the shelves Wednesday, Yamile Batista, the commercial director of La Puntilla department store, said they were among various products that would appear this week."We’re talking about complete computer systems, 21-inch televisions, DVD players, home theater systems," she said.Georgina Garcia voiced a sentiment echoed by many in the stores this week."I think it’s good that I can have a computer and not overpay for it, have to hide it when they come to fumigate my house, worried that they’ll see the computer and I’ll be sent of to prison for the computer that I overpaid for from somebody who stole it," she said.Most Cubans can’t afford to rent cell phones, stay in hotels or buy any of the new products available to them. The average monthly salary is just under $20.Those in the stores this week were primarily those with access to hard currency, either from relatives abroad or through jobs in the tourist industry.Cuba has a two-tiered currency system; Cuban state workers are paid in the Cuban peso, but many products are only sold in the convertible peso, worth 24 times as much. E-mail to a friend
Eloisegirl "Kudos to N.S. and Quebec for making talking on the handheld cell phone illegal!"

Your kidding right. They’ve made it illegal to talk on a cell phone in N.S. and Quebec and in the meantime Cuba has made it legal. What a backworld world we live in! What are N.S.’s and Quebecer’s supposed to do now? Get out the tin cans and string so they can communicate? Just kidding, I know you left out the part about while driving but couldn’t resist commenting.

We’ve always stayed on first floor (except last trip when they put us on third for the first night) but I never envisioned the route you mentioned (I have great difficulty walking distances especially on uneven ground. Fortunately at least one elevator has pretty much worked most times. Note besides the two in the tower there is another at the opposite end to the left of the stage. You have to do the first set of stairs but it is probably easier than the other route…IF you can get down the first set of stairs.

I am so packed and ready for my trip to BSM April 3. Have my deep woods off packed for the biting critters and prearranged a room accessible for when and if the elevator is down. As a wheelchair user I don’t do stairs well. Look forward to reading your review.

I didn’t think there were any rooms that would be accessible to wheelchair users IF the elevator is down. What level did they arrange for you?

Cuban food wasn’t always Cuban food, it is something that has developed and continued to change over centuries. How do you think they got their in the first place.
Taking your own condiments is the most ridiculous thing i’ve ever heard of. I understand it if you have kids that are fussy eaters, but for adults?????? Part of travelling is experiencing another culture, of which food is a big part. AI travel doesn’t allow you much interaction with local culture and by drenchign the local food in North American style condiments you are blocking out the final ounce of culture you might experience. Why not try something new?

I just don’t get it.

We’ve experienced their culture/food and so NOW we bring things that a) will enhance our experienceb) we notice they don’t have so that they too get to share OUR culture and might enjoy trying.It isn’t about trying to stick to our ways, or make them adopt our, it is about sharing both ways and noticing where these things differ is the first step. I didn’t happen to care for their syrup as an example and they may not care for mine but at least we both tried each others.

…but we also have kids if that makes you feel better.

We took a variety of foods and Pancake syrup, dollar store spices ie french fry seasoning, cinnamin, decorating sprinkles. Left all behind. The FF guy at Sierra Mar really enjoyed tasting the ff seasoning so we left this kind of stuff with him.

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