Cuba - A Cruisers Perspective!

March 11, 2015

Our faithful forum member Wilba has recently been on a cruise to Cuba and has given us some absolutely fantastic blogs detailing his journey to Cuba aboard Louis Cristal and what he got up to on the beautiful island!

You can find all of Wilba’s blogs below – we don’t know about you, but Cuba is definitely on our bucket list now!


Wilba On Tour… Cuba

Our journey began with a drive down to Gatwick South Terminal for a direct non stopper to Havana with Virgin Atlantic. I booked the ‘Aspire’ Lounge to ease the pain of hanging about at airports and this proved to be a good choice. Hot bacon rolls for breakfast and then carrot & coriander soup as the morning went on, plus help yourself to every kind of drink imaginable. No complaints there, plus the flight was on time, service was excellent and complimentary drinks throughout the flight…




Wilba On Tour… Varadero, Cuba

I have been to many beaches in the Caribbean but I cannot get over the clarity and stillness of the water here in Varadero. You can walk out for quite some distance before the water level even reaches waist high and all the time beneath you is flat white powder sand, no need for those frumpy looking beach shoes to protect your feet here…





Wilba, Havana Great Time

We have B&B only at the Florida Hotel, so with breakfast done and dusted, morning constitutional to gain Wifi access sorted, it was down to the harbour where Thomson Dream had docked on the day previously. A quick photo call around the International Teddy Bears, don’t ask why I don’t know, it was time to haggle for an American Car Tour. Being in Havana is like being on a 50’s Hollywood movie set, with all the old 50’s American Classics cruising around. It is quite surreal…




Wilba On Tour… Havana

Ahh! Havana. The very name conjours up a mystique, edgy, even a slightly dodgy place on this earth in my simple mind. The reality of it is that so far the Cubans have been warm, friendly and utterly charming, but I don’t want to spoil the illusion, I’m thinking plots and revolutions behind closed doors…




P1010469_zpsm3a9iutm[1]Wilba Cruise Cuba Day 1

First of all the ship is immaculate so I can only assume its recent refit was quite extensive, with little or nothing left aside. Our deck 4 cabin is next to the forward stairwell, perfect, a Superior Outside. Naturally being a small ship, average cabin sizes will be reduced from the norm of the newer mass market cruise liners, ours is of adequate size with double bed, sofa (bed), single armchair and large picture window…





Wilba Cruise Cuba Day 2

Today is a sea day, in fact the only sea day on this seven nighter and the first breakfast of the cruise. The buffet was good, two types of bacon, mushrooms, beans and tomato, plus all the usual other breakfast offerings, and once again everything was piping hot…






Wilba Cruise Cuba… Antilla

Our first stop was Villa Cayo Saetia, once the holiday home of the Castro’s, now a 12 room exclusive holiday rental. After a five minute walkabout it was back to the jeep for our first glimpse of wildlife. A short distance away was an Ostrich, who came strutting towards us as the jeep came to a halt. He obviously knew the driver would have a treat for him, and a plantain (banana) was eagerly snatched from his hand…





Wilba Cruise Cuba… Santiago

We were glad we chose a tour for Santiago, as much like Havana, the outskirts of Santiago are terribly run down, and not the most pleasant of places to be walking through. Decayed and collapsed buildings where people live and work is everywhere to be seen, and only when you get into the city centre do we see the beautifully restored municipal buildings, hotels, churches and the like…





Wilba Cruise Cuba… Montego Bay

I have never fancied Jamaica that much due to the reputations of certain parts of the island, but the road to and from Freeport made for a pleasant journey with quality homes and hotels in abundance and the township itself appeared to be very pleasant. I would have no hesitation in spending a day or two here in a pre/post cruise situation…




Wilba Cruise Cuba… The Final Countdown

Plenty of horse and carts and cycle rickshaws on offer as we left the dock gates, but we decided we needed the exercise, so after a five or ten minute walk through the run down dockland area we arrived at the town square with its now to be expected beautifully restored municipal buildings alongside decay and ruin…





Wilba’s Cuba Summary

I think it fairly obvious that we both thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and felt it excellent value for money, but most of all the friendliness of the staff was summed up by the Head Waiter in the Alberta Steakhouse where he and his two waiters gave us an Elvis performance. “We may only be a three star cruiseline, but we are a five star family”. I found that quite apt and profound…




Thanks so much for your blogs Wilba! We hope you enjoy Cuba as much as we enjoyed reading about it!

For the readers, what do you think? Is Cuba on your bucket list now?