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Wilba’s Cruise Cuba Santiago

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    Wilba’s 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.

    First stop on the way was the Santiago Cemetery where the rich and famous of Santiago lie in rest. Their fame all comes from Rum, the most well known being the Bacardi family, but other names who produced the darker rums were clearly not short of a bob or two either.

    We watched the changing of the guard which takes place every thirty minutes, not surprising as no one would be able to stand long in the scorching heat.

    A dramatic piece of music especially written for the ceremony starts up and the guards appear from the guardroom with a very slow, goosestep type march where the foot is slapped down in a very positive flatfoot style.

    P1010617 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    They change duty and repeat the whole performance back to the guardhouse. Impressive, dramatic and very watchable.

    Our second stop was in the city in the main square, where as with everywhere in Cuba, street bands are playing away, giving it their all. You cannot fail to be enraptured with the warmth of the people and their music.

    P1010621 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    P1010620 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    Across the square is the oldest house in Cuba, as Santiago was once the Capitol prior to Havana, before some revolution or other.

    We followed a ‘guide’ into the first room where I listened to the spiel for two minutes and then when he told us to follow him I saw my chance to ‘go the wrong way’! It was 33 degrees outside, there was a fabulous looking outdoor hotel bar across the square, and they sold cold beer.

    Now, I am as skilled in museums as I am at shopping with Mrs W. I can do the whole building in five minutes flat, so one beer later I was back in the house, caught up with Mrs W and she had not even noticed I was missing.

    From there we were taken to a Marina where an awaiting launch took us across the bay for a seafood lunch. Oh No! Not lobster tail again! Have they not heard of fish and chips in Cuba?

    P1010630 by Wilba Cruise, on Flickr

    I jest of course, it was a cracking lunch of lobster tail, king prawn, calamari and rice plus a drink of our choice. An extra bottle of white was quickly ordered and demolished even quicker.

    Our next stop was a fort across the bay but by now the heat was getting to many of us on this trip. The coach parked about 200 metres from the fort entrance, but 10 metres from a bar overlooking the water. I think you can guess what’s coming next.

    Quite a few of us were feeling the effects of the sun and never made it to the entrance to the fort, so we waited patiently, drink in hand for those others to return.

    A brief photo stop at yet another Revolution Square in Cuba, then on to our final stop at one of the original rum factories, where a small measure of (potent) dark rum was handed to us all, all to the sound of a Cuban band and their infectious rhythm.

    In reality it was just a shop with every type of rum imaginable on offer and a wide range of Cuban cigars, but to be fair, there was no hassle, no sales pitch, but if you shown an interest, they would talk you through the various strengths. All in all a good day out, so back onboard, an hours rest and time for dinner.

    After yet another very good meal and the dining room starting to empty, in came three of the young waiters, one with a guitar singing Rock Around the Clock, and the one in front doing a jive on his own. As they approached our table Mrs W took up the jive challenge and the poor lad didn’t know what hit him.

    This is a great little ship with a genuine feeling of camaraderie throughout the crew at every level.

    Tomorrow is the last day we intend exerting ourselves with a long trip. After that it will hopefully be a lot more relaxing for our last couple of stops on what, up to now has been a cracking little cruise……….Wilba
    Last edited by Wilba; 4th August 2017, 12:44 PM.

    Brilliant, we're hanging onto your every word. Cant wait to see the photos.


      Glad you enjoyed Santiago, it's a great place. To me the Cubans make it a great place, when you think of the struggles and the hardship they have all had to go through and they are still smiling.
      shaken, not purred


        An excellent post and looking forward to the next instalment.


          Oh Wilba you can be really funny keep them coming ,


            Thanks Wilba. Alan approves of your museum visiting!


              I see you have this museum visits business down to a fine art Wilba. Great stuff and thanks again for sharing.


                Brilliant. ---- Following you all the way.


                  Just home from a night out, but before bed I had to get my daily fix of your blog, it's fantastic!


                    Another interesting instalment Wilba. I like your style, beer beats museums. I like Mrs W's style too, doesn't notice when you go missing but struts her stuff with the waiter. Sounds like you're both having a real good time...................HT


                      You made me laugh, going awol, it's just the thing my husband would do.

                      Another very entertaining blog, thank you.



                        Just caught up Wilba another great day out how on earth you find the energy after the great days out I don't know [after those trips I would just want to hurl myself in the bed] much appreciated...good on Mrs W nothing like a good jive to end the day. I am looking forward to the photo's. CG


                          Just like my OH, He needs frequent beer stops as well,!!! Jan.


                            That's the way to do an arduous tour- keep looking out for the bars! We have such happy memories of our Louis cruise- different, and very busy.


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