2 independent reviews for Cuba tour, Christmas & New Year holiday

Reviews for Cuba tour, Christmas & New Year holiday

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review 6 Jan 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It's hard to pick one sight or sound - Cuba is an amazing country, unlike anywhere on earth. Trinidad was a great place to visit, with everything you'd need - museums, restaurants - even a disco in a cave (get there before 11 to avoid queuing too long!) - and unlike Havana, you're not bothered by touts as much. However, the country is changing rapidly, especially since US citizens have been allowed to travel there from 1 January 2016.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring slippers/flip flops, ear plugs, mosquito repellant/sting relief, lots of diahorrea relief and most of all, you must bring a sense of humour and patience when queuing. Don't expect anything to be like home - shortages are common - lots of menu items will not be available. And double check all restaurant bills - items are routinely added and overcharged for. Read all you can about Cuba before you go.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

No, there was a disjoint between the environmental information you sent and the holiday we experienced. We did lots of touristy things, but didn't mix with many local people, just other tourists and people working in the tourist industry. We used the coach more than necessary, as our guide didn't want to walk. The Cuban tourist industry is still learning, and hopefully will adapt, when every day life isn't such a struggle for them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The holiday would have been better had our tour guide told us about Cuba, rather than nursed a hangover all the time. Sometimes he forgot that we were on holiday, not him! However, the tour ran smoothly enough - mainly thanks to our excellent driver!

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Bryan. Thank you for your feedback regarding the Christmas/ New Year Group tour of Cuba. We really appreciate your honest appraisal of our services and are always looking for ways to improve and tweak our tour offerings. I am sorry to hear that you feel like you didn't get the chance to mix with the locals, as this is something we very much encourage. The tour used Casa Particular/ Homestay accommodation, giving you the chance to stay with local families, offering a unique insight into Cuban culture and way of life. Hopefully you had the opportunity and made the effort to interact with these families on a one-to-one basis (although the language barrier can sometimes be difficult). Many of those people working in the tourist industry are English-speaking which makes things easier sometimes when it comes to engaging with the locals. Learning about the emergence of a new breed entrepreneurial Cuban locals is a fascinating aspect of travel to Cuba. With regards to your guide on tour, we certainly actively encourage our guides to interact and engage with our clients on tour, and celebrate with them during what is a very festive time of the year. We also like our guides to host our clients in the evenings, showing them Cuba's thriving nightlife. In saying this, we will be speaking to your guide and reminding him of his responsibilities on tour as a host, educator and chaperone. Viva Cuba!

review 11 Jan 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

New Years Eve Party

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Expect very basic accomodation (too basic)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I suppose it may have but with the present regime there it is difficult to see how that would work.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

100% for Tour Guide, Coach and Driver. Everything else on a decresing scale. Leave out the Santa Clara/Remidious Festival.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Gerry, Thank you for your honest feedback of our tour services. I am really happy to to hear that you had a wonderful time in Cuba and really enjoyed your time with your Tour Guide and driver. Your feedback is a great way for us to improve our tour services so we can continually improve as an organisation. I am sorry to hear that you found the Casa accommodation a little too basic. We are constantly updating our list of preferred Casa's based on client feedback, so will definitely be reviewing which Casa's you stay in to see where we can make improvements. Casa's generally rank highly with our tour participants on their Cuba tour highlights reel and offer a great cultural experience at affordable prices. During December it is peak season in Cuba so often accommodation options are very limited but we always try to source the best possible Casa's available for our clients. Many thanks again for your valuable feedback and all the best for 2015! Best regards, Dan S

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