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measomsan
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[*] posted on 3-2-2017 at 04:37 PM
Cuba...i know it's not a Baja thing


I think somewhere on here someone talked about traveling to Cuba, if so was it worth the trip? Been here 8 years and think Cuba might be worth a trip. Anyway any info would help
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[*] posted on 3-2-2017 at 05:57 PM


I'm hoping to go in May this year with friends from Mazatlan . . .
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[*] posted on 3-2-2017 at 07:43 PM


TextHello all ya Baja people,
Went to Cuba about a year ago, spent two months there. I loved it but I dig things really different than the norm. Also been to Myanmar. ( Burma )
Tell me the kinds of things you like and I will expand on that.
Short synopsis is, good food hard to find, really great people , history and weather.
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[*] posted on 3-2-2017 at 07:56 PM


We've been there twice. In a word, YES. I've been to probably 40 countries and Cuba is in the top few, maybe the top. I'd go sooner rather than later. I saw a picture last year of a cruise ship going into Havana. Of course, the rest of the world could go, just not us. If they every really say it's ok, it'll be a zoo down there. Go now. West Cuba is already getting a lot of US tourist but East is still somewhat untouched.
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[*] posted on 3-2-2017 at 08:05 PM


Also of interest is that Cuba is one of the safest Countries on earth.

I walked down what looked like a dark run down neighborhood drunk at 2 in la mañana many many times and not one problem.
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[*] posted on 3-2-2017 at 08:22 PM


I confirm what Paco said.

We wandered/got lost New Year's Eve in Trinidad. Took forever to get back to hotel because almost every house we walked by invited insisted we stop and dance, have a drink. Dark back alleys, spoked wheel town layout. Never worried, great people. A cab took us home, wouldn't take payment even though we insisted.

Depends what you want. Reminds me of Mexico when I was a kid.

Figure out how to get out of Havana and into the other parts, we had a great time there. Airport sucks, expect significant delays both ends.

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[*] posted on 3-3-2017 at 09:14 AM


Go now...I loved it...



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[*] posted on 3-3-2017 at 11:06 AM


Went birding in Cuba 3 years ago, fantastic!! The people are great. Stayed with a family and the food was terrific. There were tears when we left.



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[*] posted on 3-3-2017 at 05:01 PM


I found the food incredibly fresh but very, very boring. I like seasoned and spicy and it was nowhere near what I would of thought. Almost all the veggies were very, very good and fresh but the main dishes bland.

I highly recommend going especially before it gets opened up to the American masses.

Go to Ambos Mundo hotel and have libations on their roof top restaurant/bar and sit where Hemmingway smoked his stogie and drank.




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[*] posted on 3-3-2017 at 05:52 PM
Cuba or bust!!


I went for research/educational purposes. I just got back this past week. It has to be the worst place I have ever been to in my life. I flew through Cancun and stayed at Playa del Carmen, which was beautiful. Warm water, crystal turquoise blue, and cool breezes at night in the 80's.

Took a ferry to Cozumel this past Saturday where they were celebrating Carnival. Another beautiful place, $8 round-trip. My dad used to talk about Cuba when he lived in Miami in the 50's and 60's, and took the ferry from Key West in the late 50's before the Cuban Revolution. He told me how beautiful it was, and his father's friend had a gorgeous mansion and a tobacco plantation. I landed at the airport in Havana, which was a total dump.

About an hour flight from Cancun. I waited 2 hours for a tiny suitcase. I took the bus to my hotel which was beautiful, Hotel Plaza. However the ride from the airport was totally shocking. I was completely overwhelmed by sadness at the neglect of the parks, and the buildings. They were all falling apart. It looked like a war zone. Posters of Fidel were occasionally posted along the route, in Spanish, saying Fidel is with us still. There was garbage strewn along the entire route.

The main city of Havana had some beautiful old Spanish type architecture buildings, but were in need of paint and repair. They all looked closed. My room was $150 for the night, and it had mold in the ceiling and the toilet was leaking around the base. I sat down in the Hotel Lobby, and asked for a menu. Everyone around me seemed to be talking Russian. There was of course the Cuban sandwich, which was lousy. The cheese was stinky and old, and there was a slice of tasteless pork and ham. This was a heart attack sandwich. However, their brand of Diet Coke was actually quite good!! I could not eat the sandwich.

I went to my room took a nap, and about 10 pm wandered across the street to another hotel, which was $700 dollars a night. I sat in the lobby and had to buy a card for $5 (each Cuban dollar is approximately .85 American) to use the Wifi for an hour. Wifi is not widely available in Cuba. The hotel lobby was beautiful, and there was a very handsome Cuban security guard in a nice suit in the lobby. A man walked in with a very pretty woman, and the security guard told him the woman was not allowed in the hotel. I couldn't believe it, at $700 a night and he couldn't even bring a woman to his room!! I then left the lobby and went to a restaurant. I asked what they had for dinner. $25 Cuban dollars for pork chops. They were huge and grilled nicely, but had no flavor. The rice and beans were extra, about $5 an order each. I ordered my Cuban diet coke which I really liked. There was a movie on the screen projector black and white which had a movie about 50 years old about an old man being beat up. I couldn't believe a nice restaurant would be showing such a movie. I went back to my room and turned on the TV which was showing Robert De Niro in a new movie which was the only redeeming event of the evening.

The next morning I went to the rooftop breakfast buffet, which was very nice, but the view was depressing. The buildings were all horrible as far as you could see. I wondered how the government of this country could let things get so bad. Didn't they have any pride? I met a very nice couple from Prince Edward Island Canada while eating breakfast. They told me they went to Varadero Beach, I had also heard was beautiful. They said the service at that resort was horrible, and the beach in Cancun was nicer. The town they said was crumbling just like Havana. They were happy I was leaving that day as they had to stay two more days. I opted to take the bus back to the airport, which was packed like sardines. However, I must say the Cuban people are very clean which helped in a situation so close!!!

I have never been so happy to say Adios in my life. As I looked out the window, I saw the fleet of Aeroflot jets. I joked with a man behind me going through customs before I left, and said now we are friends, Trump and Putin. He laughed!!

[Edited on 3-4-2017 by EnsenadaDr]
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[*] posted on 3-3-2017 at 06:26 PM


Is it worse than Rosarito?

Quote: Originally posted by EnsenadaDr  
I went for research/educational purposes. I just got back this past week. It has to be the worst place I have ever been to in my life. I flew through Cancun and stayed at Playa del Carmen, which was beautiful. Warm water, crystal turquoise blue, and cool breezes at night in the 80's. Took a ferry to Cozumel this past Saturday where they were celebrating Carnival. Another beautiful place, $8 round-trip. My dad used to talk about Cuba when he lived in Miami in the 50's and 60's, and took the ferry from Key West in the late 50's before the Cuban Revolution. He told me how beautiful it was, and his father's friend had a gorgeous mansion and a tobacco plantation. I landed at the airport in Havana, which was a total dump. About an hour flight from Cancun. I waited 2 hours for a tiny suitcase. I took the bus to my hotel which was beautiful, Hotel Plaza. However the ride from the airport was totally shocking. I was completely overwhelmed by sadness at the neglect of the parks, and the buildings. They were all falling apart. It looked like a war zone. Posters of Fidel were occasionally posted along the route, in Spanish, saying Fidel is with us still. There was garbage strewn along the entire route. The main city of Havana had some beautiful old Spanish type architecture buildings, but were in need of paint and repair. They all looked closed. My room was $150 for the night, and it had mold in the ceiling and the toilet was leaking around the base. I sat down in the Hotel Lobby, and asked for a menu. Everyone around me seemed to be talking Russian. There was of course the Cuban sandwich, which was lousy. The cheese was stinky and old, and there was a slice of tasteless pork and ham. This was a heart attack sandwich. However, their brand of Diet Coke was actually quite good!! I could not eat the sandwich. I went to my room took a nap, and about 10 pm wandered across the street to another hotel, which was $700 dollars a night. I sat in the lobby and had to buy a card for $5 (each Cuban dollar is approximately .85 American) to use the Wifi for an hour. Wifi is not widely available in Cuba. The hotel lobby was beautiful, and there was a very handsome Cuban security guard in a nice suit in the lobby. A man walked in with a very pretty woman, and the security guard told him the woman was not allowed in the hotel. I couldn't believe it, at $700 a night and he couldn't even bring a woman to his room!! I then left the lobby and went to a restaurant. I asked what they had for dinner. $25 Cuban dollars for pork chops. They were huge and grilled nicely, but had no flavor. The rice and beans were extra, about $5 an order each. I ordered my Cuban diet coke which I really liked. There was a movie on the screen projector black and white which had a movie about 50 years old about an old man being beat up. I couldn't believe a nice restaurant would be showing such a movie. I went back to my room and turned on the TV which was showing Robert De Niro in a new movie which was the only redeeming event of the evening. The next morning I went to the rooftop breakfast buffet, which was very nice, but the view was depressing. The buildings were all horrible as far as you could see. I wondered how the government of this country could let things get so bad. Didn't they have any pride? I met a very nice couple from Prince Edward Island Canada while eating breakfast. They told me they went to Varadero Beach, I had also heard was beautiful. They said the service at that resort was horrible, and the beach in Cancun was nicer. The town they said was crumbling just like Havana. They were happy I was leaving that day as they had to stay two more days. I opted to take the bus back to the airport, which was packed like sardines. However, I must say the Cuban people are very clean which helped in a situation so close!!! I have never been so happy to say Adios in my life. As I looked out the window, I saw the fleet of Aeroflot jets. I joked with a man behind me going through customs before I left, and said now we are friends, Trump and Putin. He laughed!!
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[*] posted on 3-3-2017 at 07:29 PM


Honestly I believe Tijuana is paradise compared to this place. Rosarito of course is better than TJ in my opinion. Tijuana airport and the buildings have had a significant improvement in the past 10 years. I have been living in Mexico for 15 years so I have no problem with a third world country. on a scale of Rosarito being a 10 havana is a 5 from worst to best.
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[*] posted on 3-3-2017 at 08:09 PM


I have to agree with DrEnsenada.
Although I stayed at casa paticulars ( rooms in a Cuban's house )
Cuba is NOT for the faint of heart.
It is by far NOT your typical vacation. And if you go anywhere but Havana you better speek some Spanish. Even in Havana if only English it would be difficult.
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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 08:54 AM


Wow, really good input and all over the place. We like nice stuff, so would want higher end places to stay. Been doing Baja East cape for nearly 8 years but still i speak very , very little. Maybe back to Costa Rica, almost bought there before Baja. But Baja is Baja. Love everything about it. From Coco's to Buzzard's , Zack's Bar and on and on...Thanks of the input. If we decide to head that way will ask a few more ?
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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 10:30 AM


I had visited Cuba about 30 years ago as a writer, and I see things have not changed any since EnsenadaDr. went there recently.

My wife and sister had not been, so we were making plans to a visit and had asked friends who visited recently.
All three said the same thing...wasted money. There is no ..."old romantic" Cuba any more.
One or two days there is plenty...nothing to see but the old cars, buildings that are crumbling, lack of meaningful service, bad plumbing everywhere, and depressing at times.

I think our tourist dollars could be better spent in New Orleans.




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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 10:48 AM


Was there in November 2016. Wonderful people, Very safe. Outside of Havana reminded me of Mexico in the 60's. Food is fair to tasteless as almost all agriculture is dedicated to tobacco for cigars. The two or three main blocks of Havana look wonderful but get even one block off and there is trash and rubble everywhere.
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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 12:34 PM


Quote: Originally posted by EnsenadaDr  
I went for research/educational purposes. I just got back this past week. It has to be the worst place I have ever been to in my life. I flew through Cancun and stayed at Playa del Carmen, which was beautiful. Warm water, crystal turquoise blue, and cool breezes at night in the 80's.

Took a ferry to Cozumel this past Saturday where they were celebrating Carnival. Another beautiful place, $8 round-trip. My dad used to talk about Cuba when he lived in Miami in the 50's and 60's, and took the ferry from Key West in the late 50's before the Cuban Revolution. He told me how beautiful it was, and his father's friend had a gorgeous mansion and a tobacco plantation. I landed at the airport in Havana, which was a total dump.

About an hour flight from Cancun. I waited 2 hours for a tiny suitcase. I took the bus to my hotel which was beautiful, Hotel Plaza. However the ride from the airport was totally shocking. I was completely overwhelmed by sadness at the neglect of the parks, and the buildings. They were all falling apart. It looked like a war zone. Posters of Fidel were occasionally posted along the route, in Spanish, saying Fidel is with us still. There was garbage strewn along the entire route.

The main city of Havana had some beautiful old Spanish type architecture buildings, but were in need of paint and repair. They all looked closed. My room was $150 for the night, and it had mold in the ceiling and the toilet was leaking around the base. I sat down in the Hotel Lobby, and asked for a menu. Everyone around me seemed to be talking Russian. There was of course the Cuban sandwich, which was lousy. The cheese was stinky and old, and there was a slice of tasteless pork and ham. This was a heart attack sandwich. However, their brand of Diet Coke was actually quite good!! I could not eat the sandwich.

I went to my room took a nap, and about 10 pm wandered across the street to another hotel, which was $700 dollars a night. I sat in the lobby and had to buy a card for $5 (each Cuban dollar is approximately .85 American) to use the Wifi for an hour. Wifi is not widely available in Cuba. The hotel lobby was beautiful, and there was a very handsome Cuban security guard in a nice suit in the lobby. A man walked in with a very pretty woman, and the security guard told him the woman was not allowed in the hotel. I couldn't believe it, at $700 a night and he couldn't even bring a woman to his room!!


Nice report Janene, although sounds a little depressing, and seeing mass poverty can ruin a vacation.

You also didn't report on the medical care in Cuba, seeing that's your field, but maybe you're just vacationing.

It's no surprise to me that a man walked in with a very beautiful woman, but she was asked to leave. She was probably a Cuban "sex worker" because for years now Cuba, has been on the map as a sex tourist destination for foreigners, especially Canadians, and even Americans, when they still had that travel ban. There is no laws against prostitution in Cuba, although pimping is illegal, I understand foreigners still often use the services of a pimp, because in part of the hotels bans of sex workers, at the nice tourist hotels.

When the average monthly wage is about $20 dollars in Cuba, you could understand why prostitution, and moonlighting as an escort, could be popular past time for both Cuban women, and the foreign tourists who have deep pockets.




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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 12:43 PM


Quote: Originally posted by rzitren  
The two or three main blocks look wonderful but get even one block off and there is trash and rubble everywhere.


Hey! Sounds just like the Vegas Strip! Sorry for the hijack. :saint:

Hopefully the Cuban people can slowly build up the infrastructure for tourism and raise their level of income. As mentioned, after 50 years of neglect.......................:(




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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 01:09 PM


I had heard from my experience in the Mexican Healthcare system, that Cuba had an excellent system. This was the basis of my interest on going there and seeing for myself. I have to admit my ignorance. I did not realize that Michael Moore's movie Sicko was based on Cuban Health Care. However, he reported on the private sector supposedly that were private pay clinics and hospitals from what I understood.

To be honest, when I saw the government buildings in such disrepair, I decided that I would not even step foot into a Cuban hospital or clinic. In addition, the Cubans are not a very talkative group. I broached the subject of Fidel and Bautista and most did not want to talk about anything to do with politics. In fact they did not like making small talk at all. When I asked about healthcare, they just rolled their eyes. I realized then and there that Mexican healthcare was a choice I would go with and would recommend to Americans that could not afford Obamacare with it's rising costs.

I worked a year as an intern in a Military Hospital in Mexico. Though poor, the surgical suite was immaculate and sterile technique was followed to the T. True, Mexican hospitals don't have the pain relievers as they do in the U.S., and overall for critical care I recommend the U.S. for a serious illness because they can get their medication covered and equipment needed generally cheaper than in Mexico.

I researched Michael Moore's book online, and found many articles about the real state of affairs in the Cuban healthcare system. The pictures of the equipment and facilities were horrific and enough for me. I couldn't wait to leave there. Also Medicare is a viable option for good senior healthcare in the U.S. My experience with insurance in the U.S. has taught me that Medicare is now the #1 accepted government insurance of hospitals and doctors over Medi Cal and its respective HMO's Molina and California Health and Wellness. That is Medicare pays better reimbursement than Medical or nationally known as Medicaid.

[Edited on 3-4-2017 by EnsenadaDr]
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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 02:45 PM


Why are you hijacking this into a discussion of Medical systems?



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