Happy Wednesday Everyone!  This week is absolutely dragging for me.  It is my first full week back after vacation and it has been a rough one.  Between some seasonal allergies and post cruise depression, I don’t know if I will make it!

I wanted to compile a small list of tips and highlight what I did after my tour.  There is so much more to experience in Cuba.  The tour gives you a good highlight as well as a great foundation.  After my tour, I walked back to the port to exchange my Canadian Dollars for CUCs.  With money in hand we then walked back to Plaza Vieja in search of a late lunch.  We opted to eat at the restaurant next to Cafe El Escorial.  I apologize that the name escapes me, I was a bit hangry by the time I got here.  I ordered this Seafood Salad  (Ensalada Marinera) as an appetizer and Pineapple Chicken was the recommended dish from our server for an entree.  This Pineapple Chicken is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.  I am not someone who typically likes fruit with meat but this is definitely worth a try.  For a sandwich, pineapple chicken dish, seafood salad and 3 drinks it came out to $28.75 CUC.  There was an option on the receipt for CUP ($718.75) and USD ($40.25) as well.

After a nice pleasant lunch, we stopped back in the beginning of the plaza to an ice cream vendor.  The ice cream is made of out of coconut water, coconut sugar and coconut cream.  It is very unique and definitely worth a try.

After we finished eating our way around Plaza Vieja we headed back towards the ship but took the long way around, down some back streets and came across some beautiful art work along the way.

As we made our way back to the port, I came across a classic car photo op that I knew my father would love!


Cuba was truly a wonderful experience.  I definitely plan on going back on a cruise with an overnight in Cuba or an actual land trip.  It was nice feeling like you were in a different time and there is so much more beauty beyond Havana.  Here are some of my tips to make your Cuba Cruise or Land Travel a big success:

  • Exchange your USD to EUR or CAD prior to travel
  • Print out a map of Old Havana to keep in your bag
  • Keep a notebook and note any places that you go outside your tour in case customs ask
  • Convert to your money to CUC before you go on your tour
  • Download a currency exchange app (I used XE currency and it worked on airplane mode)
  • Bring a Camera
  • Bring your passport with you and make sure you make copies of it as well
  • Keep an open mind.  These citizens live very different lives from us.  Tourism is way to help them make money for their families.
  • If you are buying cigars, make sure they have the sealed sticker on them (it was will say Republica de Cuba)
  • Leave your credit cards onboard, they won’t do you any good here.

I hope this helps you.  I am open to any questions that you may have about Cuba.  I will be moving on to Costa Maya and an Empress overview next.  Don’t worry, I’ll probably do a quick sail in video collaboration for all of you too!


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Written by hjr3860


  1. Barb May 5, 2017 at 11:38 am Reply

    We will be sailing in two weeks and you have really been helpful! Did you exchange your Euros on the ship or do you have to wait in long lines somewhere?

    • hjr3860 May 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm Reply

      I exchanged mine to Canadian dollars at the border because I live very close to the border. Some big banks exchange currency, international airports do. When you exchange to the CUC you do that after you get through customs and security in Cuba.

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