MIAMI TO MIAMI ABOARD THE 286 feet M/V VICTORY I
* March 21, 2017: Cruise itineraries are currently under revisions. Please bookmark page and stand by.*
A distinctive 15-Day People to People cultural exchange program, providing guests with a unique opportunity to see many of Cuba’s seldom visited port cities with visits to 5 of Cuba’s nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Our imaginations run with thoughts of music filled with infectious rhythms and passion. Vistas filled with breathtaking terrains to architecture designed the famed architects. There is no limit to the depth of the culture of Cuba, this is why writers such as Ernest Hemingway were once drawn here. There is no better way to witness the colorful mosaic of Cuba than aboard the 210-guest M/V Victory I. Her size allows her to reach small inlets and ports that are untouched by larger vessels, allowing her guests to witness a rich culture built by generations of European, African and revolutionary influences.
PEOPLE TO PEOPLE CULTURAL JOURNEY OPEN TO USA CITIZENS
Experience Cuban culture the most authentic way possible— through its people. On this distinctive program, get acquainted with Cubans in their daily lives, from the city of Havana to the tobacco plantations of Viñales Valley. Engage with people directly in discussions about their lives and work, culture and traditions. Meet with Cuban historians, artists, musicians and naturalists and experience this diverse island through their eyes.
The M/V Victory I: An Agile and Elegant Small Ship with only 105 cabins, Perfectly Suited to Coastal Cruising!
Trip Highlights include:
Beyond the sun-soaked beaches, Cuba brings everything from beautiful plazas, abundant wildlife, sustainable ecosystems, stunning architecture, museums and a vibrant musical tradition. Cuba’s landscape is diverse, consisting of roaming coastlines, the Sierra Maestra mountains to the east and the distinctive Caribbean spirit of the central region where top Cuban musicians often make surprise appearances and traditional savory Cuban cuisine begins the day.
* People-to-People interaction and meaningful exchanges with locals.
* Small cruise ship ambiance (105 cabins).
* Up close and personal cruising to unique ports.
* All meals starting with Welcome dinner on Day 1, through breakfast on Day 15.
* Explore 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites including Old Havana and Trinidad with experts in Cuban culture and history.
* Visit Hotel Ambos Mundos in Havana, where Ernest Hemingway wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”
* Take in the authentic music of the famous Cuban ensemble, the Buena Vista Social Club at Café Taberna, representing the musical spirit of the original 1940s Havana club by the same name.
* Enjoy a performance by the Cienfuegos Choir and the French influenced palaces and mansions in this enchanting colonial city.
* Experience the eclectic assortment of architectural influences in soulful Santiago de Cuba, from the imposing San Pedro de la Roca Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), to the exquisite colonial homes in the historic quarter.
* Explore Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, the most important biosphere reserve in the Caribbean basin and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
* Mandatory Cuban medical insurance.
* Cuban visa acquired for you.
Refined, small ship experiences
Intuitive and attentive service
With a caring crew of 90 pampering no more than 210 guests, you’ll feel at home on the M/V Victory I from the moment you step on board. Whether it’s a favorite cocktail served to you on deck, fresh hot coffee in the morning in your room, or the delicate chocolate on your pillow ensuring sweet dreams, serving you is our pleasure. Personal room service is just a phone call away.
On board specialists and included excursions
Aboard the M/V Victory I, you’ll often travel in the company of engaging specialists focusing on areas where our journey takes us who share their expertise freely in presentations and impromptu discussions throughout your journey. In port, included shore excursions with knowledgeable local guides provide meaningful opportunities to uncover the rich history, unique wildlife, and fascinating cultures of the destinations you visit.
Your Cruise to Cuba Route
Click here for a nice 6 minute video on Cuba Tourism:
15-Day, Cruise to Cuba on the M/V Victory
2017 COSTS: CONTACT US FOR PRICING
1. One shore excursion in each port of call
2. House wine or beer with lunch and dinner
1. Gratuities at $15 per day per person
2. Air, hotel or transfers in Miami
1. Pricing in USD above are based on double occupancy. A single supplement of additional 60% is available for Category A-F cabins.
2. Port taxes: Estimate $499 per person not included - to be added to cruise cost.
3. Cuban Visa application fee: Estimate $75 per person not included - to be added to cruise cost. (We will need a color copy of your passport and completed Application Form to be sent after booking.)
4. Cuban Departure Taxes: Estimate $25 per person not included - to be added to cruise cost.
5. Cuban Medical Insurance: Estimate $46 per person not included - to be added to cruise cost.
6. Reservations require a $1,200 per person deposit and final payment is due 120 days prior to departure.
7. Cancelation Terms: If your cancellation request is received more than 120 days prior to your initial sailing date, a $500 non-refundable administrative fee will be charged per booking. Cancellation requests received within: 120 – 91 days prior to the initial sailing date, 50% of the total cruise fare per person; 90–0 days prior to the initial sailing date or nonappearance at the time of sailing, 100% of the total cruise fare per person.
8. Operated under the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) authorized People to People programs to Cuba.
Terms and Conditions:
The ship operator, Victory Cruise LineS. is pleased to offer this comprehensive people-to-people cultural exchange program. All required licensure to operate this program utilizing the pre-determined 12 approved points highlighted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will be fully adhered to throughout the operation of the program.
While we do our best to adhere to the listed itinerary listed, however traveling in Cuba requires flexibility, and changes to program itinerary may occur. We reserve the right to alter the program itinerary as required by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Cuban Government.
All advance-reservations will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis and must include both a 1st choice, as well as 2nd choice cabin category.
If your cancellation request (by phone and email) is received more than 120 days prior to your initial sailing date, a $500 non-refundable administrative fee will be charged per booking. This administrative fee may be not converted to a future cruise credit. Cruise cancellation requests received within 120 days of the initial sailing date will be subject to the following charges: 120 – 91 days prior to the initial sailing date, 50% of the total cruise fare per person; 90–0 days prior to the initial sailing date, or nonappearance at the time of sailing, 100% of the total cruise fare per person.
Due to Immigration and Customs regulations, if you are delayed or unable to board at M/V Victory at embarkation time, you may not be able to board at a later time. You are encouraged to have a overnight in Miami before day of boarding ship to avoid flight delays. We can quote Miami airfare from your home city.
Cruise to Cuba on the M/V Victory - 15 Day Itinerary
Miami - Cuba - Miami, 9 nights aboard ship
Day 1: Miami, Florida to Havana, Cuba
Day 2 - 3: Havana, Cuba
World known rhythms such as Mambo and Cha-cha-cha originated in Cuba; as well as the first known Salsa called “Echale Salsita” (Spice it up a little) recorded back in the 1930s. Following breakfast, guests aboard will be treated to a fascinating lecture on the colorful history, people and the culture that shaped Havana today. We will then disembark and begin our cultural exploration of this beautiful city by foot through the atmospheric squares of ‘Havana Viejo’, calling on artists in their studios as we pass. Visit Hotel Ambos Mundos, where Ernest Hemingway kept a room for years. The hotel served as a refuge for writing such works as “For Whom the Bell Tools” and a base for frequenting his favorite bars. After dinner, we encourage guests to enjoy an evening performance at the historical Tropicana Theater or alternatively stroll to nearby Café Taberna, where one can enjoy Cuban music by the famed Buena Vista Social Club.
Day 4: At sea
Day 5 Maria La Gorda, Cuba
Known as one of the most popular, unspoiled dive sites in Cuba with underwater landscapes unique to the Caribbean palm-fringed beach. Explore Maria La Gorda, on the Bahía de Corrientes, beginning in La Bajada. Meet with a local naturalist at Guanahacabibes National Park, the largest of Cuba’s six nature reserves. In addition to butterflies and bird life such as the endemic bee hummingbird and yellow-headed warbler, Guanahacabibes is home to a large profusion of orchids and epiphytes with a total of 16 species, some indigenous and some recently discovered. At a Meteorological Center, learn about forecasting weather patterns, storms and hurricanes that have left their mark in Cuba, along with how historic storms have impacted ordinary Cubans. Participate in an expert discussion at the “Honey House” on beekeeping and honey production.
Day 6: At sea
Day 7: Cienfuegos, Cuba
Referred to as “the Pearl of the South”, Cienfuegos is the only city in Cuba that was founded by the French. Enjoy a walking tour of Cienfuegos’ city center this morning. Founded in 1819 by the Spanish, but initially settled by the French – it became a trading place for sugar cane, tobacco and coffee. The city first developed in the neoclassical style, later becoming more eclectic but retaining a harmonious overall landscape. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we’ll meet with a local specialist to discuss the significance of buildings such as Government Palace (City Hall), San Lorenzo School, the Bishopric, Ferrer Palace and the former lyceum. Discover the transformative power of art in the lives of ordinary Cubans while visiting a graphic arts workshop. After a performance by the Cienfuegos Choir – we’re invited to join the choir for songs in the spirit of musical exchange.
Day 8: Trinidad, Cuba
Called “the museum city of Cuba”, Trinidad offers a window into the past of another era. Today, a city historian leads a walking tour of Trinidad, an architectural jewel proclaimed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Red tiled roofs atop pastel stucco structures line the cobbled streets. This port city reflects its 16th century past and founding by Conquistadors. Eighteenth century smugglers and pirates made frequent calls here or even used this port as their base of operations in the Caribbean. The wealth and importance of Trinidad continued into the 19th century, when sugar barons reigned. Mingle with local residents and call on artists in their studio as we wind our way through the city. Guests will stop at the Museum Romantico and the Architecture Museum. At Casa Del Alfarero Santander, an artisan workshop, meet local artists and learn about traditional pottery techniques. This pottery studio has been run by the same family for decades.
Day 9: At sea
Day 10: Santiago de Cuba
Home of legendary rum and birthplace of the revolution, Santiago de Cuba has soul. Proximity to Jamaica and other tropical isles has infused the city with a distinctly Caribbean spirit. The second largest city of Cuba, established in 1515 by Conquistador Diego Velazquez de Cuéllar, the city remains today as an important seaport to the island. Well known for its traditional dances unique to this region of the island we’ll witness locals explaining their dance as well learn about the Afro-Cuban religions such as Santeria widely practiced in the area. Following, we’ll visit the local citadel of San Pedro de la Roca a UNESCO World Heritage site as the most complete and best-preserved examples of Spanish American military architecture based on the Italian and Renaissance design principles.
Day 11: At sea
Day 12: Puerto Carupano, Cuba
Day 13: Caibarien, Cuba
Day 14: Matanzas, Cuba
Day 15: Disembarkation in Miami, Florida
After exhilarating days on shore, escape to your own private retreat featuring fresh, modern décor, hardwood floors, beds with deep, premium mattresses, 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, deluxe duvets, and your choice of different pillow options. All 105 staterooms and suites also offer individual climate controls, magnifying makeup mirrors, plush towels, coveted L’Occitane® bath amenities, spa robes and slippers, generous closets and under-bed storage.
OWNER’S SUITE: Ocean view suite boasting sweeping views, interior and exterior entrances, private terrace, minibar, queen bed and one sofa bed, sitting area, in-room safe, complimentary laundry service, 325 sq ft. (Deck 3)
Category AA: Ocean view suite with direct access to open-air promenade. Added amenities include: two twin or one queen bed, armoire, minibar, complimentary laundry service, 155 sq ft. (Deck 4)
Category A Stateroom: Ocean view stateroom, two twin or one queen bed, 140 sq ft. (Deck 3)
Category B Stateroom: Ocean view stateroom, sweeping views, two twin or one queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers, 140 sq ft. (Deck 3)
Category C Stateroom: Ocean view stateroom, two twin or one queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers, 140 sq ft. (Deck 2)
Category D Stateroom: Ocean view stateroom, two twin or one queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers, 140 sq ft. (Deck 1)
Category E Stateroom: Ocean view stateroom, queen bed, armoire, chest of drawers, 140 sq ft. (Deck 1)
Onboard Amenities Include:
- Personal robes and slippers
- Top Line bath amenities that are environmentally sensitive
- Premium mattresses
- 100% Egyptian cotton bedding
- In-room electronic safe
- Individual climate control
- LCD flat screen television (satellite)
- Alarm clock
- Hair dryer & makeup mirror
- Complimentary distinctive wines, beers, onboard during all mealtimes, soft drinks, juices, coffee, tea, and water.
- WiFi available onboard
- Daily housekeeping; nightly turndown
- Onboard Salon & Spa
- Mid-Morning Consumme & Afternoon tea service
Our onboard team will do their best to ensure the highest possible standards of cleanliness and comfort in your room. Please let us know if you have questions or if you are not satisfied with any aspect of our service. All suites/staterooms are equipped with individually controlled climate control; a personal safe; a hair dryer and makeup mirror; spa quality robes, slippers, and spa bath amenities; as well as premium mattresses, linens, and pillows, LCD Flat screen television with satellite programming and radio/alarm with docking station.
Each stateroom is equipped with a combination safe for your use. Please use a number that will be easy to remember. If you forget your number, please notify the office immediately, as repeatedly trying to unlock the safe with an incorrect code will result in the safe being disabled. We are not responsible for any valuables left in your suite/stateroom, and urges you to leave valuables at home. Any charges incurred in returning lost property will be at the owner’s expense.
Your Dining & Leisure
You will enjoy Delicious, Regionally-Inspired Cuisine. The M/V Victory offers two distinctive dining venues, each with its own appeal. Enjoy fresh air and healthy selections at the Cliff Rock Bar & Grille, an outdoor grill where “hot rock” cooking is the special of the day, everyday.
In the Main Restaurant you may enjoy a sumptuous seated breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in a casual and comfortable environment. The Cliff Rock, our outdoor Bar & Grille, offers an alternate light breakfast and lunch options as well as a special style of ‘hot rock’ cooking providing an extremely fresh and healthy dining alternative for dinner. Mid-Morning Consumme is offered on a daily basis. Enjoy afternoon tea with cakes, cookies, sandwiches, coffee & tea. In the evening, enjoy a late night snack in the lounge.
Beverages such as coffee, tea, mineral water, soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits (house brand) are available throughout your cruise. During our daily cocktail hour, before dinner, we will feature cold canapés and bar snacks.
If you would like to enjoy the comfort of your suite, a limited menu will be available for room service, which will be available 24 hours, just a phone call away.
SHEARWATER DINING ROOM
Savor delicious cuisine in the easy elegance of the main dining room, where a professional wait staff serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily from our chef’s menu of regionally inspired dishes.
CLIFF ROCK BAR & GRILLE
Enjoy fresh air and fresh selections at the Cliff Rock Grille, where “hot rock” cooking is the special of the day, every day. Choose your ingredients and watch them cook to perfection on 100% pure volcanic lava rock. Serving buffet breakfast and lunch and seated dinner.
THE SEASCAPE TAVERN
Share stories and laughter with friends and fellow travelers in the casual comfort of this cozy, English-style tavern. In the early evening, talented musicians bring the ship to life with all your favorite songs.
THE COMPASS LOUNGE
Log onto one of the ship’s iPads and catch up on the latest news or send a few emails to friends back home. Attend an enriching presentation by an onboard specialist. Gather around the grand piano for an old fashioned sing-along. After dinner, cocktails, music, and dancing keep the fun going into the evening hours.
The sun deck is the perfect place to greet the day during morning yoga or a stretching session. Relax with a book and soak up some rays on one of the cushioned lounges.
OBSERVATION DECK LOUNGE
This comfortable outdoor seating area is the perfect place to celebrate a successful shore excursion, gather for afternoon cocktails and amber sunsets, or indulge in a little late-night stargazing.
Stretch your legs on the ship’s open-air promenade or relax with a beverage on the spacious terrace, the perfect vantage point as you watch for wildlife on shore.
Latitude Salon & Spa
Renew yourself with a relaxing massage or with one of our many beauty treatments during your stay. We are excited to offer services in the Latitude Salon and Spa or in the comfort of your stateroom.
M/V Victory I Ship Specifications & Deck Plan
Length: 286.32 ft | Width: 50 ft | Draft: 13.52 ft | Speed: 12 knots Gross Tonnage: 4954 tons | Registry: Nassau, Bahamas | Voltage: 110 volts | Guests: 210 Crew: 90 | Suites: 2 (325 sq ft) | Staterooms: 103 (130-190 sq ft) | Zodiacs: 6
Built in 1975, as the MS Saint Laurent, the ship was completely refurbished in May of 2015 and renamed the M/V Victory I in 2016. The M//V Victory is an ocean, passenger expedition vessel registered in the port of Nassau, Bahamas under call sign C6PG6. The overall length of this vessel is 101.1 meters, and it has a molded breadth of 16.20 meters with a gross tonnage of 4,954. It is powered by two main engines and four auxiliary engines, all manufactured by MAN B&W. This ship travels at a speed of 12 knots, and is equipped with 6 Mach 5 Zodiacs.
Onboard, modern design tips its hat to our maritime past and includes spacious, open-air dining venues and bars, an opulent indoor main lounge and dining room, an English style pub, Spa, Gift Shop, Observation Deck and Elevator. All 105 staterooms and suites are comfortable and offer modern décor and have 110 volt electrical outlets. Owner’s Suites boast sweeping views, interior and exterior entrances and a private terrace.
Tonnage: GT 4954, NT 1486
Length: 87.27 M
Breadth: 15.24 M
Draft: 4.12 M
Speed: 14 K
Capacity: 294 persons
Passenger cabins: 105
Crew capacity: 90
Ship's Registry: Nassau, Bahamas
Voltage on board: 110 volts
Full speed: 12 kn = 5 ton/day + 12 ton/day
Cruising speed: 10 kn = 5 ton/day + 10 ton/day
Maneuvering speed: 6 kn = 5 ton/day + 6 ton/day
Main Engines: 2 x Caterpillar 3516 B
PASSPORT & VISA
Each traveler must be in possession of a valid, signed passport that will remain valid for at least six months beyond completion of the entire trip. At this time visas ARE required for US citizens traveling to Cuba. You will need to send us a color copy of passport photo page.
Previous to arriving in Miami you will be sent an application (with instructions) that is MANDATORY for ALL travelers to fill out. Once all travelers have filled out the application you will send them back to us with copies of your passports, to which we will forward to the Cuban ground operator to be processed. When you have sent back your completed visa application, your visa will be shipped to you.
Participants holding all other passports other than USA should check with the consulate for regulations and instructions.
No vaccinations are required for entry into Cuba or return to the USA.
The Cuban climate is mild subtropical. Thanks to its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer and its narrow configuration, Cuba receives a refreshing action of trade winds and marine breezes. Average Fahrenheit temperatures are as follows:
PACKING & CLOTHING
Please travel as lightly as possible so as not to restrict space in your cabin. Soft bags are more practical than hard suitcases. Sports or casual clothes are more useful. Bring swimwear and a pullover or sweater is recommended for cool evenings. Comfortable walking shoes are suggested when ashore.
Always carry your travel documents, medication, jewelry, traveler's checks, keys and other valuables in your hand luggage during flights. Items such as these should NEVER be packed in luggage that you plan to check.
Bring all personal-care items with you. Many products can be bought, but purchasing them can be inconvenient. We suggest you carry toilet tissues with you on excursions.
Dress onboard is very casual, however the “usual practice” for men is to wear long pants to meetings, exchanges and nicer restaurants. Ladies may want to bring a dress or pantsuit for the Farewell Dinner, and men may bring a sports jacket and tie for this evening. Shipboard attire is always resort casual. Shoes should be non- skid, flat or low heeled for deck activities. Sport jackets and cocktail dresses are not required at any time during the cruise. We do require that shirts and footwear to be worn at all times in the dining room.
Special Note: Monasteries and churches do not admit people in shorts or bathing suits, shirtless men, or even women wearing sleeveless blouses. For women rules may even be stricter, a skirt or dress is a must, as you may not be allowed to visit some of the monasteries and religious sites in shorts or pants. These rules are not always followed to the letter. Bathing suits are prohibited from being worn on all archaeological sites.
Laundry service is available on board the ship for an additional charge. Information and a pricing list can be found in your Guest Services Directory book in your suite.
Jewelry, money, documents etc., should be kept in the mini-safe in your cabin. The company and its personnel bear no responsibility for valuables kept by passengers.
For safety reasons it is requested that physical disabilities of any kind be advised at time of reservation. It is understood that passengers requiring special attention or treatment will be traveling with their personal escorts. The company retains the right to refuse embarkation to any pregnant woman beyond the 6th month of pregnancy. The ship has a doctor on staff who is on 24-hour call when at sea. Guests may be charged for medical services and for medications used for their medical treatment. Guests should bring their medications with them. A travel insurance policy that covers medical expenses while traveling internationally is highly recommended.
SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Vegetarian options are always available on the ship. We will make every attempt to accommodate special dietary needs. If you have any special needs, please provide this in writing on your Passenger Information Form submitted at least 60 days prior to departure. It is the guest’s responsibility to provide as much detail as necessary concerning any medically related dietary concerns. Not all dietary requests can be accommodated, and we appreciate your understanding in this matter.
Smoking is not permitted in staterooms, on decks outside the staterooms, on Deck 4 nor on the terraces of the Owner’s Suites. Smoking is only permitted in the designated outside smoking area on board the ship. We ask everyone to refrain from smok- ing while on excursions.
The official currency on board the MS Saint Laurent is the US Dollar. During the cruise, we operate on a cashless system, with all purchases billed to your on board account. At the end of the cruise, accounts may be settled in cash (US Dollars) or by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card or US Dollar Traveler’s Checks.
The currency in Cuba is Cuban Pesos. It is possible to convert dollars to Cuban Convertible Pesos if needed. The tour leader will assist in this if needed.
Credit cards are accepted on board (American Express, Visa & MasterCard) cruise including gratuities to the crew. With regard to the use of Credit or Debit cards in Cuba the following applies: Most cards issued by a bank that has any connection with the United States will NOT be accepted in Cuba, although you should check with your card company about use and notify them of travel plans.
Under the new (Jan 16, 2015) regulations, American travelers to Cuba will be able to use an American credit card. However, it is not clear how long it will take for banks to begin offering the service. There are few ATMs in Cuba, and many establishments do not have the means to process credit card payments, so cash will be king for some time to come. You may also take pounds and euros, which get a better exchange rate in Cuba than the United States dollar.
On board, our crews speak English! The primary language in Cuba is Spanish and your tour guide is fluent in both Spanish and English.
The power supply in the cabins is 100 volts AC. Outlets are standard as in the USA.
The elevator on board the ship serves Deck 1 to 4; the elevator does not reach the Sun Deck/Observation Lounge.
The ship has a small library with books, board games and cards in the forward end of the Seascape Tavern.
The ship operates the Latitude Salon & Spa on board for hair, nail and massage services.
ZODIAC® LANDING CRAFT
M/V Victory carries a fleet of inflatable Zodiac boats, allowing us to explore small inlets, cruise very close to the shoreline to view mammals and birds and make “wet landings” on beaches that would otherwise be inaccessible. These rigid boats are specifically designed for nature study, and are very rugged, as well as safe, and durable. They are easy to board, whether at the ship or ashore, and are operated by highly trained crew.
A Zodiac is an exceptionally buoyant rubber boat with an inflatable hull of multiple air-filled compartments, a feature that allows the Zodiac to float even should a compartment become deflated. A low center of gravity makes Zodiacs very stable. Zodiacs are also agile, allowing them to easily come alongside MS Saint Laurent, and to maneuver over reefs and between narrow passages. All guests will participate in a complete Zodiac familiarization session prior their first use during your cruise. Please review these instructions carefully prior to that training session and throughout your cruise.
1. Our Expedition Leader will provide a full briefing of the use of and behavior on board the Zodiac craft.
2. Zodiac drivers have all had extensive training and experience. Follow their instruction at all times when aboard.
3. “Dry Landing” means you will disembark the Zodiac at a landing platform or rocky surface.
4. “Wet Landing” means you will need to step into the water and wade to shore – wear reef or water shoes.
5. Guests will be advised of the local weather conditions and the kind of landing (dry or wet) in order to dress with the appropriate clothing and footwear.
6. Wear the safety vest provided.
7. Wear sun protection, especially a high-factor sunscreen and dark, polarized sunglasses.
8. Pack your non-waterproof items (camera, binoculars, personal items, etc.) in zip-seal bags, and then place in a waterproof personal backpack.
9. Wear your backpack on your back. All other equipment should be handed to the staff/crew member at the top of the gangway before boarding the boats. This will allow your hands to be free for boarding the Zodiac. You will receive your equipment again once you are in the boat and should place it on the floor in front of you so your hands are free to hold onto the ropes. This procedure will be reversed when exiting.
10. When embarking and disembarking the Zodiac, firmly grasp the wrist of the staff/crew member that is waiting to assist you before stepping aboard/ashore.
11. Remain seated at all times whilst aboard, until otherwise instructed.
Under the surface of the ocean is a spectacular world worth exploring. Depending on the itinerary of your cruise, there will be a number of opportunities to go snorkeling. Snorkeling requires a certain degree of preparation, our Expedition Team will be on hand to advise you, but should not be attempted by people who cannot swim. Snorkeling gear is available for rent onboard including a safety jacket. Guests who require prescription masks, or who prefer to wear a wet suit are encouraged to bring their own as these are not available on board.
COMPUTERS, WIFI & PHONE
There is WIFI onboard. Note however the speed is limited at times. Direct dial phones with outside lines are available in the suites/ staterooms aboard the MS Saint Laurent, but are not included in your cruise cost. Please be aware that phone calls might be more expensive as the phone service is provided via a satellite. If taking a cell phone, you should check with your carrier regarding coverage. Wireless Internet service is available onboard in all public areas of the ship. As this service is provided via satellite, the connection speeds and signal strength can be inconsistent on board and cannot be guaranteed at all times. Satellite connections can be affected by weather and the ship’s location and may also affect satellite TV programming as well as mobile phone service. We recommend Internet service be limited to email communications and web browsing, and ask that guests refrain from certain online activities such as streaming videos, downloading music, video, Skype, video messengers and remote computer access such as GoToMeeting, Remote Desktop, etc. These programs use high bandwith and will limit Internet access for others on board.
Each guest will receive 2 hours of complimentary Internet access (including connecting time); additional Internet access packages are available for a fee. A small supply of wireless tablets are available at the Purser’s Office for short term use for checking and sending email.
Cuba is on Eastern Standard Time. When it is noon in New York and Miami, it is also noon in Havana, Cuba.
Gratuities are customary expressions of appreciation for a job well done. It is our goal to ensure that the service you receive is as wonderful as the sites you visit. The amount of the gratuity you choose to give is subject to your satisfaction with your travel experience. To assist you in determining the amount of gratuities, the following guideline is provided:
• Ship’s staff and crew: US $13-15 per guest, per day (given at the end of the cruise)
• Expedition Leader and Staff: $2-3 per guest per day
• Local guide for excursions $3-5 per guest per excursion
• Local driver for excursions $1-3 per guest per excursion
The above is solely a guideline. The amount you give should be based upon your personal experience and level of satisfaction. Gratuities for ship’s staff and crew can be added to your onboard account which can be settled at the end of the cruise by cash or credit card. Gratuities for local guides and drivers should be given in cash at the end of each excursion.
1. Given the spending restrictions, how much money do you recommend bringing?
We suggest about $100 a day, but of course, everyone is different. If you plan to purchase a lot of art, for example, the amount will be different.
2. I have heard that "licensed U.S. travelers" are allowed to bring back from Cuba $400 of merchandise of which $100 can be tobacco/alcohol. Does this apply to us?
Under the new (Jan 16, 2015) regulations, American travelers to Cuba may now bring back up to $400 worth of souvenirs, including $100 worth of cigars. You should keep your sales receipts for return through USA Customs.
3. Is there a baggage limit?
You may bring aboard the ship a reasonable amount of clothing and personal effects without charge. In general, whatever you would be allowed to carry on flights to Miami with is fine for the ship. While there are no restrictions on the number of bags each guest may bring on board the ship, storage space is limited, and it is suggested that each guest bring only one checked bag. Additionally, all airlines impose restrictions on both size and weight, and many airlines restrict the number of bags per person. You should check with your selected air carrier for limitations prior to departure, as luggage restrictions are subject to change.
You are welcome to call us anytime at 1-239-992-9660, or toll free at 800-446-9660,
or email us at travel"at"GoExploring.com.
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