Culturally considered part of Latin America, Cuba, the largest island of the Caribbean, drips with a rich history and live music wafts through the narrow lanes and cobbled streets of Havana. The super-vast island flaunts more than 5,000 km. of pristine coastline, rimmed with exotic beaches. Not to mention, the lush countryside and the glittering turquoise waters. The scenic natural beauty of Cuba has inspired many writers in the past to pen their best creations. Fishing, diving, art gallery, history, vibrant culture, and awe-inspiring beauty have played pivotal ingredients to bring more and more visitors.
Just a mere 90-mile distance from the United States, Cuba makes an amazing vacation hotspot for its tropical settings, lively locals, and many other things. If you wish to visit Cuba, here are 8 best Cruises that go to Cuba to choose from.
Marvel at the rugged cliffs, see the towering mountains, relax on the white-sand beaches, and discover vibrant colonial towns reflecting a fascinating history – you are bequeathed all these amazing things when setting sail on a Cuba cruise.
Does ‘cruising’ still mean a vacation in the middle of an ocean to you? If it does, you are not alone.
Although cruising has evolved, even today, a cruise trip means doing nothing but eat, play, and tan. What more could you ask for a perfect weekend?
What if you have never been on a cruise? No worries! Cuba is just the most ideal destination to enjoy a cruise trip.
A Cuban cruise is the best way to avoid the hot climate that prevails all year-round.
What more? You get to take in the bright colors while dancing through the streets of Havana, spend the day at one of the remotest beaches, or tour a cigar factory.
Cruising lets you easily get around the largest Caribbean island with ease – you have a lavish, comfortable home base with upscale amenities and plentiful excursion options. Besides, this can be your typical sun-and-surf Caribbean cruise where you would go on exploring the crumbling colonial buildings and top cities including Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. Here are a handful of topnotch cruise lines that might fascinate you for Cuba cruises.
Passengers in this cruise ship are mostly well-off stalwarts in their 50s. Talking about the dress code – you need to be in a smart casual during the day. However, when the sun sets, it follows a strict dress code. There are, particularly, three dress codes to be followed – Smart (jacket for men. Happens 4 nights out of 14), Evening Casual (black and white. Happens 6 nights out of 14), and Black Tie (dark suits for men, and for women, posh frocks. Happens remaining 4 nights). It can carry 710 passengers with 300 crew. The ratio becomes 2.37:1.
The 210-passenger ship offers highly personalized service and intimate cruising experience. Apart from Cuba, it offers itineraries to the Canadian Maritimes, the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, and New England.
Talking about its design, it’s got a traditional one, with most of the action smack right in the middle. This often leads to congestion in the central indoor promenade. The decks are massive and feature Ocean View, Porthole, Balcony, Grand Suite, Extended Balcony Grand Suite, Aft-View Extended Balcony, etc. After spending some lovely time on the deck, head to your cabin – it wouldn’t be a challenge finding your cabin as stateroom hallways are color-coded, making it easy to navigate. The interiors of the cabins are superbly stunning, flaunting 185 sq. ft. with flat-screen TVs. If you are traveling with your family, it can comfortably accommodate 3-4 passengers. The sitting areas are furnished with leather sofa beds and coffee tables.
Carnival is quite notable in the Cuban market for its splashy, Cuba-themed music, salsa dance lessons, lectures, and deck parties.
Once onboard, all guests are equally pampered. Personalized service will be provided. This means, nearly every guest will be taken care of by one crew member. The open-seating dining options are pretty alluring. You will see diversity in dining venues – romantic, casual, and regional delicacies.
What’s more? Guests would avail of themselves complimentary transportation into town in most ports. For entertainment, you will have live music and production shows. The Silver Moon sailing calendar is already out with cruising dates.
When it comes to sailing, Norwegian Sky packs a mighty punch. It is not the newest ship at sea and spoils guests with an array of nonstop activities, a range of dining options and venues, lively lounges, and more. Guests usually halt in Havana for an overnight. Getting into the spirit ashore and onboard, guests just love enjoying Cuban drinks, music, and dishes. The cruise ship has more than 266 shore excursions. Sails from Miami, if it is not visiting Cuba, heads straight to the Bahamas.
Norwegian Sun, built-in 2,001, has refurbished spaces that boast clean, modern design. Guests get to taste a plethora of dining options. Plan your travel routes paring an overnight stay in Havana where you could go around discovering the Cuban markets. It would be awesome if you manage to draw an itinerary with halts in Key West. Shore excursions catch the attention, with performances at various venues including Buena Vista Social Club, Tropicana, and tours of Havana in classic American cars. For kids, the ship has the Splash Academy Kids club-ready (except for late-night activities).
As per the statistics, Viking passengers are relatively middle-aged or older, with most of them are above 55 – mostly from the United Kingdom and North America. It has a strict rule that says children older than 18 are eligible to sail.
Size always matters on Oceania’s Insignia. The large ship flaunts a capacity of more than 700 guests. All the awesome guests onboard just love its elegant and contemporary atmosphere.
On Insignia, food is the main event. “The food is a main selling point of Oceania, with excellent, free, French/continental cuisine in the main dining room and two or more (depends on the ship) specialty restaurants (on Insignia, Steak house and Italian). The informal buffet (Terrace Café) is also excellent at noon, but in the evening it serves exotic foreign dishes which you may wish to avoid depending on your tastes,” reviewed one guest. The service is attentive and highly professional. Take a glance at the Grand Dining Room – it’s all sparkling. And yes, the essentials! They are topnotch. Insignia has done 1,603 shore excursions.
Important Note: Since June 2019, the Trump Administration imposed some travel restrictions that have effectively banned cruise ships to Cuba from America. If you are planning a cruise trip, you are requested to check-in with your cruise operator for the latest update.
Most of Cuba’s restaurants were governed-owned and operated. Things started to change when many private players showed interest and decided to turn the city’s dining games.
Best Restaurants in Havana: Time-defying classics meet the nouvelle Cuban cuisine – Havana brags about a diverse culinary landscape. As your ship halt in Havana for an overnight, why don’t you get around and dine authentic Cuban cuisines at the best eateries?
Taking a cruise tour to Cuba is an incredible way to know what the island country has to offer. However, here are a few things that you need to know before taking your first cruise to Cuba.
Yes, you will need a Cuba visa on a cruise if your itinerary has several halts in various cities. When you book your Cuba cruise with an operator or company, apply for your visa with them.
Once arrived in Cuba, you have a plethora of activities waiting – from stepping back in time in Havana to taking in Cuba’s picturesque sandy beaches and from walking along the fortified walls of the Morro Castle to visiting the National Museum of Fine Arts.
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