For our next destination we’ve decided to embark on a four night cruise to Cuba! After our epic Iceland road trip last year, we decided to do something slightly more relaxing, but just as interesting. 

We ultimately settled on Cuba for a few reasons:

1) It’s sunny and warm, we almost always go to colder locations. 

2) Cuba has recently re-opened for US tourists, and we want to go before it becomes too touristy. 

3) I mainly travel with my photography in mind and Cuba offers a very unique colorful backdrop. 

This will only be our second cruise, the first being our trans-atlantic honeymoon on Celebrity Cruises, which set the bar fairly high. We’ll be going with Norwegian Cruise Lines for Cuba, more specifically just Havana, and don’t really know what to expect. Entertainment and pool size doesn’t really concern us for this trip since it’s fairly short. We’re mainly hoping for a nice room, and a great time in Cuba. The other bonus for taking a cruise (hopefully) will be for the ease of finding celiac friendly, gluten free food. Unfortunately, I do not think I’ll be trying any Cuban food off the boat, but maybe Harper will get to enjoy it! 

As part of the agreement for allowing US tourists into Cuba, we have to participate in person to person cultural exchanges. This means we won’t really be wandering around on our own, and have set up a few tours to see all of Havana. Below is our general itinerary for the entire trip:

Day 1: Fly Atlanta to Miami via Delta to board the ship. 

Day 2: Arrive in Havana. Embark on a morning “Highlights of Havana” city bus tour. Return for an afternoon city tour focused on art museums, and visiting artist studios. Followed by an evening walking tour through the old colonial part of Havana, ending with Sloppy Joes. 

Day 3: Early morning city tour in an old 1950s car. Ship disembarks in late afternoon.

Day 4: Travel to and relax at the Great Stirrup Cay, (cruise owned island with beaches). 

Day 5: Arrive back in Miami, fly back to Atlanta.

If you’re planning a trip yourself, there are some things you need to prepare ahead of time. Besides a valid passport, you’ll also need a tourist visa which we purchased through the cruise line for $75 each. We also needed to fill out forms stating our purpose of travel (cultural exchange) and will need to keep a record of everything we do in Cuba for five years. We’ve also learned that our phones, debit/credit, and cash won’t work in Cuba. We’ll be exchanging money at the dock (it cannot be ordered ahead of time), and are expecting to pay an extra 10% fee for the USD. 

As always our goal is mainly to relax, have fun, and get great photos! Look for an updated post in a few weeks after we’ve returned!

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