These full and frank independent reviews are from travelers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travelers below.
Rachel Bastin review 22 Oct 2016
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Havana - wandering the streets of the old town.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
I would advise booking directly with a local Cuban tour operator, rather than using an international travel company who uses their own local representatives.
The local owner operator that we went with for the first week of our trip was excellent, highly professional and provided an outstanding level of service and
fantastic local knowledge. It made our vacation. The second week that we booked through an international company was double the price, incredibly
expensive for what we received, all the tours were "add ons", did not provide a genuine Cuban experience (staying in international hotels and all-inclusive
resort) and no English speaking guides or drivers were provided, despite the glossy brochures suggesting otherwise.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Apart from 2 nights in an lovely local casa, I do not feel that the vacation benefitted local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Read the operator's response here:
Thank you for your review though we are sorry you found your vacation to be disappointing overall. It was also very unfortunate that your arrangements to Eastern Cuba were curtailed as a result of Hurricane Matthew which hit the country the day before you were due to travel to Baracoa. As you know all flights to the East were suspended and regrettably Hurricane Matthew did cause much destruction to coastal areas there. This was documented in the Miami Herald at http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/hurricane/article106110412.html
As was discussed with you on the ground, in these extraordinary circumstances we did need to change your itinerary at short notice to an alternative coastal destination away from the path of the hurricane. Although this was arranged at no extra cost to yourself, I realise the alternative services were a different style to those we had originally booked over the three affected nights. I can assure you that we would always take into account the wishes of our customers and not readily propose all-inclusive type resorts, though I am sorry that on this occasion the emergency situation meant that the vacation could not be provided as had been planned. On a more positive note, I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay in Havana and at the local casa particular we had arranged prior to these unforeseen and unwelcome changes to your itinerary. Cuba is a truly fascinating country and I do hope that you do still retain some fond memories of your visit.