2 independent reviews for Cuba vacation, small group tours

Reviews for Cuba vacation, small group tours

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review 1 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting Santa Clara and seeing the Che Guevara Mausoleum and statue.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Book all buses in advance. Having someone to pick you up from the bus station is also preferable as the amount of people waiting outside can be intimidating.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We only stayed in Homestays with local Cubans. This definitely gave the trip an authentic feel.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

10/10. Absolutely perfect. I had wanted to vising Cuba from being a little girl. Marcel was the only tour operator who listened to what I wanted and helped me to create the tour I wanted. It was a dream come true.

Read the operator's response here:

When customers travel by regular bus Viazul, we take care of all bus tickets and they will receive them on the briefing in Havana. When they also book homestays casas particulares via us, we take care that the families, or a personal driver of the family waits for them with a name board and takes them to the homestay. Customers receive a worked out itinerary with all addresses and programme information. In this way it is pretty easy on the bus stations: you see someone with your name board, you give a sign that you have arrived, you pick up your luggage and you double check the name of the family who is waiting for you and you are on your way.

review 10 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Hard to pick out a most memorable part of our vacation. We were bowled over by the variety of experiences, landscapes, music and architecture Cuba has to offer. If pushed I would say that Trinidad is the stand out location in Cuba - you feel as if you've travelled back in time. The city is over 500 years old and is just beautiful. Not to be missed.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

We stayed only in Casa Particulares. In general they were great, enabling us to meet local people and gain from their knowledge of the area. The food was also much better in the Casa's than in state restaurants where service is poor and the food even worse. If you are going to use Casa's you need to realise that they can be very basic. We knew this before we embarked on our trip but even so we were surprised by just how basic some Casa's were. "All Casa's are basic - but some are more basic than others." However they can also be extremely good. Stand outs for us were: Cienfuegos - Hostal Colonial (Myriam y Gladys Fernandez Portillo Havana - Casa Ana y Surama (truly magnificent 3rd floor apartment) Marcel at was excellent. Lots of useful information and advice. Our contact whilst in Cuba, was also superb.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We hope so. We paid Casa owners directly and mostly ate with them which put much needed CUCs in their pockets. We mainly used private Taxis and local guides so I'm sure we did our bit to improve the lives of local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We really enjoyed this vacation. We had a fantastic range of experiences and met some wonderful people. We've travelled extensively, but Cuba is pretty much a unique destination. If you do visit Cuba don't make the mistake of thinking that it is just a beach destination. Havana is amazing and the rest of the island has so much to offer. Architecture, history, landscape and fantastic music. The people are wonderful. We never once felt threatened or uncomfortable. Try it. You wont regret it!

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