Is that time of year again when lots of people are looking to travel to tropical regions, and college-going girls are obsessed with creating “Girls Gone Wild” moments for themselves.
One such place you’d want to travel to (for Spring Break) is fucking Cuba!
Don’t be fooled by the slanderous-American media; Cuba is a great place with an equally great nightlife and it’s virtually crime free!
You’re more likely to get struck by a rogue lightening than to be robbed or kidnapped by some marauding thugs.
Friend of mine, Simeon Moses, winner of VH1’s the Pickup Artist 2 reality show (back in 2008), had posted a post on Facebook yesterday about his recent trip to Cuba.
I thought it was pretty insightful and encouraging since I’ve been planning on heading over there but keep procrastinating.
This is what Simeon posted (below)
Simeon Moses from the Pick-Up Artist season 2
Now taking questions on Cuba:
Since I have a lot of people asking me questions about my trip to Cuba and my experience I am going to post answers on this thread. So if you would like to know anything about my trip or observations on Cuba please comment on this post and I will
answer in the same thread.
Here are some FAQs.
Q. Isn’t Cuba dangerous?
A. This is an emphatic NO!
I’ve visited over a dozen countries in my lifetime and Cuba is by far the safest country I have ever traveled to in terms of worrying about violence robbery.
There is virtually no violent crime and very little crime committed against tourists. The biggest danger in Cuba are poorly maintained sidewalks that could cause you to trip or fall into a hole.
Same goes with kidnappings: this is not Mexico or Colombia. There are 0 kidnappings here. As a tourist you are safer here then most every place in the United States.
Q. Is it expensive?
A. For the most part is very affordable.
The only exception to this are the expensive luxury hotels in Havana and the resort town of Varadero which I have dubbed “Canadian Cancun” To give you an example the cheapest food I had were 20 cent pizzas (20 cents in US dollar equivalent or 5 pesos Moneda Nacional) and cheapest drink was 4 cents for sugarcane juice.
Even at most restaurants for tourists I paid less than 10 bucks. A good fish dinner was 5 bucks in many places.
A group of British next to me at a beach-side bungalow restaurant paid 6 bucks for an entire 3 pound lobster cooked with sides. There are more expensive tourist traps if you want luxury food.
In terms of housing, I paid on average 20 dollars per night to stay in Casa Particulars which are Cuban homes who rent out an extra room to tourists like a bed and breakfast but smaller.
Some were nicer than others. For 5 bucks they would cook you an insane amount of food.
Q. Isn’t it illegal [for Americans]?
Technically I guess it is. It’s about on par with jay-walking in a suburban street. Here is the summary of the “difficult time”
– I flew to cancun. When I got to the airport there were no flights that night so I had to stay one night in Cancun and then returned in the morning.
– I got to Cancun airport early and Cubana the main Cuban airline office was not open yet.
– Aeromexico had a noon flight to Havana so I went to their counter instead. I waited 10 minutes in line. I get to the front.
“I would like 1 ticket to Havana please. Roundtrip. Leaving today and returning March 19th.”
I hand them my passport and 350 dollars.
The counter woman hands me my paper ticket and visa. There is no comments on my U.S. passport by anyone through the ticketing process. I check-in for my flight and 3 hours later I am on a plane to Havana.
At Havana airport, I was pulled out of line for about 10 minutes. I think this was mostly because I was carrying a large camera bag.
Once they determined I was a tourist I went through with little issues.
Leaving Havana you just pay 25 bucks for an exit stamp.
On the way in, Cuban authorities generally do not stamp american passports as a throwback to the old policy that was I guess stricter about travel from U.S.
On exit they stamp your boarding
pass not your passport. So in terms of having cuban stamps in your passport its a non-issue.
Even without passport evidence of my trip I still declared my visit to customs.
This was upon advice from a frequent traveler to the U.S. who says customs authorities (at least in Miami) don’t care about illegal-Cuban travel as it is administratively unenforced for the most part.
He was right!
When I showed up in Miami from Cancun, I had my passport stamped without even being questioned despite clearly marking on my custom forms I had been to Cuba. When I went through customs I was questioned for about 30 seconds.
Here is the summary of the conversation.
Customs Agent: “Where are you coming from”?
Customs Agent: “You were in Cuba?”
Customs Agent: “You flew through Cancun”
Customs Agent: “You have family there”
Customs Agent: “Why did you travel there”
Customs Agent: “Do you have any alcohol, cigarettes or tobacco you brought back with you”
Me:” Yes sir. I have 10 cigars.”
Custom agent gives me a dirty look.
Customs Agent: “Don’t do that next time. There’s an embargo.”
Customs agent waves me through.
The toughest punishment I got was a dirty look and a finger wagging. I know really harsh punishment. Not sure if most people could handle that kind of draconian behavior that the government enacts if you go to Cuba.
In summary, “It’s really difficult to get in and out of Cuba because of the embargo” said no one ever who has actually traveled there.
That’s all for now. I’ll leave the rest up to comments which I will respond to for those curious about the trip or who are thinking of making the trip themselves.