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Cuba in January, Yes or No?

(15 Posts)
LadyMaryofDownt0n Tue 19-Jan-16 14:44:27

Thinking of booking Cuba for next January, is this a good pick? I/we Have no idea what to expect or look for before booking. I know a little about the culture so really I'd like to know about;

The weather
The hotels
The beaches
Havana day trips
Anything else you think might help


mummymeister Wed 20-Jan-16 08:30:31

my sil went and is going again this year. it isn't your standard Caribbean type holiday where you stay on resort most of the time and do day trips. if you want to see some of the culture then be prepared for it to be very very basic. what kind of a holiday are you looking for.

FGSdontblameme Wed 20-Jan-16 09:28:10

I've been to Cuba and TBH I wouldn't go again.
Havana is fascinating for a day, the beaches are gorgeous but the food was awful.

We went to the Cayos & stayed in a supposed 5* hotel but it was very Magaluf 1985. The Spanish speaking guests got much better service and again the food was almost inedible.

We hired a driver for 2 days and saw the most wonderful fruit trees and wondered why we were given powdered orange juice for breakfast.

Of course it depends on what sort of holiday you want but for a traditional Caribbean beach trip I wouldn't recommend.

LadyMaryofDownt0n Wed 20-Jan-16 09:55:33

Hi Thanks for the replies. I've done some more research overnight & I don't think it's for us.

As you've said it's very basic, that I sort of knew but everything about the food has out us of. We like relaxing beach holidays but with lots if culture/sightseeing in between. Also the food has to be good quality as we would be going all inclusive & I am quite fussy. I only eat organic at home.

The big problem is we've just relocated to Northern Ireland & they only do one longhaul flight per year. Next year it's Cuba.

For any other long haul we would have to go to London & we dint fancy multiple flights/hanging about the airport sad

GingerNutRiskIt Wed 20-Jan-16 10:09:31

I'd never go back to Cuba again. The food was terrible, we all had a bad tummy, the 4star hotel definitely wasn't 4star. I was absolutely terrified in Havana and was almost mugged for my handbag.
We got talking to a family who were leaving a week before us and I cried because I wanted to go home with them.
The beach/sea was amazing though.

Sidge Wed 20-Jan-16 10:53:25

I went to Cuba in 2011 and loved it. Yes it's not 4 or 5 star like you'd find in other Caribbean resorts but our hotel was immaculately clean, well stocked, safe and the pool was incredible. Our rooms were nice if a little dated and the bathrooms were fine - clean, modern and the water pressure was good for showers.

The beaches were clean, safe and stunning. Staff were kind and helpful and couldn't do enough for us. The food was good, very fresh (largely due to no imports) and plentiful. The buffet was vast and even though it was often the same foods most days as there was such an enormous choice you didn't have to eat the same meals every day. Fruit wasn't as plentiful or exotic as I'd expected but we had fresh fruit daily and the veg and salad was good. None of us got tummy bugs. The alcohol was premium and the coffee was great!

Despite having an incredibly good education and health system Cuba is a very poor country, and of course a communist one. The people in our block were moaning that the rooms didn't have wifi, but it was available in central areas. I think if you are travelling to a communist state you have to accept it won't be like Jamaica or Florida.

mouldycheesefan Wed 20-Jan-16 11:30:00

Op lots of people fly from northern Orleans dot a UK airtime or European hub and change flights. It's one hour flight to London! And you can choose where you really want to go instead of being forced to go to Cuba.
I have heard the food is dire in Cuba which is why I have never been as I like good food on holiday.
Mexico would be a good option for you.

LadyMaryofDownt0n Wed 20-Jan-16 12:25:12

Yeah i know but we've done it so many times & its a pain in the back side. All that waiting about, changing, traveling.... it ruins the experience. Esp on the way home when all i want to do is get back home asap.

We did the Maldives a few years ago & loved it but again the travel is a nightmare from here. We had to go Easyjet Belfast to Gatwick then with Monarch to Manchester to Male and the same on the way back. All that hanging about airport makes me physically sick & my anxiety goes through the roof. However we want long haul this time so looks like we might have to suck it up and just do it. We considered Mexico... might be an option to consider. Thanks.

I don't really mind the fact that Cuba is not complete luxury i want a real holiday so to speak but there seems to be more negative than positive esp in Jan so i think ill look for something else.

Claraoswald36 Wed 20-Jan-16 12:29:20

Another vote against Cuba just for the food alone it was hard going

LadyMaryofDownt0n Wed 20-Jan-16 21:46:42

We've been looking at Mexico instead & i think we like it. Never been before and only heard one complaint about it being dirty but hasn't put me off.

What time of year is best to go?

Id like to get this booked tomorrow/Friday at the latest.

Aslo we have a budget of around 1800 each so if anyone can recommend a hotel that would be fab.

Thanks smile

mummymeister Thu 21-Jan-16 09:15:16

do you mean cancun? if so suggest you check out the tripadvisor forum on this. if you haven't used the forums on tripadvisor before you will find them really useful for finding out about places. lots of the tour companies go to Cancun but it can be a bit costa del sol if you aren't careful.

SJane45S Wed 27-Jan-16 08:33:24

We went to Cozumel in Mexico on honeymoon - it's an Island off the Playa del Carmen and you reach it by ferry (they go every half an hour - and it takes about 10 minutes). It was a lot less touristy than Playa del Carmen and is about 30 minutes from the airport (think this was Cancun but my memory is terrible!). We stayed all inclusive at the Occidental Grand Cozumel - really special and beautiful place with good food (I'm a fussy vegetarian and hard to please!). Didn't cost the earth and would give it a huge thumbs up as a recommendation. There is a town near by with bars etc and you can dive, hire jeeps to drive around etc. There's lots on site - nightly entertainment, gym, kids club, nightclub etc. Easy to get to sites like Tulum as well. We went through Trailfinders.

If you've not discounted Cuba, I've been and had a great time. I went with a friend and we stayed in Havana. I didn't find it unsafe at all and there's lots to do. We did go to Varadero where most tourists seem to end up which was horrible and sterile after Havana. The food is horrible though and I don't think I'd take my very fussy 7 year old there as I don't think she'd eat anything. My meat eating friend got food poisoning which wasn't much fun for her. I'd definetely go back to Havana - there's nowhere else like it but only on an adults holiday (not that there's much chance of that!)

MyBigFatGreekYoghurt Mon 01-Feb-16 07:36:23

Go down the coast a bit from cancun (riviera Maya or near playa del Carmen) unless of course you like party/drinking then stay near cancun.

I love Mexico.

Movingonmymind Sun 07-Feb-16 17:50:13

Am amazed at the negative posts about Cuba! Agree, it's not s gourmet's delight (and I speak as someone who loves fab food on holiday) but its fascinations massively outweigh its downsides!

It is stunningly unspoilt, abounds with amazing culture, history, music,architecture, countryside, seascape and yes, those old cars. It has wonderful beaches and a lovely warm sea. It is incredibly friendly and relatively very safe, much more so than other parts of the Carribean (assuming you venture out of your 5 * resort in the other places) .

Highly, highly recommend it! And we didn't starve. We even managed to have decent fish non-overlooked fish twice (surprisingly rare in Cuba where they like to burn to a cinder food week done). But we knew in advance that they food wasn't good so had no expectations. The cocktails were greatt however and the fresh fruit- mango, pineapple, papaya - sublime!

happyclapper Thu 25-Feb-16 13:51:19

Just wanted to ask will it be terribly humid in August?

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