ghYHZ
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Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:38 pm

I was just checking on my sister’s flight returning from Varadero to Halifax later today and amazed at the number of departures to Canada today: 18….and not all to the big cities of Toronto and Montreal but nonstop to smaller cities like Moncton, Windsor and Kelowna. In the same period there’s two flights to the US (Miami)

Here’s the departure board (so flights and destinations will be constantly changing)

http://www.varadero-airport.com/departures.html
 
Noise
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:20 pm

Ever been to Canada during the winter? There's a reason why Canadians flock to Caribbean and Southern US destinations during the winter. Canadians love the Caribbean, particularly Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Other popular destinations include Florida, Arizona and Hawaii.
 
ryan78
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:17 pm

The airline I used to work for used to run YYZ-VRA X16 weekly during the peak holiday periods like Christmas and March Break. Double daily with a 3rd frequency on select days, all 737-800's. That's over 3000 seats per week for just one of the 5 airlines that fly YYZ-VRA. I've been to Cuba 3 times but never Varadero. Its a cheap holiday with nice beaches and people, the food and accommodations aren't the best but it is getting better. Get off the resorts and you'll discover the real Cuba, really friendly people, tons of history and plenty of excellent traditional food and drinks.

One of the reasons I don't like Cuba is exactly your point, its all Canadians in the resorts down there. I prefer Punta Cana or Cancun as you get more of a variety of people from different parts of the world staying in your resort but that's just me.
 
lostsound
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:12 pm

Air Transat used to fly their A310s from YYT to Varadaro and Puerto Plata. Newfoundlanders LOVE all inclusive Caribbean vacations!
 
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iseeyyc
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:10 pm

lostsound wrote:
Air Transat used to fly their A310s from YYT to Varadaro and Puerto Plata. Newfoundlanders LOVE all inclusive Caribbean vacations!


Nothing like a little foon in the soon me 'by!
 
ghYHZ
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:36 pm

lostsound wrote:
Air Transat used to fly their A310s from YYT to Varadaro and Puerto Plata. Newfoundlanders LOVE all inclusive Caribbean vacations!

A poster at Gander Newfoundland for Sunwing flights to Cuba (and reminiscent of a time when Aeroflot, Interflug, CSA and Cubana all stopped in Gander to refuel on their way to/from Havana and the Eastern Bloc .

Image
 
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yowza
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:39 pm

Because of the US embargo, Cuba can't really draw much from the US in terms of tourism and because of the same embargo procuring the types of goods needed for true luxury resorts/hotels to draw people from further afield can't happen. That leaves Canada and Latin America to draw from. A good portion of Latin America has mixed/lukewarm feelings towards Cuba because of their own flirtations withs communism/authoritarianism. That leaves just Canada. This lack of diversity is seen in other airports in the country as well. For example all international departures today 11/4/19 are to Canada. Some spots in the DR are also quite Canada heavy.
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:58 pm

What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?
 
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aerolimani
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:17 pm

usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?

In places like Mexico and the Dominican Republic, prices are generally set in US dollars. With exchange rates, this can make things more expensive for Canadians. Similarly, the European Caribbean islands like St. Martin are priced according to the euro. As the dominant tourist in Cuba, prices tend to stay more aligned with Canadian budgets.

It's also possible that some Canadians might enjoy the lack of Americans and other nationalities. Some might also enjoy feeling a a bit subversive, visiting somewhere that is forbidden to Americans, in the way that some people like to visit North Korea.

And obviously, some people just love Cuban music, dance, and culture. The best place to hear real son Cubano is still in Cuba.

*edited for spelling and grammar
 
smallmj
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:24 pm

usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?


No Americans?

Cuban vacations have been the cheapest option most of the time, but the DR can be competitive nowadays.

I picked a random date next week on a popular travel site and quickly found a 7 day 4 star all inclusive resort in Varadero for C$1235/pp including flights and fees from Halifax. Punta Cana was C$1539. That is why Cuba is so popular.
 
dmg626
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:56 pm

usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?


Safe haven for Canadians to wear socks and sandals :)
 
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longhauler
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:11 pm

smallmj wrote:
I picked a random date next week on a popular travel site and quickly found a 7 day 4 star all inclusive resort in Varadero for C$1235/pp including flights and fees from Halifax.

There is one out of YYZ for one week, all inclusive for CA $685, including airfare, taxes and fees. That US $512!!

dmg626 wrote:
usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?

Safe haven for Canadians to wear socks and sandals :)


Do you really want to enter Americans into a contest about fashion faux pas? ;)
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
edmaircraft
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:16 pm

Noise wrote:
Ever been to Canada during the winter? There's a reason why Canadians flock to Caribbean and Southern US destinations during the winter. Canadians love the Caribbean, particularly Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Other popular destinations include Florida, Arizona and Hawaii.


Winnipeg born and raised. Can confirm. I haven't spent a Christmas at home once in the last 7 years.
Let me up!
 
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spinkid
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:25 pm

Looking at Varadero Today. these are the departures. I'm curious why flights to the same destinations often seem clustered around the same time. For example Sunwing has 2 flights leaving within 5 minutes of each other to Halifax and two at the same time to Toronto. Why not spread them apart instead of wing by wing?

CU 9840 Cubana de Aviacion (CYO) Cayo Largo Del Sur 8:00 AM Scheduled
SWQ 553 Swift Air (MIA) Miami 8:00 AM Landed
AC 1741 Air Canada (YYZ) Toronto 10:35 AM Landed
SWG 325 Sunwing (YQG) Windsor 11:05 AM Landed
SWG 293 Sunwing (YQM) Moncton 11:15 AM Landed
Delayed
SWG 375 Sunwing (YXU) London 11:40 AM Landed
AA 2742 American Airlines (MIA) Miami 11:55 AM Landed
WS 2691 WestJet (YYZ) Toronto 2:40 PM Landed
SWG 389 Sunwing (YLW) Kelowna 6:00 PM En Route
TS 695 Air Transat (YYZ) Toronto 7:15 PM Scheduled
SWG 267 Sunwing (YOW) Ottawa 8:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 669 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:30 PM Scheduled
SWG 699 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:35 PM Scheduled
TS 2531 Air Transat (YUL) Montreal 8:45 PM Scheduled
SWG 689 Sunwing (YUL) Montreal 8:50 PM Scheduled
SWG 621 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
SWG 683 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
AC 1747 Air Canada (YUL) Montreal 9:15 PM Scheduled
Delayed
TS 465 Air Transat (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 381 Sunwing (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled
 
YYZatcboy
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:05 am

spinkid wrote:
Looking at Varadero Today. these are the departures. I'm curious why flights to the same destinations often seem clustered around the same time. For example Sunwing has 2 flights leaving within 5 minutes of each other to Halifax and two at the same time to Toronto. Why not spread them apart instead of wing by wing?

CU 9840 Cubana de Aviacion (CYO) Cayo Largo Del Sur 8:00 AM Scheduled
SWQ 553 Swift Air (MIA) Miami 8:00 AM Landed
AC 1741 Air Canada (YYZ) Toronto 10:35 AM Landed
SWG 325 Sunwing (YQG) Windsor 11:05 AM Landed
SWG 293 Sunwing (YQM) Moncton 11:15 AM Landed
Delayed
SWG 375 Sunwing (YXU) London 11:40 AM Landed
AA 2742 American Airlines (MIA) Miami 11:55 AM Landed
WS 2691 WestJet (YYZ) Toronto 2:40 PM Landed
SWG 389 Sunwing (YLW) Kelowna 6:00 PM En Route
TS 695 Air Transat (YYZ) Toronto 7:15 PM Scheduled
SWG 267 Sunwing (YOW) Ottawa 8:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 669 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:30 PM Scheduled
SWG 699 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:35 PM Scheduled
TS 2531 Air Transat (YUL) Montreal 8:45 PM Scheduled
SWG 689 Sunwing (YUL) Montreal 8:50 PM Scheduled
SWG 621 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
SWG 683 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
AC 1747 Air Canada (YUL) Montreal 9:15 PM Scheduled
Delayed
TS 465 Air Transat (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 381 Sunwing (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled


Likely trying to pick up capacity that the MAX outage has caused and still get people home at or close to their original schedule. Also traffic can demand that. I used to work for CanJet and on our Carribean days it felt like I was sending a plan to and from the same airport every 5 minutes. It makes sense though, the staff can ramp up for a full day of activity, and then all the work is done. better to have full staff for 8 hours vs 3 people 4 times a week for 3 hours a day. Plus vacation packages tend to be very day of week specific, so you will have a full turnover in one day for every hotel. Heck I did a FDF to CUN and in addition to 3 of our planes there were 3 TS A330s from YYZ and YUL and an A310 from somewhere else. It's crazy.
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LMFNINJA
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:40 am

usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?


Cheap authentic Cuban cigars!!!!!
 
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longhauler
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:16 am

caribny wrote:
Quick who from outside of North America can tell the difference between a Canadian and an American? Not too many and even many Americans can't.

I would guess very few could.
That is why most of this is said Tongue in Cheek.

Although either side of of the fence would like to think otherwise, with similar values, upbringing, religion, etc ... we are virtually identical.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
Thunderbolt500
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:34 am

I guess you could go from the us to cuba if you want to go to cuba.
 
dr1980
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:52 am

In order to provide an informed opinion to this thread I’m going to fly to Varadero this Saturday for a week of sun, rum and cigars :). I’ll report back later.

In terms of price it can vary. This year for a family of three Varadero was about $1500 cheaper than Punta Cana. When we went to Punta Cana two years ago they were about the same price when i was shopping.

In terms of why Varadero, we’re going for a few reasons:

- we’ve never been to Cuba
- direct flight from YHZ (not exclusive to Varadero of course)
- we’re interested in the “time capsule” tourism opportunity...a country less touched by western influences
- we want to visit Havana
- relatively safe to leave the resort unsupervised and explore

Not a reason but a bonus is that I plan to buy a humidor worth of Cuban cigars to bring back with me.
Dave/CYHZ
 
bananaboy
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:59 am

spinkid wrote:
Looking at Varadero Today. these are the departures. I'm curious why flights to the same destinations often seem clustered around the same time. For example Sunwing has 2 flights leaving within 5 minutes of each other to Halifax and two at the same time to Toronto. Why not spread them apart instead of wing by wing?

CU 9840 Cubana de Aviacion (CYO) Cayo Largo Del Sur 8:00 AM Scheduled
SWQ 553 Swift Air (MIA) Miami 8:00 AM Landed
AC 1741 Air Canada (YYZ) Toronto 10:35 AM Landed
SWG 325 Sunwing (YQG) Windsor 11:05 AM Landed
SWG 293 Sunwing (YQM) Moncton 11:15 AM Landed
Delayed
SWG 375 Sunwing (YXU) London 11:40 AM Landed
AA 2742 American Airlines (MIA) Miami 11:55 AM Landed
WS 2691 WestJet (YYZ) Toronto 2:40 PM Landed
SWG 389 Sunwing (YLW) Kelowna 6:00 PM En Route
TS 695 Air Transat (YYZ) Toronto 7:15 PM Scheduled
SWG 267 Sunwing (YOW) Ottawa 8:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 669 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:30 PM Scheduled
SWG 699 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:35 PM Scheduled
TS 2531 Air Transat (YUL) Montreal 8:45 PM Scheduled
SWG 689 Sunwing (YUL) Montreal 8:50 PM Scheduled
SWG 621 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
SWG 683 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
AC 1747 Air Canada (YUL) Montreal 9:15 PM Scheduled
Delayed
TS 465 Air Transat (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 381 Sunwing (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled



Not sure why there's a pattern in terms of arriving from the same place, but from a resort management prospect, if you're offering packaged holidays with flight, hotel and resort transfers, it's much easier to have flights arrive together than throughout the day.

This way they can combine transfers to hotels from multiple flights and the coaches all leave full rather than with just a few people. Much more efficient.

Mark
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drgmobile
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:07 am

usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?


It's more like the other way around. What does Varadero NOT HAVE that Cancun and Punta Cana DOES?
 
F27500
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:13 am

drgmobile wrote:
usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?


It's more like the other way around. What does Varadero NOT HAVE that Cancun and Punta Cana DOES?



Air conditioning.
 
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WildcatYXU
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:14 pm

F27500 wrote:
drgmobile wrote:
usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?


It's more like the other way around. What does Varadero NOT HAVE that Cancun and Punta Cana DOES?



Air conditioning.

Actually, air conditioning or lack of thereof is not a problem in Cuban resorts. Now, properly working thermostats, that's a different story :) And BTW, the general areas at PUJ are open, so PUJ does not have air conditioning
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TS-IOR
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:36 pm

All these flights are part of holidays packages and very few seats are sold "dry". Being for vacationers, schedule planning is different from typical business routes like YYZ-LGA for example, that's why an airline like Sunwing can depart two services to the same point 5 minutes apart. Same to Cancun or Ibiza or the Canaries. I remember at Monastir MIR we used to get two LTU 400 seaters from DUS within 10 minutes or two Condor DC-10 from MUC and so on. Cuba-US traffic is strongly regulated and demand and customers are different thus the much fewer flights. Now hope is at least 50% of this tourists from Canada went out of their all-inclusive so-called resorts and discovered real life behind their Instagram stories and selfies.
 
ghYHZ
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:10 pm

F27500 wrote:
drgmobile wrote:
usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?


It's more like the other way around. What does Varadero NOT HAVE that Cancun and Punta Cana DOES?


Air conditioning.

I’ve spoken to Americans who’s image of a Cuban Resort is a bare light bulb hanging on a wire from the ceiling! …..but they are just as nice as you will find anywhere else in the Caribbean!

You don’t have the verity of food you might find elsewhere especially meats but the locally grown fruits and vegetables are excellent!

Click on some of the pictures at this hotel in Varadero:

https://www.iberostar.com/en/hotels/var ... r-varadero
 
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stl07
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:06 pm

drgmobile wrote:
usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?


It's more like the other way around. What does Varadero NOT HAVE that Cancun and Punta Cana DOES?

Direct flight to anywhere in the US except Miami and maybe some other hub
Interesting how every thread is spammed with "bring back paid membership, there are too many spammers"
 
airbazar
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:20 pm

smallmj wrote:
usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?


No Americans?

Cuban vacations have been the cheapest option most of the time, but the DR can be competitive nowadays.

They are cheaper exactly because there are no American's driving up the cost.
 
xmp125a
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:41 pm

yowza wrote:
Because of the US embargo, Cuba can't really draw much from the US in terms of tourism and because of the same embargo procuring the types of goods needed for true luxury resorts/hotels to draw people from further afield can't happen. That leaves Canada and Latin America to draw from. A good portion of Latin America has mixed/lukewarm feelings towards Cuba because of their own flirtations withs communism/authoritarianism. That leaves just Canada. This lack of diversity is seen in other airports in the country as well. For example all international departures today 11/4/19 are to Canada. Some spots in the DR are also quite Canada heavy.


Europeans flock to Cuba too, but mostly during summer holidays (which, in EU, are far longer than anything US population can dream of). So, yes, in summer, many Germans, also Brits, etc.

Embargo is not a problem for tourism, but it does increase prices. For Europeans, Cuba is more expensive than Dominican Republic for the same level of service, because the country & economy is fkd up beyond belief. Even CocaCola is shipped from Mexico, or at least was, when I was there.

But as holiday destination, it is really good, if you want to stay in resort, that is ok, the food is decent and service is passable, as soon you adapt to their way of living (which is, stealing as much as they can from foreign-operated, government-owned hotels). Basically, any service that staff can do privately, they will do it privately and pocket the money even if they work in hotels :)

Dictatorships are usually very safe for tourism and Cuba is no exception, so you can go around without fear, and since the country is impoverished, it is essentially frozen in time. Want to see spanish architecture? Go to Cuba, in Spain, it is drowned in new buildings. In Cuba, it is still 50s.
 
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yowza
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:05 pm

spinkid wrote:
Looking at Varadero Today. these are the departures. I'm curious why flights to the same destinations often seem clustered around the same time. For example Sunwing has 2 flights leaving within 5 minutes of each other to Halifax and two at the same time to Toronto. Why not spread them apart instead of wing by wing?

CU 9840 Cubana de Aviacion (CYO) Cayo Largo Del Sur 8:00 AM Scheduled
SWQ 553 Swift Air (MIA) Miami 8:00 AM Landed
AC 1741 Air Canada (YYZ) Toronto 10:35 AM Landed
SWG 325 Sunwing (YQG) Windsor 11:05 AM Landed
SWG 293 Sunwing (YQM) Moncton 11:15 AM Landed
Delayed
SWG 375 Sunwing (YXU) London 11:40 AM Landed
AA 2742 American Airlines (MIA) Miami 11:55 AM Landed
WS 2691 WestJet (YYZ) Toronto 2:40 PM Landed
SWG 389 Sunwing (YLW) Kelowna 6:00 PM En Route
TS 695 Air Transat (YYZ) Toronto 7:15 PM Scheduled
SWG 267 Sunwing (YOW) Ottawa 8:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 669 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:30 PM Scheduled
SWG 699 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:35 PM Scheduled
TS 2531 Air Transat (YUL) Montreal 8:45 PM Scheduled
SWG 689 Sunwing (YUL) Montreal 8:50 PM Scheduled
SWG 621 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
SWG 683 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
AC 1747 Air Canada (YUL) Montreal 9:15 PM Scheduled
Delayed
TS 465 Air Transat (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 381 Sunwing (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled

Varied times work for business travel. When the lion's share of you pax are on package vacation it keeps cost down for everyone to arrive and lave in waves (think coaches, welcome staff, ground logistics etc). To accommodate this without adding bugger types to the fleet you have flights leaving at the same time. You see this a lot Canadian vacation ops. I've flow YYZ-PUJ-YYZ multiple times on TS in the last two years. All but one time we were chased by another TS bird.

YOWza
 
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OA260
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:41 pm

lostsound wrote:
Air Transat used to fly their A310s from YYT to Varadaro and Puerto Plata. Newfoundlanders LOVE all inclusive Caribbean vacations!


I once flew on a Air Transat L10-11 from YYZ-PUJ on a Sunquest Holiday. Those were great charters to be on.

As for Cuba I have been 4 times and love it. Much nicer compared to Cancun and Dom Rep. The cultural highlights in Cuba allow you to have some chill out time on the wonderful beaches but also to learn something about the country and tour around a bit.
 
ghYHZ
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:27 pm

OA260 wrote:
As for Cuba I have been 4 times and love it. Much nicer compared to Cancun and Dom Rep. The cultural highlights in Cuba allow you to have some chill out time on the wonderful beaches but also to learn something about the country and tour around a bit.

In the DR, Cancun or Jamaica..…you just don’t wander into the local village on your own. You take an organized tour. In Cuba its different……you can take a tour into Havana but its totally safe to just walk around yourself and experience the local history and culture.
 
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longhauler
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:33 pm

ghYHZ wrote:
In the DR, Cancun or Jamaica..…you just don’t wander into the local village on your own. You take an organized tour. In Cuba its different……you can take a tour into Havana but its totally safe to just walk around yourself and experience the local history and culture.

Yes. I would suggest that Cuba is one of the safest vacation spots around. Without getting too political, the locals are terrified of the (very visible) police.

My last few visits to Cuba involved renting a house in Miramar (suburb of Havana) and renting a car. What a great way to see an amazing place!
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
SCQ83
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:57 pm

TS-IOR wrote:
All these flights are part of holidays packages and very few seats are sold "dry". Being for vacationers, schedule planning is different from typical business routes like YYZ-LGA for example, that's why an airline like Sunwing can depart two services to the same point 5 minutes apart. Same to Cancun or Ibiza or the Canaries.


Ibiza is not resort-oriented at all. Most flights are regular and catered to the independent traveller. Canarias is definitely more resort oriented, specially the less populated islands like Fuerteventura or Lanzarote (Tenerife or Gran Canaria are more mixed).

airbazar wrote:
They are cheaper exactly because there are no American's driving up the cost.


I haven't been to Cuba but I heard several times that many things have special prices for foreigners to be paid in USD. E.g. something as easy as getting WiFi outside resorts means buying expensive WiFi access; it is not as easy as getting free wifi anywhere or buying a SIM card with some GB of data like in Mexico.
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:20 pm

Ever been to Canada during the winter? There's a reason why Canadians flock to Caribbean and Southern US destinations during the winter. Canadians love the Caribbean, particularly Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Other popular destinations include Florida, Arizona and Hawaii.


Absolutely. There are probably more Canadians in Maui during the wintertime than any other group. At the middle shopping center in Kihei there are three flags flying: the US flag, the Hawaiian state flag, and the Maple Leaf. I can't say that I blame them, although they do tennd ot make getting good dinner reservations difficult! ;)
 
beechnut
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:26 pm

I used to joke that Canada should have offered to Fidel to make Cuba Canada's 11th province. We could have enticed him with a permanent seat in the Senate. Then Canadians would have been able to spend their winter dollars in Canada instead of another country. Plus, being just a 90 mile ferry ride away from Florida, we could have driven down in our own cars. It would probably have also been unifying, something both Anglophone and Francophone Canadians could agree on! Ah well, opportunity lost...

Beech
 
Dominion301
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:48 pm

yowza wrote:
spinkid wrote:
Looking at Varadero Today. these are the departures. I'm curious why flights to the same destinations often seem clustered around the same time. For example Sunwing has 2 flights leaving within 5 minutes of each other to Halifax and two at the same time to Toronto. Why not spread them apart instead of wing by wing?

CU 9840 Cubana de Aviacion (CYO) Cayo Largo Del Sur 8:00 AM Scheduled
SWQ 553 Swift Air (MIA) Miami 8:00 AM Landed
AC 1741 Air Canada (YYZ) Toronto 10:35 AM Landed
SWG 325 Sunwing (YQG) Windsor 11:05 AM Landed
SWG 293 Sunwing (YQM) Moncton 11:15 AM Landed
Delayed
SWG 375 Sunwing (YXU) London 11:40 AM Landed
AA 2742 American Airlines (MIA) Miami 11:55 AM Landed
WS 2691 WestJet (YYZ) Toronto 2:40 PM Landed
SWG 389 Sunwing (YLW) Kelowna 6:00 PM En Route
TS 695 Air Transat (YYZ) Toronto 7:15 PM Scheduled
SWG 267 Sunwing (YOW) Ottawa 8:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 669 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:30 PM Scheduled
SWG 699 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:35 PM Scheduled
TS 2531 Air Transat (YUL) Montreal 8:45 PM Scheduled
SWG 689 Sunwing (YUL) Montreal 8:50 PM Scheduled
SWG 621 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
SWG 683 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
AC 1747 Air Canada (YUL) Montreal 9:15 PM Scheduled
Delayed
TS 465 Air Transat (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 381 Sunwing (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled

Varied times work for business travel. When the lion's share of you pax are on package vacation it keeps cost down for everyone to arrive and lave in waves (think coaches, welcome staff, ground logistics etc). To accommodate this without adding bugger types to the fleet you have flights leaving at the same time. You see this a lot Canadian vacation ops. I've flow YYZ-PUJ-YYZ multiple times on TS in the last two years. All but one time we were chased by another TS bird.

YOWza


In the cases of WG and TS, it also has to do with maximizing aircraft utilization, so that one aircraft can do two rotations down south in a single day. As such, they all follow the same pattern and are all clustered together from each base/station.
 
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spinkid
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:01 am

beechnut wrote:
I used to joke that Canada should have offered to Fidel to make Cuba Canada's 11th province. We could have enticed him with a permanent seat in the Senate. Then Canadians would have been able to spend their winter dollars in Canada instead of another country. Plus, being just a 90 mile ferry ride away from Florida, we could have driven down in our own cars. It would probably have also been unifying, something both Anglophone and Francophone Canadians could agree on! Ah well, opportunity lost...

Beech



The Turks and Caicos had shown interest in joining Canada a few years ago. You guys could have your own tropical islands if you can work out a deal!

Thanks for all the info on the similar arrival and departure times. That makes perfect sense when your resort is turning everyone over on the same day. I think its more common in Europe and Canada to block out a full week like that as opposed to Americans who will try to go for 4-5 days.

I'm thinking you might notice the Canadians more in the resorts because it is easier for them to access them. They can just book online, or through a travel agent without a problem. While U.S. travel to Cuba restrictions have eased. You still need to go on a cultural visa (the most common for tourists) and they are often heavily structured with stays in boutique hotels and home stays. You need to buy a very specific package as opposed to just 7 days of fun in the sun and make it up as you go along. I believe that is why so many frequencies were returned by the U.S. Carriers.
 
DeltaWings
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:28 am

Surpried there's no flights from canada to Palma
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WildcatYXU
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:31 pm

DeltaWings wrote:
Surpried there's no flights from canada to Palma


You mean PMI, Palma de Mallorca? That would be a long, expensive flight for a beach holiday. Also, the high season for beach holidays is winter around here. The temperatures at Mallorca are too low in winter even for Canadians.
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lavalampluva
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:10 pm

Canadians, as well as Europeans have been going to Cuba for decades. But when the travel restrictions for Americans was ease it never really took off for Americans. The whole thing was over as soon as it started.
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richierich
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:05 pm

longhauler wrote:
ghYHZ wrote:
In the DR, Cancun or Jamaica..…you just don’t wander into the local village on your own. You take an organized tour. In Cuba its different……you can take a tour into Havana but its totally safe to just walk around yourself and experience the local history and culture.

Yes. I would suggest that Cuba is one of the safest vacation spots around. Without getting too political, the locals are terrified of the (very visible) police.

My last few visits to Cuba involved renting a house in Miramar (suburb of Havana) and renting a car. What a great way to see an amazing place!


Are you American? How did you rent a car in Cuba? Maybe I should PM you but everything I have read has said it very difficult for Americans to hire cars in Cuba. You can't use credit cards and insurance is expensive.

Going back to the thread, there is nothing really to add other than the obvious. Canadians go to Cuba because it is less expensive than similar resorts in the Caribbean. There might be a slight difference in amenities but just like anywhere, Cuban resorts know their customers. That flight board has a lot more Canadian flights than most Canadian airports.
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slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:12 pm

spoke with someone at a resort in Cuba recently. They said AC was pumping, almost too cold. Resort had an old Russian AC unit that use to be used for a hospital......not a joke. They said AC was pumping no issues in resorts.
 
toltommy
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:09 pm

drgmobile wrote:
It's more like the other way around. What does Varadero NOT HAVE that Cancun and Punta Cana DOES?


Oh I don't know... How about the right of your bartender to tell you what he thinks of his government, without winding up in jail?
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longhauler
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:20 pm

richierich wrote:
Are you American? How did you rent a car in Cuba? Maybe I should PM you but everything I have read has said it very difficult for Americans to hire cars in Cuba. You can't use credit cards and insurance is expensive.

I am Canadian. But you are right, the process is cumbersome due to credit card restrictions. I booked online and gave my credit card information online. (After checking with VISA first, as I was suspicious. It's all cool and they watch it closely). It can only be a credit card drawn on a non-US bank.

If you are going to pay in cash. (Like just about every other transaction in Cuba), then it must be paid in full, upfront with a deposit. I held the reservation with the credit card, but paid in cash when I returned the car. Then called VISA as soon as my cell phone worked to confirm no charges were taken. You must purchase their insurance.

It is not cheap. For a small 5 seat car, about the size of a Civic, with A/C and a standard transmission, it was about $200US a day, including insurance.

That being said though ... I honestly can't imagine staying in Cuba, off of a resort, on your own, without renting a car.
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dcajet
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:20 am

lavalampluva wrote:
Canadians, as well as Europeans have been going to Cuba for decades. But when the travel restrictions for Americans was ease it never really took off for Americans. The whole thing was over as soon as it started.


South Americans (Argentinians and others) love to go to Cuba too. An affordable Caribbean, with beaches and climate impossible to find at home, language is the same; there is Brazil closer, but lately Brazil has turned into a dangerous destination. Cubana flies from Buenos Airess to Havana and Cayo Coco; COPA does good Cuba business from 5 Argentinian cities to Cuba via PTY and LATAM & Avianca also take a piece of the pie, albeit smaller.
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Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:42 am

smallmj wrote:
usdcaguy wrote:
What does Varadero have that Cancun or Punta Cana don’t?


No Americans?

Cuban vacations have been the cheapest option most of the time, but the DR can be competitive nowadays.

I picked a random date next week on a popular travel site and quickly found a 7 day 4 star all inclusive resort in Varadero for C$1235/pp including flights and fees from Halifax. Punta Cana was C$1539. That is why Cuba is so popular.


Veradero is popular because of price but you are correct that things are changing. Prices in Dominican Republic and Mexico can be fairly competitive with Veradero. There was a time when Veradero was usually half the price of Cancun.
 
upperdeckfan
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:00 am

WildcatYXU wrote:
DeltaWings wrote:
Surpried there's no flights from canada to Palma


You mean PMI, Palma de Mallorca? That would be a long, expensive flight for a beach holiday. Also, the high season for beach holidays is winter around here. The temperatures at Mallorca are too low in winter even for Canadians.


The only all-seasons beach destination in Europe are the Canary islands and it's not even guaranteed you wil get temperatures like anywhere in the Caribbean as it's sub-tropical. Winter max. temperatures can stay below 70F/20C, although high enough for some people to get into the water definitely not for me.

Max. winter temperatures in the Balearic islands don't get above 70F/20C so that rules out Palma as an all-season beach destination.

If a non stop link from Canada to a beach destination in Europe it will be to the Canaries, although I doubt it will ever happen. No place in Europe can compete with the Caribbean on the US/Canada market, not only price but weather wise.

P.S. before someone jumps in, Canaries are in geographically in Africa but politically in Europe.
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dr1980
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:31 am

Just back from seven days in Varadero, my first time in Cuba. The vacation itself was great, but I would say the Varadero airport appeared to be busting at the seams on peak travel Saturdays. When we arrived we were third in line for an available gate, meaning we sat on the tarmac for 40 minutes or so before one became available. On departure day, we were one of four Air Transat flights departing around the same time (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax) and the lineup for check-in extended well outside the airport terminal into the parking lot. Air Transat's ground services contractors didn't seem to be very on the ball so perhaps that exacerbated things.
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:47 am

Sunwing is basically TUI Canada (and often receives lift from the TUI Group, along with Travel Service/Smartwings during the winter). How much property does TUI own in or around Varadero? (I know that Transat owns some hotels in the Dominican Republic---not sure about TUI.)
 
Iluvtofly
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Re: Varadero Cuba (you’d think you’re in Canada!)

Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:39 am

Dominion301 wrote:
yowza wrote:
spinkid wrote:
Looking at Varadero Today. these are the departures. I'm curious why flights to the same destinations often seem clustered around the same time. For example Sunwing has 2 flights leaving within 5 minutes of each other to Halifax and two at the same time to Toronto. Why not spread them apart instead of wing by wing?

CU 9840 Cubana de Aviacion (CYO) Cayo Largo Del Sur 8:00 AM Scheduled
SWQ 553 Swift Air (MIA) Miami 8:00 AM Landed
AC 1741 Air Canada (YYZ) Toronto 10:35 AM Landed
SWG 325 Sunwing (YQG) Windsor 11:05 AM Landed
SWG 293 Sunwing (YQM) Moncton 11:15 AM Landed
Delayed
SWG 375 Sunwing (YXU) London 11:40 AM Landed
AA 2742 American Airlines (MIA) Miami 11:55 AM Landed
WS 2691 WestJet (YYZ) Toronto 2:40 PM Landed
SWG 389 Sunwing (YLW) Kelowna 6:00 PM En Route
TS 695 Air Transat (YYZ) Toronto 7:15 PM Scheduled
SWG 267 Sunwing (YOW) Ottawa 8:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 669 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:30 PM Scheduled
SWG 699 Sunwing (YHZ) Halifax 8:35 PM Scheduled
TS 2531 Air Transat (YUL) Montreal 8:45 PM Scheduled
SWG 689 Sunwing (YUL) Montreal 8:50 PM Scheduled
SWG 621 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
SWG 683 Sunwing (YYZ) Toronto 9:00 PM Scheduled
AC 1747 Air Canada (YUL) Montreal 9:15 PM Scheduled
Delayed
TS 465 Air Transat (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled
SWG 381 Sunwing (YQB) Quebec 10:05 PM Scheduled

Varied times work for business travel. When the lion's share of you pax are on package vacation it keeps cost down for everyone to arrive and lave in waves (think coaches, welcome staff, ground logistics etc). To accommodate this without adding bugger types to the fleet you have flights leaving at the same time. You see this a lot Canadian vacation ops. I've flow YYZ-PUJ-YYZ multiple times on TS in the last two years. All but one time we were chased by another TS bird.

YOWza


In the cases of WG and TS, it also has to do with maximizing aircraft utilization, so that one aircraft can do two rotations down south in a single day. As such, they all follow the same pattern and are all clustered together from each base/station.


Exactly .... I was about to write the exact same thing when I came across your post ! Good aircraft utilization.
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