dfwjim1
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Cruising to Cuba on the Majesty of The Seas

Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:17 pm

My wife and I are considering taking a 5 day cruise on Royal Caribbean's Majesty of The Sea from Fort Lauderdale to Havana and Cozumel. The main reason for us to take this cruise is to visit Cuba; the Majesty will be there 1.5 days.

Just wanted to get opinions and suggestions from those of you who might have taken this cruise or ones similar to it to Cuba. As a side we live in the Fort Lauderdale area and we have traveled on Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

Thanks for your help!
 
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SQ22
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Re: Cruising to Cuba on the Majesty of The Seas

Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:09 pm

I have moved this thread to Travel forum, this is the right place to get answers and suggestions.
 
PI4EVER
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Re: Cruising to Cuba on the Majesty of The Seas

Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:33 pm

The Majesty is an older ship but maintained to high RCCL standards and suitable for this type cruise. It otherwise does rotations between FL and the Bahamas.
I recommend Superior Ocean View rooms located on Deck 9 and a cabin as far forward on that deck you can select. Some cabins on Decks 7 and 8 have obstructed views from lifeboats or windows that look out on open Deck 7 which means you'll see other cruisers strolling and not much ocean.
You will need to purchase a $75 per person Cuba visa from RCCL and convert all cash to the tourist Cuban Peso on the dock as you disembark.
You will also be required to purchase a shore excursion or island cultural experience from the cruise line
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
aklrno
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

Re: Cruising to Cuba on the Majesty of The Seas

Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:59 am

If you are into offbeat art, look up Fusterlandia on Google. It is a 20 minute taxi ride from central Havana.
 
PI4EVER
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Re: Cruising to Cuba on the Majesty of The Seas

Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:03 pm

Note to dfwjim1 - I realized part of my original response is now missing at the sentence cutoff at cruise line.
To clarify further, you will also be required to purchase a shore excursion from RCCL to meet the rules of travel for US citizens and hold a US passport valid for at least 6 months beyond your month of actual travel.
Shore excursions can be purchased in advance on the RCCL website once your cruise is booked and your receive a booking confirmation ID.
If you have any questions, call RCCL to speak with a cruise specialist or book thru a travel agency with experience in handling Cuba cruises for US citizens.
I also mentioned above that Majesty is a much smaller ship that usually runs the Bahamas 3 or 4 nite cruises.
The ship is well maintained, well appointed and the crew service very good. They are proud of serving on this "old lady" of the seas. It is a nice getaway to a unique destination even though Cuba cruises are generally pricier due to high demand.
Bon Voyage.
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
dfwjim1
Topic Author
Posts: 2150
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Cruising to Cuba on the Majesty of The Seas

Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:35 pm

PI4EVER wrote:
Note to dfwjim1 - I realized part of my original response is now missing at the sentence cutoff at cruise line.
To clarify further, you will also be required to purchase a shore excursion from RCCL to meet the rules of travel for US citizens and hold a US passport valid for at least 6 months beyond your month of actual travel.
Shore excursions can be purchased in advance on the RCCL website once your cruise is booked and your receive a booking confirmation ID.
If you have any questions, call RCCL to speak with a cruise specialist or book thru a travel agency with experience in handling Cuba cruises for US citizens.
I also mentioned above that Majesty is a much smaller ship that usually runs the Bahamas 3 or 4 nite cruises.
The ship is well maintained, well appointed and the crew service very good. They are proud of serving on this "old lady" of the seas. It is a nice getaway to a unique destination even though Cuba cruises are generally pricier due to high demand.
Bon Voyage.


Thank you very much for your input!
 
jmdc861
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:05 pm

Re: Cruising to Cuba on the Majesty of The Seas

Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:40 pm

Royal Caribbean shore excursions are a colossal rip off on their Cuba cruises. Go to oldcartours.com. They are 1/3 the price and also OFAC approved for Cuba. You don't have to be RCCI excursions despite their implication you have to do so. And yes you can get off on your own as well, again despite their insinuations that you can't. I did a overnight on Empress of the Seas recently and I got off 3 times on my own in addition to the 4th time which was the oldcartours.com. Know numerous others who have done the same! Be sure to do the Tropicana nightclub. You can get tickets direct for $75-$90 a person and just cheap taxi to get you there. RCCI charges like $300 a person. Give me a break!
 
UALFAson
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:41 pm

Re: Cruising to Cuba on the Majesty of The Seas

Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:55 pm

I spent about 24 hours in Cuba last summer on Norwegian's Sun ship. I did 2 ship-sponsored excursions: a bus tour during the day that went to Revolution Square, a cemetery, the fort/harbor, and all throughout the city (past the Capitol, etc.) and a nighttime walking tour through old Havana. I didn't go to one of the clubs like the Tropicana, but the next day everyone who did said they were great!

Like any cruise ship excursion, the tradeoff is that you pay a little more than doing it on your own, but all you have to do is show up. Also, all the vendors are OFAC approved, so if the government ever "audits" you (and who knows how often that actually happens), you can just tell them to contact the cruise line. There were many Floridians on my ship who had been to Cuba before and most of them had arranged private tours ahead of time on their own. It sounds like the Norwegian staff were a bit less aggressive than RC's--Norwegian recognized a lot of people were going off on their own and simply encouraged everyone to keep records, paperwork, an itinerary of their activities, etc. just in case.

As previously noted, you do have to buy a $75 Cuba tourist visa before boarding the ship. You cannot use American credit cards there. Americans get ripped off on the exchange rate on Cuban pesos, so only exchange as many U.S. dollars as you think you'll need. I didn't exchange any money and just took lots of US$1 and $5 bills, but I didn't do any major souvenir shopping (e.g. rum, cigars)--only with street vendors.

Havana was tragically beautiful. On one hand, I would hate to see it turned into another commercialized, Americanized Caribbean all-inclusive, but my goodness, if there were ever a country and a people who desperately need jobs, even if they are "just" working in resort hotels...
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