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Marevas (2/5)

  1. Very nice Andy. I heard about the 100:1 yesterday, it was 70:1 at Christmas time. This is all due to the mass exodus to Nicaragua and the like. I've seen this picture show before, this will not get better. John
  2. Most custom rolled cigars are off the books. You may be able to pay in USD or CUP, some are asking for Euros. Dont think there will be any price advantage. John
  3. Cuban pesos go a long way in Paladares and stores not owned by the government (Particular). John
  4. You have to buy a MLC card (5 Euros) and load it with Euros/ Canadian etc. They are sold at the airport. They will convert it to their currency, which will be the prices posted in the stores. No cash transactions. US credit cards only work for the PCR test upon exit. Some stores like 5ta y 16 charge in Euros and the Duty Free shops once you get past X-rays. John
  5. Telling bars to limit passengers to one drink isnt going to remedy anything. In Miami you can pass by 20 bars before you get to your plane and most of them are packed at 9am. One of my best memories was a charter flight in the late 80's on my way to Venezuela. There was a keg in the back and you served yourself, all were smoking and telling jokes. Everyone seemed happy, no fights. John
  6. Sounds like a sick period to me. Put them away, visit them in a couple of years. John
  7. The beer is all suspect or "inventado" as they say in Cuba. The only place to get a legitimate beer is on tap. Did find Bucanero at a Ranchon for 25 CUP in mini-action figure sized 8 oz glass. Located Cristal in another paladar on tap at 199 CUP for a hefty 16oz glass. The complex that Andy refers to (1ra y 70) has been there quite some time and all of their beer is super suspect. Too much noise and crowds for me. John
  8. You have to purchase an MLC card (5 Euros) and load it with Euros. These are sold at the airport, John
  9. 1. Many hotels/businesses are NOT open 2. You are going to struggle 3. No, No, sometimes 4. Casa Particular $40/night is average 5. Partagas and La Corona did tours, not sure if they are doing that now 6. Some US providers have service but it is costly, WattsApp is your best bet 7. Dont tell anyone its your 1st time there, they will look for any advantage to overcharge you 8. Probably Miami 9. Insect spray, 1st aid kit, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, snacks
  10. Some thoughts on the article for US travelers. You do not need a PCR test to go in to Cuba, just a vaccination card. A ticket purchased for travel from the US has medical insurance included for "emergencies". A VISA is $100 {not included in the price of the ticket). The online form D'Viajero may create a possible virus on your cel phone. In their paranoid spy vs spy world they want to know if you are there to spread anti-revolutionary propaganda or help dissidents. Plus it helps to know how much the mulas are charging for soap and toothpaste so they can adjust their prices. Most businesses will spray a Windex/bleach mix on your hands upon entering. I had a tendency to leave my mask at homes/restaurants that I visited, so take a few with you while on the road. Wearing a mask in an non-AC car can be brutal at times, especially when the Yutong bus just gave you a big blast of diesel fumes. Most locals did not give hugs, just fist pumps. In Havana the PCR test can be done at the Siboney clinic, its somewhat near Jaimanitas, US credit cards can be used, the charge is about $25 US. The test can be done at T2 in the old pharmacy and T3 in check in gate "A" on the 2nd floor the day you depart, T3 has a 24 hour service. I did see some hiccups with travelers credit cards not working but it was usually resolved amongst the travelers with a cash offer for the use of someone elses credit card. You are given a hand written letter of your negative results to present to the airline. US Immigration is not concerned with your vaccination/PCR status. On all of my trips in December I presented my documentation and was told "put that away, that must be an airline thing". One case of Omicron has been documented in Pinar del Rio, they say from a traveler that had been to Africa. I had some concerns as to what my situation would be if I tested positive. My US credit card cant pay for a 14 day stay in one of their hotels. There is no Western Union. I am down to 50 Euros as I blew it all on cigars. I suppose the $1000 US I had on me is worth something, but now I have to hustle to convert it to Euros. How do I get my family to send me another $1500 to pay for my stint? Then when I get to the airport, the flights are full or I have to buy a $1000 1st class ticket, "Hey mom, send me another $1000." After a while I came to my conclusion on the PCR test. John
  11. I think you Canadiens are missing the big picture. Cubas masterplan is not about your numbers or your countries rules. Its about their money making schemes. Could be back in the day you had the #'s. At the moment Canada has semi-weekly flights from Montreal and TO, possibly 5-7 flights a week. US 14+ flights daily, more to increase in February. It would be difficult to argue that as of today you are sending more passengers than the US if we are sending 10X planes. Added to that "mulas" or Cuban Nationals from Miami that frequent the island are not considered tourists and many of them visit the island 50 times a year. Pre-COVID the US had more than 20 flights daily just from Florida. Yes, you might be the tourist paper champion but in no way can you produce the number of passengers Miami does. John
  12. Canada is a drop in the bucket compared to the daily US flights returning to the US. Miami has 10 daily flights (6 Charter, 4 American), Tampa 2 Flights, NY 2 flights as well. There may be other flights I am unaware of from the US. Capacities on those flights are 147-175 passengers, American has one daily flight that can fit 299. The flights are coming back full, but lets just say they are coming back 75%. We can use the lower number of 147 X 75% or an average of 109 passengers per flight. 109 X $25 fee is $2718, that times 14 flights is $38,062 daily in PCR tests. Multiply that by 30 days and you're looking at $1,141,875/month in PCR test for the US. There is an added bonus for this Jeddi-mind-trick in that US travelers can pay with their US credit card for these tests. So, a million dollars monthly is sitting comfortably in a US bank whenever DC's cronies decide to take a vacation on Miami Beach. Add all of the other countries fees together and you have some pretty big #'s. Not only that, you have it spread all around the world in real currency. John
  13. I feel that the mandatory PCR upon exit is a fugazi and just a money grab. My reasons: 1. Cuba has not disclosed protocols for travelers if they test positive, i.e. 14 days in a hotel, multiple tests etc 2. Since the Nov 20 tests not one positive test has been disclosed by the Cuban government, by a foreign traveler (You Tube etc) or a Cuban National languishing in one of their makeshift "alberges" for 14 days 3. Been there 3 times in December and did not hear of one case going positive with an exiting PCR test Pure speculation on my part. Nino, wave your magic wand and give me the Empirical Evidence that says I'm out of my mind. John
  14. The difference in any of the marcas are what region/factory the leaf came from. There is a big difference in between all of them. John
  15. Kingantz review at Cigarpass was an El Credito, lots of nice pics. John

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