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Cuba more expensive for the first time


#1

Just checked AI’s this am (as usual) and for the first time in memory, Cuban 3* and Cuban 4* are more expensive than DR and close to Mexico and others.

I won’t be returning to Puerto Plata at any price but it seems to me that prices for Cuba have risen this year and other countries are lower. When I can book on the Mayan Coast in Mexico at a 4* with far better food & drink at the same price as good Cuban 4*, there is not much to think about IMHO. Not sure if this is just another weird blip or a real trend.

Not trying to start an anti-Cuban fight but I’ve been to a lot of AI’s and the comparison of food & drinks in Mexico vs. Cuba is not even close.


#2

I haven’t noticed the increase in prices as a trend since the price, where we go each year, has consistently risen for every booking. We don’t go to Cuba because it’s the cheapest vacation value out there or for the food (although we’ve had not issues with it) but because we enjoy going to Cuba. Perhaps all the problems and bad tourism PR that’s being going on with Mexico, over the past number of years, has prompted more people to look at Cuba and, consequently, prices might be dropping in Mexico to entice tourists. I’ve noticed far more Europeans in Cuba, over the last couple of years, so they could, also, be a contributing factor in prices going up.


#3

I agree with steffiej…I go to Cuba because I like Cuba…the people…the music, and my scooter trips around the countryside…I wouldn’t feel safe doing scooter trips around the countryside in Mexico or DR.


#4

Insteresting for sure…I wonder if that is just out of your airport or city.

I haven’t noticed that here in the Atlantic area at all. And the taxes to Mexico and Punta Cana are usually couple hundred dollars more to start with, never mind the base price.

My first trip to Cuba was based on price for sure. But now I enjoy it. That being said, if it was cheaper to go elsewhere and better quality, resort, food etc I would defn check it out.

Wonder if this is a trend or a blip…time will tell I guess!


#5

As a retired Health and Safety Mgr. my primary concern is my personal health and safety !! I find this in Cuba. Just this afternoon I saw on the news that another Canadian from Alberta died at a Resort in Cancun. I sure don’t want to play the odds in Mexico no matter how how much they are in my favour.


#6

Oh come on now, tell the story as it was reported.

A college kid got in a fight & fell off a balcony.

How does that effect your “personal health and safety”?

The same could/would have happened in Florida or wherever he was partying.


#7

Not proven that he “just fell off the balcony”! Sure he was in a fight before but too many deaths there have been attributed to that line. My neighbor and a number of other people he knows have had less than desirable experiences in Mexico from being robbed, held up at gunpoint and on and on. My wording states that I don’t have a problem with my safety in Cuba !!! This kid in Mexico was just one more death of a tourist to add to the long list !


#8

I never look at taxes or base, only the total. Don’t forget that in Cuba, you have to add $25. for departure whereas for all other countries I have been to, including Mexico, it is included in your package cost. Not a big deal, but a PITA. I’ve also found that I tip less in Mexico but that is a personal decision. In Cuba, I tip out of sympathy more than I should.

We ALMOST jumped on the Cozumel deal for $639. for a 4* but it’s supposed to be +11 deg. here in the banana belt on the weekend, so we’ll wait a week and enjoy the nice Spring weather here.
You just have to admit, there is nothing more satisfying than returning to Canada and finding that you missed the huge snow storm of the year while you were on holidays. ;D ;D

There are some areas (actually many) in Mexico I would avoid but the vast majority of problems I have read about in Mexico are ones that the tourist contributed to in a big way. I felt less safe in Havana than I did in Mayan Riviera. I was reading with keen interest the article on the low cost of retirement in Nicaragua, went over to the TA Nicaragua forum and decided that maybe it was too unsafe for us. I do have my limits. ::slight_smile: $1K/month total cost is pretty attractive though = another thread maybe.


#9

I have to say that the comment, above, surprised me. We tip for service but, based on vacations, other than Cuba, find tipping in Cuba far cheaper than any other vacation we’ve experienced (especially cruises :P). Over a two week vacation, tipping maids, waitstaff, bar tenders, various tipping in Havana and misc. tips we average around 150 CUCs (give or take). We certainly don’t tip out of sympathy but for service provided, just as we would anywhere else.


#10

Each to their own. Maybe you’re surprised because I’m known as such a tightwad. :o :o Most of the people who go to Cuba that I know will tip in the same range as you but in one week. We met friends 2 years ago that tipping a fiver each time they were served drinks. That blew through my limit in a couple of nights. ??? Tipping is a highly personal thing, for sure.

UPDATE: Maybe they were watching but prices suddenly went down this morning for many Cuba destinations out of YYZ. My wife found a 4* oceanview for $650. $600 is my sweet spot for a 4* but I will pay extra for oceanview. Maybe we’ll get to Cuba after all.


#11

Good to hear different viewpoints ! dax felt more unsafe in Havana while we felt VERY safe. On our own in the side streets and laneways of Havana Vieja with folks sitting/standing in their doorways left us feeling very comfortable. Did not feel threatened in the least. A smile and a “buenos dias or buenas tardes” to them got the same in return. Looking forward to our couple days there next month. As I’ve said before; how boring the world would be if we all thought the same !!
We do the same as Steffiej as far as tipping - based on service and not because we feel we have to. No different than at home ! Of course we have a few “favourite” people we’re a little more generous with during our stay but we certainly don’t go overboard with tipping on a daily basis.


#12

[quote=@dax]

There are some areas (actually many) in Mexico I would avoid but the vast majority of problems I have read about in Mexico are ones that the tourist contributed to in a big way. I felt less safe in Havana than I did in Mayan Riviera. I was reading with keen interest the article on the low cost of retirement in Nicaragua, went over to the TA Nicaragua forum and decided that maybe it was too unsafe for us. I do have my limits. ::slight_smile: $1K/month total cost is pretty attractive though = another thread maybe.[/quote]

I don’t think a TA forum would be a place to get information on a retirement venue.

Having been retired in El Salvador for 2+ yrs & traveled throughout the area, I can assure you that El Salvador, Nicaragua & most of Guatemala (to keep on topic I will add Cuba to the list) are as safe to live in as the GTA.


#13

Not proven otherwise either or what mind altering substances he had taken or whose girlfriend he was messing with to start the fight.

I have spent 8 days driving through Mexico in an old school bus busette carrying all my possessions, without a problem. Then traveled the opposite direction by bus, spending a couple days touring Mexico City, again with no problems.

BTW how many deaths in Canada last year ???


#14

Fair enough, but there are some areas of the GTA I would NOT travel at night. When I’m in the Jane/Finch area, I get in and get out ASAP. In Havana I worry about pick pockets, in Jane/Finch, I worry about stray bullets.

I find it funny that there are lots of people I know that would go to the Southern US or Jamaica and feel safe but not in Cuba, Mexico, etc. All what is in you mind sometimes and what the media has put there. The cops I saw in Mexico carried sub machine guns, the same as the ones I saw in Italy and Spain.

I’d like to get to Nicaragua sometime and check out retirement places but too many family connections here that makes the scenario highly unlikely. We spent years looking at numerous islands and each one had drawbacks of some sort. If I had a condo in the GTA instead of a gorgeous country property, it would be a different matter.


#15

[quote=@dax]
Each to their own. Maybe you’re surprised because I’m known as such a tightwad. :o :o Most of the people who go to Cuba that I know will tip in the same range as you but in one week. We met friends 2 years ago that tipping a fiver each time they were served drinks. That blew through my limit in a couple of nights. ??? Tipping is a highly personal thing, for sure.[/quote]

The surprise part, Dax, was that you found tipping more expensive in Cuba than Mexico, not that you tip ;D. I can see why, now, if you have friends tipping, in my personal opinion, excessively. Tipping 5 CUCs each time they got drinks :o…well, just picture me shaking my head. Very true, tipping is a personal thing, for sure.


#16

[quote=@dax]

I find it funny that there are lots of people I know that would go to the Southern US or Jamaica and feel safe but not in Cuba, Mexico, etc. All what is in you mind sometimes and what the media has put there. The cops I saw in Mexico carried sub machine guns, the same as the ones I saw in Italy and Spain.

I’d like to get to Nicaragua sometime and check out retirement places but too many family connections here that makes the scenario highly unlikely. We spent years looking at numerous islands and each one had drawbacks of some sort. If I had a condo in the GTA instead of a gorgeous country property, it would be a different matter.[/quote]

You’re spot-on about the people who travel to the southern states without question but get all cross-threaded at the mention of Mexico, completely boggles the mind ???

As to visiting Nicaragua, TACA flies direct from Toronto to San Salvador then on to Managua for about $750 return so it’s cheap to check out. Another good point is you can drive there from Toronto in safety.

You can buy property there at reasonable prices. Daniel Ortega is using Cuba as a model for education & health care so that is not a problem. You might decide to buy a place there to winter there & summer at your Ontario property. Winter/snow sucks, palm trees rock! :sunglasses:


#17

Hey vagabond, any interest in helping with a thread about retiring in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua on our “Under the Palapa” Forum. Could be a great spot to exchange tips for those of us who love Cuba and have the bug to retire somewhere similar?


#18

UPDATE AGAIN ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile:
OK, finally yanked out the wallet. ACV has some decent deals right now but they are NOT showing up properly on ITravel or TripCentral sites. Both were showing higher $$. I called Trip and they said they would match the ACV site but she said ACV site was so slow and that it was full for the date I wanted. ACV site accepted the booking just fine. Go figure. However, I do have persistence and got an oceanview at Cayo Coco for $615 all in from YYZ this weekend. Also, loved the flight times 3:15 pm outbound, so no need to book a hotel.

First time with ACV, so I will see if there’s any difference my knees notice.

Sorry for our Western & Eastern friends that it costs so much more on the far edge of civilization ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile: My wife wanted to fly to Newfoundland last summer and after checking the flights, it was cheaper to fly to Rome than St. John’s. So wrong. >:( >:(

Also would be interested in retirement or long term rentals in Caribbean or Central America as a topic of interest. I have spent many hours searching but have always been hesitant about booking something and then finding out it was next to an all night bar upon arrival.
We did a semi long term in St. Lucia once and it was nice but no a/c so we sweated all night, there was construction downstairs all day, an all night bar 3 doors down and a rooster that woke up an hour before dawn each morning. Oh, an open sewer in the front yard that my son tripped into plus a herd of goats next door ::slight_smile: I think you get the picture, we’ve been doing AI’s ever since.


#19

I guess it depends on where you’re going (to and from). Our favourite “cheap” place (Santa Lucia/Camaguey) is not being offered from Winnipeg anymore, so that lops off the $400-500/wk trips available to us. We did, however, just book a trip to Cayo Santa Maria for two weeks in Jan/Feb, and it ended up being $1200 LESS for the three of us than the same time last year.


#20

Yes I am interested, sent you a fuller response to your pm.

@dax barking dogs, crowing roosters from 3am roaming goats, horses & cows are a fact of life in CA, they come with the cheap prices friendly people & good weather :slight_smile: