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New Member Don Tomas




Awesome to have you here DT!


I’ve only had a couple of dozen posts deleted from here thus far DT, but considering it’s a very slow forum that’s still roughly the same statistical rate as on TA.

Good luck, buddy… :wink:



Things just got more interesting! Welcome Don!


Welcome Don Tomas to Debbie’s forum. Glad to see you here!!


very glad to hear from You DT!! Glad you are here.

Might as well post the bad news here

I was wondering if I needed to put out a new “Welcome” mat. Good to hear from you T.


Wow, this is some welcoming forum, do all new members get a welcome thread? Really?

And Terry, while I don’t actually know much about this place, I was always under the impression it was only for resort-talk (the name of it sort of gives that impression), but once I opened it yesterday and saw you were on I thought what the hey.

Disclaimer: I love resort tourists. Wasn’t trying to get into that at all. Don’t want to start having my posts deleted already. Please don’t. I’m not a resort-racist.


DT: You show your sense of humour on Lonely Planet and it seems that you’re showing it here on Debbie’s. A lot different than TA. The mods here are sensible and don’t ban because 2-3 people complained about your post or your opinion. You find it different from what it was, now that Zee has taken over.

I am so happy that now you can post your logical thoughts! And if you want to use satire, no one will disagree. Welcome to a collegial forum where debate is good.


Bonus, other anonymous members can’t remove your posts! Glad to have you aboard. Although most on here probably frequent resorts, there is always a need for someone with knowledge that goes beyond the state of the swimming pool and how long the line up is to book a la cartes. We have a few with good knowledge of Cuba, but your presence is definitely an asset!


Well thanks again.

Sund0g: Sounds good. TA is not a place for humour, not a place for much else than politically correct disney-BS. I was banned there many a fun time, when I finally got the kick was when a Cuba Destination Expert asked on a thread: ‘Is it not true that there are two prices in Cuba? One for Cubans and one for tourists?’ and I replied, quite without any hint of a personal attack, if the guy should not consider not being on a forum with a destination expert label if he was asking such questions? That was it for me. And all the better. Thousands of posts spent adding content to a corrupt business that ranks hotels by which hotel pays most. Maybe the most corrupt and utterly useless travel website online. Now after that - believe it or not - everyone I know from whos houses and apartments I had ever connected to TA at, from my cell or whatever - all had their TA accounts deleted. My poor dad who had just discovered TA a few months back and was over the moon writing hotel reviews. Deleted. When he asked why he got no answer from TA. When he told me I said you’re not going to believe it, but I think it’s probably because I have connected from your house. A month after he got a reply that his account had been disabled for using multiple user names. Same happened with 3-4 family members and a couple of friends. Talk about nut-job moderators.

I was also involved with a business and every time someone would mention ir or write a review the posts would be deleted. I found it amazing how such a big website could have it in for a simple guy no longer there, not wanting to come back, leaving that website completely alone. Needless to say, I think TA, the forums and everything on it, is a complete joke. And a huge scam on top. But the latter is a different subject matter.

Eeeeee: Let me start by coming out: I spent a week at a Varadero resort in the summer of 2013. There you go. And I absolutely loved it. After 4-5 months in off the tourist trail Cuba living a normal down to earth life with all the rice, beans and dry chicken that goes along with that, a week at that buffet was amazing. I did hit the beach once or twice, and tried the pool as well, but mostly I was just sitting with my powder piña colada waiting for the buffet to open. Ate like a pig. Sat down with a powder colada and waited until the doors opened for lunch. Ate like an animal. Sat down with a piña and waited until the doors opened for dinner. Ate like a pig. Then sat down with a piña colada and waited for the evenign show to come on and fell asleep. Got up, hit the breakfast buffet, ate like a swine. Another drink, wait, eat, drink, wait, eat, drink, wait, eat, drink, wait, eat. A week later I was back in Havana and my nickname had changed to ‘El Gordo’. Put on 5 kilos in one week. of course I had lost 8-9 kilos in the months up to that, so…

Resort life rules.

(It’s just that, PERSONALLY, I find it so incredibly borring to talk about. Because I just did, and what else is there to say? Drink, wait, eat, drink, wait, eat. Throw in a dip in the ocean and a dive in the pool and what’s left to talk about for years and years on thousands of threads on a million forums? Except drink, wait, eat. Enlighten me someone if I am wrong.)

Oh, and finally - and I guess since the thread has my name on it I can get away with feeling up myself to the point where some might vomit - I have never been on any forum to insult anyone, I’m the same direct guy/a$$hole as in real life. I hate sugar-coating and I hate misinformation and yes, I do hate random gifting, and out of my numerous bans on TA all was for just speaking my opinion, I was never around for personal attacks. I don’t know why some people hate me (and why some would report ALL my posts on TA and get me a bunch of automatic bans by the ‘TA community’), but my luck in life is that I have figured out that even if half of the world hates you, there’s still 3 billion people left who don’t. And out of those you only need 10 or 20 to actually like you to have a pretty decent life. So I just wanted to get that out of the way if there are people around this forum thinking ‘oh no, not that a$$hole again’. And finally, since those TA days I am living about half the year in Havana with no time or bandwidth to be on online forums, so at least 50 percent of the time nobody has to listen to me.

Wish it was me :slight_smile:


Of course, if I ever become a senior member with 4 or 5 stars like the rest of you that will all change and I will become really unpleasant and talk down to everybody and just generally be so full of myself that someone will have to ban me fast. I’m being such a nice guy because ‘Junior member’ just doesn’t sound like someone with really big huevos :slight_smile:


Don Thomas, I remember in 2013 when you were asking about resorts in Varadero. Just wondering, even if it is incredibly boring, where did you decide to stay, it does sound like you took advantage of the AI aspect, powdery though it is.


I have a solution, just put one word in each post, before long you’ll be a senior like us LOL

Just kidding, enjoy your stay here.


[quote=@dontomas]Wow, this is some welcoming forum, do all new members get a welcome thread? Really?

And Terry, while I don’t actually know much about this place, I was always under the impression it was only for resort-talk (the name of it sort of gives that impression), but once I opened it yesterday and saw you were on I thought what the hey.

Disclaimer: I love resort tourists. Wasn’t trying to get into that at all. Don’t want to start having my posts deleted already. Please don’t. I’m not a resort-racist.[/quote]

DT, it was probably true at one time that Debbie’s forum was almost entirely populated by resort-going tourists. But there have gotten to be more independent travellers over time, and I, for one am glad of that. Even though most of my actual time in Cuba has been at a resort, I like to learn about Cuba from all points of view. I also like to think most people on this forum think that way.

I really think that you will add a lot of interesting conversation here.


We could always change his name to something with $$'s in it, LOL Change his post count to 10 million and leave him as a Jr.
Change his Avatar to something "with really big huevos"
Much more fun than banning. Welcome to the new Debbie’s.


@ #12:

That’s some memory you have there!

I guess what happens is something like this: Once you get a real feel for Cuba, its people, culture, traditions, way of life, human interaction, you start having a hard time understanding why people would go to such a different country and spend their time locked up in a resort that could be anywhere in the world and where contact with the ‘real’ Cuba is limited to the Cubans working on the resort. Which means, honestly, nothing to do with the country basically. Except a little Cuban music on the speakers during the day and a cliche show by the entertainment staff that they have on repeat 365 nights per year and 3,650 nights per decade. All the waiters, bartenders, maids, staff throwing around the same four sentences. A movie on repeat (same as Old Havana, John, as we talked about another time) for the tourists.

People catching that vibe of this mysterious and insane off-resort Cuba tend to want to immerse themselves fully in this ‘real’ Cuba and to some extend become as ‘Cuban’ as possible. And so, the resort option becomes something you taunt and distance yourself from at any chance. You’ll see that on many forums. People laughing at resorts, wanting to show they are so amazingly cubanized that they would never set foot on a resort. I was probably, though I didn’t think about it that way, like that to to some extent.

So next step is that you perhaps become too cubanized and instead of going for two weeks or a few months at the time, someone like me found reason to be in Cuba half the year. Then all that exotic paint of the ‘real’ Cuba honestly starts to fall off somewhat. And since my friends in Cuba are very regular Cubans, I can’t live a life much different there. So while I’m not living like a poor Cuban by no means, it all becomes daily routine and what enters through your eyes is not so much the ‘real’ Cuba but just regular ‘life’. And it’s interesting enough that many foreigners with much time and experience in the off-resort Cuba seems to loathe resorts so much, when a stay at a resort to a Cuban is like a piece of heaven. ALL Cubans are crazy about resorts. The lucky ones who can go once a year or nce every five years spend the rest of their time dreaming about all inclusive resorts and time on the beach and in the pool. And maybe thats what happens when you have spent (too?) much time in off resort Cuba. You start to think like a Cuban.

Now I only decided to plan a week in Varadero because my daughter was coming over to visit. She was 6. I knew she would love it. See she doesn’t have a thing for wanting to feel very Cuban. She has a thing for ice cream, soda and swimming pools. So wasn’t going to keep her in some dull house in Havana with no TV, nothing interesting to eat, no entertainment. Well for a week that was fine and healthy, trying to make do with playing with sticks and stones in the street with the other kids, but needed to treat her as well. And so I booked the place a few months in advance and really didn’t want to go then, but when it got closer I started to really look forward to it. And when I finally went it was like a piece of paradise. I know my eyes reacted like those of a Cuban, not those of a foreigner, when I saw the buffet. After four months eating the same stuff. Just seeing bacon, IN CUBA!!!, was amazing. And I was really stressed out too at the time, so just havong nothing to do for a full week other than to swim, drink and wait for someone to stuff food down my throat, that was truly enjoyable. And I’ll be in Varadero for a week this summer for sure! jeje. Doing what any Cuban would do if he could and what those Cubans who can certainly do. Appreciating that the thing I have going is good enough that I can afford to spoil myself and others. I might just be in Varadero for a week every year.

Now it gets really resort-technical if I also have to say which hotel I was at :slight_smile: Needless to say you don’t step up from the other life in Cuba to the most luxurious resort of them all. That would have been too much. I would have died drinking and eating myself to death :slight_smile: PLus you get another concept of money when you are around regular Cubans for such a long time and see what they can do with 10 dollars and how long it can take them to make 20 dollars, so I would have felt like a real pig throwing out $200 per night in Varadero. I also avoided a big resort fearing I would be in shock seeing so many yumas in the same place…

So with those hints in mind, let’s see if you’re a true Varadero expert, John, and if you can name the hotel? I will be nice and give you three guesses…


Iggy, thanks for the tip :slight_smile:


[quote=@spunky]Change his Avatar to something "with really big huevos"
Much more fun than banning. Welcome to the new Debbie’s.[/quote]Now THERE’S a cool way to moderate a forum. Give the guy an avatar with over-the-top huevos. Respect.


Jack, good seeing you too.

Just got three posts in there. Is the next level between Junior and Senior called ‘grown up’ member?