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Travelling with US dollars? and iphone and android phone--

[p]Hello everyone,[/p][p]
[/p][p]First time user of this forum, and wondering if you can help me.[/p][p]
[/p][p]I have travelled to DR a few times in the past, but never to Cuba. We will be in Cuba middle of April at Club Amigo Mare del Portillo. [/p][p]
[/p][p]I have read in other forums that US dollars are not accepted in Cuba. I will be travelling from Canada, and wondered what would be the best currencies to take with me to have them converted into Cuban currency. [/p][p]
[/p][p]Also, I would like to take my iphone with me to use to take pictures and listen to music. Would my charger work in Cuba, or do I have to buy a converter to be able to use my charger/adapter safely. My husband has an android (LG) phone, would be also need a converter as well.  Help![/p]

Welcome!

Cuba is nice in April - good choice.

US currency is taken, but why bother as Canadian currency is also taken. There is a charge to change your $'s and in Cuba there is also a surcharge to exchange us Currency. If you decide to use credit cards, make sure they are not linked to an American bank. The problem lies in the embargo…and the Americans will not reimburse the costs, because it then means they are doing business in Cuba (abbreviated reason). Likewise if you are taking a Canadian Card be sure to advise your company that you are out of country. Many will supply you with a telephone number that if needed you can reach them, in the event of authorization, or questions.

LG’s work well as do I phones. BUT remember to get a package if you will be using it at all. All the Cdn companies have good packages that include Cuba. If not then be sure to turn off Roaming and put it in airplane mode. If you have the ability to forward your phone …say home. Then no one can call you and you will not receive calls…if you do not get a package. A call without a package CAN be expensive. Do not take and send pictures to friends without a data package - ouch that too can sting.

Hello kimkwak welcome to the forum. Canuks gave you some great tips above but it would be helpful if we know if you are US or Canadian citizen. I understand that you will travel from Canada to Cuba so I guess you are Canadian citizen?

Yes, my husband and I are Canadian citizens. The information Canuks provided helps a great deal. Thank you, then I will not both converting my Canadian dollars into US dollars, if Canadian dollars are taken readily in Cuba into Cuban currency. I also note that there seem to be two different types of currencies in Cuba???

Would I also need to take a converted to charge our phones, or the adapters that came with the phones will suffice. Help!!!

The staff at the Marea love canned salmon

Cubakingone! Noted about the canned salmon. I am trying to travel light, but if there is space, I certainly will take some for the staff.

Would anyone have any idea about the charger for the phones?

[quote=@kimkwak]

Would anyone have any idea about the charger for the phones? [/quote]

To my knowledge, the electrical configuration at this resort is that it offers both 110V and 220V outlets.

Check your phone chargers! These days most chargers are rated for 110-240V. If this is the case, you should be fine and not need a foreign voltage converter (not to be confused with an adaptor !). Some Cuban resorts - those built more recently by European companies- have the round European style plugs. For this plug configuration you may need an adaptor only.

The Marea is an older resort so I don’t foresee any issues with charging your phones.

[quote=@kimkwak] I also note that there seem to be two different types of currencies in Cuba???

Would I also need to take a converted to charge our phones, or the adapters that came with the phones will suffice. Help!!![/quote]
The only currency you need to concern yourself with is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) which is what you will change your Canadian bills to for use in Cuba. Take 25 CUC each and put it in your passport to pay the exit tax, and change your money as necessary. If you are going to Marea you shouldn’t need a lot unless you are purchasing excursions in cash.

Your phone chargers likely are dual voltage, but you could possibly need an adapter (not a converter) if the plug configuration is different than yours. Someone who has been there might be able to confirm.

Cristal, you type faster than I do! :wink:

Thanks, YVRck! I just did not want to take an ipod and a digital camera, when I can take my phone have it all in one. If the adapter I am using in Canada works there, I am a happy girl!!! Yes, I believe the hotel sais it had both 100V and 220V.

It seems YVRck, you know this resort. Is there anything I need to look for that may dampen our stay? Your input would be appreciated.

Thanks, eeeefarm! Noted about the currency and adapter/converter issue.

Mosquitos can be a problem at this resort.

Yikes!!! Cubakingone, thanks! I will make sure I take bug repellent with us. I had that issue in one of the resorts in DR, and boy did I suffer!!!

[quote=@kimkwak]

It seems YVRck, you know this resort. Is there anything I need to look for that may dampen our stay? Your input would be appreciated. [/quote]

Only looks like I do! Over the years I’ve been compiling a list of Cuban resorts and their electrical configurations. Working on updating the list so it can be posted in the FAQ section soon.

I’ll defer further information about your resort to other members who are familiar with the pros and cons. Generally though, if you go to Cuba with an open mind and reasonable expectations, you’ll have a good time. Your vacation is always what you make of it! Enjoy!!

As the others have stated, bring Canadian currency. Leave the loonies and toonies at home. They do not exchange coins and you will not be able to spend them.

Speaking of our money, make sure that the Canadian bills that you bring are not torn, have any marks on them like writing or blots of ink. The banks and exchange booths in Cuba where you exchange money are very fussy about the condition of the bills. So go to to the bank here in Canada and make sure the money is good condition. I usually avoid ATMs up here as the bills are always marked up. So don’t wait until the last minute to do this.

As eeeefarm says, when you arrive place 25 CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos) for each of you with your passports into your safety deposit box. ou will need this upon departure at the airport.

If memory serves me well, there is Cadeca (money exchange booth) at the Marea near the front entrance.

PS:  forget about the canned salmon. Don’t bother yourself with bringing gifts for people that you don’t know. Luggage limits are bad enough as it is.

Thanks, sssnakesalive. I will make sure I take money that is in good condition. Well noted. Well noted about gifts. We do like to take little things for staff at the resorts we visit to show our appreciation when they do things extra for us, so we will see how our luggage allowance works for us and then decide. We may just end up tipping them with CUC.

As for the experience, you are right, YVRck! It is what you make of it. I have been to resorts in DR that people reviewed negatively, and all we had were fabulous times. We will definitely go into it with open minds, realizing that it is a developing country, if I can use that words loosely. Thanks again!

These is a small white sand island nearby. They have have excursions to it two or three times per week. If you have booked the VIP package, it is usually included. It’s a full day just lazing around with a very good BBQ lunch, with fish, chicken, pork, rice and salad.

Snorkelling isn’t halfbad there either. The island is mostly mangroves. I went several times.

Sssnamesalive, yes, we are booked for Canbana VIP package. So, that is a fabulous news about the white sand beach excursions. We will look forward to that. The VIP package also says you get a late checkout and free use of the safety deposit box, are these all true? The Sunwing also said something under the policy that when you checkin, they will ask for a cash deposit or credit card. When I spoke to a rep when booking, she said they may ask and they may not, and if they do not ask, don’t volunteer cash deposit or the credit card. What was your experience?

[quote=@kimkwak]
Would I also need to take a converted to charge our phones, or the adapters that came with the phones will suffice. Help!!![/quote]

I just checked 2 phones one is Samsung and another one is LG and both of the phones can be recharged on 110-240V as charger that came with phones will work without problems.

Anyway it is nice to have good digital camera if you have one. Today phones do take nice photos but still can not beat digital camera lenses so I would bring digital camera as well. I hope once you are back you will come and let us know how was your vacation and share some of your photos with us here on Debbie’s :slight_smile:

I have NEVER been asked for a cash or credit card deposit at any resort in Cuba!

Some resorts may ask you to pay for use of their beach towels but you’ll get the money back at the end of your stay when you return the towels. We always bring our own beach towels. Makes it easier to find your lounger!

[quote=@yvrck]I have NEVER been asked for a cash or credit card deposit at any resort in Cuba!

Some resorts may ask you to pay for use of their beach towels but you’ll get the money back at the end of your stay when you return the towels. We always bring our own beach towels. Makes it easier to find your lounger![/quote]
Ditto on the deposit. And I also bring my own beach towel. I’m blind without my glasses, and it sure helps me find where I left my stuff! :slight_smile: