MSC Armonia adds Miami as home port to Cuba Itinerary

Cuba

Miami homeport adds attractive destinations to the ship’s itinerary and offers greater travel options for international and North American guests  Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy two days in Cuba on one of the largest and most modern cruise ships calling this unique destination  MSC Cruises, announced that, as of December 10, 2018, MSC Armonia will add Miami to its 7-night Cuba and Caribbean itinerary and will homeport there alongside MSC Divina and MSC Seaside. With …

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Carnival Cruise Line to offer new cruises to Cuba from Miami in 2019

Carnival Cruise Line will offer 17 new sailings to Cuba aboard Carnival Sensation in 2019.  The five-day Cuba voyages will be the line’s first to operate round-trip from Miami and feature a day-long call in Havana as well as stops at popular Caribbean and Bahamian ports,  including Grand Turk, Grand Cayman, Nassau, and the private destinations of Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays. The voyages complement a series of voyages to Cuba departing from Tampa aboard Carnival …

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Celestyal Crystal Cuba Cruise: Discovering Love Garden at Hotel Nacional de Cuba

ABOARD THE CELESTYAL CRYSTAL – I was the only person in the Love Garden. It is a bit out of the way at the famous Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana. Seemed like most people were walking through the hotel’s historic halls or heading down to enjoy the beautiful view of the sea. In truth, I discovered the garden because I was looking for a public restroom. Stepping around the corner, I saw the Love Garden sign …

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Celestyal Crystal Cuba Cruise: Skimpy costumes, beautiful showgirls & guys at Tropicana cabaret show

ABOARD THE CELESTYAL CRYSTAL – I don’t know where they sat. Probably not where I did. But such rich and famous folks as Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Rita Hayworth, JFK, Ernest Hemingway and Lucky Luciano once attended the famous Tropicana show in Havana. Now I have, too, on a late-night excursion from my Celestyal Crystal cruise. The optional four-hour activity cost $149 for adults. Children under 18 not allowed. That price includes a glass of sparkling wine, …

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Celestyal Crystal Cuba Cruise: 1950s American cars still cruising in Cuba

ABOARD THE CELESTYAL CRYSTAL – Eisenhower was president. The New York Yankees won their fifth world series in a row. Frank Sinatra was drawing movie goers with his film “From Here to Eternity.” A 26-year-old Fidel Castro launched his failed attempt to overthrow Cuban dictator Batista on July 26. The first Corvette went on sale. And the pink Chevy that I’m settling into for a ride through Havana first took to the streets. The year was 1953. …

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Celestyal Crystal Cuba Cruise: Statue honors ‘crazy’ man

ABOARD THE CELESTYAL CRYSTAL – Cuba is a country of statues and monuments, many of them dedicated to heroes of the revolution. But one unusual bronze figure in Havana is the only one in the world I have seen for a certifiably crazy person. On a walking tour of Havana, we stopped in front of a church. However, what caught my attention was a statue outside the church of a man whose beard, left index finger and …

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Celestyal Crystal Cruise: Learning about Cuban flag, anthem and coat of arms

ABOARD THE CELESTYAL CRYSTAL – Walk by a Cuban school on an early weekday morning and you’ll probably hear the Cuban National Anthem being sung by the students, including an additional “dun tada dun” at the end. “That’s just how we end the song,” Dr. Jorge Arocha said, giving a demonstration. “I can’t sing,” he said with a laugh. “But I’ll try to show you how it goes.” A highlight of my People to People cruise has …

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Celestyal Crystal Cuba Cruise: Fusterlandia is one man’s attempt to brighten the world

ABOARD THE CELESTYAL CRYSTAL – Outrageous colors. Fantasy figures. Proud historic reminders. Everywhere I looked, it seemed an eye-catching explosion of creativity. I had been forewarned but I’m not sure anything can prepare you for Fusterlandia. The artistic wonderland is certainly not something I expected to encounter when I arrived in Havana. “Some people thought he was crazy,” tour guide Isora said. “People were going hungry when he started doing this. And here he is building houses.” …

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Carnival Cruise Line prepares for Carnival Paradise to sail to Cuba June 29

By GERRY BARKER June 29. That’s a date that Terry Thornton, Carnival Cruise Line’s Senior VP of Fleet Deployment, has had circled on his calendar for a long time. That’s the day Carnival Paradise departs Tampa for Havana, Cuba, the first of 12 scheduled departures to the Caribbean destination that’s been off-limits to Americans for half a century. “It’s been a long process,” said Thornton, “a learning experience for both the Cuban government and Carnival. Good things …

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Celestyal Crystal Cuba Cruise: Cuban cuisine a cruise delight

ABOARD THE CELESTYAL CRYSTAL – I’ll admit it. One of the things I enjoy most on a cruise is getting to try various foods.  Even a standard steak can taste different according to which chef created the recipe. Choosing from so many tempting menu items can be difficult but the Celestyal Crystal has a dinner option that makes my choices so much easier. Called Chef’s Specialty, the dish is Cuban inspired with a bit of background information …

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