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Just Bought Tickets to Cuba... Now What?

Just Bought Tickets to Cuba... Now What?

Old Jul 11, 16, 9:09 am
  #1  
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Just Bought Tickets to Cuba... Now What?

{Note}This is a place holder for information as I gather, it seems that the all-knowing Flyertalk, is devoid of a lot of Cuba info.{/note}

So you are an American, and US-based airlines are now flying to Cuba. You are of course not a tourist, but if you are curious about how and what a tourist might do. This thread is for you!

Airline info:
American Airlines
Delta
Frontier
Jetblue
Silver Airways
Southwest
United
DOT Fact Sheet with all routes and more info.


Legal Reasons to Visit:
1. Family visits
2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
3. Journalistic activity
4. Professional research and professional meetings
5. Educational activities
6. Religious activities
7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
8. Support for the Cuban people
9. Humanitarian projects
10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
12. Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines

Where do you stay?
Hotels
Casa Particular

Currency and howto pay:
Assume your American credit cards will not work, and if you have foreign issued cards expect that they will only be accepted at big hotels. Cash is king, bring USD, EUR or GBP and exchange at a hotel.
Currency Info. CUC and CUP.

Now what do you do?
Can I self-certify? Yes. Just make sure it is for the People to People exchange.
How much does a Visa cost? - $50 if you visit the Cuban Consulate in Washington DC. If you apply remotely, it costs $70.
Make sure you save $25 per person for the exit fee.

These documents are needed to obtain this visa by mail:
  • Legible photocopy of valid Passport
  • Legible photocopy of plane ticket with entry and return dates
  • Payment of the Consular fee for this service
  • Stamped self-addressed envelope for the visa to be sent back (Consular Office recommended FEDEX, Express mail , UPS or Certified Priority mail)
  • 1 Money order by $ 50.00 USD (consular fee)
  • 1 Money order by $ 20.00 USD (If the application is made by mail or via a third party, an extra consular fee of 20.00 USD will be charged).
  • All payments must be made with money orders.
  • To send by mail our Consular Office is located at 2630 16th Street NW, Washington DC, 20009
  • Checks are made payable to "Embassy of Cuba"


Other Stuff:
Top-10 Questions as answered on FT.
Great advice from Miles Talk.
Trip Report from Cheap World Traveler.
Bus line information (city to city).
More Great Info.

Last edited by newaarondavidson; Sep 6, 16 at 4:50 pm
newaarondavidson is offline  
Old Jul 11, 16, 2:26 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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The website http://www.cubadiplomatica.cu/sicw/E...istCards<br /> states (exactly):

"Tourist Visa (Tourist Card)

The Tourist Visa or Tourist Card is only for purposes of tourism to Cuba. It is valid for one single entrance into national territory for a 30-day trip and can be extended for an additional 30 days at the office in the hotel where one has accommodations or with the immigration authority.

Minors must have their own Tourist Card even if they are travelling under their parents’ passport(s).

To obtain this visa in person at the Consulate, these documents are needed:

-Valid Passport
-Plane Ticket with entry and return dates
-Payment of the Consular fee for this service

These documents are needed to obtain this visa by mail:

-Legible photocopy of valid Passport
-Legible photocopy of plane ticket with entry and return dates
- Payment of the Consular fee for this service
-Stamped self-addressed envelope for the visa to be sent back

NOTE: If the application is made by mail or via a third party, an extra consular fee will be charged for the pertinent Consular service.

All payments must be made in cash or by a bank certified cheque. All cash sent by mail will be refused and returned at the risk of the applicant. "

Where did you find the additional information in your "Now what do you do?" section?
VidaNaPraia is offline  
Old Jul 11, 16, 4:21 pm
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Nice compilation. Thanks.

The article you link to from Cuba Journal is incorrect on one point. The people-to-people tours or individuals putting together their own similar travel fall under the category of "educational activities." "Support for the Cuban people" is actually a very narrow category in which you travel to Cuba with an international organization dedicated to promoting peace and democracy. That one would have to be a highly structured trip and not possible to do on your own.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Jul 12, 16, 4:00 am
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
The website http://www.cubadiplomatica.cu/sicw/E...istCards<br /> states (exactly):

"Tourist Visa (Tourist Card)

The Tourist Visa or Tourist Card is only for purposes of tourism to Cuba. It is valid for one single entrance into national territory for a 30-day trip and can be extended for an additional 30 days at the office in the hotel where one has accommodations or with the immigration authority.

Minors must have their own Tourist Card even if they are travelling under their parents’ passport(s).

To obtain this visa in person at the Consulate, these documents are needed:

-Valid Passport
-Plane Ticket with entry and return dates
-Payment of the Consular fee for this service

These documents are needed to obtain this visa by mail:

-Legible photocopy of valid Passport
-Legible photocopy of plane ticket with entry and return dates
- Payment of the Consular fee for this service
-Stamped self-addressed envelope for the visa to be sent back

NOTE: If the application is made by mail or via a third party, an extra consular fee will be charged for the pertinent Consular service.

All payments must be made in cash or by a bank certified cheque. All cash sent by mail will be refused and returned at the risk of the applicant. "

Where did you find the additional information in your "Now what do you do?" section?
Directly from the Consulate. That fee is normally part of your ticket if you book a charter flight. We may not be tourists, but the Cuban government is collecting money.
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Old Jul 24, 16, 10:22 am
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Has anyone had success receiving a tourist card by mail from the embassy in the US? The consular site provides the instructions but doesn't even list the fees.
lrdpenn is offline  
Old Jul 25, 16, 7:33 am
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Originally Posted by lrdpenn View Post
Has anyone had success receiving a tourist card by mail from the embassy in the US? The consular site provides the instructions but doesn't even list the fees.
I am waiting on ours. There are two fees:

$50 standard application fee
$20 Mail-in fee (you do not pay this if you walk up)

Fees are payable by money order or bank check only and must be separate. So for my wife and I, we needed 4 checks.
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Old Sep 1, 16, 4:15 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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When do you think the flights will be for sale?

Have tried to book since I read that they will start service Dec.1, 2016...from Atlanta, JFK and from Miami. However, I still get an error page!
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Old Sep 2, 16, 4:20 am
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Originally Posted by globecircler View Post
Have tried to book since I read that they will start service Dec.1, 2016...from Atlanta, JFK and from Miami. However, I still get an error page!
Reservations will not be loaded in GDS systems including Delta's till Saturday September 10.
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Old Sep 3, 16, 8:34 am
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thanks!
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Old Sep 6, 16, 4:51 pm
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According to the consulate, the following agencies are selling visas (ie doing the work... I think):

‐ MARAZUL - WEEHAWKEN ‐ NEW JERSEY 4100 Park Avenue Weehawken, New Jersey 07086

201‐319‐3900

‐ MARAZUL - EDGEWATER - 1 Marine Plaza. Suite 302 North Bergen, New Jersey 07047

201‐319‐1054 800‐223‐5334

‐ NEW VIEW TRAVEL AGENCY - 510 39TH ST UNION CITY, NJ 07087 (201) 867‐0039 FAX

201‐867‐ 1180

‐ PEERLESS TRAVEL 5601 Bergenline Ave, West New York, NJ 07093 Teléfonos

201‐867‐2844 ‐

‐ CARIBE EXPRESS - 6710B Bergenline Ave, Gutteberg, NJ 07093 Teléfono: 201‐869‐7989

- CARIBE EXPRESS - 626 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth, NJ 07206 Teléfono: 908‐282‐2096 Web:

www.caribeexpress.com E_MAIL: [email protected]

‐ COSTAMAR TRAVEL WEST NEW YORK - 6513 Park Ave West New York, New Jersey, 07093

Teléfono: 201 662 0114
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Old Sep 7, 16, 9:08 am
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I got mine from Cuba Travel Services, the designated third party by American Airlines. U$85 including shipping
VidaNaPraia is offline  
Old Sep 9, 16, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
I got mine from Cuba Travel Services, the designated third party by American Airlines. U$85 including shipping
Do you have it in hand yet? They called me and said it was $105 now and their $85 price was wrong. Just curious. I went and did it myself.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by newaarondavidson View Post
Do you have it in hand yet? They called me and said it was $105 now and their $85 price was wrong. Just curious. I went and did it myself.
Yes, it came a couple of days after I sent the paperwork they wanted (form, cc authorization for the U$85 which included shipping FedEx, copy of itinerary).
Sounds like they're seeing what the market will bear if they are upping the price. (expletive deleted!)
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Old Sep 10, 16, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by worldspan View Post
Reservations will not be loaded in GDS systems including Delta's till Saturday September 10.
The fares and seats are loaded in on Delta and shock does not begin to describe my reaction to fares such as $1500. from ATL and $ 1300 from MIA...main cabin ...is this just flagrant gouging or what?
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Old Sep 10, 16, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
Yes, it came a couple of days after I sent the paperwork they wanted (form, cc authorization for the U$85 which included shipping FedEx, copy of itinerary).
Sounds like they're seeing what the market will bear if they are upping the price. (expletive deleted!)
Jet Blue is selling the visa @$50 at the counter and for in-transit passengers at Grand Cayman en route from Miami, Cayman Airways is selling it at $25. Sounds like the markup by outfits like Cuba Travel Services is out of sight!
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