The cruise around Cuba. Havana to Havana.
We left Penticton, BC and travelled to Vancouver, BC, where we spent the night. We flew out of Vancouver, the following morning to Valadero, Cuba. On the way we stopped in Santa Clara, the first entry point into Cuba. From Valadero, we were transported by bus to Havana. (a two hour trip) By the time we got off the bus, got our luggage and went to the cabin it was almost 11:00 pm. The following morning at 7:45 they had scheduled a Havana city tour. We were just too tired to go, so we stayed on the ship. The ship sailed at 5:00 PM that afternoon. It travelled all night and the next day we arrived at Maria la Gorda. As this is a snorkel and dive resort, we were not able to take the ship into a port. Anyone leaving the ship for land, had to take the tender. As my mom is older, we felt, that she might have some difficulty getting on and off the tender, so we opted to stay on the ship. That evening we sailed again and went to the port of Cienfuegos. It is a beautiful place with a rich history and many beautiful buildings. They are just now starting to restore some of them to their former glory. The following day, we arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica. A very interesting city. Our destination was the entertainment and guest house of the Barretts. (As in Elizabeth Barrett Browning) They had had a large sugar plantation near Montego Bay Jamaica. We toured this house. It has been restored. The original plantation home, no longer exists. It was a very interesting stop on our trip. The next day we sailed to Santiago de Cuba. Here again, the weather was hot, but there were many more historical buildings. We sailed all day Sunday. The waters were quite rough and we were three hours late getting into Havana. From Havana we were transported by bus to our hotel in Varadera, about a two hour drive, away. Unfortunately, on the way, we had stopped to view the highest bridge in Cuba, before we returned to the bus, my mom had a fall, which made the rest of her trip, not very interesting. We settled finally in our suite. Because we had missed the city tour of Havana, we decided to take it, from Valadero. Unfortunately we picked a very rainy day, to do so...We did manage to see a lot of the older buildings in Havana. (We looked like drowned rats) We also visited the Hotel, Hotel Ambos-Mundos, where Ernest Hemmingway lived, while he was writing For Whom The Bell Tolled. All very interesting, as part of the history of Cuba. One of the many places where tourists were encouraged to go.
After our week in Varadero we flew home, via Vancouver. The first week was very nice and interesting on the Cruise. The weather was not a nice in Veradero, so we found our second week a bit taxing.
Hotel Ambos-Mundos Barrett property in Jamaica