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Cuba For Americans

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Question ( I hope I am posting in the right section...new to this).  Going on MSC Armonia ( RT/Miami) with an overnight in Cuba in Sept.  We booked an excursion for the Walking Historic Havana Tour for the first day ( 5 hours).  Any ideas or tips on how to find private tour guides ( that are trustworthy)?  Any hints on nightlife ( NOT Tropicana)?  Since MSC is providing us with a visa, I assume we get get off/on ship anytime we want.  Is Havana safe to walk around at night?  Any tips would be appreciated.  I can get by in Spanish , but I would not consider myself fluent).


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I haven’t been to Cuba yet, but do know people who have. I have heard good things about day tours by Havana Journeys: https://havanajourneys.com/ 

Whichever guide you use, just make sure the tour meets the people-to-people guidelines, i.e. cultural, educational or humanitarian. Eat in local eateries, use local cabs, local vendors - anything that benefits the people and not the government. Also, be sure to check off the self-certify box on the visa that you are adhering to the guidelines - the cruiseline won’t be responsible for you.

Keep records of where you go and what you do in Cuba. No one ever asks, but it’s best to have it just in case.

Nighttime in Cuba, I hear, is no worse than any other city. Just be smart  - watch for pickpockets, stay in busy areas, keep your money hidden, buddy up, and be alert.

Other things I learned - which your agent has probably already told you: your cellphones won’t work in Cuba, there is no internet, and few places accept American credit cards. Bring cash. Lastly, most importantly, toilet paper is scarce, so plan accordingly.? 

Have a great time and tell us all about it!

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