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7 Things to Know Before Traveling to Cuba

Camille and Locke Bryan cruised on a two month 2,500 mile round-trip to Cuba in their Grand Banks 52, Hollywood Ending. The Bryans held a discussion at the November Captains’ Roundtable where they explained how they prepared, told stories of their adventure and enlightened people on tips and tricks they should know before traveling to Cuba.

Things you should know before traveling to Cuba:

1) Americans cannot travel to Cuba unless their trip falls under one of the categories of travel. Locke and Camille’s trip was categorized as “people-to-people.” They brought prescription medicine to Cuban citizens.

2) Your cell phone may or may not work, depending on your cell phone carrier. Some mobile providers offer roaming service, but others currently do not have any kind of service in Cuba. Wifi is usually pretty spotty.

 3) There are two types of currency in Cuba: the Cuban convertible peso and Cuban peso. The Cuban convertible peso is worth one U.S. dollar and the Cuban peso is worth about 1/25 of that.  People get scammed because of the confusion between the two. Be sure to learn the difference!

4) Bring Canadian dollars or euros instead of U.S. dollars to avoid a 10% fee. A 10% fee plus a 3% finance charge are put on U.S. dollars.

5) Call the ports ahead of time because they often give important information you might need to know. The Bryans found out ahead of time that one side of a port was too shallow; therefore, they were able to plan accordingly.  

6) Bring a binder with your important documents. You’ll need to provide the following information: name of yacht, flag, port of registry, last port of call, port of arrival, estimated time of arrival, type of craft, color of craft, and number of people on board. You might also need to give each person’s name, passport country of origin, passport number, title (either “captain” or “crew”) and birthdate.

7) Everyday objects can be used for unlikely situations. Camille and Bryan used a giant mouse pad to keep their Crock-Pot from sliding during rough weather.


To view photos of their presentation click here.

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