Have you ever Wanted to Visit Cuba?
Have you ever wanted to visit Cuba? Here is your chance. There is a new cruise itinery that will visit many of the highlights of this island nation. Before we tell you about the cruise let me tell you why I want to visit Cuba.
My personal interest in a visit to Cuba comes from several experiences. As young boy, my family vacationed on Grand Cayman Island just south of Cuba. To give you a time frame, this was during a very tense period in the relationship between the USA and Cuba. We flew BWIA (British West Indies Airlines) from Miami to Georgetown, Grand Cayman. There was a narrow corridor that airlines (not American aircarriers) could use to fly across Cuba. Keep in mind that Cuba is about 700 miles long and without cutting across the middle of Cuba, it would be a long flight from Miami to Georgetown.
Our flight on BWIA was on a smaller propeller plane. I remember the pilot coming on the PA and giving us instructions for crossing Cuba. First there were to be no pictures taken and in addition the window shades were to be pulled down. This was quite intriquing for a young boy. What secrets were out there that the Cubans did not want people to see?
As they say, timing is everything. While we were on Grand Cayman, the Cuban missle crisis of the early 1960’s peaked. All airspace over and around Cuba was closed to everyone. We got a telegram from BWIA at our hotel notifying us that our flight to Miami was cancelled indefinitely. The evenings at the resort were spent listening to the radio. A communist dictator named Fidel Castro would rant for hours on end. It was all in spanish so I had no idea what he was saying. By his tone and volume I could tell that it was not a happy speech. A few days later we were put on a flight to Jamaica where we connected to a flight to Miami that had to circumnavigate the east end of Cuba.
Twenty years later I was employed as an airline pilot. My next experience with Cuba was as a first officer on a DC-9. Once again we were flying from Miami to Georgetown. The same narrow corridor was there. We only had a NDB on either end of the 60 mile long corridor to navigate with. This is a very crude method of navigating for you non-aviation types and it would be easy to drift out of the corridor that you were allowed to fly through. If I remember correctly there still were no photographs allowed but I think the window shades could stay up.
Fast forward again about twenty more years and I was a captain on the Airbus A-320. We flew from MSP to several places in the carribean via that same Cuban corridor. I flew these trips every Saturday through the winter season. These crossings were much more relaxed with state of the art navigation to guide us and friendly Cuban Air Traffic controllers who actually had radar to track us. To be honest, most of my experience with Cuba was along this narrow corridor but I could see some beautiful resort type areas. I often wondered if I would ever be able to visit this island that was so near but yet off limits to Americans.
Things have changed. Cuba is no longer off limits to Americans. MaupinTour has put together a discover Cuba Cruise itinery that looks very interesting. The ship is the MS Saint Laurent. This is a small ship with only 210 passengers. I personally prefer the small cruise ships so this is very appealing to me. The cruise schedule starts in February 2016 so I can’t tell you anything from personal experience, but I can tell you I will visit Cuba soon.
At Dan330.com we work with MaupinTour to bring you first class tours from all over the globe. As one of our readers, you qualify for special pricing on this discover Cuba cruise. Just enter Dan330 as the promo code to get your discount.
Ready to check out the Discover Cuba Cruise Itinerary? Click HERE.
Captain Dan’s travel tips: Do visit Cuba before it gets too developed. Know that you can trust Maupin Tours to do a great job planning and executing your tour.
See more about Dan330 travel HERE.