You don't like lines--changing money at a bank, 1/2 hour to 2 hours
Grocery store--twenty minutes, one cashier.
You need a good bed--the case particulares do their best, but the quality varies widely.
I presume hotels are better but at much higher prices.
You are heat intolerant--it's hot, and humid. Cars are not always air conditioned.
Casa particulares have small ac window units which barely keep up.
You are addicted to the internet--enough said
You are addicted to diet coke--almost impossible to find.
You are a foodie.
Sorry, after ten restaurant visits including La Guarida and Atelier in Havana, I have to give Cuban food a B minus. 90% of the restaurant menus could be xeroxed. Camerones, pollo, moros y cristianos (rice and beans) It's a food monoculture for the most part. I read that Trinidad went from 2 to 90 restaurants in ten years. It shows--time and competition should improve things.
You consider great wine or beer to be an essential part of a meal. Wine is overpriced and mediocre, beer is typical fizzy yellow Caribbean lager--fine for what it is, but not great.
You were expecting great scenery. Pretty average, lots of expanses of brown, and green, but nothing to write home about. Vinales, sure, but look at the photos. Not mind blowing. We didn't make it to Varadero at the end of our trip because the thought of all inclusive Cuban food and Mojitos sounded more like punishment than reward, at $500 a night.
You don't want to pay a ten percent surcharge for being American. Deserved or not.
You expect honesty in your dealings with travel agents and guides.
After months of dealing with a supposedly reliable Cuban guide (Yanaika at Pototo) with many assurances that we would be given our number one priority, a comfortable car with air conditioning because one of our party had multiple back surgeries, we were given a "classic" car with bench seats and no air conditioning. After two torturous car rides (day trip to Vinales and Havana to Trinidad) that wound up lasting ten hours instead of five, she did try to make it right, too little too late.
So there you have it, you can find some of these observations in other posts but I felt as a public service for first time travelers to Cuba a bit of honesty was warranted. And hey, look at the bright side--maybe this will slow the firehose of American travelers descending on Cuba a tad, for you Canadians and Europeans who enjoyed an American free haven.
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