Viking Star Cruise Review by jkfelske
- Sail Date: January 2019
- Destination: Cuba
Our overnight trip to Havana was marred by the tornado, so we didn't see the Tropicana show. But friends of ours were there the previous night, and said it was fantastic. The Melia Hotel was quite nice (we were expecting worse). And the CARS!!!!
The tour guides were very knowledgeable.
The tour to Trinidad was a long bus trip, and not as interesting as we anticipated.
In Santiago de Cuba, we decided we couldn't stand to be on another bus, so we went out on our own. We (my sister, my mother, and I) passed through customs, and were kind of standing around considering our options, when a man came up to us and asked if we needed a guide for the day. He was wearing a blue Infotur shirt and hat, and was very professional, explaining that he was with a state-run agency. It cost $40 an hour for the driver and old-car taxi, and $20 an hour for the guide. We took the taxi to the cemetary, and arrived well before the tour busses, which were arriving as we were leaving. This in itself was worth the $40!
We then drove through the streets around town, and were dropped off in the city center. Our guide, Wilbert, stayed with us for over 3 hours, and only charged the $20 (I gave him a $20 tip, bought him lunch and drinks too). He took us all over, and it was a true person-to-person experience. He took us inside his home, showed us the ration book, took us to a neighborhood restaurant for lunch. My mother and sister had coffee with him in his home, and we all ate the local lunch (yes, including fresh veggies and lettuce) and didn't get sick!
We brought a bag of toiletries, which he was very thankful for, and said he would share with people who needed them.
Advice: Don't be afraid to interact with local people. They are very friendly and appreciate tourists.
I would definitely go again, when we're able to just go as tourists, and do what we want.
250,000+ people have entered their email
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
CienfuegosDowntown is too far to walk from the ship.View All 109 Cienfuegos Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Cienfuegos Cruise Port Review
Santiago de CubaYou can walk to downtown from the ship. You'll need a taxi to get to the cemetaryView All 19 Santiago de Cuba Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Santiago de Cuba Cruise Port Review