All the Reasons Why Cruising to Cuba Is the Way to Go

Posted on 12/20/2018 | About Cuba

All the Reasons Why Cruising to Cuba Is the Way to Go

Sponsored by MSC Cruises

While the evolution of existing travel products is commonplace, the occasion for travel advisors to sell a new type of travel or a new destination doesn’t present itself nearly as often. That being said, the recent uptick in Cuba’s popularity provides a “new opportunity” that travel advisors should be embracing – and what better way to do so than with a cruise to this established destination with a new persona.

There are many reasons travelers are looking to flock to Cuba, and cruising makes the journey that much more enjoyable, not to mention easier from a logistical point of view. Travel Market Report spoke to two travel advisors who have booked dozens on cruises to Cuba and were willing to impart their advice to fellow agents about their experiences. They shared their reasons for traveling there, why cruising is their preferred way to go, what they enjoyed most, and what your clients need to know before they go. Here’s what they had to say.

Why do you want to cruise to Cuba?

“First, because you feel safe on a cruise ship, “Safety is on their minds and they don’t want to take a chance staying at a hotel that might cancel their reservation. They want to be in a contained situation with people helping them along the way, especially with the money exchange.

“Honestly, the second reason is for bragging rights. They want to be the first ones to tell their friends that they have been there!

“Third, is education. There are a group of people who are curious, who were either there before or heard enough about it that they want to go to learn about Cuba’s history.”

What do you enjoy most about visiting Cuba?

“Cuba is unspoiled by capitalism and, therefore, gives you a true example of what it’s like to walk the streets exactly as it was 30-50 years ago, “Local stores selling art, jewelry and treasures are more interesting than just another duty-free store selling the same thing at every port. Also love touring in the classic cars, and the local tour guides make the tours informative, yet fun. For those whose ship stays overnight in Havana, they love the show at the Tropicana or to take in a local tour with dancing.”

What’s convenient about cruising to Cuba?

“Obtaining a visa is easy,“The cruise line will issue them to passengers onboard, rather than having them purchase it prior to departing. The ‘People-to-People' visa is easy to complete and allows our guests to choose from a wide range of tours offered by the cruise line that meet the guidelines stipulated in the visa.”

Also, cruise lines will assist with the money exchange, getting passengers the most value for their Canadian or U.S. dollar. And most of all, they arrange all the logistics and provide all the details of going ashore

What kind of positive feedback have you received from clients about their Cuba cruise experiences?

“My clients love the friendliness of the Cuban people, “They generally want to interact with our guests and share their love of their country with them.”

It’s a beautiful country that has wonderful architecture. My clients’ eyes were opened to another way of life and they enjoyed the food. Today, more people are open to education and to how other people in the world live. Everybody should go. It’s a nostalgic experience to go back to the good ‘ole times.”

What do your fellow agents need to know about booking their clients to Cuba?

“Cuba is not just another Caribbean port. It is raw, natural and full of culture, where you can interact with locals and feel safe, “Travel advisors should take the time to cruise to Cuba themselves to learn firsthand how awesome this country is. When that is not possible,

“Travel advisors should impress upon their to ‘experience’ Cuba, no just visit Cuba.

FROM THE SPONSOR: MSC Armonia will sail to Cuba year-round from Miami, Florida, starting December 2019. MSC Cruises offers six-night to eight-night western Caribbean cruises, with a two-day stay in Havana, Cuba. This unique itinerary gives our guests the ability to experience international cuisine and culture, and explore Cuba through the People-to-People program. The ship will have a unique appeal as well, with a Cuban theme throughout, including a mojito bar along with other flares throughout the ship to hone in on the Cuban culture.

Cuba Cruise Holidays