TravelerReviews

Cuba: Connecting with People and Culture

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CynthiaPomeroy

Cuba 2018

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2018

This was one of the best trips we have been on. Our tour director was outstanding and saw to our every need as well as making the trip informative, interesting and fun. We were very impressed with the program as well as the restaurants and hotel accommodations.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were several but I think the last night was outstanding. Our tour director surprised us with a special tour in the old cars including scarves for the ladies to keep their hair in tact as they were convertibles. From there we were treated to a special concert and then a wonderful dinner.

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BenjaminFradlin

Cuba here I come

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: December 2017

Travel to Cuba was a real treat for me and my wife. Since late 1950's it was a country beyond "iron curtain". And finally we had a chance to visit this mystical country. Tauck did a perfect job under certain circumstances, as usual. Everything worked like a clock, thanks to our tour director. Thank you for a wonderful Cuban trip!

Most Memorable Moment:

People... People in our group and Cuban people. Maybe I am repeating myself. But your tour director was perfect. We have been on 15 tours with Tauck, and we can differentiate a good tour director from mediocre one or simply from the bad ones... He is on top of our list. *One negative comm: hotel in Miami not to the Tauck standards

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Ed Ferbel

More Than Expected

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: December 2017

First off the trip to Cuba was more than I expected. The people were friendly, kind and interested in what we had to say and our feelings about Cuba. The interactions on the People to People were informative and educational as well as being fun. The Hotel (after a few missteps upon arrival) was great. The tour staff went above and beyond

Most Memorable Moment:

Meeting the retired baseball player and the little league kids

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Cathy Sherry

Cuba Is Amazing!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: December 2017

As always, Tauck tour guides had exceptional knowledge of the country, history and culture. I left with a much better appreciation of Cuba's history and the people. The paladars were absolutely wonderful. Tauck does its homework and takes you to exceptional places for one of a kind experiences. I would not hesitate to go back.

Most Memorable Moment:

The last night surprises!

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PBRussey

Cuba - intriguing, informative, enchanting

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: November 2017

Dec 1 2017 began our 5 nights in Cuba, one of the best trips I've ever taken. My husband & I agreed that the activities, events and information we participated in & received within this extremely well-organized and led tour were rich and rewarding in so many ways. The Melia was great, food varied and good, Tauck Director super, local guide amazing. Go. Enjoy!

Most Memorable Moment:

The surprise destination on the last night was especially memorable (no spoilers!). The evening would have been extraordinary anywhere in the world; in Cuba, the experience was even more poignant and moving. As well, meeting the many citizens of the country was marvelous.

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EG Stack

Cuba - "It's Complicated"

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: November 2017

As Tauck first-timers, our expectations were wide open...and we were served-up a five-star experience! The guides were amazing in their knowledge, humor, helpfulness, and attention to details. Pampered is not too strong a description. We soaked up every experience, learning the Cuban passion for family and country, and their complicated history.

Most Memorable Moment:

For my wife, it was the talk by the university professor. In 45-minutes he clearily explained 50 years of Cuban-US relations. For me, standing in Havana's Revolution Square knowing its rich history including Fidel's many speeches with thousands of admiring citizens was mesmerizing.

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Robert Reeves

CUBA

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: June 2017

We had a great tour director and the local guide was very knowledgeable

Most Memorable Moment:

The surprise of getting in convertibles to go to our final dinner

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SueBarna

Cuba unplugged

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2017

Our 5-day "immersion" trip to Havana was absolutely fascinating. This was our second Tauck tour but we have traveled independently to more than 15 international destinations over the past 30 years. Tauck provides such exemplary customer service from the start of your tour to the day you head back to the airport for your trip home.

Most Memorable Moment:

This tour to Cuba is not a "vacation" per se. It is truly a people-to-people, educational and cultural experience. We learned so much about the history of this beautiful island and our local tour guide was brutally honest about the challenges of life in Cuba. There were so many memorable moments that it is difficult to choose just one!

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yoma425

Fascinating view of a nation in transition

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

Our central hotel in Havana was a joy to come "home" to every night, where accommodations and services were very, very good. Our Tauck and Cuban tour guides provided a textbook's worth of information, not only on daily life but also regarding government attitudes & efforts. We continue to examine what we saw and what we learned.

Most Memorable Moment:

The visit to Pinar del Rio and Vinales was a delight, especially touring and strolling through the tobacco farm. You can't get much closer to the heart of Cuba than this, seeing how one family maintains an entrepreneurial spirit in the midst of a Socialist country. Plus, our last evening in Havana was the perfect crescendo to this outstanding tour.

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Bfish

Cuba: Connecting with People and Culture

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

The trip far exceeded our expectations. It was very educational in many different ways: Cuban history, Cuban culture, US/Cuban Relationship, Cuban entertainment, direct contact with Cuban adults and children, Cuban food and drinks plus the trip included a few fun surprises not mentioned in the Tauck trip description.

Most Memorable Moment:

Every day had its own most memorable moment. I guess I would have to say The Habana Compass Dance group on the first day really set the tone for the rest of our time on the trip. That was topped only by the surprise on the last day of the trip that happened as a result of the fake break down of our bus. I can say no more.

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ChrisML

Eye-opening opportunity!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

An insightful look at Cuba and its people from before the Castro revolution to today.Prejudices were dispelled and much understanding was gained in our six days there thanks to an outstanding local guide for whom no subject was off limits and the Cuban people themselves.I rated this 4*, but it's a 5* as all Tauck trips are the "best ever!"

Most Memorable Moment:

Walking embassy row and environs near our hotel and the day trip to Vinales and the Pinar del Rio Province.

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eealbeg

Cuba: Connecting People and Culture

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

This was truly an amazing and eye opening trip. I had to unlearn everything I ever read or was taught about this country with incredible growth potential. The people have little yet are very happy, proud and welcoming. Our Cuban tour guide was amazing and extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of Cuban life. I learned so much from him.

Most Memorable Moment:

Visits to a tobacco farm, processing plant and factory. Also visits with beautiful, happy, educated and well spoken children with high social skills.

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Just Us

This trip made us appreciate our USA home and peace

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

Prior to going to Cuba, we read about places, climate, restaurants, culture and Hemingway. Nothing prepared us for the gentle people, thier warmth, their giving nature, how hard they work, and the love for their country and family in spite of the hardships , rules, and lack of everyday necessities. We left, wanting to give more.

Most Memorable Moment:

The sharing of the special meals, our ride in the old car, and the children. When could we go next and help? We found the cemetery the most interesting and would have loved to see more.

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SteveMarks

Cuba: Connecting with People and Culture...

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

While visa litations did not extend to 'having fun', the trip was one of the most enjoyable - meaningful, often touching encounters with wonderful people doing their best under difficult conditions yet hopeful for change.

Most Memorable Moment:

Trip to the farm of "Magnum Valdez", tobacco farmer and budding entrepreneur, given the name by our excellent guide who correctly pointed out that he was reminded by this Cuban gent of "Magnum PI" (Tom Selleck) and Juan Valdez (coffee can).

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Mary Wallace Johnson

CUBA - A WONDERFUL TRIP!

 

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2017

This trip to Cuba was my 5th Tauck Tour and probably my favorite. I went with my adult son and Tauck did a wonderful job. We loved the Tauck Director and the local guide - I am always amazed at how much the guides and directors impact the experience. They were both knowledgeable, organized and had amazing personalities. Cuba was all I expected.

Most Memorable Moment:

My favorite was the last evening's surprise - riding to the farewell dinner in the 1960 Buick Invicta with my red scarf! As we rode along the Malecon with the horns blowing - I thought this is what it is all about. But I have to also mention the day in the countryside visiting the tobacco farm and lunch at the Finca Paraiso paladar in Vinales

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young hearted

Cuba: Connecting People and culture

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2017

This was my second tour with Tauck and I absolutely loved it. The guides were outstanding and the experiences interesting, varied and totally enjoyable. I love the extras that Tauck includes, such as the musical experiences at two of our dinners. My only suggestion would be to add an additional day, since there was so much to experience.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were many, but the most emotional one was when two tour members were able to locate their family's graves at Colon Cemetery.

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JimmmyHargrave

Wonderful tour, wonderful people of Cuba

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: February 2017

Just returned from Havana (Feb 2017). We experienced a such great deal of life and culture in Cuba. The Cubans treated us like valued guests. Tauck puts together a first class experience. They were a bit pricier than some of the others, but I will assure you it was worth it. Hotel, meals, transportation were all great. Tour guides: Fabulous!

Most Memorable Moment:

Several things stood out to me: - Experiencing how wonderful the people of Cuba are. While a poor country, the people loved their life and country. - I enjoyed the tobacco plantation and cigar factory trip...first hand interaction with Cubans in non-tourist activity. - So many beautiful old cars! Cuba is changing...experience it while you can.

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Marty33434

CUBA

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: February 2017

We loved the trip. The Director, Guide and driver were the best ever. I Already sent a letter to Mr. Maher regarding our trip. The letter outlines it all.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were many.

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Msmolensmd

cuba

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: December 2016

Wonderful trip! lots of history. Lots of food! wonderful tour guide what more can I say? it's Tauck!

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gayleyoungblood

Cuba: A Must See!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: December 2016

Loved it. What a fabulous education Tauck gave us on this fascinating city. Our guides were top notch and kept us busy and entertained. We look forward to another Tauck adventure in the future.

Most Memorable Moment:

The entire group riding in the old convertibles to our last night dinner

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rwags

Cuba- people to people

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: November 2016

The experience in Cuba was wonderful - as the tour director who was exceptional said it is a country of contradictions. We were lucky to be there just before Castro passed away - - I wonder how fast changes will now occur - glad to have experienced the country when I did. The hotel and paladars selected were high end

Most Memorable Moment:

Learning how a cigar was made going from the farm and factory was fascinating- seeing the countryside and yet underdeveloped in terms of much vegetation- - of course the surprise of riding in the fifties convertible

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jfc5jr

Cuba

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: November 2016

I've been on 2 Tauck trips now & the first one was the best vacation I ever experienced & I figured it couldn't be topped...well, Tauck does such an excellent job, they outdid themselves once again. I was fascinated with how much I learned, the experiences & people we met; I now have an appreciation for the Cuban people & their culture.

Most Memorable Moment:

Going into the mountains to visit a tobacco farmer; he was the most friendly & very funny. He rolled us cigars & strolled his property with us, talking about all he has & what does. He invited us into his home & shared more stories & rum, of course. It seemed that the group 'let their hair down' a bit after that, which was great to experience.

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kal

Cuba

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: November 2016

Seeing Cuba's history from the colonial period through today was a wonderful experience... Cathedral square with a cornerstone dated 1706, Hemingway's home, Revolution Square, buildings built by Russia, Paladars, and our modern hotel. I enjoyed observing all of the current modes of transportation from horse and buggy to current model cars.

Most Memorable Moment:

The architecture tour and the music.

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CBallew

Cuba: People to People

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2016

FANTASTICO!!! One of the best I've ever taken. Staff: MADE IT SPECIAL!!! Cuban people were very friendly and outgoing; FOOD was SUPER and PLENTIFUL!!! Treat of Havana Club Rum by Tauck was very generous as well chocolate bon bons by Melia.

Most Memorable Moment:

Our last night w/ the "phony bus breakdown" AND then SURPRISE was when we came out to 9 custom vintage convertibles awaiting us for "a parade" through the streets of Havana like a bunch of teenagers...BEST SEND-OFF EVER!!!+ meeting w/ 8 yr. old baseball players and their warm thank yous & kiss-on-the-cheek PLUS everything else...PALADARS,Super!

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Hanksmom

First time traveler on Tauck

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2016

This is my Tauck trip, so I chose Cuba. The Tour Director, local Guide and even the bus driver, all went out of their way to offer assistance and take care of everyone in our group. I was very impressed with Tauck's attention to detail. The itinerary was great and much was packed into each day during this trip.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were so many memorable moments. I enjoyed visiting Hemingway's Finca Vigia, both seeing the house and listening to the guide where I learned much more information on his time in Cuba.

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1RTNAU

Cuba People to People Tour

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: September 2016

I have used other tour groups in the past, and they pale in comparison to Tauck. This was by far a stellar experience. I recommend it highly.

Most Memorable Moment:

I loved so many things. But the best was the dance and drumming group. They were incredible.

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RVW

One of a Kind: Cuba, People to People & Cuban Culture

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: September 2016

Wonderful trip, people, guides/directors, food, Cuban people, a trip to not miss! Our group of 25 had terrific Tour directors and tour guides and they arranged for most fulfilling interactions with small groups of Cuban nationals. Stunning food, people, events, hotels, interactions = learning/understanding

Most Memorable Moment:

The interaction and learning directly with Cuban people: the cigar factory, the tobacco farm, the young boys ball team, the students in the Boy n Girl House, the Cuban National baseball player/icon, the economist/diplomat, the various Paladars/Restaurants, and the surprise ride in the 1950's US vehicles!!! All of it: unforgettable.

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twirl711

Wonderful experience with Tauck in Cuba

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: September 2016

We have always wanted to visit Cuba and this Tauck tour (our first) exceeded all expectations! Our guides and bus driver were beyond outstanding. The hotel was amazing. The itinerary covered all aspects of the Cuban people and culture, with special bonuses and extras added along the way. Thank you Tauck!!

Most Memorable Moment:

Our most memorable moment was coming out of the private concert performance and getting a personalized, 1950's convertible ride to our Paladar for dinner - including scarves for the women's hair! It was like drag racing in Greased' Lightening!! SO FUN....

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pelican girl

Sunsets Over Havana

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: July 2016

The people to people exchange was most enlightening. We had the pleasure of meeting with such a variety of Cuban people and returned home with a greater appreciation for the amenities we enjoy daily. Tauck provided wonderful experiences from riding in vintage cars to making an authentic mojito. The sunsets over the ocean were breathtaking.

Most Memorable Moment:

Walking old city Havana with an architect tasked with building restoration.

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Jayne214

Cuba

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2016

It was an amazing experience. The Tauck team was unparalleled amidst ever changing circumstances. Food, accommodations and people to people events were extraordinary. Don't miss this one!

Most Memorable Moment:

Too many special moments to single out one.

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Kay D

The Real Cuba

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2016

The People-to-People Educational Exchange was the perfect way to experience Cuba before all of the changes start occurring. Being able to meet with people and speak openly with them was invaluable.

Most Memorable Moment:

So many it is hard to pick just one. Probably riding around Havana in antique convertibles will be a memory we'll have forever.

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daspott

People to People and People to food!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: February 2016

Great trip. Right amount of time except time spent eating. Winter time: about 10 hours of good day light. Breakfast, one hour, lunch, two hours and dinner at least two hours. Five hours at the dinning table. Too much time eating, especially when food and format for serving are the same every where. Could use a little fine tuning.

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grammasus

Our time in Havana

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2016

The cultural exchange in Cuba was an interesting and dynamic experience. We learned a great deal about life in Cuba as well as the history of the country. The Tauck guide was excellent. He and the Cuban guide were extremely knowledgeable and worked hard to be sure we all had a good experience. I would recommend the trip without reservation.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were many memorable moments. Both the architectural tour in Old Havana and the meeting with the former baseball player were memorable. We also loved all of the lectures by the Cuban guide.

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JCarlson

Cuba 2016 - Most Interesting!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2016

It was listed as a people-to-people exchange and that is exactly what it was. Our Cuban Guide answered questions honestly about surviving under the US embargo and their hopes for a better future. We talked to a retired baseball player; an Architect involved with restoring Old Havana. Visited a Tobacco farm, an after-school program and much more.

Most Memorable Moment:

Our interactions with our Cuban Guide and the retired baseball player. Also, after reading about all the problems in Cuba we were pleasantly surprised by how modern our hotel was and the quality (and QUANITY) of our meals at the Paladors. At home my friends were most impressed with the photos of all the old American cars.

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Hottotte2

Cuba

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2016

Great trip with the exception of the lunches and dinners were WAY too long. The Paladars were terrific as well as the food

Most Memorable Moment:

Old Cars Tobacco factory Baseball interview and game

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Norwichman

Exceeded Expectations

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2016

I have wanted to go to Cuba ever since the US put the embargo in. I thought the "educational" requirement would limit the experience but it did not. Every daily activity was excellent. Our tour guide taught us that patience and flexibility were the keys to enjoying Cuba. It was truly a life lesson. Loved the surprises.

Most Memorable Moment:

There is no way I will reveal that. Be surprised.

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PWGaletto

Cuba - an island unto itself

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: December 2015

It was a great educational experience. I thought I knew a good deal about Cuba but I there were a few gaps in my understanding. It is always great to hear the other side of the story. The Cuban people are living in a time of great transition and their excitement is palpable. Now is a great time to go because things are changing rapidly.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were two instances that left a lasting impression. The first was a ride in the a 1955 Pontiac; it was a step back in time and this served as a great metaphor for the trip as it seems the whole island lives in another era. The second instance was hearing about the economic situation of the people and how they cope with the restrictions.

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cuba with tauck

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: December 2015

I wanted to step back in time and experience Cuba today. Certainly in 5 days we covered much of the life as it is today. The people are needy, but so appreciative of our being there. This was truly an experience I shall never forget. My seventh tour with Tauck was the most educational. Thanks!

Most Memorable Moment:

Of course the most "exciting" thing was the ride in the convertibles, complete with scarves for our heads.

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