The blockade of Cuba, set up by John Kennedy, helped us push the Ruskies out of our playground. It’s been in effect ever since. Like … since the early 1960’s. Many of you weren’t even born yet and you probably don’t know a thing about it. Read a bit about Castro, the Bay of Pigs, and Russian missiles 90 miles away. Be afraid – we were.
So there has been a tiny island sitting out there that we have ignored. I know there are issues – like human rights abed crummy treatment of Cubans by the Castro Brothers…..but – we can go to other Commie countries: China, Russia, Vietnam……
The President has decided to let the 50+ year past go its way. Many Cubans living in Miami are furious….but it is what it is.
The cruise industry is gearing up for the re-opening of normal relations with Cuba. In recent years, folks had to first go to Canada or Mexico and fly in from there. But the issue of passport marks hung over. The State Dept did not this circumvention. Also, we cannot spend money there. Even more recently, you could go on a “humanitarian” or “cultural” trip. But, still no wandering off to the beach or casinos.
Carnival beat all the other lines in getting US State Department permission to go there. The Fathom just returned from a round trip with 700+ pax. (I must tell you that a dozen got norovirus. )
Up next are the airlines trying to get in. The major problem is that the airport is not set up to handle a large crunch of planes. Then comes Starbucks, McD etc.
Me? I want to get there to see the classic cars. Since 1961, there have been NO American cars allowed to be sold there. You will see tons of 1950’s cars that the owners keep running with sheer will. They can get no parts. While Canadians and Europeans can sell them, none of USA-made restoration parts are allowed. So these clever guys use bailing wire and duct tape to hold them together. They are daily drivers in the strictest sense.
The feeling is that American collectors will descend and offer a ton of money for them. Buyer beware – the exteriors may look glossy, but internals are marginal at best.
Will speakers be needed on the flood of these ships adding Havana to their itineraries? Stand by – I’m first in line if so!