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  #61 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2011, 10:29 AM
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Donna, that was a wonderful read! and brought back many wonderful memories of our trip to cuba (it was the first holiday that DH and I took together!).

I loved your review, and would certainly consider the BLAU.

Did you have any problems with theft from your suitcases? On our trip, both of our locks were cut, but nothing was taken. I've heard that the airport staff steals from suitcase and removes the NIKE, REEBOK, or other "popular" labels and these are bartered. We say alot of young cuban kids wearing these types of items. We heard others in our resort complain about theft. Another thing that used to happen, was carryons getting robbed while left in the possession of the hotel on the last day. The popular items were cigars. They say that the people selling you cigars on the beach are real cohibas or whatever brand; purged from other travellers and re-sold. That used to be quite common about 10 years ago; not sure if it is still happening.

I especially enjoyed your review of the food. That was one of my biggest complaints about cuban food; was the lack of seasoning. Did you try a "ham"burger. DH was so thrilled to have a hamburger for lunch one day, until he realise it was a hamburger in its truest form! (he hates ham!).
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Old March 29th, 2011, 11:27 AM
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Queen, interesting you should mention the "hamburger"! I forgot to mention that in my review - avoid the hamburgers on the grill, because as good as they look, they are not hamburger. I don't even know if they are ham.
I thought they were something like a meatloaf mix, with a lot of bread mixed in. They were truly horrible, and I avoided them after the first time.
Another tip, anything labeled as "ham" in the buffet, for instance, ham bits to put in your omelette, or ham slices for salad, I'm pretty sure they were SPAM.

As for theft, no we did not have any problems with that thank goodness.
When we first arrived at the airport, I was convinced somebody stole my suitcase, because everybody else's luggage was picked up and mine was still missing, then it miraculously appeared where it hadn't been minutes before.
I'm convinced somebody simply picked up the wrong suitcase, then returned it when they realized it was the wrong one.
As for cigars, I bought only 2 for a friend, and I got them in the hotel gift shop. Nobody even asked about them at customs.

donna
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Old March 29th, 2011, 12:30 PM
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ha ha! who's eating these things that keeps the cuban hamburger living on?????

Something you alluded to in your review and for the benefit of future travellers; when we tip in Cuba (at least for the maids) we don't tip with money; we tip with goods which often have more value than money because they can barter them for other things. I went to the dollar store and picked up discount make-up and other things. Each day, we left some candy (M&Ms) and some make-up. The candies are a huge treat for the maid's children if she has them, and the make-up gets sold/traded to those that want it. Our maid, was VERY grateful!
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Old March 29th, 2011, 04:46 PM
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You're absolutely right Queen, about the "gifts".
As a teacher I get many many small gifts, usually scented soaps, perfumes, bath oils, etc. that I cannot use because I am scent allergic. So for months, I saved up "stuff" that I could not use, and added such things as baby powder, toothpaste, makeup, and even some childrens' books and stickers.
I am sure they made some employee's family very happy.

donna
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Old March 29th, 2011, 07:43 PM
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Donna...I enjoyed your review so much!!! Thanks for sharing!!! Would love to go there someday....Susan
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