To Go or Not to Go to Cuba after Irma

September 12, 2017 |

The Hotel Melia in Cayo Coco after the passing of hurricane Irma.

HAVANA TIMES – On our Facebook page there is a good discussion going on as whether  people should maintain their plans to visit Cuba in the coming days, weeks or months or cancel or postpone their trips after the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, which is still being fully assessed.

Scroll down on our FB page and you are invited to join in the discussion on the pros and cons of keeping ones tourism plans.

The link is: https://www.facebook.com/havanatimes?fref=ts 

If you prefer you can also comment here on this same page.

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What's your opinion?

  • Gerard Matthews

    This Hurricane season has been horrendous causing massive destruction to the entire infrastructure of many islands across the Caribbean. Yes Tourism is the life blood for many of these Islands, it raises money which goes to support the people and the continued development of these islands, however , tourism and tourists will return to these beautiful islands, for me the most important thing that is required on each and every one of these islands is the wellbeing of the local people, their destroyed homes must be restored. Governments must put people first and the tourists will return!

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      i agree with your sentiments Gerard, but persuading the Castro regime to put its own people first, before addressing their needs for hard currency revenues is not likely to occur. The people are the proleteriat, there to serve the needs and progress of the communist system. It is the needs of that system that take priority in Cuba.

    • Kennedy Earle Clarke

      Very GOOD COMMENT Brother Gerard. Sympathy should be shown to all the people of the islands who have suffered immense damage to their country and their Tourist Industry. These countries have to rebuild. These countries will have to go into debt in order to rebuild. In truth and in fact, there is not a bad wind which blows. There will be work to clean up and work to rebuild. Building materials have to be bought, so it means more importation and more sales for the local businesses! After the darkness of the storm, the sun of hope comes out shining in all its glory as if nothing occurred!

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        Since when did Cuba have “local businesses” Kennedy Earle Clarke? I think that in your confusion you mean the GAESA(military) subsidiaries. All that blether about “After the darkness of the storm” etc is unbelievably fatuous. The reality is that the storm has past and has left wreckage behind that will take years to clear up.

  • michael fox

    Go
    We are going to take stuff as usual
    Hopefully helps a few

  • Kennedy Earle Clarke

    H.T. I just cannot comprehend why you come up with such topics on your post, “To Go, OR NOT TO GO TO CUBA?” Would you pose the same question for the USA? You seem to be a CADAVER which is devoid of all feelings for your fellow men and women. The USA is seething and reeling under the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Mega Hurricane Irma in Florida, even more devastating than in Cuba and here you are, expressionless in your attitude for the sufferings suffered by the people of Cuba from a NATURAL DISASTER.

    You confound me H. T. But then, on the other hand, I shouldn’t by now, with the TRIPE you dish out, for it is totally impossible for a leopard to change its spots regardless of the circumstances presented.That is how it is known; by its spots and H. T. is known by the TRIPE it prints. Carlyle said that your blog is about Cuba, but yet, you have commented on the Pope’s visit to Columbia. You report and present a distorted version of events in Venezuela. You vehemently criticize the building in Nicaragua of the Canal, because it would compete with your financiers’ PANAMA CANAL.

    I, and a few others are now catching on, that your media is used as a weapon to play with the minds of those who are totally unaware of your modus-operandi, a nuclear weapon of DISTORTION of the TRUTH aka as PROPAGANDA! Is this what you dscribe as FREEDOM of the PRESS? You should be honouring Joseph Goebbles, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda for you are copying his methods and adopting his philosophy.Why should visitors still visit the USA and not Cuba? Please to answer the Question? There was looting in the USA; did you hear of any in Cuba, they have stores too..H.T,can you ever restore life to a cadaver?. Please to print?

  • Bill Prawecki

    Definitely coming back at the end of Oct and staying at Memories Jibacoa. Will be bring clothes and supplies for the locals that we know. Love the Cuban people and their love of life and their resilience. They never ask for much and deserve much more. US Is being terribly cruel to the loving people of Cuba with the embargo yet they deal with China and other undemocratic countries in the middle east. How truly sad.

    • Bal & Shawn Hyler

      Dear sir, it is foolish to believe that the embargo is responsible for the calamity of the Cuban people. The Castro regime has access to trade partners such as China, Canada, France and other developed nations. Plus, they hate the U.S. We are the imperialists and Castro himself has in the past repeatedly refused assistance from any American relief agency. May the revolution live is their mantra. Meanwhile the majority of the Cuban people are suffering, living in 3rd world conditions. God help them as they deal with the aftermath of Irma: crumbled homes and communicable disease risk from standing waters, destroyed infrastructure and damage to major business and community centers.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      Just for yourb interest Bill as you are going to Jibacoa. My wife tells me that some 400 metres of the coastal road Matanzas-Havana has been washed away at Santa Cruz del Norte.
      The US embargo has in reality little effect upon Cuba. It has however provided the Castro regime with an excuse for all its incompetence and inefficiency.

      • Brian Underhill

        Carlyle – we are due to go to Jibacoa on the 26th – do you mean we can’t get there as the road is closed ?

        • Carlyle MacDuff

          Well if you are flying into Vardero, the damage at Santa Cruz del Norte will not affect you. If on the other hand you are landing at Havana you will have to travel along that road. In my opinion Brian, makeshift repairs will be done to it in a hurry as it is a key transportation link. I would not let it worry you, just be prepared for a bumpy ride in that Yutong coach.

  • Tom

    Hi all, firstly, I hope dearly that if you are reading this you are safe after Hurricane Irma hit Havana recently. In the UK we have been watching in horror the footage coming from the Caribbean, and our greatest sympathies are with you all.

    My girlfriend, Sophie and I, who are currently planning to visit Havana on 24th September, find ourselves unsure as to the current travel situation in Cuba and whether or not it would be appropriate and safe to visit Cuba on holiday.

    Can anyone give any information as to whether Havana and the rest of the country will be in ready to welcome tourists by the time it comes to our planned trip? Are the roads connecting different areas of the country in a state that would allow for travel inside of Cuba? And what condition are supplies in, such as water, electricity and food, across the country?

    We are of course are so very excited for our trip, but would only feel comfortable visiting if Cuba’s residents are in a state fit to receive outsiders.

    We understand this is the most sensitive of topics. As a result, any information and advice you might be able to give would be most gratefully received.

    Thank,

    Tom

    • Patty

      Hey Tom! me and my friend are also visiting September 24th!
      I am from New York and my friend is from UK!

      • hannah chao

        Hey Patty, please keep us update when you are there as I and my friends will visit there on Oct. 6th. Thank you!

    • Johnny Campbell

      Just got back , we were due to travel whole island west to east and back,but only got as far a Trinidad after Havana,Playa Larva and Cienfuegos via Santa Clara .My guess is unless your staying in 5 star hotel,the travelling around won’t happen ,power was just coming back on when we flew Wed since Friday night,if I were you I’d swap destinations. Don’t get me wrong Cuba is fascinating and we stayed in some good casa but they aren’t equipped to deal with this

    • Elizabeth Martin

      Tom,

      My Cuban fiance and I are getting married in Santiago de Cuba on the 30th and had plans to stay in Havana the weekend prior (Sept 22-25). After speaking with our Airbnb host and reviewing information on Havana Times and various discussion pages, as well as the Cuba Travel Network Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pg/cubatravelnetwork/posts/), we decided to keep our plans. Our Airbnb host has said there’s no damage to her place, the power is back on, and the CTN Facebook page has lots of pictures of Havana looking completely calm and fine. There are some graffiti artists posting about an art show they’re hosting in Havana, even just days after the storm. You might also take the time to visit somewhere like Vinales, which I don’t believe was affected.

      Regarding receiving outsiders – the money you spend as a tourist will always be helpful.

      Just my 2 cents!

      Elizabeth

  • Tom Geekie

    Hi,

    First of all, I hope dearly that anyone reading this in Cuba is safe after Hurricane Irma hit recently. In the UK we have been watching in horror and our greatest sympathies are with you all.

    My girlfriend and I who are currently planning to visit Havana on 24th September, find ourselves unsure as to the current travel situation in Cuba and whether or not it would be appropriate and safe to visit on holiday.

    Can anyone give any information on whether Havana and the rest of the country will be in ready to welcome tourists by the time it comes to our planned trip? Are the roads connecting different areas of the country in a state that would allow for travel inside of Cuba? And what condition are supplies in, such as water, electricity and food, across the country?

    We are so very excited for our trip, but would only feel comfortable visiting if Cuba’s residents are in a state fit to receive outsiders.

    We understand this is the most sensitive of topic. As a result, any information and advice anyone might be able to give would be most gratefully received.

    Thanks,

    Tom

    • Anita Dey

      Just a suggestion, check with your travel agent first before you go. They should know the current situation in Cuba. From what I see on the news, the damage is horrific. Good luck.

    • Neal Arrington

      Well Tom, we going to so it will be an adventure for sure..

    • Girl_Virgo

      A group of us are scheduled to leave for Cuba on 9/21, but given the state of the country and the travel alerts we’re opted to stay in the US. Postponing are trip for a later date. Click on link for more info: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/HurricaneIrma.html

  • Zainab Arenas

    Hola! My name is Zee. We are scheduled to go to Havana Vieja the 22nd of Sept for a week. (I visited last month and love and know what to expect). We Rented a whole house (parents will be at Hotwl Seville). I am a mother of a handicapped but fully ambulatory 10 year old. (He only uses his semi electric wheelchair when really fatigued). I am also traveling with my parents and aunts with whom are in the mid to late 70’s but get around well. We have decided to turn the vacation into a humanitarian aid trip and are filling packages of necessities to take to donate as I type. A few of us are really skeptical, for obvious reasons. Bucket lister for us all as our grandparents are from Cuba and we fear Trump will shut it back down enabling us while my parents are still alive to go. As a mother I need to protect my kids but have raised them to always step in to help those less fortunate. My kids are all in. My son is more excited we’re going there to help than he was vacationing it seems. Now, I’m the one having second thoughts as I am concerned about them getting sick from lack of clean water, food cooked in the water and mosquitoes carrying disease. I’ve contacted our AirBnB Host and he said all should be good enough to resume our travel plans by then. Well, I welcome any advise. This may well be my missed college opportunity doing PeaceCorps!

  • Milagros Pfleger

    I am an Airbnb host who is renting three apartments in Havana, two of them are in front of the Malecon.
    I have sent a message to all my incoming guests. It says

    Dear guests,

    I am writing to you to inform you that the properties we are renting out are in good order after the hurricane Irma (e.g. the water supply, electricity and gas are functioning normally). The reality is that Havana, as a whole, has not been impacted by the hurricane nearly as much as other parts of the Carribean. The vast majority of businesses and sightseeing spots are operating normally again (i.e. your journey of Cuba can proceed in the same way you anticipated and planned). I have enclosed an article detailing the situation in Havana (and Cuba as a whole) after the hurricane. The parts of Cuba which might have been affected significantly are Cayo Coco , Cayo Guillermo and Caibarien.

    I included this article published on September 12 by the agency Insight Cuba-

    Hurricane Irma: What you Need to Know

    After making its way through the Caribbean, Hurricane Irma made landfall on Cuba’s northeastern shores Friday night. It was the first storm of this magnitude to reach the island in 85 years. Sadly, Irma claimed ten Cuban casualties and
    devastated swaths of sugarcane and agricultural crops.

    Thankfully, however, the eye of the storm veered north before reaching Havana, saving Cuba’s capital city and western provinces from the destruction that
    north-central coastal resort towns sustained.

    The effect of the storm in Havana is largely limited to downed trees, temporary
    power outages, and temporary flooding a few blocks in from the sea wall. Today
    all of the airports in Cuba have reopened and our friends there have told us
    that things are already returning to normal in most parts of the city. The
    lights have come back on, the streets have been cleared, and businesses are
    back up and running.

    While the flooding has impacted homes along the coast, Cuba’s western, southern, and eastern provinces including all tourism infrastructure are already up and running. And Cuban President Raul Castro stated that even the hardest hit areas on Cuba’s northern coast will be in full repair by the end of the year.

    Cuba has long been considered a regional leader in disaster preparedness and response.In fact, Cuba sent about 800 of its health workers to aid affected island neighbors in Irma’s wake. Clean up and recovery at home is well underway.

    Because Irma’s toll on the island was concentrated in certain areas, and because of the Cuban government’s rapid response efforts, all insightCuba’s tours will be
    running as scheduled. The highly acclaimed people-to-people experiences and accommodations that insightCuba offers its guests on each of its legal trips to Cuba remain unaffected by the hurricane. Some itineraries in coming weeks may experience some modifications to ensure guest safety and comfort.

    While Cubans across the island mobilize repair efforts in solidarity with their
    neighbors, both in Cuba, and in the rest of the Caribbean, the gorgeous
    colonial architecture of Old Havana remains intact and as stunning as ever.
    Cubans – whose economic livelihoods depend greatly on tourism – are hoping that news of the storm won’t scare off any visitors hoping to take their first trip
    to Cuba to see it for themselves. For those who have traveled to Cuba before,
    they are already familiar with the unwavering resilience and ingenuity of the
    Cuban people, and the incredible experience that awaits first-timers.

    Written
    by Jaime Hamre

  • george

    Do Americans realize the embargo has been lifted…

  • Beverly Tucker

    I have plans to travel with my 84 year old aunt to cuba with a tour company. we are to be in CienFuegos at Casa Verde and Perla del Mar from 13 – 16 October. we are then to shift to the Hotel Nacional from 16 – 20 October. Please tell me if this proposed itinerary makes any sense with the recovery still underway. is there potable water? will the bus have access to petrol?

  • Marcel Hatch

    Worried about Trump’s Cuba Travel Advisory? Want to know what the US Cuba travel industry is saying about it? Should you be concerned? Learn more about safety issues in Cuba here http://CubaTravelWarning.com