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  Cubans Love Americans

Smiles abound in Cuba

Having been to Cuba more than 150 times (about 1600 days) and having sent about 20,000 Americans to Cuba, I have developed my own opinions about many things.  Here are a few:

Cubans love Americans but dislike our government very much.  In fact, we are their favorite tourists visiting their beautiful country.  WHY?  For many years (about 15), our groups of fishermen, hunters and birdwatchers were about the only Americans that went to Cuba on a regular basis.  In fact, I was the first American to sign a contract with Cuba after their Revolution and  we started in 1977, about 27 years ago.  We opened operations and promoted bass fishing in 10 of their 14 provinces.  We missed only the four most Eastern of their Provinces.  We went mostly for bass fishing, so we spent most of our time on the lakes.  We always had a Cuban guide in the boat with every two Americans.  When you spend a day in the boat with someone, you pretty much get acquainted and frequently become good friends, many times friends for life.  We also had an English speaking interpreter and a driver.  We got to know them very well.  Some got to know the bartenders and waitresses pretty well too!  Ha Ha!

There was one point in time that one of the top Cubans told me that for example, the average American that visited Cuba, spent about $76 on extras each day compared with the average Canadian who spent only about $3.50 per day extra.

The Cubans liked us additionally because a lot of that $76 in extra money went to them in the form of tips, clothes, appliances, etc.  The Cuban authorities liked us because we helped them make that hotel where we stayed the top or close to the top hotel in Cuba, based on customer satisfaction, etc.  In reality, everyone was happy and we knew it because most fisherman voluntarily filled out a questionnaire for us telling us what they liked or didn't like about our trips, the Cubans, the facilities, the fishing, etc.  Those reports were unbelievable and we supplied copies of them to the Cubans.  In one two and a half year period about 1700 Americans filled out one of these forms and only two said they would  not go back to Cuba.  That is a pretty high satisfaction ratio.  We had thousands of them....all saying about the same thing.  American's loved Cuba and the Cubans loved us.  The food was great, so was the hotel and the service was incredible.  So was the fishing!

Americans traveling to Cuba should keep these things in mind if you want to have your best trip ever.  Remember, Cuba does not like price shoppers.  It ain't a part of their system.  Besides, one agency controls all Americans coming to Cuba.  Shopping around for a better price for your trip to Cuba is seldom going to save you much more than a few pennies....all agencies are pretty much charged the same price for a flight, hotel, meals, rental car, etc.  So, the best thing Americans can do is to find an agency that you like and can trust.....then stick with them.  One thing for sure, never make double reservations....that can get you cancelled with both agencies.  Cuba doesn't look friendly upon those who tie up two seats on a plane or two hotel rooms and then not use them.  As I said previously, Cuba is nothing like any other place in the world ..... so forget everything you know about travel to other places and go and enjoy the uniqueness of Cuba.  Yes, it is different, but most Americans love it....they love us too and that gives most leaving with a very warm feeling.

These are my honest opinions developed from nearly 1600 days in Cuba and the 22,000 other Americans that I have sent or taken with me. 

Dan Snow