Approximately 700 passengers boarded the Carnival cruise ship in Miami, bound for Cuba. The passengers didn’t want this historical event to be ruined by politics. However, there were protesters who were against the new era of the cruise line.
[Update 10:14 p.m., May 2]
According to Miami Herald, the cruise ship officially docked at 10:24 a.m. Passengers had to undergo an “efficient” Customs procedure during in-processing. However, afterwards, cruise passengers were welcomed in grandiose fashion. From rum and coke to hordes of dancers, American passengers disembarking Carnival Corporation’s ship felt at-home. The source notes as follows.
“A large crowd of Cubans waited across the street from the terminal, many snapping cell-phone pictures and shouting bienvenido as the passengers began hitting the streets of Old Havana.”
Yet, there were some cruise passengers who complained about the Cuban accommodations and tours. The source mentions that they thought the Old Havana tour was a bit “garden-variety.”
Interestingly enough, many Cuban natives (vendors, specifically) approached with merchandise some of those who disembarked the ship. The source says that they had “peanuts in little paper cones and sweet fried dough.” There were also street artists willing to sketch portraits for $10. Too, the source noted live bands and ensembles playing in the street.
Apparently, this was quite the popular cruise, as all cabins were sold out. The ship’s capacity could hold 704 passengers, as mentions the source. However, it didn’t state that this number was aboard the ship. Yet, all the cabins were sold, even with single occupants.
The cruise left port on Sunday as salsa music played. One of the passengers, Pam Carlson, was one who mentioned that she didn’t want politics ruining her Cuba trip. According to CNN, she states as follows.
“My grandmother went way back in the day, before it was ever closed, so just to be able to go there and meet the people and see the people, it will be meaningful to us.”
Along with her, Gary Carlson mentioned that the protests did not make sense. He states that he doesn’t really understand because it’s time to put those things behind the country. He stated as follows.
“Really, the big issue is government to government, not people to people, and that’s what we’re excited about participating in.”
The carnival cruise is scheduled to be at sea for seven days. Within those days, they’ll visit three cities: Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba. However, while on the voyage to Cuba, the carnival cruise will be full of scheduled activities that “highlight Cuban culture.” The source says that the cruise almost did not happen.
There were issues with Cuban law regarding Cuban-born passengers returning to the country on cruise ships. It was an issue for the Carnival Corporation owner to sell tickets. The owner mentioned that tickets wouldn’t be sold unless Cuba would change its policies. So, soon after, the Cuban government did away with its ban.
Beatriz Melendez, 52, was four years old when she left Cuba as a young girl with her sister and parents. This will be her first time returning to the country where she was born. Her sister is accompanying her on the cruise. They saw a rainbow as the cruise left the port in Miami and the two sisters believe it to be the spirit of their parents who are both deceased.
Enjoying the cruise, two Cuban sisters boarded the cruise ship from its Miami port, on Sunday. The source notes as follows.
“As the cruise ship left the port in Miami, the sisters spotted a rainbow spanning the bright blue sky — a sign that the spirit of their parents is with them as they begin their journey back home.”
All in all, what are your thoughts regarding Cuban vacations? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below. The Inquisitr will continue to update this article regarding the Cuban voyage as new developments occur.
[Photo by Carnival Corporation/AP Images]