Cancun Journals

CANCUN-HAVANA CARIBBEAN CRUISE

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A September 2001 trip to Cancun by El Gallo

Quote: This journal is "support files" for a feature article on the Liner that runs from Cancun to Havana--be sure to watch for it!!!!!! Briefly, The Boat is a smallish, old-style cruise ship that runs from Mexico to the heart of Old Havana.

CANCUN-HAVANA CARIBBEAN CRUISE

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Overview

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Eat, drink, sleep, make merry. Swim in pool, hit jacuzzi, go to floor shows, jump overboard. Or is it just a cool little cruise with swim pool and sundeck, open bars and unlimited food, Cuban floor shows, jacuzzis, gambling casinos, and a port of call in bizarre and exhilarating Havana?Quick Tips: The boat is more than just an extremely cheap cruise--a sort of return to the glory days of liners from Miami to Old Havana--or the ultimate side trip from Cancun, the ship also serves as a major portal into Cuba. Even business travelers and backpackers find it the best way to get to Havana--and on the way can enjoy the pool, casino, jacuzzis, disco and Cuban floor shows. Prices for the cruise...Read More

Grog And Rations

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Story/Tip

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If you've noticed a theme about this story, it would probably be, "Not bad...and great for the money." Well, the same could be said about the food. Michelin wouldn't give it five stars, but you could do worse in a lot of decently expensive restaurants. I never heard the slightest complaint about the food. I personally thought it was good to great. I'm thinking specifically about a heart of palm/mushroom mix on the salad bar, absolutely excellent eclairs and pastries, fried bananas for breakfast, and some spiced sliced pork ala Cubana. The chef is Mexican (which always works out well), with Cuban helpers. So they can do their regions, but have an international and eclectic taste, usin...Read More
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Ultimately, a cruise has to be viewed from the perspective of being on a boat in the water: otherwise you could do it all in Vegas. Whatever diversions might offer themselves below, you aren't really there until you walk out on deck. That's where you see the deep range of stars in the far black dish undimmed by ambient light, where your very passage strews white streaks into the night, peeling slices off the dark fruit of the sea under a cartoon Caribbean moon. Go ahead, do your King of the World thing, nobody out there's watching: you're just a ship in the night. It's also where you can lounge there slathered and steam-pressed by the too-high tropic sun, in the exact center of a perfect circle...Read More

Not Floor Show...Deck Show

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Story/Tip

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A special bonus of taking The Boat is the after-dinner show. There are shows in the main salon every night after dinner. Two shows a night, in fact, since there are two sittings of dinner. This is the "cruisiest" event on the cruise a special treat for passengers who do the one-day itinerary and don't get to sample Havana night life. And they are really nice shows. Nobody would mistake the salon for a night club. Waitresses bring drinks, but there are no tables. The rows of chairs, low ceiling, and lack of scenario might remind you more of a recital or high school talent show. There's nothing Las Vegas or Copacabana about it, either. It's all done right in your lap and you can see people swea...Read More

Kids And Pirates

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Although I have a long-standing and deep-seated aversion to those exotic and obnoxious pets people call "kids", I have noticed that many people seem to enjoy them and haul them around wherever they go and allowing them to invest public venues. If I felt that way, I would definitely bring my "kids" on this trip. They might not remember Havana (or distinguish it from Knott's Berry Farm) but they will definitely remember The Boat. Probably the biggest memory will be of the first half hour, that being the period during which everybody is shuttled out to the waiting ship (Cancun waters are too shallow for big ships to put in) which is done in a pirate ship. And I don't mean some design knock-off, ...Read More

Going Ashore: Fares, Fees, and Fines

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Story/Tip

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There are several possible itineraries for the Cancun Havana cruise. At present the three day itinerary leaves Friday morning, allows passengers ashore in Havana from around 11:00 to 19:00 on Saturday, and returns Sunday evening. The four day trip leaves at midday Monday, allowing passengers a night and day in Havana, then returns by Thursday. It is also possible to remain in Havana for a period of a week or more, returning on a later boat. This, of course, has to be scheduled with the company when buying tickets. Current prices can be seen and reservations made at the company's website, but they start at around $189 dollars for ...Read More

Skip Lame "Overview", START HERE!!

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Story/Tip

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It may be one of those "well-kept travel secrets" abroad, but in Cuba and Caribbean Mexico, The Boat is almost inevitable. Tell somebody you flew to Havana and you end up having to explain yourself: "Why didn't you take The Boat?" People ask about your new girlfriend and you get nods of full comprehension when you say, "I met her on The Boat." Local travel agencies advertise it as the "Crucero a La Habana", but everyone on the Mayan Riviera knows what The Boat is. Except that what exactly The Boat is depends a lot on who you are and what you're all about. If you're a tourist on a Cancun beach, it appears as a pretty mini-ocean liner that mysteriously anchors off shore then disappears...Read More