February 11, 2016
To see Cuba before it is ruined by tourists was high on my travel priority list. There are lots of tourists but mostly Europeans. The strange thing is everyone seems to have money, probably due to tourism, there just is no place to buy things. The only supermarket (use that term loosely) had about 50 items in it and no canned goods. I guess US does produce most of canned items in the world. Also, NO INTERNET, supposedly a few businesses have it but no internet cafes, nothing. Everyone has cell phones though. There is a lot of new construction, especially in Old Havana Historical area, where I stayed. Definitely want to go back and visit more of the country. Almost too crowded now with cruise shops of Europeans, can not imagine when they open the American floodgates.
Food in restaurants is surprisingly inexpensive. I had a huge lobster dinner with rice, salad and 2 cocktails for $10. I changed money at the airport. There is a 10% penalty if you have American cash. I had gotten euros in French St. Martin to bypass that problem. Those oncruise ships spent hours in line trying to exchange money at the banks.