Norwegian Cuba Cruise FAQ
*This FAQ was adapted from Norwegian Cruise Line
Does All-Inclusive mean everything on Norwegian Sky & Sun is now included?
In addition to the Buffet and Main Dining Rooms which are complimentary dining venues, and free entertainment, guests booked on Norwegian Sky’s & Norwegian Sun (3 & 4 days Itinerary) : unlimited soda and juice, designated spirits, cocktails, wines by the glass, bottled and draft beer.
Will guests still have to pay for Specialty Restaurants, Shore Excursions, etc?
Yes. At this time we are only including designated spirits, wines by the glass, and bottled or draft beer, and unlimited soda and juice.
Is beer and wine included for guests between the ages of 18 and 20?
Yes. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 20 can consume wine and beer only while onboard and with the consent of an accompanying parent.
Do I need a passport to travel to Cuba?
Yes. A valid passport* is required for all guests to travel to Cuba. We recommend guests review the passport requirements of travel to Cuba from their home country and that the expiration of your passport be greater than six months from the date of your voyage.
*NOTE: All guests must have a valid passport book for travel. A passport card WILL NOT be accepted.
Is it legal for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba?
Yes. OFAC regulates travel to Cuba pursuant to the Helms-Burton Act and other pertinent regulations. Currently, there are 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba. Effective November 9, 2017, individual people-to-people exchanges are no longer authorized by OFAC. However, guests who booked their cruise before June 16, 2017 may choose to still engage in individual people-to-people travel or group people-to-people travel sponsored by Norwegian or a third party U.S. sponsoring organization. Group people-to-people travel is one of the ways for Americans to visit Cuba and gives you an opportunity to discover Cuba through its people and from a local perspective. All guests will be required to certify that their activities meet the requirements above, so you must retain records of your activities whether or not they are offered by Norwegian for a period of 5 years.
Do I need a visa to travel to Cuba?
The Cuban government requires anyone who is traveling to Cuba on a passport other than a valid Cuban passport to obtain a visa prior to their arrival into Cuba. For all visitors who were not born in Cuba, this visa, also known as a "tourist card" (for U.S. residents, this visa also known as a "rosada" must have a pink and blue background; for non-U.S. residents, this visa is issued by the Cuban embassy or consulate in the background color applicable to their country of residency), is required to enter Cuba for non-business purposes. The Cuban visa is valid for a single entry and allows the holder to stay in Cuba for 30 days. U.S. residents may obtain this visa (or "rosada") through Norwegian for a separate processing and procurement fee of $75 or on your own. For non-U.S. residents, if the Cuban visa issued by the Cuban embassy or consulate in the background color applicable to your country of residency is not accepted by Cuban immigration officials, you will be required to purchase the same Cuban visa (or "rosada") as a U.S. resident. Please note that you will not be allowed to board the vessel without proof of acquiring a Cuban visa.
The Cuban visa is a two-part card. Cuban immigration officials will take both parts upon arrival in Cuba.
Norwegian Cruise Line will obtain visas on your behalf if you have not done so before the cruise. $75 will be charged to your onboard account.
CURRENCY & FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS
Cuba operates as a dual currency system. Cuban convertible peso (CUC$) is the currency which you will exchange and use in Cuba. CUC$ come in the following denominations: 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. Please note that CUC$ 1 comes in both a coin and paper money configuration. There is a second currency, the Cuban peso, also called moneda nacional or CUP which is used only by Cuban citizens.
Can I exchange money in Cuba?
Yes. Once in Cuba, the port, some hotels, banks, and CADECA bureaus (Cuban government exchange bureaus) can exchange currency (U.S. and Canadian dollars, Euros, British pounds, etc.) for a fee. Non-U.S. currencies such as Euros and Canadian dollars usually have a more favorable exchange rate than the U.S. dollar. Be sure to have proper ID (passport) on hand. Do not accept offers to exchange currency with anyone who approaches you on the street. This is particularly applicable due to the dual currency system used in Cuba.
The U.S. State Department advises that the export of CUCs is strictly prohibited, regardless of the amount.
Are there entities with which I am restricted from engaging in financial transactions?
Effective November 9, 2017, certain direct financial transactions (i.e., payments by credit card or cash) with restricted entities designated by the U.S. Government appearing on the Cuba Restricted List found at https://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi/cuba/cubarestrictedlist/275331.htm are prohibited. We recommend that you review this website to familiarize yourself with these restrictions as some locations including hotels may be on the Cuba Restricted List.
Can I use my credit cards in Cuba?
While U.S. citizens are allowed to use debit and credit cards in Cuba, the vast majority of U.S. banks are still considering whether to allow for these transactions to take place. Thus, it is advisable to assume that all transactions in Cuba will be done using cash. We also refer you to the FAQ “Are there entities with which I am restricted from engaging in financial transactions?” above which discusses recent changes in U.S. law applicable to certain direct financial transactions.
Will there be Wi-Fi while in Cuba?
All vessels docked in Cuba will provide Wi-Fi service; however, service may not be guaranteed at all times. Cuba has limited Wi-Fi services, although certain hotels and internet cafes may provide service for a fee.
Will I have cellular service while in Cuba?
Several carriers in the U.S. and abroad have signed roaming agreements with Cuban telecommunications firm ETECSA, which allows for voice, data and text services while in Cuba. Please check with you cellular provider for details.
What am I allowed to bring back from Cuba? Can I bring back cigars, rum and other items from Cuba?
U.S. persons are allowed to return with certain Cuban-origin items, including cigars and rum, for personal use only and pursuant to OFAC regulations. These items remain subject to the normal limits on duty and tax exemptions for merchandise imported as accompanied baggage and for personal use. We refer you to the link in the FAQ “Is it legal for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba?” above which provides guidance on items that can be imported from Cuba.
How much can I spend while in Cuba?
There are no per diem limits on authorized expenses.
Are excursions included in the cruise fare?
While excursions are not included in the cruise fare, Norwegian Cruise Line will offer a variety of excursions to assist guests in meeting the requirements of group people-to-people exchanges.
What ports will the cruise be visiting?
Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun will be calling on Havana.
What types of excursions will be offered?
A variety of excursions will be offered focusing on the unique attractions and characteristics of Havana and its environs in compliance with the requirements of group people to people exchanges.
Are the buses/coaches for excursions air conditioned?
Yes. All of our touring motor coaches are of recent vintage and are fully air conditioned.
Will I be able to move about Cuba freely?
Norwegian Cruise Line will offer a variety of shore excursions at each of our ports of call. Guests are not required to participate in these excursions to meet their group people-to-people travel requirements so long as they use another U.S. sponsoring organization to meet those requirements and are, otherwise, free to move about Cuba as long as their activities comply with the general license they are travelling under. Entry to some government buildings may be restricted; it's best to ask your guide about the building’s specific entry protocol before trying to enter on your own.