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Nearly a year ago, Carnival announced that it would begin cruising from the US to Cuba this May. That seemed a bit ambitious at the time, but Carnival’s Fathom line opened up bookings in March, and, right on schedule, the first cruise departed Miami for Havana on May 1.
Given that Cuba is very much a TPG favorite, we decided to send TPG Senior Editor Kaeli Conforti on the first cruise (paying our own way, of course), which sails to Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba before returning to Miami this weekend.
Kaeli’s now exploring Cuba with limited connectivity, but before she set off, she shared the following on Instagram:
My home for the next seven days, Fathom Adonia, the first American cruise ship allowed to sail to Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. Honored and thrilled to be a part of this amazing, historic event. I can’t wait to tell my grandkids about it someday.
Fortunately, the ship does have Wi-Fi, but it’s unclear when and where it’s offered. It’s also a bit pricey, available at 50 cents per minute or with packages of 100 minutes for $35 or 250 minutes for $62.50.
As we can see from Kaeli’s tweets, the Fathom Adonia received a very warm welcome when it pulled into Havana for the first time:
A wonderful welcome to Havana from the Cuban people, who lined up & pulled cars over on streets to wave at us! pic.twitter.com/ogp7jnVGn0
— Kaeli Conforti (@KaeliTravels) May 2, 2016
Today, Kaeli’s exploring Havana for the second day, where she’s enjoying a handful of (government-mandated) cultural exchange opportunities and 90-degree weather. Yesterday, she experienced live Cuba music and dancing during lunch, including an incredible performance by one of the Fathom group’s youngest travelers:
As part of the cruise People-to People walking tour of Havana’s Old City, we had lunch today at a great place where there was a live band with dancers–they kept pulling people up to the front to dance (I totally got picked & it was really fun!) Then this little girl came up and put us all to shame. I wish I could move like that! #carnivalincuba
A video posted by Kaeli Conforti (@kaelitravels) on
Go Kaeli’s new friend! We can’t wait to check out Kaeli’s other experiences, which apparently included a tour of the Hotel Nacional, which perhaps one day could be available on points and miles.
Will you be cruising to Cuba?
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