ESSENTIAL DESTINATION ADVICE

(PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION THOROUGHLY AS IT FORMS PART OF YOUR CONTRACT WITH HAVANATOUR UK LTD)

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is essential that you read the following destination advice before making your booking with Havanatour as the information forms part of your contract with us.

The information is designed to assist you with making the right choice of holiday and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions whatsoever. We would rather you did not travel, than travel under any misapprehension and return disappointed.

GENERAL INFORMATION

1. Cuba: A Unique Destination

Cuba is a unique and very special destination, however the islands continued economic development is not at the same level as we have in Europe and some aspects of life in Cuba is very different from what we experience here. It is important that clients approach their visit to Cuba with an open mind, patience, a sense of humour and an understanding of the differences in the way of life in Cuba compared to the UK. If you are not prepared to adapt to the laid-back, relaxed attitude to the provision of services and accept these differences as part of the experience, then we suggest that Cuba may not be suitable for you.

Our staff will be more than happy to answer your questions on this matter.

2. What Your Holiday Includes

  • Return international flights and UK Air Passenger Duty where applicable.
  • Transfers as indicated in your itinerary.
  • Accommodation as detailed in the hotel description or tour itinerary including obligatory local taxes, hotel service charges for items included in your pre-paid package.
  • Meals are specified in the hotel or tour description.Not Included
  • Travel between your home and your UK departure airport and vice versa.
  • Items of personal expenditure e.g. porterage, tipping, laundry, drinks, telephone calls, hotel extras etc.
  • Holiday Insurance.
  • Overseas airport taxes (information in price panels).
  • The cost of obtaining visas and vaccinations where necessary.

Cuba Departure Tax - A departure tax of 25CUC is payable in cash at the airport on departure from Cuba (subject to change). This tax is not included in the cost of your holiday.

Brochure/Website Accuracy - Every care has been taken to ensure that the facts are correct at the time of publishing. It is possible that hoteliers, etc. may suddenly decide to change facilities which will then be temporarily, or even permanently, unavailable e.g. for purposes of maintenance or during periods of low occupancy.  Power and water supplies may also be adversely affected by local conditions. When we are told before your departure of any significant changes, we will inform you at the time of booking or, if you’ve already booked your holiday, you will be contacted as soon as is reasonably possible if there is time before your departure. Should any such events occur during the course of the journey, our local agents will do their best to rectify the matter on the spot. However, we reserve the right to alter the scheduled programme, without becoming liable to you for any refund or compensation.Safety - Wherever you travel in the world the risk of theft, mugging etc., is always there, as indeed it is at home. Generally your own common sense prevails but take extra care when walking around cities or towns especially at night and avoid carrying valuables. If you enjoy sea bathing please remember that tides and other conditions may make this inadvisable. Be guided by our local representatives or your hotel. Beaches throughout the world are usually public property and therefore neither Havanatour nor hoteliers can be held responsible for their condition or safety.

3. Your Booking Confirmations

Havanatour provide a very flexible and diverse choice of holidays. On many occasions hotels and local transportation services must be requested on an individual basis by our office to our suppliers. Due to time differences, problems with communication and hotel workloads delays can occur in responding to your specific requests. In cases where a number of services have been requested we must advise you that it can take a number of days to secure all the necessary confirmations.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Tickets - After we have received your full payment and booking form, you will be sent your tickets and travel documents approximately 10-14 days prior to departure. It is essential to check the flight timings on your tickets carefully, as the timings may have been adjusted since we issued your confirmation invoice. When you receive your travel documents please check them carefully for any minor changes and contact our office or your travel agent if you have any queries. We advise you to check in as early as possible for your flight, so that if you are travelling in a party you are less likely to be separated and it will increase the chances that your preferred seat will be available. Aircraft and Flights - Airline schedules may vary and an unexpected change of aircraft may become necessary. We will do our best to inform you of any changes before your departure. All flight timings are subject to change and seat requests cannot be guaranteed until check-in. Online check-in may be available for some airlines. Specific instructions relating to your departure and travel arrangements will be sent with your tickets.  A direct flight is one where you do not have to changed planes; it does not mean it is non-stop.

Pregnancy Note - Airline regulations do vary, but many airlines will refuse permission to fly for women who will be 28 or more weeks into pregnancy on the date of return travel unless you have a letter from your doctor. If in doubt, check with the airline concerned, and in any event do obtain clearance to fly from your doctor.

Luggage Allowance - Each Airline may have varied baggage allowances which will be shown on your E-ticket/s.  Airlines normally allow an additional 1 small piece of hand luggage. Carriage of excess luggage is at the airline’s discretion and often only on payment of an appropriate fee. Domestic flights within Cuba may have less weight allowance compared to International flights.

Passports - Information for EU Citizens only:

All passengers require a 10 year passport. It is your responsibility to have a valid passport which must be valid for 6 months beyond your departure date. THE NAME ON YOUR FLIGHT TICKET MUST AGREE WITH THE NAME ON YOUR PASSPORT as per airline conditions and for obvious security reasons.  Havanatour cannot be held responsible for any delays or costs resulting from your failure to meet these requirements and, your holiday may be at risk if any of the names do not match your passport. If you have recently got married the surname must match the name as it appears on your passport. Passports are also required for internal travel and hotel check-in throughout the Island. Cuba Tourist Visas - A tourist card (entry visa) is required for entry into Cuba and one for each person will be forwarded with your travel documents if purchased. The tourist card needs to be carefully completed prior to your arrival at the airport. The tourist card is very simple to complete and we provide instructions.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  All tourist cards must be completed without making mistakes and if there are errors made, new cards must be requested at a price of £15 per card. Otherwise this may result in being denied boarding, immigration difficulties, delays and extra costs on arrival in Cuba.

Health - At the time of going to publish, no certificate of vaccination is required, but should this position change we will advise you. The Department of Health currently recommends typhoid, polio, tetanus and Hepatitis A. However for up to date information we recommend to check all health requirements for Cuba, this can be found on the Foreign Office website www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cuba, along with other up to date links. In general, standards of care, hygiene, safety, public services and efficiency may differ from those at home. You should accordingly exercise greater care for your own protection and health in matters of hygiene and choice of food and drink.

AT YOUR DESTINATION

Accommodation - Most double rooms have twin beds. We can request a matrimonial bed but this cannot be guaranteed. Where you have booked a triple room or your children are sharing a room with you, floor and drawer space can be very cramped. Single rooms are limited in number and in many cases may be inferior in standard and position to other rooms in the hotel. The extra charge paid for a single room is for the convenience of having a room to yourself. Please note, where accommodation is described as having an ocean view, this means that a view of the sea will be available when standing on the balcony or terrace. If your room does not have a balcony or terrace, a view of the sea will be available from the room. Not all accommodation will face the sea directly and, on occasions, trees may partially obscure the view, particularly from rooms on lower floors. Some hotels may have low rise wings set in their gardens often separate from reception areas and hotel restaurants. No distinction is made between a terrace and a balcony, or a bath and a shower. Linen is not always as large as in the UK and towels can be small. Any charges for infants’ cot hire and food should be paid direct to the hotel.                                         

Star Ratings - Star ratings are allocated by the local Tourist Authorities and can be different from our European expectations.

Special Requests - When you make a special request i.e. room, location, diet, a particular hotel facility, we will make every possible attempt to arrange this, although we cannot guarantee it.

Hotels and Resort Descriptions - Hotels can and do withdraw facilities at certain times as a result of bad weather or the need for maintenance or refurbishment. Some amenities in both hotels and resorts may not be available in low season and this is one reason why prices are cheaper at these times. Where outdoor facilities are advertised by the hotel they should be available but obviously they are subject to weather conditions. Public holidays and religious festivals may also affect the availability of resort and hotel facilities. Hotels may make charges for the entrance to, or participation in evening events, discotheques etc., or for facilities such as tennis courts, mini golf, table tennis, fitness centres, saunas, etc.  Likewise the use of deckchairs, umbrellas, sun beds and beach equipment has often to be paid for, swimming pools have to be emptied now and again for cleaning and maintenance, and water cuts may even occur. In tropical countries insects and small animals are in abundance and can be found within hotels. This is not a sign of lack of cleanliness, rather a fact of travel in the tropics.

Building Work - Building works and noise are almost unavoidable in certain developing resorts. Unfortunately, such developments are not under our control nor do we receive advance notice of when they will begin. However, where we are aware of any major building works which may reasonably be considered to adversely affect your enjoyment, we will notify you as soon as possible. If necessary and possible we will offer you the opportunity to transfer to an alternative holiday at the advertised price or cancel the holiday without penalty. However, we are under no obligation to do so. In some resorts the provision of roads, power and water supplies etc. does not always keep pace with the demands of rapid tourist developments, so you may experience problems with, for example, plumbing or drainage.

Overbooking -  All bookings will be confirmed with our suppliers.  However on occasions a hotel may subsequently overbook. When this occurs, through no fault of our own, we shall make alternative arrangements. Such arrangements are dependent on local circumstances and in the respect the Company’s liability is limited in accordance with Clause 5 of the Booking Conditions - “If we have to make a major change to your holiday.”

Nights in Hotel - On the last day of your holiday, you will be asked to check out of your room in the morning, but in many hotels courtesy rooms may be available although an extra charge may be payable locally.

Meals - It is possible you may miss a meal due to the time of arrival or departure from your hotel this fact has been reflected in calculating the cost of your holiday. Bed and breakfast (C. P. on your travel voucher) usually consists of buffet breakfast. Half board (M.A.P. on your travel voucher) consists of breakfast and evening meal Full board (A.P. on your travel voucher) consists of breakfast. Lunch and evening meal the standard of meals and service at hotels varies enormously depending on the standard of the hotel and local conditions. In lower grade hotels (two and three star) meals are basic in quality and quantity and service can be slow. The choice and standard of vegetarian meals will be limited.

Air-conditioning -  Where we have stated in our brochure/website that a hotel has air- conditioning this is true. However, the standard does vary from hotel to hotel. For instance, in older hotels the effectiveness of such air-conditioning may not be up to modern four and five star European hotels. It is also possible that due to Government restrictions or the hotel’s own policy on energy use, the management may be required to turn off the air-conditioning at any time. In some hotels air-conditioning is only turned on in high season.

Weather - Please note that in the Caribbean the climate is tropical and that heavy rain and strong winds, sometimes hurricane force, can occur at certain times of the year. Hurricane season takes place during the months of June to November.

Car Hire - There are no worldwide recognised car hire companies in existence in Cuba. Therefore clients wishing to hire a car must accept that the standard of vehicles and service is poorer than European standards. Whilst it is possible to pre book your car, additional charges must be paid in Cuba including a daily insurance charge, a refundable deposit, one-way drop off charges and additional driver charges. Car hire charges are based on a 24 hour period.

Children and safety - Children are inevitably excited whilst on holiday and can often be completely oblivious to danger, especially when playing with new friends.  Please ensure that children do not travel alone in lifts, that they stand well away from lift doors and that they are supervised on balconies and around the pool area. Remember, as traffic is often travelling on the opposite side of the road, even crossing the road is dangerous unless children have their hands held by their parents. Cots and high chairs provided in hotels do not usually conform to the British Safety Standards and we recommend you exercise caution in their use. Car seats are not a legal requirement in Cuba.

Internal Travel - In many parts of the world domestic flights, boats and buses used by clients are subject to change and delay due to weather, operational difficulties and, regrettably, over-booking. Every effort will be made to minimise the inconvenience this causes. Therefore all domestic flight timings advised by Havanatour are for guidance purposes only.

Road transfers -  shared transfers can be with clients from different nationalities. Private and shared transfer times are for guidance purposes only since journey times can be extended due to picking up clients from hotels, awaiting delayed flights, local road conditions, traffic and inclement weather etc. Seat belts and child car seats are not mandatory.

Watersports - Water sports are provided by the individual hotels. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure insurance provides adequate cover.  It will be assumed all clients partaking in waters ports are able to swim. We strongly suggest that all clients refrain from high risk activities whilst on holiday. Equally we suggest that you refrain from the use of independently operated water sports and motorbike, bicycle hire (particularly jet skis). The operators frequently have no insurance or have inadequate facilities.

All Inclusive Holidays - to ensure that you enjoy your holiday to the full the following applies to All Inclusive hotels (shown as Al on your travel voucher):-

  • On arrival you may be issued with an identity card or bracelet to be shown when obtaining meals and drinks. If this is lost a charge may be made by the hotel for a replacement.
  • Whilst in most instance meals, drinks and many activities and sports are paid for within the price of your holiday, on occasions fine wines, imported spirits and motorised water sports are excluded.
  • All hotels reserve the right to refuse to serve alcohol to guests who, in their judgement, are intoxicated.
  • Restrictions to the opening times of food and beverage outlets may apply.
  • Dining in a la carte and speciality restaurants are limited depending on the duration of your stay. Early booking is advisable to avoid disappointment, however queuing is expected.
  • Clients should not infer that all inclusive hotels are always of superior standard and that the hotel is used exclusively for all inclusive offers.
  • Plastic cups and cutlery are a feature of many all inclusive hotels.