WW Cruise FAQs: Traveling to Cuba

Can I still travel to Cuba?

Yes, Americans, including Cuban Americans, can travel to Cuba under one of the U.S. 12 general licenses issued by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

All guests (including minors) must complete a certification for authorized U.S. travel to Cuba declaring that their travel falls under one of the 12 categories of eligible travel. 

The most common and simplest category allowing travel to Cuba is through people-to-people educational exchange activities. People-to-people activities are educational trips designed to promote interaction and cultural exchange between the Cuban people and tourists.

To facilitate a people-to-people educational exchange activity, you can purchase an excursion through MSC Cruises after you complete your booking of the WW Cruise.

 

What documents do I need for travel to Cuba?

A passport that's valid for at least 6 months after the sailing date is required for all guests cruising to Cuba, regardless of age or country of residence.

All guests require a visa (Tarjeta del Turista) to cruise to Cuba. All nationalities, except for anyone born in Cuba, are eligible to enter Cuba with this visa.  This visa is issued at check-in for $75 per visa, which is charged directly to your MSC onboard account.  Guests of visa-exempt nationalities must still have a visa since they are entering Cuba from the United States. 

Your Travel Affidavit Certification Form will be included with your e-tickets. Each guest 18 years of age and older (individual, not group or family) is required to print, fill-in, and sign this affidavit before boarding. A parent or guardian may complete the form for each guest 17 years of age and younger. If you plan to disembark in Cuba, you must have a tourist visa (visitor card or entry card). Read more about U.S. Embassy entry requirements.

Cuban-born U.S. citizens and citizens from select countries will need additional documentation in order to visit Cuba. For additional information, please refer to the U.S. Embassy in Cuba website found at https://cu.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/.

 

Is it mandatory that guests sailing from Miami to Cuba participate in pre-arranged “people-to-people” shore excursions in Cuba?

All guests sailing to Cuba from Miami must either (1) purchase and book people-to-people activities for each day they are planning to disembark in Cuba, (2) certify that they are traveling under one of the other 12 general authorized license categories as defined by the OFAC, or (3) hold a specific license issued by OFAC. Read more about travel authorizations to Cuba on MSC Cruises Cuba Program or at U.S. Department of the Treasury.   

MSC Cruises is the only cruise line offering a 7-night itinerary from Miami and will organize “people-to-people” shore excursions. The extensive tours have been designed to allow all guests to experience the best this unique cultural destination has to offer.

 

I've booked a people-to-people tour, can I hang out after it's finished?

Yes, after you complete a people-to-people tour, you may experience Cuba at your leisure.

 

What currency is accepted in Cuba?

American currency, credit cards, and debit cards will not be accepted and cannot be used in Cuba. You will need to visit a bank, exchange center, or hotel with your passport to convert cash in U.S. dollars to Cuban currency. The Cuban Peso, or CUP, is predominantly used by Cuban locals and will look different than tourist currency.

 

Can guests opt to stay on MSC Armonia while it’s docked in Havana instead of participating in an organized people-to-people excursion?

Absolutely! Stay on board as long as you like. There are plenty of activities  to keep you busy.  Just remember, you cannot decide to get off the ship in Cuba unless you are booked for a shore excursion through MSC, and you cannot leave until the scheduled time of departure. Read more about MSC Cruises Cuba Program.

 

Will Cuban regulations affect my travel?

The recently amended regulations do not affect any MSC sailings to Cuba. However, “self-guided people-to-people” travel is no longer allowed for any guest effective June 16, 2017. This means that guests will need to choose a group “people-to-people” tour through MSC that complies with the new regulations, unless they qualify for other categories of authorized travel or hold a specific license issued by OFAC.

OFAC’s Cuba Restricted List also details which hotels, stores, and other entities they prohibit direct financial transactions with. As long as you participate in our excursions and return to the ship for your overnight stay, you will be in compliance.

 

Can I buy products or goods in Cuba?

While there is no limit to the value of goods that may be brought back from Cuba for personal use, bags are subject to the current U.S. customs value limits on duty and tax exemptions for merchandise imported. For additional details on these limits, visit https://help.cbp.gov/

 

Who do I contact for help in Cuba?

The U.S. State Department recommends enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for access to important health, safety, or emergency information relating to Cuba.

The State Department will only be able to help Americans in emergency situations due to the reduced personnel in Havana. The government provides emergency telephone numbers and information here.


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