How can you get a military discount on a cruise to Cuba?
Click on the links below to see all cruises to Cuba, priced from least expensive to most.
All prices for cruises to Cuba on our site have a military discount built in to the pricing, so the rate is lower than the cruise line’s best deal!
Have questions about cruising to Cuba? We have answers!
Cuba is no longer considered an exotic new destination like it was just a few years ago. Now, many cruises go to Cuba. Let’s get your questions answered so that you can go!
Are American citizens allowed to cruise to Cuba?
Yes! In fact, a cruise may be the only way that you can travel to Cuba!
Only group tours are permitted after recent changes in travel permissions by the United States.
For a couple of months, Cubans had been renting out their houses “Airbnb-style” as “Paladars.” However, since Americans staying in these accommodations aren’t traveling with a certified group- this style of travel will no longer be permitted.
Cruises, on the other hand, provide people-to-people guided group tours that will still be permitted under the new rules.
This means that as long as you book your group tour through the cruise line your tour will be in accordance with the law and you will be able to visit.
This is very similar to the status of people cruising to Russia.
Are members of the American military allowed to cruise to Cuba?
Yes! However, as with all travel you will want to check with your superior officer.
Which cruise lines are cruising to Cuba?
The major cruise lines that go to Cuba are Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland, Carnival, and MSC.
What ports do the Cuba cruises depart from?
Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Port Canaveral
Where do I find out what forms I need and get more information about cruising to Cuba?
Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland, Carnival, and MSC all have different rules on how to apply for a visa to Cuba. Contact us if you need help finding out how to do this paperwork or have any other questions about Cuba!
How does the visa work? Do I need to get the visa ahead of time?
The Cuban visa costs $75 per person and will be obtained and paid for onboard your cruise. You do not need to obtain this document ahead of time, however, you do need to fill out any pertinent forms, such as the affidavit, for your cruise ahead of time.
Will a passport be required as well?
Yes, a passport will be required for all guests sailing to Cuba. Guest passports must be valid for six months after their travel date to Cuba.
What is the benefit of cruising to Cuba on a small ship?
Only small ships fit under the Sunshine Skyway bridge and into the port of Havana. Larger ships will not fit.
How does the president’s travel decree affect cruises to Cuba?
Per statements from the cruise lines, cruises to Cuba will still proceed with no itinerary changes.
How do you get money on a cruise to Cuba? Will my credit card work in Cuba? Should I bring cash?
Do not count on your credit card working in Cuba. You will need cash when visiting.
There are two forms of currency, the CUC
Luckily there is an exchange at the Havana terminal! A 13% transaction fee will be charged for American dollars being converted. If you bring Euros instead, the exchange rate is lower.
Can I buy Cigars and Rum in Cuba to bring home on my cruise ship back the United States?
Yes! You can bring some home as souvenirs and gifts for friends as well!
What should I bring with me on my cruise shore excursions/tour in Cuba?
While the answer varies depending on your tour, I would recommend toilet paper, walking shoes, and sunscreen. The toilets may not have toilet paper and sunscreen is ALWAYS a good idea.
Do people in Cuba speak English?
Your tour guide will!
Becca’s Experience in Cuba on the Empress of the Seas!
The second that I heard that Royal Caribbean was opening up sailings to Cuba I rushed to their site. I was determined to get on one of the first listings offered! At the time that I booked, few cruise lines had ships headed to Havana. Now you have options from many of the major lines including: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland, MSC AND Norwegian.
My ship was the Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas. It is one of the smallest and oldest ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet; and I LOVED it!* It has a cuban themed lounge where you can play dominos. Aboard you could also sing karaoke, sample a tasty cuban stew from the buffet, and listen to the usual trivia and pool bands.
Our sailing was a short one- only 5 days long. It stopped first in Key West, which proudly boasts that it is 90 miles from Cuba- placing it on many Havana-bound itineraries. Then we did one day in Havana, before heading to Cozumel, Mexico, and then home.
Many Cuban sailings now do an overnight in Havana to give you more time- but at the time most of the major cruise lines only stopped at that one port for 8 hours. (Many cruises now also stop in Cienfuegos, Cuba as well.)
While I would have loved more time in Havana, I did relish the time that I had. In order to legally visit Cuba, you need to take a people-to-people tour.** Our tour guide did a great job and I feel like I got a nice taste of the area.
We visited 4 plazas with famous churches, such as
While we were only taken to main tourist areas, I was able to look down alleyways and see the true variety of Cuban livelihood. On a tour you WILL see classic cars, and you will get a chance to buy a cigar. Do not worry! In fact, our tour even ended with us being taught how to properly smoke the cigar while drinking cuban rum and coffee!
*All of the ships headed to Havana are small ships because the port isn’t large enough to accommodate large ones. ** Any tour offered by the cruise line will qualify as people-to-people.
Prefer to sail somewhere else?
To learn about other Caribbean destinations click here.
If you’d like to sail to Alaska, click here.
Or, if you are stationed abroad, and want to sail before you PCS click here.
For those stationed in Europe, you can sail to Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Or, if you’d like to head to the Western Mediterranean you can visit Spain.
If you sail in the Baltic Sea you can visit Northern Capitals such as Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, and even St. Petersburg!