Service rating : Really helpful, who organised everything for us. I would definitely recommend Cuba Direct to others.Product : Fantastic experience!
Service rating : The rep at Havana was a but off hand and not particularly helpful. We would have appreciated more information about the locations of Casas which were sometimes difficult to find although I had printed out google maps. The Casas were generally very good although one place tried to get us to pay for the stay ! and another tried to charge us for the breakfast. A few were noisy due to work going on to build more rooms. Our hire car was OK although communication is poor eg we were told that the car would be picked up from our hotel in Varadero but we ended up having to take it back to the car hire company and pay for the taxi back to our hotel. Overall we enjoyed the holiday and would recommend Cuba DirectProduct : We felt that we had a very good experience in Cuba with very friendly and welcoming people. We only felt uncomfortable a couple of times where we probably strayed into venues where tourists were not expected to go.
Service rating : Very expensive, we only realised when we were there we could have booked direct and much much cheaper. Poor hotel and Casa chosen for us.Product : Some good and some bad. Hotels poor standards compared to UK. Corruption rife everywhere, food the same everywhere and very average at best. Would not go again.
when specifically asking about wind surfing or kite boarding at varadero I was told that at my hotel these were available at no cost (part of non motorised watersports available).However on arrival no such deal was available and had to pay privately for kite boarding tuition at great expense (220 CUC)
Service rating : Great professional serviceProduct : Everything was excelolent . The only downsize was that the casa particulars varied immensely. The one in Vinales was wonderful, Cienfuego ok and Trinidad not so good.
Service rating : There was poor attention to detail and contradictory advice from different Cuba Direct staff.Product : The transfer organisation was poor, e.g. taxis not turning up, drivers arriving at different times, changes in time not notified to us, no-one telling us about the daylight saving time change.
Service rating : A bit of toing and froing to get the holiday as wanted but eventually all sorted. Outcome turned out as anticipated.Product : Everything ran smoothly, including all transfers etc. Quite some organisation I think!
Service rating : Overall good communication from Vikram. Our flights were with Virgin and I would have liked a booking code in advance to check in online. However, the flight wasn't full and we moved up to bulkhead seats on the day. I did email Vikram the day before for a code, but didn't hear back.Product : A great experience overall. The best Casa was Habana 19: Boutique hotel meets bed and breakfast, with great hospitality from Iriana. We spent 5 nights there in total and felt very at home.
We attended the Cuba Direct meeting on the first day in the Parque Central Hotel, Habana, which was useful in terms of orientation. We wish we hadn't bought tickets to the Buena Vista Social Club, sold by your rep Tony, but we were very keen to hear some music. We thought this was an over-priced, over-rated evening with mediocre food. There were some excellent musicians, but too much audience participation when the musicians could have been performing. The Birdie Song was a real low-point. The bar was closed on arrival, there was too much hanging around. I'm sure there are much better live music packages out there.
Vinales: perhaps advise customers that there'll be a crowd of people hustling for business when you leave the bus, all offering accommodation, trips or taxis. A map would have been useful to Casa El Porry, as taxi drivers were keen to tell us it was a long way and we'd need a ride (likewise in Trinidad where our accommodation was seconds from the bus stop). I knew it would be walkable, as I'd been told by Cuba Direct that accommodation would be easily reached on foot from the bus stops. We asked for directions and walked in both Vinales and Trinidad. Many of the Casas have little street maps on their business cards - perhaps you could scan them and email them to clients or just advise them to ignore the hustlers and make their own way.
Mirtha's Casa (Hostal Montemar) in Playa Larga was the least comfortable accommodation; very small stuffy room (it did have an aircon unit) and we would have preferred to be on or near the main beach front. However, Mirtha was lovely.
The taxi transfers from Vinales to Playa Larga and Playa Larga to Cienfuegos were excellent and pretty much on time.
Service rating : Efficient and helpful. Alison did well with her selection of 'casa' and hotels. A map of Cuba, or certainly Havana would have been helpful. Our request for twin beds was met in all places except the Iberistar Hotel and Hotel Capri where we were given a super king size bed,Product : Cuba was lovely. The people are lovely, always cheerful, smiling, helpful and willing to help. We really enjoyed staying in the 'casas' and being with the Cuban people. The variety of venues and 'casa' was great. Well done.
Service rating : We had a very good experience with Cuba direct, everything in our holiday went smoothly and we felt we could easily contact Cuba Direct staff throughout the process. In Cuba they had a daily presence in the main hotels in both Havana ad Varadero. Only hiccups: we hired a car and there was a bit of confusion on the time we were supposed to pick it up (Cuba Direct said 10am, the car rental company said 12pm) but from talking with other travellers as well we realised the car rental companies in Cuba are a bit of a mess, so probably not Cuba Direct's fault! Another small hiccup was with the transfer from Varadero to the airport, we were given a time on our voucher, then a different time when we arrived in Varadero, and the bus finally came over half an hour late. Again, the late arrival cannot be blamed on Cuba Direct, but communication from Cuba Direct could have been clearer on this particular occasion. We really enjoyed the vintage car & walking tour combination in Havana.Product : All the casas we stayed in were lovely, clean and the hosts very nice and helpful. We would definitely recommend staying in casas to meet local people and hiring a car to travel at own pace (the roads can be messy, but it's worth it). All recommendations for our itinerary from the London staff, and for local activities from the Cuban staff were excellent.