2019 Oceania Cuba Serenade

Oceania


DISCOVER CUBAN HERITAGE
Delve deep into the music, culture and cuisine of Cuba on this voyage featuring an overnight stay in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, each of which is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site.

* In Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, explore the eclectic Plaza Vieja, where Cuban baroque architecture meets Gaudí-inspired art nouveau

* Explore the Baroque and neoclassical monuments, romantic courtyards and enchanting plazas of Old Havana, protected by its UNESCO World Heritage status

* Stroll through the tranquil José Martí Park and admire the neoclassical architecture of the historic center of Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage site

* Admire the neoclassical beauty and fine French stained glass windows of the Catedral de la Purísima Concepción in Cienfuegos

* Visit the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, a looming fortress that once protected Santiago de Cuba from pirates since the 17th century, and is now designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its architectural and historical significance.

I had originally signed up for this cruise in October, 2018, but had to cancel out due to an injury suffered on an earlier trip.


Day 1, Wed, Dec 18 – Miami (1PM, 5PM)
Schedule the StuporShuttle for about 4:45 for what is becoming the usual very early flight to Miami. My usual United flight isn’t available, but American has a very similar flight time so this morning it is their early flight to Miami again. 2018 air below.

American AA 4622IAH – Miami7:25A – 11:05A2:40

Arrive in Miami, find the Oceania rep, and transfer (pre-booked) to embark on the mid-sized “Cattle Barge”, INSIGNIA - the twin to the REGATTA of my first Oceania cruise. I splurged for a Veranda cabin. My “Cell/stable stall/stateroom” is #6050 and just 165-square-feet. We should get on board quickly to get lunch, then it will probably be an almost 3 hour wait until my class of kennels is ready for us lower class characters. We have the usual pre-departure rigmarole routine and then we cruise south for our mis-adventure.

Day 2, Thu, Dec 19 – Havana (8, overnight, 11)
Day 3, Fri, Dec 20 – Havana
The door to Cuba’s soul, Havana captivates with its larger-than-life culture, sultry rhythms and weathered beauty. Take a relaxing stroll along the evocative Malecón, the quintessentially Cuban thoroughfare and get lost among the Baroque facades and colonial cobblestone alleys of Old Havana. Visit the grandiose Capitolio Nacional and explore the world-class Cuban art collection at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which showcases everything from colonial-era paintings to countless masterpieces from Cuba’s famed Vanguard Period. Enjoy memorable explorations such as touring one of Havana’s venerable old cigar factories for an inside look at the birthplace of these world-famous cigars and the centuries-old process of how they are made. Sip a daiquiri at Hemingway’s favorite haunt, El Floridita, happen upon a live jazz group and simply savor an unforgettable moment in this unique corner of the world.

Excursions for Day 2 and Day 3: There may be time for a 2nd evening excursion.

Ultimate Highlights Of Havana - Old & New (HAV-001) 3 hours
Discover the remarkable history of Havana, Cuba through its massive buildings and notable structures dating back to the 15th century. Colonial Life and modern times are all part of this unforgettable tour of Cuba’s capital, Havana.

After departing from the pier, ride through Old Havana where you will have the opportunity to learn about some of the most iconic sites and the history of this charming municipality. You will have a chance to see age-old buildings such as the Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula, one of Havana's most charming churches, fully restored in 2000 and now used as a concert hall. Among the most significant buildings here, you will also see Train Central Station, the main railway terminal in Havana and the largest train station in Cuba, considered a national monument for its architectural and historical values.

At the entrance of Havana Harbor stands El Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro, built by the Spanish in 1589 and completed in 1640 to protect the city from buccaneers and pirates. In 1762, the castle was captured by the British under Sir George Pocock. Discover the military architecture of Havana from the 16th to 19th century on a visit to this historical fort.

On your way to El Cristo de La Habana, you will see another military fortress originally built to fill a weakness in the city's defenses – Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña.

Then witness the majestic representation of El Cristo de La Habana, only four decades old, which forms part of the landscape that characterizes the entrance to the Havana harbor. Standing at 65 feet tall, weighing 320 tons, consisting of 67 different pieces, and made of white Carrara marble, the monument was built in Italy by Cuban artist Jilma Madera, and inaugurated on December 25, 1958. History tells that the artist did not use a model as her inspiration but was inspired by what she felt was the definition of masculine beauty. However, legends say that she was inspired by the physique of an old lover.

On your way to the city’s famous Malecón seafront, one of the city's most meaningful and essential Cuban main roads, you will pass through the Túnel de La Habana (Havana’s Tunnel), which links the historic forts on the eastern bank with the ornate Spanish architecture in Old Havana.

From Havana Vieja to the atmospheric streets of Vedado in a comfortable air-conditioned bus you will get a view of the Nacional Hotel, the American Embassy, the University of Havana, the Christopher Columbus Cemetery and the famous corners, parks and plazas of this striking city.

Discover historical sites like the Civic Square, which was later, renamed the Revolution Square in 1959. You will also walk through the University of Havana, located in the Vedado district of Havana. This is oldest university in Cuba, founded in 1728 and one of the first to be founded in the Americas.

Our guide and expert on Cuban architecture will demonstrate the transition from Colonial to Modern times in this panoramic view of the city.

On your way back to the pier you will drive by the Green Tile House, Miramar, the Business Center, and palm tree-lined Fifth Avenue, considered one of the most beautiful avenues in Havana and initially called Avenida de las Américas, here, you will feel the pulse of the emerging economy. You’ll continue on through the Fifth Avenue Tunnel, which connects the Calzada Street, in Vedado, to the Santa Ana River in Santa Fe. The origin of this famous avenue goes back to the early 20th century as a result of the immigration of Havana’s wealthy classes to the west beyond the opening of the Almendares River.

Note: This tour involves minimal walking, mostly on asphalt. The tour has a few stops around the city. Guests are advised to bring their cameras. This tour is OFAC compliant.

The Old Colonial Havana (HAV-010) 3 ½ hours
Havana, founded in 1519 by the Spanish crown, became one of the Caribbean's main centers for ship-building by the 17th century. Today, it is a metropolis with approximately 2.1 million residents that invites guests to discover a complex mosaic of colors and rhythms, an interesting mix of Baroque, neo-classical and Renaissance architecture, and a wonderful assortment of cuisine to delight the senses.

Before departing the pier, you will see the historic Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, created in the 16th century when Spanish galleons stopped by at the harbor on their passage through the Indies to Spain. The plaza underwent a full restoration in the late 1990s and is most significant for its uneven cobblestones and the white marble Fuente de los Leones (Fountain of Lions) carved by the Italian sculptor Giuseppe Gaggini in 1836.

Then you will continue on to Havana’s Old Square. This architecturally eclectic square, where Cuban baroque meets Gaudí-inspired art nouveau was first built in 1559 and was originally named Plaza Nueva (New Square). The square was initially used for military exercises but later served as an open-air marketplace, where you can now also see bars, restaurants and cafes. The square has its own micro-brewery, the Angela Landa primary school, a beautiful fenced-in fountain and, on its west side, some of Havana's finest stained-glass windows. Plaza Vieja has had various uses, the last of which was an underground parking lot, but when the city of Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, the square was restored to the historic plaza it is today.

While in Old Square, you will be able to admire the restored colonial buildings from the 17, 18 and 19th centuries and take in the many attractions popular to both Cubans and visitors, like street performances and visual arts.

The tour ends at the Almacentes de San Jose Market and guests will walk back to the pier (approximately 20 minutes). Guests wishing not to stop at the market can stay on the bus and be transferred back to the pier.

Please note: This tour involves walking for the full duration of the tour, mostly in asphalt and cobblestone, and may include a few steps at the paladares. Guests are advised to bring a camera, wear flat/comfortable shoes and dress in layers. Rain gear is recommended.

An Evening Stroll in Colonia Havana (HAV-009) 3 hours (evening)
Discover Colonial Havana at night and enjoy one of the oldest and most famous bars from around the world in Havana.

Before departing the pier, you will see the historic Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, created in the 16th century when Spanish galleons stopped by at the harbor on their passage through the Indies to Spain. The plaza underwent a full restoration in the late 1990s and is most significant for its uneven cobblestones and the white marble Fuente de los Leones (Fountain of Lions) carved by the Italian sculptor Giuseppe Gaggini in 1836.

Then you will continue on to Havana’s Old Square. This architecturally eclectic square, where Cuban baroque meets Gaudí-inspired art nouveau was first built in 1559 and was originally named Plaza Nueva (New Square). The square was initially used for military exercises but later served as an open-air marketplace, where you can now also see bars, restaurants and cafes. The square has its own micro-brewery, the Angela Landa primary school, a beautiful fenced-in fountain and, on its west side, some of Havana's finest stained-glass windows. Plaza Vieja has had various uses, the last of which was an underground parking lot, but when the city of Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, the square was restored to the historic plaza it is today. While in Old Square, you will have some free time to walk around and take pictures.

Your last stop of the walking tour will be at Cathedral Square, the last of the main squares to be created in one of Old Havana’s most beautiful spots. Originally named Plaza de la Ciénaga (Swamp Square) because of its muddy terrain, it later became one of the city’s most important squares after it was drained and paved and wealthy families moved into the area and began building their mansions there.

The square’s main attraction is a Cathedral, notable for its two unequal towers and its framed theatrical baroque façade designed by Italian architect Francesco Borromini. Known as one of the oldest cathedrals in the Americas, the building was finished in 1787 when the diocese of Havana was created and the church became a cathedral.

Later on, you will take a short panoramic bus tour through the rest of Old Havana. Your final stop for the night will be at the historical Sloppy Joe’s Bar, which re-opened in 2013 after being closed for 48 years. Many say that the well-known Sloppy Joe sandwich is an American staple, while others argue that it came originally from Cuba.

You will have the opportunity to learn the history of the place told through its employees. According to some, the name of the bar comes from their staple sandwich made with ropa vieja (shredded meat), which literally translates to “old clothes.” Also, many of the bar’s English-speaking customers nicknamed the owner, Jose Garcia, Joe.

The bar was frequented by many famous figures like the American novelist Ernest Hemingway, the Australian-born actor Errol Flynn and the English novelist Graham Greene. After an enjoyable evening and lively music at Sloppy Joe’s, you will return to the pier.

Please note: This tour is mainly walking and involves approximately 2 hours of walking/standing. Guests are advised to bring their camera.

If there is time for another evening tour:

Parisien Cabaret at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba (HAV-007) 3 hours Experience a taste of authentic Cuban history, culture and music at Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana. With its privileged location in the town of Vedado, the center of Havana, it sits on a hill just a few steps from the sea, and offers a great view of the Havana Harbor; the seawall and the city.

Built in 1930, the hotel stands out due to its refined elegance and its ancient splendor, and has attracted a large number of famous personalities such as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, artists Frank Sinatra, and scientist Alexander Fleming, among many others.

After a short ride to the hotel, you will enjoy your night at the popular Parisien Cabaret, located inside Hotel Nacional de Cuba. Parisien Cabaret offers a spectacular Vegas-style performance, which blends the Indo-American, Hispanic and African cultures that led to the Cuban culture as it is known today. After the show, you will return to the pier.

Please note: This tour involves minimal walking, mostly in asphalt and there is a small amount of steps inside the cabaret. Evening shows are not exclusive to Oceania guests.

Day 4, Sat, Dec 21 – AT SEA #1 of 2

Day 5, Sun, Dec 22 – Cienfuegos (7, overnight, 2)
Day 6, Mon, Dec 23 - Cienfuegos
Situated in a beautiful bay in the heart of Cuba’s fertile agricultural region on the southern coast, Cienfuegos will quietly charm you with its French spirit, tranquil seaside setting and neoclassical architecture. Known as La Perla del Sur (the Pearl of the South), Cienfuegos was originally founded by French settlers and its city center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rich in educationally engaging diversions, its historic center features well-preserved 19th-century structures, gorgeous plazas and a layout inspired by the Spanish Enlightenment. Discover the ornate and eclectic Palacio de Valle and take in the stunning views as you explore Punta Gorda, the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset. Step back in time at Teatro Terry with a performance by local artists or discover nearby Trinidad, a remarkably well-preserved colonial town recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and anchored by its impressive Plaza Mayor, an open-air museum of Spanish colonial architecture.

Excursions for days 5 & 6.

Colonial Trinidad (CFG-004) 7 hours (OS) lunch
Spend an enlightening day exploring the colonial town of Trinidad, a World Heritage site whose architecture reflects a prosperous time when sugar production fueled the economy.

After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a meandering drive south along the coast to Trinidad de Cuba, an area that the Spanish founded in the early 16th century. The town really flourished a few centuries later when sugar production peaked in the nearby Valley de los Ingenios, which translates to Valley of the Sugar Mills.

Both Trinidad and the valley have been deemed World Heritage sites for their historical and architectural significance. The valley is considered a living museum as it contains dozens of former sugar cane mills and plantation houses. Trinidad features buildings constructed of native materials with centuries-old techniques; they range from 18th-century residences with Moorish influences to 19th-century homes with neoclassical designs.

While touring Trinidad, you will see many of these architectural treasures before stopping at Casa Chichi, a family-owned pottery workshop. The potters still use traditional methods, sourcing the clay from nearby caves and firing their creations in wood-fueled kilns.

Then, after a namesake cocktail made with rum, honey and lemon at La Canchánchara, you will linger over lunch before continuing the city tour. The Municipal Museum will be among the highlights, especially its collection of items related to sugar production in the Valley de los Ingenios.

You will enjoy a panoramic view of the valley from an elevated lookout before returning to the pier.

Note: Guests must be able to step in & out of the bus.

Guama Giron (CFG-005) 6 ¾ hours (OS) lunch
Experience the natural wonders of southern Cuba by visiting a forested national park where Cuban crocodiles are bred in captivity and a crystal-clear lagoon teeming with brightly colored tropical fish.

After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a relaxing drive throughout the countryside to Playa Girón, a small beach named for a pirate that lost his life here in the early 1600s. Nearby you will find Ciénaga de Zapata National Park and its informative Guama Tourist Center.

It is a great place to learn about the vast biodiversity within the surrounding mangrove forests, keys and barrier reefs. The center is constructed in a style using natural materials that emulates buildings built by the Taino, the indigenous people of Cuba.

The park’s protected ecosystem is home to countless birds, including Cuba’s national bird El Tocororo, and a large population of Cuban crocodiles. This critically endangered reptilian species is bred here for release into the wild and to protect its genetic purity.

More natural wonders await you at the Fish Cave, a deep lagoon called a cenote. It is filled with tropical fish that enter from the bay through a subterranean tunnel. For a historical perspective of the area, you will visit the Girón Beach Museum on the infamous Bay of Pigs. As the exhibits depict, it was here in 1961 that U.S.-aided Cuban exiles failed in their attempt to invade Cuba. Lunch follows, after which you will return to the pier.

Day 7, Tue, Dec 24 – Santiago de Cuba (10, overnight, 5)
Day 8, Wed, Dec 25 – Santiago de Cuba
This would be Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but Oceania doesn't list any special Christmas activities.

A tropical and energetic cultural epicenter, Santiago de Cuba is the country’s second largest city and has played an instrumental role in the evolution of Cuban music, literature and architecture. Wedged between the looming Sierra Maestra mountain range and the aquamarine Caribbean Sea, the city offers a plethora of rich heritage and cultural diversions amidst a dramatic backdrop. Discover the city’s fascinating history at Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca and the Cementerio Santa Ifigenia, where Cuban hero José Martí and Emilio Bacardí Moreau of the famed rum dynasty are both buried. Countless musicians have emerged from Santiago de Cuba including Miguel Matamoros of Trío Matamoros and Sindo Garay, and many say the heart of this thriving city lives in its music scene.

Excursions for days 7 and 8.

Colonial Santiago (SCU-001) 4 hours

Explore the highlights in and around Santiago de Cuba, including famed San Juan Hill, a 17th-century stone fortress and a park that has become the city’s social epicenter.

After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a leisurely drive through vibrant Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second-largest city. Ethnically diverse, culturally rich and historically important, the city nestles in a valley at the base of the Sierra Maestra mountain range.

For a deeper understanding of the country’s history, you will visit nearby San Juan Hill, where a decisive battle was won during the Spanish-American War in 1898, effectively ending the Spanish rule of Cuba. American forces including Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and African-American Buffalo Soldiers fought here, as did Cuban troops whose contributions are memorialized with plaques and monuments on San Juan Hill. A ceiba known as the Peace Tree marks the spot where the Spanish officially surrendered.

Your next stop will be Santiago de Cuba’s historical center, a district full of beautiful colonial architecture. At its heart is Céspedes Park, one of the city’s most popular gathering areas. Other highlights nearby include the venerable Hotel Casa Granda, the balconied city hall and the beautifully restored Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba. After a visit to a local community project (approximately 45 minutes) and before returning to the pier, you will also tour the 17th-century San Pedro de la Roca Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site overlooking Santiago de Cuba Bay. The complex has been heralded as the best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture.

Note: Guests must be able to step in & out of the bus.

EL Cobre (SCU-002) 4 hours
Visit the copper-mining town El Cobre, where you will see its revered Virgin of Charity statue in Cuba’s only basilica and watch a live steel band performance. After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a picturesque drive inland to El Cobre, a town founded in 1550 as a Spanish copper mine. El Cobre, which means “copper” in Spanish, is better known as the site of Cuba’s only basilica, which houses a statue of the Virgin Mary that was supposedly found floating in the sea in 1608.

Known as the Virgin of Charity, it has been credited with countless miracles and in 1916 the pope declared her the patron saint of Cuba. The statue stands only 16 inches high and wears an elaborate golden gown and jewels. Pilgrims often leave votive offerings at the altar, perhaps the most famous being the Nobel Prize for Literature that Ernest Hemingway won after writing “The Old Man and the Sea” in Havana.

Your immersion into Cuban culture continues by watching a live performance by Cuba’s oldest steel band. It was formed in the 1980s in El Cobre, in part to commemorate the city’s copper miners, who played steel drums during their free time. You will have an opportuntiy to meet and interchange with the Steel Band performers.

On the return to Santiago de Cuba, you will pass landmarks such as San Juan Hill, where the Cubans won their independence from Spain in 1898, and the Antonio Maceo Revolution Square. Maceo was a heroic guerilla leader and second-in-command of the Cuban army in the Spanish-American War.

Visit the Barrita Ron Caney (Little Caney Rhum Bar – Bar of the former Bacardi Rhum Factory).

Note: Conservative attire that covers the shoulders & knees is required to enter the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre.

Tropicana Santiago Show (SCU-006) 3 hours (OS) dinner
Watch a dynamic Las Vegas-style spectacle of Afro-Cuban dances and music by performers in outrageous costumes in a tropical setting at the Tropicana Cabaret. After departing from the pier, you will soon arrive at the Tropicana Cabaret, a highly popular entertainment venue not far from downtown Santiago de Cuba. The open-air nightclub is patterned after the original Cabaret Tropicana in Havana, where stars such as Nat King Cole and Josephine Baker once performed.

After settling into your seat at the iconic nightclub, you will be offered buffet-style snacks and Cuban rum. Once the performance begins, you can expect to be mesmerized by the Las Vegas-style entertainment. The show is fittingly called “Frenesí,” which means “frenzy.”

It will be pure spectacle, as the dancers move ever so seductively to the hypnotic beat of Cuban rhythms. Feathery sequined costumes, ever-changing exotic sets and a riot of bright colors distinguish every number. The outlandishly dressed singers will be just as enthusiastic as they passionately perform medleys of joyous Cuban songs, surrounded by the dancers.

A performance as vibrant and energetic as “Frenesí” is a rare treat, and you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement. By the end of the show, you may well be on your feet too, giving the performers a standing ovation. Afterwards, you will return to the pier.

Day 9, Thu, Dec 26 – AT SEA #2 of 2

Day 10, Fri, Dec 27 – Nassau, BAHamas (8 – 5)
Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and has been the centerpiece of this island nation since the days of Blackbeard. The history has been wonderfully preserved in stately cathedrals and in Victorian mansions displaying elegant, noble architecture.

? Ardastra Gardens and Zoo (NAS-015) 2 ½ hours
Stroll the shaded paths of the Ardastra Gardens and Zoo, admiring the lush tropical foliage and the zoo’s diversity of indigenous and regional animals.

After departing from the pier, you will soon pass several landmark buildings such as the House of Parliament and Supreme Court while your knowledgeable driver guide regales you with details and anecdotes about the sights you will be seeing. Soon, you will arrive at the serene Ardastra Gardens & Zoo. This four-acre oasis in the heart of downtown is a tropical paradise filled with exotic plants and home to hundreds of birds, reptiles and mammals.

As you walk along the winding paths, you will pass towering royal palms, tamarinds, Indian tulip trees, and West Indies mahoganies. Splashes of color from flora such as yellow elders, ixoras and delicately scented frangipanis add texture to the understory, leaving you with a great sense of tranquility. Even so, there is plenty of excitement within the gardens and zoo.

Peacocks often strut by fanning their tail feathers, bright green iguanas cling to the tree branches above, and the March of the Flamingos is a performance that never fails to entertain. Once nearly extinct, the Caribbean flamingo is now so popular and has been associated with the Bahamas for so long that it has become the national bird.

If you wish to interact with some of the animals up-close, you are welcome to pose for photos with "Toby" the Cockatoo, "Jackie" the Snake and "Freddy" the Peacock, or perhaps feed the lory parrots, also known as rainbow lorikeets. These birds are highly social, brightly colored and always eager to be hand-fed an apple. Before rejoining your bus for the transfer back to the pier, you will have the opportunity to purchase a cool beverage from the Parrot Pit Stop and browse through the eclectic gift shop, Toby's Treasures.

Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 ¾ hours of easy to moderate walking. Sun cap; sunglasses; and sunscreen. Quality & condition of the zoo may not by up to the “Western” standard. Guests may see animals in cages.

Charm (??) And Beauty (??) of the Bahamas (NAS-014) 3 hours
This is the only other exursion of any interest at all that is listed. I may just stay onboard.

Admire landmark after landmark on an all-encompassing driving tour of Nassau and not-exactly-Paradise Island with stops at historical Fort Charlotte and the John Watlings Booze Factory.

After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a relaxing (??) and informative (??) driving tour past Nassau’s miserable attractions. The lowlights include palm-dotted Rawson Square, not-so-lovely government buildings such as the Supreme Court and the pink-hued House of Assembly, and the horrible mega-resort and theme park Atlantis on in-aptly named Paradise (mis-named) Island.

Nassau is exceptionally (??) photogenic, so it’s no wonder that portions of three James Bond films have been shot here, as well as the Beatles’ movie “Help.” Other iconic sights include the Prime Minister’s residence, historical Graycliff Inn and Fort Charlotte, where you will pause for photos. Built in 1788, the fort features a waterless moat, dungeons, underground passageways and dozens of cannons that have never been fired in an act of aggression.

Continuing on, you will also visit a beautiful 18th-century estate downtown that is now home to a booze-factory named for buccaneer John Watling. The small-batch rum produced here is said to capture Watling’s bold spirit of adventure. You (not me) can determine that firsthand by sampling the different rums, which range from pale blonde with a crisp dry finish to reddish-gold with a soft warming finish. Following the rum tasting, you will return to the pier.

Please note: This tour is primarily panoramic in nature with limited, optional walking at the stops. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Day 11, Sat, Dec 28 – Miami (8am)
Arrive in Miami, get kicked off the ship, and fly home.

TENTATIVE EXCURSION LIST:
EXCURSIONS: (pre-book 6, onboard 2 or 3 evening; maybe 1 more in Nassau.

Havana days 2-3
* (PBK) Ultimate Highlights Of Havana - Old & New (HAV-001) 3 hours
* (PBK) The Old Colonial Havana (HAV-010) 3 ½ hours
* An Evening Stroll in Colonial Havana (HAV-009) 3 hours (evening)
* Parisian Cabaret at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba (HAV-007) 3 hours (evening)

AT SEA day 4

Cienfuegos days 5-6

* (PBK) Colonial Trinidad (CFG-004) 7 hours (OS) lunch
* (PBK) Guama Giron (CFG-005) 6 ¾ hours (OS) lunch

Santiago de Cuba days 7-8
* (PBK) Colonial Santiago (SCU-001) 4 hours
* (PBK) EL Cobre (SCU-002) 4 hours
* Tropicana Santiago Show (SCU-006) 3 hours (OS) dinner (evening)

AT SEA day 9

Nassau BAHamas day 10

? Ardastra Gardens and Zoo (NAS-015) 2 ½ hours
* (????) Charm (???) And Beauty (???) of the Bahamas (NAS-014) 3 hours

INSIGNIA

The ship is the INSIGNIA, sister ship to the REGATTA. Our acclaimed Regatta has undergone a multimillion-dollar transformation to create a virtually new ship. Sleek and elegantly charming, Regatta is the flagship of the Oceania Cruises fleet. She features four unique, open-seating restaurants and 342 lavish suites and luxurious staterooms, nearly 70% of which feature private verandas. With just 684 guests, our 400 professionally trained European staff ensure you will wait for nothing. The 4 smaller ships do not offer a larger (C class) no-veranda cabin. I’ll have to splurge on a B1 veranda cabin so I can see anything outside.

B1 Veranda Stateroom –My “Cell/stable stall/stateroom” is #6050, deck 6, just aft of midships, portside (nice – I can see land while cruising). The 216-square-foot Category B1 veranda cabins are the same size inside as the C1 “Deluxe” cabin but with the sliding doors to the veranda, I can see quite a bit more. Each stateroom includes a refrigerated mini-bar (free restocking daily), spacious closet and a bathroom with a shower. Wi-Fi???? Maybe.

Stateroom Amenities
* Refrigerated mini-bar with free and unlimited soft drinks and bottled water replenished daily
* Complimentary 24-hour room service
* Flat-screen television with live satellite news and programming
* Wireless internet access (MAYBE)

DINING
Terrace Café --- The Terrace Café is inviting any time of day-- dine inside or alfresco at one of the shaded teak tables on the terrace. Open with buffets at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Waves Grill ---- Casual dining on all-American favorites. Waves Grill offers an (not-so) extensive luncheon menu. Watch the chefs grill burgers to order in the open galley, accompanying them with side dishes like fresh salads and crispy, fries. Open for limited breakfast, then lunch and afternoon dining only ~11AM – 4PM.

Deck 4: Concierge, Destination Services, etc.
Deck 5: Lounge
Deck 6: Cabin 6050 = port side, just aft of mid-ships
Deck 9: Terrace Cafe, Waves Grill

THE SHIP SPECS
* Length: 593.7 feet
* Beam: 83.5 feet
* Cruising Speed: 18 knots
* Guest Decks: 9
* Total Decks: 16
* Guest Capacity: 684
* Staff Size: 386