IS IT OKAY TO DISCUSS POLITICS WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE?
CAN I SAY WHAT I PLEASE ? GO WHERE I WANT?
Inevitably Americans want to know if they can discuss communism or politics with the people on the street or the Cuban tour guide. The answer is yes, however, please do so with respect and never in front of a crowd. Do not put your tour guide in an uncomfortable position in front your tour group. As far as traveling about on your own and wandering freely, your movement is rarely inhibited. You are free to explore as you please.
SHOULD I TIP IN CUBA?
In Cuba a small gesture of appreciation goes a long way.
CAN I TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS WHILE IN CUBA?
It has been said that Havana is like walking onto a movie set, with the inhabitants playing the role of enthusiastic actors. Nowhere on earth will you find a people so happy to have their picture taken! The rustic charms of Cuba combined with trust and friendliness of the people will rekindle your faith in the human spirit!
WHAT IF SOMEONE ON THE STREET OFFERS TO SELL ME CUBAN CIGARS?
American tourists are considered to be the most generous in the world. They are also considered easiest to take advantage of. Make a point of checking every receipt you receive in Cuba for accuracy. Overcharging is common practice. There is no sales tax in Cuba and service charges can easily be waived if you are not happy with the meal or service. If you are trying out a new restaurant, always ask in advance what a meal will cost, especially if you are eating in a private restaurant called a paladar. If you need some recommendations, ask your tour guide to give you our prepared list of favorite paladars and restaurants. You will likely be approached on the streets of Havana by a Cuban man who wants to sell you cigars. He will tell you his mother, cousin or aunt works at one of the cigar factories and he will offer you a box of cigars at a fraction of the official price. These cigars are ALWAYS low quality counterfeits that are not made at the factory and smoke very poorly. If you want good quality cigars, you need to buy them at the official government stores.