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Need some help please, all the brochures look good but nothing is better than first hand information..  
We want to go there but not to sure what part.  There will be 4 adults and my 11-year-old son.  I am the only diver, so even though I want to dive it’s not the prim reason for the holiday.  I have to make up for the two weeks I subjected her to in Sharm. We all love to snorkel; we want a beach resort all-inclusive and not a dump (to old to rough it) we would prefer the location to be kinda central not millions of miles away and hours for transfers.  We are restricted to August due to a school kid and a teacher..

Any and all advice is welcome on or off line

Thanks Sean

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Hey Sean,

Here's a current parallel thread from 'another place' on the subject of Cuba. May not be relevant to you as you're looking at resorts and not a training agency. HTH.

http://www.diverforum.co.uk/talkfor....91.html

I've not 'done' Cuba yet, so can offer no 1st-hand I'm affraid. Good luck.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Hi Sean,

I have done Cuba 3 times.  Fior a mixed dive and family holliday, it is WONDERFUL I suggest you book all-inclusive 4star or above.  The reason for this is the food and drink will be good, the entertainment - even during the day - will keep them amused so they will be happy whilst you go and do your wet thing - if you are all-inclusive, there is no embarrasment joining in with any other people in hte resort.  
You can also combine the holiday with a bit of culture and see Havana - which I havent.  But we have swum with ( captive ) dolphins at both locations at a fraction of the price of other destinations. - SOLD YET ?  In fact the reason I have been to Cuba more than once is price - for long haul/ Transatlantic, it is a bargain - slighty more expensive than Dom Rep ( 4 trips ) but MILES better.

Generally the people are really really friendly, Varadero is a tourist strip and armed guards prevent the locals getting access.  Holguin is slightly less commercial - but getting there and the south ( Cayos )  lagging slightly behind.  You will be asked by locals to have lobster dinner at their home, or for your shirt, shoes, cap etc and everybody has a "cousin" who works at the cigar factory and can get them at a fraction of the pucka price.  Treat these with caution unless you know what you are doing as you could be buying dog poo in a fancy box.  Polite refusal causes no aggro.

The diving can be great - like it must have been elsewhere years ago - not too many big critters like sharks, but lots of life, warm clear waters, you can see big LIVE conch, hold huge green morays in your arms ( honest ) as the guides feed the pionty ends with boiled eggs, dive a russian warship wreck - complete with what look like real armamaents/missiles with Russian writing.

I have been to Varadero twice and Holguin, couldn't fault either place.  If you book a resort ( Beaches or Superclubs ) where the diving is part of the all-inclusinve, then the dives will be "free" - usually 2/day but these tend to stay very local to the resort - and you may bored diving the same "reef" that try-divers trash.   Speaking of try-divers, I have been on a resort boat, which has put nine try-divers straight from the pool lesson into the sea whilst the two instructors have been still in the boat launching them - so safety standards can be a bit iffy.    But you can have the two dives out of the way in the morning and spend the rest of the day with your family getting value for the all-inclusive.  This all-you-can attitude goes away after a day or two, but it's great to let the kdis eat and drink as must as they want without meithering.

If you use a resort where you have to pay for diving, you tend to get better dives.  I thought the centre in Varadero was top notch. Having said that, the team in the all-in-dive places will be eager to  offer add-ons  - night dives ( wonderful ) or trips further afield.  

You may find the dive operation in Varadero offering special dive package deals on the net via a Canadion operator.  If you take a print of the page, the manager may agree to let you pay this price with a little persuassion - which could save you a deal of money.  The normal staff are not allowed to discount.

Cuba was in a financial mess after the fall of the Russian empire,  They have addressed this by encouraging tourism - with extensive Canadian and Spanish investment.  America has a rigid embargo on Cuba, few, if any Americans go there - and those that do get there by way of other locations. ( PADI and its people cannot operate there in any form. ) But the US authorities are starting to relax a itttle, so if you are thinking of going to Cuba, do it sooner than later - as it will quickly become more expensive and less good once the US floodgates open.

If you want any more info, pls ask.

ps. on our last trip, our jet took the top of a palm tree whilst taxiing which is unusual.
 
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