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Hurricane Ike-Holguin

Toronto, Ontario
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32 posts
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Hurricane Ike-Holguin

Hello everyone, I'm at Playa Pesquero, Holguin. The locals and staff just told us that we are in for a big one. This will be the last time I can write until after the storm or when I get home. They have spent all day today removing the boats from the beach and buckling them down with steel. Only one tour operator has evacuted it's clients from Holguin. Since I have been here many times before, we have made wonderful long lasting friendships and they have assured us that we will be OK. There will be high winds and rain, but unless it changes by tomorrow afternoon we will not be evacuated to Havana. Wish us luck and I wish everyone else getting ready for the fierce Ike that is coming their way. God bless!

Canada
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525 posts
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1. Re: Hurricane Ike-Holguin

We are thinking of all of you and our friends in the area. We wil say a prayer for you all. Stay safe and thank you for posting.

North Vancouver...
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564 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Hurricane Ike-Holguin

according to air transats website, their is a special notice that they are evacuating starting a 5 a.m. sunday morning from holguin. it looks like they are bringing canadians home to montreal and toronto. i am not sure if these were scheduled to come home, and they have just bumped up the flight times or what but....anyways, we are thinking of all of those vacationers and of course all the locals who will be enduring this. we will pray that there is little damage to the peoples material possesions and that all are kept safe. we hope that your dear friends fair well. WE ARE KEEPING YOU IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS!! good luck to all who are in the are right now.

Newton Aycliffe...
Destination Expert
for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
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98,867 posts
57 reviews
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3. Re: Hurricane Ike-Holguin

Thanks for posting 'live' TLuko. I wish you and everyone else in the area the best of luck and hope and pray that Ike does minimal damage.

Fortunately the Cubans are well prepared for this type of situation but they can expect high winds and rain. I heard that the Banes carnival which should be in full swing this week has been suspended.

All the stalls and childrens rides were all set up when I left on Friday and it is such a shame as the Cubans love their carnivals.

Consett, United...
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19,496 posts
82 reviews
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4. Re: Hurricane Ike-Holguin

Good luck with this one. I was evacuated to the PP so my heart is half there.You are in the best place, a bit of an oxymoron, for the Hurricane season as they know what they are doing and you WILL be safe. They make you safe, and the evacuation process is done so calmly and professionally.

We are all thinking of you and your Cuban hosts. Head down you are in for an interesting ride.

Livingston, United...
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27 posts
36 reviews
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5. Re: Hurricane Ike-Holguin

Good luck to all, keep safe

Toronto, Ontario
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32 posts
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6. Re: Hurricane Ike-Holguin

Hello everyone. We made it back to Toronto around 5pm. They called our room at 5am and told us to have our things packed and at the lobby. At first they told us they are going to evacute us to another safer hotel. Since I went their to meet up with my son who isn't even 3 yrs old yet and my mother I did as they wanted. When the bus came to get us around 9am, we waited for others but they were too busy having breakfast. This was a serious threat and hurricane and others didn't even care. They were given a warning that we are leaving but decided to ignore it. We left without 18 ppl from our hotel. We only had until 12:20 to leave Holguin airport and we are in Guadalavaca so about an hour away from Holguin airport. We are so pissed off, excuse my language, about the way the British government and their reps treated this. Instead of allowing them to go in the pool and think that everything would be ok, they should have been packing and getting ready to go inland. We made wonderful friends from England that kept my mother and son company the whole week they were there, and they were told to lie down in their bathtub since it is the safest. The Cubans are powerless in these situations, they are only allowed to follow instructions and they had to stay there with the tourists as well. Instead of being with their families, whom most have small children they are with them all the way to help out. Since we've been there many many times, we know most of the workers, they are like family to us. We left one guy to take care of our English friends and I trust and know thatthe cuban ppl will do all they can. They are in a worst position since they don't have strong proper structured homes. The Canadaian andCuban military sent the plane that was in Jamaica and was supposed to go back to Montreal, do to an emergency evacuation and get as many Canadians as they can out of Cuba.

Aswe were driving to the airport, we were all crying for the tourists and locals left to fight this deadliest storm in over 40 years that will rip through Cuba. We saw children on the streets, old people evacuating with the little they had. I pray to God for their lives and safety.We will be calling them as soon as the phones are back up and I will give you an update.

God help them!

Hamilton, Ontario...
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2,560 posts
4 reviews
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7. Re: Hurricane Ike-Holguin

I know I shall be trounced but my curiosity is more than my fear of being given a going over. Is your tour operator giving you a partial refund, or is the travel insurance covering this? I only ask as I say from total curiosity. I realize at a time like this you are thankful to be alive, and are worried about those who are still left behind there. I totally understand that.

I have been in situations where severe and some people just carry on like nothing is happening. I assure you I do understand the severity of what is going on there. But as a travel forum I am interested in what happened to you in depth, from how you were herded to buses, flights, and so on. It is something that I would like to know more about. To know is to be prepared, though I hope never to have to be in that situation.

James AKA GOM

Nova Scotia, Canada
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14,431 posts
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8. Re: Hurricane Ike-Holguin

What to say but ... so glad that you are safe. Yes, as tourists we sometimes forget that we need to respect our Cuban hosts ... they have been trained to react calmly and professionally in front of emergencies ... which seems that they did. Many tourists, on the other hand ...

This is an incredible storm.

Solidarity ... with everyone affected.

Toronto, Ontario
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32 posts
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9. Re: Hurricane Ike-Holguin

Since all of the tour operators are closed today we were told to call customer service in the morning. We heard from our travel agent that they will only reimburse us the value of the hotel stay and not the airfare. But I will find out exactly whatby tomorrow. The Cubans were wonderful to us as usual. They cared for our and everyone's safety and were totally calm throughout the whole ordeal. I just pray for them! They are the most kind and caring and loving people, and I can't wait to go back, hopefully within the next month orso, after Hurrican season of course, since I will be travelling with my toddler son. Again, as soo as I hear more I will let you know.

North Vancouver...
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564 posts
2 reviews
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10. Re: Hurricane Ike-Holguin

tluko, glad to hear you got home safely, and hoping that your cuban friends are doing ok. so if i am understanding your post correctly, there was a mandatory evacuation from the canadian government? and there was still some tourists who chose to be selfish with no regard for the staff and their unfortunate situation?? it sickens me that some feel their vacation being cut a bit short is more important than the resort workers being with their families. you are right, when an evacuation order is given, nobody should have the choice to wait it out. make sure to post again after you talk to your friends so we know that the people in cuba right now that really matter (and by that i mean the local people who are stuck dealing with the aftermath of this storm) are safe and sound.