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customs hassles

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customs hassles

prepping for our first trip to Cuba, I recently read of a cdn. couples' incredible hassles with customs, interrogations etc., upon leaving from Holguin. I wondered if others have encountered this. I assume there must have been some explanation other than the random hassling of tourists. but I'm wondering if others have experienced this

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1. Re: customs hassles

Returned last week from Holguin, didn't hear of anyone having troubles there. I think it is easier to get into/out from than Toronto.

Bracebridge, Ontario
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710 posts
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2. Re: customs hassles

Have travelled to Cuba a lot and have a lot of friends who have as well. From what I know Cuban customs have provided less hassles than almost anywhere else. You should be a ok.

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633 posts
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3. Re: customs hassles

i was just about to get on the plane last year, about half an hour to take off, when a customs officer called my name and asked me if i had cigars in my suitcase? i told them i had, they made me come out of the line to board the plane and open my case, inside were 50 cigars, just my allowance, i was asked if i had a recipt, which i showed them, they said ok go to the back of the line, i was none to pleased.

Winnipeg, Canada
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2,610 posts
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4. Re: customs hassles

I don't think that's too big a deal. They obviously either had someone say something about you or were doing a spot check. I took a group of 44 to Holguin in January and not one problem at all.

Halifax, Nova Soctia
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5. Re: customs hassles

Just arrived back in Canada less that 24 hrs ago. The only thing we didn't care for was the bit of hassling from locals asking us to change up their money. One of them was a ticket agent who had a 5 canadian bill and he could have walked across the room and made the exchange himself. They want to get rid of the american dollars and coins so you will get some of that. Otherwise, absloutley no problem.

Actually one of our travellers got by with a pair of scissors in her purse ( they were left in her purse accidently) and while we were waiting to board she took them out and cut the armbands off. Not too much security there, eh? But we were all coming to halifax and hopefully there were no threats amongst us.

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6. Re: customs hassles

"bit of hassling from locals asking us to change up their money. One of them was a ticket agent who had a 5 canadian bill and he could have walked across the room and made the exchange himself"

On other posts, what I have heard is that Cubans have no business with foreign currency (since they are never tipped or given gifts), and so they have to change it by selling it to tourists at the airport.

Whether I exchange my CUC for Canuck or US $$ with a Cuban or at the currency counter, I don't consider it a problem at all, when compared to a Canadian or American Customs agent taking your car apart, treating you like a criminal, or going through your pockets.

Having a Customs official check my suitcase? Well, that is possible at any border crossing point... part of travelling.

Hassle, to me, would be: seizing your DVD player, stealing your stuff, body search, extortion, remove you from the flight (way farther than the end of the line).

If everyone is getting onto the same plane, the end of the line gets you onto the plane as well as the front of the line does, or is it a question of seat selection?