Who is able to travel to Cuba onboard a Royal Caribbean vessel?
While the Cuba embargo remains in effect, regulatory changes now permit certain types of travel to Cuba by U.S. persons. Currently, there are 12 authorised categories of travel to Cuba that are permitted under a general license.
The same categories apply to all international and UK guests that also sail to Cuba onboard a Royal Caribbean vessel.
These categories are the following:
- Family visits;
- Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organisations;
- Journalistic activity;
- professional research and professional meetings;
- Educational activities;
- Religious activities;
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions;
- Support for the Cuban people;
- Humanitarian projects;
- Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes;
- Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials; and certain authorized export transactions.
Will UK and other international guests be allowed to sail with Royal Caribbean to Cuba?
Yes; however, all guests regardless of country of residence will be required to meet one of the twelve general license categories while onshore in Cuba.
What is people-to-people travel?
People-to-people tours are education-based trips designed to promote interactions between travelers and the Cuban people. People-to-people travel allows for little, if any, free time, as your time will be spent experiencing Cuba at its most authentic, through visits to Cuba's most sought after destinations.
Does Royal Caribbean offer tours that comply with one the 12 general licenses?
The tour programs offered by Royal Caribbean are designed to meet the requirements.
Will guests be required to have a visa to enter Cuba?
All Guests including those from the UK are required to purchase a visa to travel to Cuba onboard a Royal Caribbean vessel. For your convenience, Royal Caribbean can facilitate your Cuban visa at the embarkation terminal for a cost of $75 per person, which will be charged to your onboard account on Day 1 of the cruise. For non-U.S. citizens, Royal Caribbean can facilitate the Cuban visa only for those guests who entered the U.S. under a valid U.S. visa or ESTA visa exemption. You will complete a simple form at the terminal, be handed your visa, and you will be responsible for presenting it to Cuban authorities upon arrival in Cuba. Should you lose your visa, a new one can be purchased onboard at an additional cost of $75. If you prefer to secure a Cuban visa by other means, please be sure to do so prior to the cruise. Then at the embarkation terminal, simply decline to have Royal Caribbean facilitate the visa for you. You will mark that you decline on your form, and you will not be charged. If you intend to remain onboard the ship while in Cuba, no visa is required.
What kind of documentation will be required by US Customs and Border Patrol for international guests?
A passport will be required for all guests sailing to Cuba with us. Guest passports must be valid for six months after their travel date to Cuba.
Can guests travel with a driver's license and birth certificate?
No. In order to travel to Cuba, all guests, including children, will be required to have a passport. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not allow U.S. guests to travel to Cuba with a driver's license and birth certificate. Guest passports must be valid for six months after their travel to Cuba.
How will guests certify that they are travelling to Cuba under one of the 12 General Licenses?
In accordance with U.S. law, all guests (including children) travelling to Cuba will be required to complete a travel affidavit identifying the category of travel under which they are visiting. This must be completed prior to boarding the vessel.
Guests are required to print 2 copies of the affidavit and bring them completed at check-in. One will be kept by the guest for their records. The other will be collected by our port agents. These documents must be kept for 5 years. Guests can find the affidavit:
- In the Preferences portion of the booking funnel
- As step 1 of the Set Sail Pass
- In the Travel Documentation email sent out 7 days after booking
- In the Pre Cruise checklist email sent out 6 days before sailing, and
- In the FAQs
- Here is the link to the affidavit:
For ease of completion, we have arranged the affidavit into 3 parts.
Part A: Guests exclusively participating in the Royal Caribbean tour program should select Part A and complete the identification information in the last section.
Part B: Guests travelling on a self-guided people-to-people exchange program should select Part B and complete the identification information in the last section. Part B does allow for guests to split their full-day schedule between tours purchased from Royal Caribbean and activities organised on their own.
Part C: Guests that have not certified in Part A and B, including those passengers who plan to split their schedule between people-to-people activities offered by Royal Caribbean and activities otherwise meeting the requirements of one of the 12 general licenses, should select Part C and complete the identification information in the last section.
Are there restrictions on what I can bring into Cuba?
There are both U.S. and Cuba import regulations that travellers must comply with when travelling and bringing items into Cuba.
For information on U.S. import regulations, please review the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security’s Export Administration Regulations.
For information on Cuba import regulations, please review the General Customs of the Republic of Cuba.
What are U.S. guests allowed to bring back from Cuba?
Guests are generally authorised to bring into the United States merchandise acquired in Cuba for personal use as accompanied baggage.
What should guests wear in Cuba?
It is appropriate to dress casual in Cuba. Cotton shirts and chinos/khakis are appropriate for restaurants and hotels. Ladies are free to wear shorts and tank tops and do not need to worry about covering up.
What type of conditions can guests expect in Cuba?
You will be among the first to explore Cuba with Royal Caribbean. Infrastructure is at a minimum and authenticity is at a premium. The food is rich in culture, but potentially unfamiliar. Walking surfaces may be uneven, and depending on the time of year, the intensity of the heat can be significant.