What do U.S. Travelers Need to Know About Traveling to Cuba?

Friday, June 28, 2019
By Azamara

Now that decades-long restrictions on travel to Cuba have been eased, many Americans have a desire to visit — and a lot of questions. Even the most seasoned globetrotters are left wondering how to visit this unique destination — and how to get there before everyone else does. Don’t worry, traveling to Cuba is much easier than you think! Check out our upcoming itineraries.

What’s changed for U.S. travelers visiting Cuba?

In March 2015, the Obama administration announced new rules allowing Americans to travel to Cuba on what’s called “people-to-people” trips. These trips include a schedule of activities that produce meaningful interactions between the traveler and individuals in Cuba.

What’s the best way to get to Cuba?

Traveling to Cuba on an Azamara voyage couldn’t be easier. Our March 2017 voyage is round-trip from Miami, making travel a breeze. 

Want to know more? Check out our blog post, The Best Way To Travel To Cuba Is By Cruise.

What documentation will I need for my Cuba cruise?

Prior to 2015, there was a lengthy application process for Americans to receive a special license to travel to Cuba. This formal application system has been retired. Today, American travelers wishing to visit Cuba under the people-to-people category simply need a passport, a travel visa, and travel health insurance. 

What will my onshore experiences be like in Cuba?

All guests going onshore in Cuba will have the opportunity to take part in Azamara Shore Excursions tours, or explore on their own. Our culturally immersive shore excursions will ensure that your vacation meets the requirements for a people-to-people trip and a fulfilling holiday. You'll get to experience Cuba's vibrant culture and rich history firsthand, connect with locals, enjoy authentic food and drink, and take in the island's unique scenery.

What are Cuba’s culture and customs like?

Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, and its culture and customs have African, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Asian influences. Below is a handy infographic on Cuban culture. 

The Culture and Customs of Cuba The official language of Cuba is Spanish. After the Cuban revolution, compañero and compañera, meaning “comrade”, came to replace señor and señora as the accepted polite title of address for strangers. Traditional Cuban cuisine blends influences from Spain, Africa, the Caribbean and China. A traditional Cuban sandwich called a mixto is made with sliced roast pork, Serrano ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and yellow mustard on lightly buttered baguette-like Cuban bread. Cuban music is an energetic mix of Spanish guitar, melody and lyrical traditions and African rhythm and percussion.  Popular genres include Rumba, Trova, Jazz and Timba. Timba merges the styles of salsa, funk, R&B and Afro-Cuban folkloric music.  Dance is an integral part of Cuban culture. Danzón, mambo, salsa, bolero, cha-cha-cha and ballet are just a few popular styles.   Baseball is the most popular sport in Cuba. Dominoes is the most popular game in Cuba.

What is the weather like in Cuba?

Cuba has a sub-tropical climate with an average year-round temperature of about 79 degrees Fahrenheit, or 26 degrees Celsius.

What should I pack for my Cuba vacation?

Here’s a handy packing list for your Cuba cruise! 

How To Pack For Your Cruise

Need a book recommendation? Check out these wanderlust-inspiring reads.

Cruises Featured in this Article

Recent Articles

Dubrovnik, Croatia at dusk

Seven Things to do in Croatia

Croatia has seen a sort of transformation recently, one that has taken it from a hidden gem of coastal delights to one of the hottest travel destinations in Europe. What makes this small Balkan nation so appealing? It could be the brilliant sapphire waters of the Adriatic and spectacular white beaches. Or maybe it’s the medieval architecture and walled towns steeped in history begging to be uncovered. Or perhaps it’s the friendly, welcoming people and unique folk culture.

aerial shoreline view

Highlights of the 2025 Azamara World Voyage

155 nights. 37 countries. Explore every corner of the globe on Azamara’s 2025 World Voyage. A leader in Destination Immersion® experiences, Azamara continues to bring guests to bucket-list destinations, providing immersive travel moments while delivering service excellence. 

shimmer background woman holding gift

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Travel Lovers

Just like every snowflake is unique, so is every individual and their approach to travel. Some people value staying connected while they travel, while the fashionista in your life might prioritize wardrobe changes. The aspiring photographer might have a carry-on filled with camera equipment, and someone drawn to wellness may need their portable workout gear on every trip!