Since travel restrictions to Cuba loosened in 2016, Havana and other Cuban ports of call have opened up to cruise ships carrying Americans like never before. But tighter regulations under the Trump Administration continue to blur the fine print when it comes to how Americans can visit this once-forbidden island nation. We just returned from a five-night Carnival Paradise cruise to Havana and Key West from Tampa. Because the details of how U.S. citizens can visit Cuba are a moving target, we are here to tell you what you need to know about cruising to Cuba right now and why it’s still a great idea to go.
Traveling to Cuba is safe and legal.
First thing’s first — cruises to Cuba are not only widely available to U.S. citizens, but cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean have plans to increase sailings to the Caribbean island in 2019. Reported issues at Havana’s U.S. embassy during 2017, which prompted the U.S. Department of State to issue an advisory to reconsider travel, has caused some confusion among Americans about whether it’s still safe to travel there. Rest assured: We didn’t witness any concerns surrounding tourists. Guns and drugs are highly illegal in Cuba, which contributes to low crime rates. We and our fellow cruisers felt completely safe enough to roam the streets at night without worry.