Visiting the Tropical Islands of Cuba for the First Time

I just came back recently from my first trip to a tropical island. I went with my sister to Cuba for a week in May. My sister had been to Holguin, Cuba 6 months previous, but wanted to see other parts of the island. So we decided to venture to Cayo Santa Maria. I had been warned that Cuba was a poor country and not to expect too much in regard to luxuries for all inclusive vacations.

Considering we had paid less than $800 each for an all inclusive vacation for a week, I didn't expect to have luxuries for that price. I can understand if I was paying $5000 a week for something like Sandals vacations. Like I usually say, "I'm not the Rockefellers, I'm the other feller". I just appreciate being able to go somewhere different and warm especially after the long winter we had just endured.

So off we went to Cuba. I must say I was very excited to be able to get away. The plane ride was only three and a half hours long. We were served a meal on the flight as well as a glass of champagne. When we got through customs in Cuba, there was a big air conditioned bus waiting to whisk us away to our resort. We arrived at night so there wasn't anything much to see on the drive. It took about 90 minutes to get to our hotel.

When we arrived, the check in was almost immediate. They had given us our room info etc before we had boarded the bus. They had large golf carts which they took you to your bungalow on the premises. The transportation guys were very friendly and were there to help anytime we needed a ride. They even gave us the phone number that we could call from our room if we needed a pick up at any time.

The room was beautiful. Two 3/4 beds with a sitting area and a walk out to a terrace. Our bungalow was central to everything we could ever need. Behind us was a 24 hour bar/grill, a 5 minute walk and we were at the buffet. There was a theater as well where they had nightly shows for our entertainment. We went on a catamaran ride which allowed you to do snorkeling and have interaction with dolphins. We also got a beautiful meal as well. This excursion was not included in the price. They had lots of things like this which enabled you to see and do other things on the island.

The beach was incredible. Beautiful white sand, lots of chairs to rest your weary head. There was a bar on the beach where you were served at your seat. They had multiple pools that were so warm and inviting. There were lots of poolside chairs as well.

We had heard a few people complain about what they were getting for their money. I personally didn't have a problem. The staff were wonderful. They helped you with everything. They bent over backwards to make sure you were happy. I found that I had paid almost 3 times as much when I went other places and the hotels were not as nice as this. You could get a really nice family vacation for a lot less than anywhere else.

I would definitely recommend going to one of these all inclusive resorts. I enjoyed it so much that I am going again later in the year and taking my husband with me. He deserves one of these vacations too!

Written by Joy Herdman of Joy Herdman has been in retail since 1997.