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Passengers on US-to-Cuba cruise spend day in Havana

Cuban man critical of US tourism

HAVANA – Passengers on the first U.S.-to-Cuba cruise in nearly 40 years spent most of Tuesday in Havana before continuing their historic voyage.

The 704-passenger Adonia, a Carnival Cruise Line operating under its Fathom brand, arrived Monday after leaving from PortMiami on Sunday afternoon.

Passengers shared their likes and dislikes about the first U.S. cruise to Cuba since 1978.

"It'd be great to spend more time here," one passenger told Local 10 News. "A day, a day-and-a-half is definitely not enough."

Because of U.S. restrictions, those on board have to follow the people-to-people guidelines.

But that didn't prevent passengers from visiting Havana's fine arts museum.

"A lot of Cuba needs repair, but it's really impressive," Linda Hames said.

Some passengers said they haven't had enough contact with the Cuban people.

One man, who for fear of retribution didn't want to show his face, didn't hold back on his criticism of American tourism.

"It can't be a government-controlled tourism," he said in Spanish. "You cannot put people on a bus for a day and take them to a museum. That's not the real Cuba."

He also said tourists must see the realities of Cuban life.

The man said more and more people who hustle on the streets and make their living off tourists are being targeted and arrested by police, who claim they're harassing tourists.

Passengers will visit two more Cuban cities before returning to the U.S.

The ship's next destination is Cienfuegos before its final stop in Santiago de Cuba.


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