Last updated: 10:00 PM ET, Tue October 20 2015

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  • Julie and Barry Karp | October 20, 2015 10:00 PM ET

    Charmed by Changes in Cuba

    Charmed by Changes in Cuba

    PHOTO: ShoreTrips' Julie Karp in Cuba. (courtesy ShoreTrips)

    Our first trip to Cuba, five years ago, was a difficult one. We arrived uncertain of how things would be paid for, how to secure a guide without compromising the guide's professional futureĀ and other issues that concerned us. Going through customs took us four hours and resulted in tears. Though we ultimately enjoyed much of that visit, we left knowing that Cuba tourism was still a long way off.

    Now we are back, after many of the changes that our administration has put into effect. We breezed through customs, were warmly welcomed and got help navigating our way into the city. Barry Karp and I have traveled the world knowing no language other than English and, to us, that challenge is part of the fun. But many Cubans know a little bit of English now, and they all seem to understand that we, in general, are all looking for the same things and the same answers: How do we get from here to there? Where is the best music? Who makes the finest mojito? How can there be five venues for the Buena Vista Social Club?

    Our first couple of days have been wonderful. Cuba is not a place to visit if luxury is the only way you want to travel. It is not there yet, and it will take a long time to reach the level some expect. But if you thrive on meeting people, exploring the streets, stopping for artists or having your palm readĀ and can enjoy eating in a home converted into a restaurant, you will savor each minute on this island.

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Julie and Barry Karp ShoreTrippin'

Julie and Barry Karp ShoreTrips LLC , owned and operated by Julie & Barry Karp delivers exceptional travel perspectives of more than 2,400 excursions and activities, in more than 420 cruise ship ports of call and 180 cities throughout the world. Knowledgeable and innovative with 30+ years of international travel experience, they created the way for travelers to make memories that will last a lifetime.
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