Being that we were on only the second sailing to Cuba in over 60 years – we were fortunate that the cruise line discovered the “Self Guided People-to-People” option on the Affidavit for Travel to Cuba form and pointed it out to us! We were already on the ship and were asking if we would be allowed to do anything in Cuba on our own. They said that we would if we had checked both boxes on the Affadavit form! Oh NO! We had not! It is EASY to miss…. Especially when you are at the check in desk at the port and all you can think about is getting on the ship!! Thankfully we were able to re-do our form on the ship….
We wanted to do this quick post to help others avoid the mistake we made!!
It is really important that you check TWO boxes on the form! The only two boxes you will need to check are on Page One!
Pictured below is, page one of the Fathom Passenger Affidavit for Travel to Cuba that passengers are required to sign by the U.S. Government, for a deeper travel experience, one where you are not required to stay with the Group! If you check the appropriate boxes you can join any of the tours OR go out on your own to do things like ride in one of the Classic American Car Taxis or take a walk through Old Havana….
This is VERY important to know because you have to sign the Affidavit at embarkation. They will hand it to you, ask you to read, check appropriate boxes, and sign. You are required to keep a copy of it with you. I suggest also photographing it!
We recommend checking the second and third boxes on the form “b” and “c”. Both boxes appear under the first category EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES. Box (b) is: 515.565 – People to People Exchange arranged by a Sponsoring Organiazation…… (that being Fathom) and Box (c) is: 515.565(b). Self-Guided People to People Exchange: I am traveling on a “self-guided” people to people exchange program, and my travel (1) is for the purpose of engaging while in Cuba in a full time schedule (at least 8 hours a day) of activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities, resulting in meaningful interaction with individuals in Cuba; (2) the predominant portion of activities to be engaged in will not be with individuals or entities acting for or on behalf of a prohibited member of Government of Cuba or the Cuban communist Party as those terms are defined in the CACR; and (3) I will maintain records demonstrating my compliance with these requirements for a period of no less than (5) years.
By checking both boxes you are agreeing to the terms and will be allowed to participate fully in the tour or go out on your own!
We suggest using your smart phone features to track your experience. Take photos of people and signs and other things that indicate where you went and what you did. You could even record conversations with people or track your path with Google maps. Then save it all to your computer when you get home! Who knows when or if anyone will ever ask for it – but you will want to be prepared!
Rob and Lynn Belles are seasoned World Travelers
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for the purpose of inspiring you to go into the world with peace and kindness to learn about the rest of humanity………..
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