Dreams of sipping a mojito on Cuba’s famed Malicon will be just that for Victoria Walker’s family.
A total of 7, including her husband’s relatives are packed and ready.
But hastily-enacted State Department rules prohibit cruise ships from visiting the country.
“Initially I thought there would be a grace period. I didn’t think it was going to be immediate” said Walker.
Carnival Paradise, leaving Saturday from Tampa on a planned stop in Havana, is instead, going to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
“We wanted Key West. We wanted Cuba. We didn’t want Grand Cayman. We didn’t want Mexico. So, we got stuck with the 2 things we didn’t want” said Walker.
Carnival offered Walker and her family $100 onboard credit for the missed Cuba stop, or $50 to re-schedule, or a full refund.
“Initially I thought,hey, I think we might actually be able to go. And then, maybe not even 24 hours later, we got the email, nope. We’re not going” she said.
The Trump administration is trying to punish the Castro government for its supposed support of the Nicolas Maduro’s administration in Venezuela.
While walker and her family are sailing off on Saturday anyway, Teo Leonard of Apollo Beach is bailing out. “We live in paradise. This is absolutely beautiful here. It doesn’t make sense to be on a ship and pay all that money for cocktails and just go to Nassau” said Leonard.
June is always risky for booking a cruise, because of tropical storms.
The Walker family had no idea a political storm would scuttle their plans.