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Radio Guest List—Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana & Carnival Paradise—August 5, 2017

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This week, the Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show broadcasts from the Carnival Paradise and the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana in Cuba. Cuba’s capital, Havana, has traditionally been off-limits to most Americans for over a half-century. But visitors can now take a Carnival Cruise Line to experience the historic city of Havana—a living, breathing metropolis home to two million.

This week, President of Carnival Cruise Line Christine Duffy talks about the excitement people have about cruising into Cuba and shares that the Carnival Paradise is the biggest ship from the U.S. going into Havana. Director of Cuba Experience at Carnival Paradise Rosamaria Caballero discusses the exemptions currently allowing Americans to visit Cuba, and recommends some of Carnival’s shore excursions.

Arnie Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of Travel Weekly, informs us about the implications and meanings of travel sanctions, and how they may or may not be effective. There’s all of this and more as the Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show broadcasts from the Carnival Paradise and the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana in Cuba.

Click here to listen to the show streaming live from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 5, 2017.

Have a travel question? Ask Peter. Email him at peter@petergreenberg.com, post on his Facebook page, or tweet your questions to @PeterSGreenberg.

Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, reveals that the Carnival Paradise is the biggest ship from the U.S. going into Havana. She talks about the excitement people have about cruising into Cuba. She shares that the Cuban people have been very welcoming and inviting to Americans and that having Cuba as a destination is an added attraction to Caribbean itineraries. She also explains how cruising has become a global industry because people have decided to prioritize travel.

Xavier Destribats, Chief Operating Officer of The Americas at Kempinski Hotels and General Manager of Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, Cuba, talks about opening the new hotel in a historic Havana building. He reveals that an old historic wall in the lower part of the hotel was kept and made into a small museum. He also discusses the challenges of opening a Kempinski in Cuba and how it can deliver a five-star experience that guests expect, even in a location that has not traditionally catered to that audience.

Stefano Bonica, Captain of Carnival Paradise, expresses the honor of being the first Carnival captain to cruise into Cuba. He shares that the ship was built in the 1930s, which makes it challenging to get the ship into the harbor and the pier. He also discusses the enthusiasm that the passengers and the crew have for being able to sail into Havana, despite the reservations some people may have had about what the experience might be like.

Rosamaria Caballero, Director of Cuba Experience at Carnival Paradise, shares with us her excitement to show Cuba to Americans. She talks about some of the 12 exemptions which currently allow Americans to visit Cuba, and explains that most people visit Cuba under the people-to-people exemption, which means there must be meaningful interactions with Cuban people. She also recommends some of Carnival’s shore excursions, such as visiting artist communities, plantations, and classic car excursions.

Arnie Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of Travel Weekly, shares with us the implications and meanings of travel sanctions, and how they may or may not be effective. He expresses that—in the case of Cuba—travel sanctions have not been effective policy changes and have only hurt the Cuban people. He also discusses how cruising is a better option for visiting Cuba than flying, since the infrastructure is not currently in place to support a large influx of air passengers. But cruise ships are basically floating hotels.

By Keefe Liu for PeterGreenberg.com

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