|Subject: Re: Cuba|
We visited Cuba about four years ago. We bought the tourist dollars, aka convertible pesos from the hotel. We asked for coins to give the bartender, etc. However, American money was very welcome. See this webpage for pictures! http://www.webhavana.com/eng/cuba_currency.htm
We ate at the resort except for one meal at a coffee farmer's home which was arranged by our travel company rep and also some drinks in Trinidad. Tips were small but so were the prices. Tipping used to be officially discouraged but it seems that tipping has become more common. A typical statement from tour companies is this from Holasun: Tipping in Cuba is discretionary, however when tipping 10% is recommended. A French company says: Following some relaxation in the regulations moderate tipping is now permitted for providers of services such as drivers and guides.
We only used our credit cards once or twice that I recall but it was an all-inclusive albeit a plain jane resort. Canadian and non-American Visa and Mastercard and similar credit cards were accepted by the hotel for excursions and at the shop. American Express is not accepted.
Don't forget that you need to have American dollars for your exit tax!
Frances Toronto, Canada