Tuesday, October 26, 2010


We are staying in an all-inclusive resort (Kawama Beach Resort) so if we wanted, we would never have to leave the property. There are three restaurants and several bars to look after us at no charge. This is what many people do. However, the food is not the best available. There are many restaurants nearby that are much more fun and have better food. The first night we went to a pizza place down the street where they served delicious mushroom pizzas for 4.5 CUC’s ($5 CAN) each and delicious Cuban beer at 1.2 CUC’s. The waitress spoke excellent English.


The only meals we have eaten at the hotel is breakfast where they have an omelette station that produces excellent omelettes. Brooks has been to Cuba many times and knew he had to bring his own salsa as the food here is actually quite bland in flavour. The photo is Brooks and Linda enjoying their omelette.  The red bottle is one of the sauces he brought.

If you want a good experience here you have to tip. Wages of Cuban workers are very low so they depend on tips. Guests that are known to tip always get served first and the food and drinks are always better. Those who do not tip stand in line for their weak drinks and even blander food.

The staff also responds well to those who try to speak a little Spanish. Most Cubans, specially younger people speak at least some English but always become much friendlier if they see you are showing enough respect to at least try to speak their language.

I am discovering that people everywhere in the world are all pretty much the same. I will try to explain the Cuban economy in a later post.


  1. Guests that are known to tip always get served first and the food and drinks are always better.

    We have never tipped at all inclusives (hence the term "all inclusive") including in Cuba, and have never noticed anybody getting served ahead of us. Food and drink remain the same whether you tip or not.

  2. Our drinks were full servings of at least 1 1/2 oz in a tall glass made out of actual glass. "Others" got maybe half on ounce in a plastic cup. It was pretty obvious who were the preferred guests.

    When you visit a country where you know people depend on tips to survive I fail to understand how you could not help them a little. My tip budget was $20 CAN a day and we used it up. I am ashamed of my countrymen who refuse to tip good service. If I could not afford to tip, I would not go.

  3. We prefer not to be a "preferred guest".

    We think there is a huge difference between tipping because of good service, and tipping in order to get better service than is otherwise expected. In other words, you are not tipping. You are simply paying for a higher level of service. We can't afford to pay for that higher level of service, so we make do with what is included in the "all inclusive".

  4. When I go to my local restaurant and order fish and chips i understand that the fish, the chips and the small salad are "all included" as is the use of the plate and fork. I could eat and walk out, owing nothing more as obviously many do.

    However, I usually add a little to make the cook and waitress happy and to make sure they look forward to my next visit. I also notice that my plate usually contains a little bit bigger piece of fish.

    They do not expect a tip but do appreciate it and I can afford it. It works for me.