27 Apr 2021

Looking ahead to Friday & November


Looking for a light at the end of the tunnel?

I think we all are, particularly when it comes to COVID! But, let's start with something more easily visible – the end of this week.

On Friday, April 30, you're invited to tune in, via the Internet, to a radio station based in the United Kingdom called "Chat and Spin."  As the name implies, their format is primarily a blend of conversation and music. ("Spinning" originally referred to playing vinyl records, even though most stations don't actually use them anymore!) I will be a call-in guest on the Friday afternoon show at 3:40 p.m. in the U.K., which equates to 10:40 a.m. where I live, in the Eastern Standard (Daylight Savings) Time zone.

I chose this date for my interview because it's the day before "Workers' Day" on May 1. As you may know, it's generally celebrated in a big way in Cuba and, since I'll be talking about my novels, Cuban Kisses and Cuban Wishes, I thought it would be fitting. My few minutes of international fame, courtesy of this platform, will be brief, so be sure to tune in at the proper time! Here's a link to the station: Chat and Spin Radio. You'll find a button in the upper right corner to click for listening to the live broadcast. If you're unsure of what time it equates to in your area, try this link: World Time Buddy.

Looking further ahead on the topic of Cuba...

The sales manager for Club Amigo Marea del Portillo, Nusta Arévalo Rivera, has announced that the resort is now taking reservations for packages beginning on Nov. 3. Since she is one of the people working at Marea del Portillo who is most directly involved with Sunwing, I take this quite seriously. Certainly, we're not out of the COVID woods, but I'll take any whiff of good news I can get!

At this point, the prices look reasonable – not the best I've seen but far from the worst. For example, a double (shared by two people) basic Marea hotel room is $715/person for all of November and the first two weeks of December. The prices go up a bit on Dec. 15, when the Farallón del Caribe hotel opens. I'm not going to start working on a group trip just yet, but I will be keeping my eyes on the prize, so to speak!

However, several ducks will need to get in line before anyone's cleared for take-off – at least as a group. Meanwhile, if you have a voucher you're eager to use, please feel free to go to the Sunwing site and book it yourself. Since the vouchers are linked to each person's name, the funds being held are supposed to be automatically applied upon booking.

Below are screenshots of today's prices for double accommodation in the Marea hotel for one and two weeks, beginning Nov. 24. Cabaña rooms, of course, will be a bit higher. If you choose to book now, I would strongly encourage you to buy the Sunwing cancellation insurance, if nothing else! It's been updated to allow you to make one change to your booking without penalty.


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