Celebrating the first Carnival Cruise Ship from Tampa to Havana June 29, 2017
It was under the cloud of changing Cuba rules that we went to the port to see off the Carnival Paradise on it’s first trip from Tampa to Cuba. Tampa has a long association with Cuba and we were invited to a reception on the ship, before departure along with other travel agency owners in the Tampa Bay area.
My sales representative Seth from Carnival was heading to Cuba along with Senior Cruise Director John Heald.  Must have been empty space on the ship as a bunch of Carnival people were heading to Cuba with Seth and John Heald.  As an agent, we can wander around the ship after the event which is nice to actually see the product you sell daily. The room was filled with port officials, CPB, CVB, Ybor Historical Society people, press and even a Cuban band.  Carnival donated $25,000 to the Ybor City museum.  We had a great lunch and they cut a 10 foot Cuban sandwich what was billed as the “largest Cuban sandwich at sea”.  In speaking with many of the Cuban community who were in attendance it seemed that many in Tampa supported travel to Cuba which is understandable in the travel industry.
The Carnival Paradise looked great.  This is one of the Fantasy Class vessels from the 90s but Carnival has kept it fresh.
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