The pre-trip Preparation was very good. You were very prompt and responsive to whatever questions I had. It is important to reassure people that it is OK to ask questions that may appear stupid to some, and you accomplished that. All was well explained in advance. As far as my favorite part of the trip goes, it was talking an listening to the local people. I thought the overall tour organization was excellent (it looks like you've done this before Mike :>)
Tom H. Baltimore, Maryland
We stayed in 4 star accommodations on a trip that could have easily stuck us in less inviting places. Even with the scarcity of toilet paper at times I was happy. It was a monster act of coordination to get all this lined up ! Top notch. It was almost embarrassing that we were eating like we were after seeing how the locals had to settle for a dinner of beans and tortillas. I wish we could have stayed longer. I considered our overall trip organization everything it needed to be. It was a marvel that this could happen in this day and age considering the relationship our country has with Cuba. People who don’t think it can or don’t think they would have as much fun as it promises, need to do this and find out for themselves.
Doug S. San Diego, Ca
I appreciate the trip that you have put together. It gives us a chance to view a different country and it’s culture. I loved the group of people on the trip and made many amazing friendships both Cuban and American. Thanks a lot!!
Aaron F. Solana Beach, Ca.
Being my second trip I had an advantage and knew what to expect.
The excitement of flying into Cienfuegos was cool as the first! I think it is not hard to go thru their system and you did a good job of explaining. Yes I would take another trip. Also being on time – I know it’s a third world country and that is how they are so either everyone be on time or don’t harp on it!
Dan C. San Diego, Ca
It may have been my own fault, but I wish I had brought more to give away. Maybe you just have to go one time and actually see how everything works. Overall though I felt very prepared. I thought the Tour Bus and Guide did a great job. I liked both hotels very much – they exceeded my expectations. My best time was definitely meeting and understanding our Cuban counterparts. I also loved anything we did with kids – I wish we had done more of that. I felt that the overall trip organization was very impressive. I always felt comfortable. I would certainly go on another BAT trip with Mike, though I think who goes on the trip makes some difference. We were fortunate enough to be on the trip with a lot of fun people I’m grateful for that because it made for a very enjoyable week. But I have zero complaints about how the trip was setup and organized. The whole trip went very smoothly and that’s because of all the up front work that was done.
Pete H. Denver, Co
If invited again I will go on a dime It was a great experience. The kids and people are great, friendly, always smiling, honest, hard workers. Over all it was all excellent. The pre-trip Preparation was very good, sometimes too much but that is why the overall trip was excellent.
Hector R. Medford, Or
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of every game. The meals were very good in my opinion. Some may complain about the blandness of it, but it’s good, solid fuel that keeps you going. Mike and our guide Jorge were very responsive to my needs and questions. I appreciated that and felt like I received much individual attention. As an improvement I would like to suggest making the bus PA system more audible and a bit louder. The people to people activities were very successful because the acquaintances and friendships formed that way seem to be appreciated by all. By the way, this was my Fourth trip!
Tom H. Baltimore, Md.
Overall the trip was well organized. Mike communicated frequently and well before our departure and made it clear to expect the unexpected. Consider this: Because the specifics of the daily schedule are (understandably) likely to change please consider using the hotel’s copier and hand out an updated handwritten schedule either the night before or first thing in the morning. Frankly, I really enjoyed the whole experience and our group which I thought was terrific.
Roger R. Atlanta, Ga
This was my fifth trip yet it was still such a learning experience. As my initial 2006 trip was, this was another great experience, I am definitely down for a 6th in 2013!
John S. San Diego, Ca
The pre-trip preparation was excellent. Mike kept me well informed on necessary documents and important dates. Our arrival and exit went very smoothly. I felt that the hotels in general had good service and were accommodating. I really enjoyed the night life and had an awesome time. I wish i could have made the horse back ride. I felt overall organization was good. You could tell Mike put a ton of work and organization into this trip so everyone could have a good time. When he looked stressed, it reminded me of myself at the shop.
I would love to take another trip with ECN soon.
Kerry S. Alpine, Ca
This was my first trip and i felt the pre trip and ongoing organization was great. There were plenty of informative emails and my questions were answered quickly. I felt the hotel accommodations were good considering we were technically in a "third world”. The horseback ride was fun, gave me that "in country" feeling. I will be looking forward to the next trip to a new destination in 2010.
Chris C. San Diego, Ca
For me everything went without a hitch. Because of all the pre trip emails and such, I know how much money to bring, what clothes were needed, etc. I thought the hotel in Pinar was a classic. The level of competition and sportsmanship exceeded my expectations. The food was ok, but not the highlight of the trip. I would have liked to play at least one more game but everything worked out well. I have nothing but exciting memories of the trip I have to say.
Rob C. Silver Springs, MD.
Mike organized the trip of a lifetime which was unique, adventurous, fun and quite enlightening. It was a memorable an special week for me. I don't think any future trip anywhere could surpass this experience. I do wish though we would have had more time to get to know all of the wonderful people we interacted with.. I'll be back!
Dave F. Houston, Tx.
The pre trip preparation was fantastic and made the process of getting in and out seamless. A lot of amazing history. Being with our group in the evenings were some of the best times of the week. Overall, it was the best trip/tour I have ever taken. Will be on another one in 2008.
Matt H. San Diego, Ca
My wife Alice made this trip with me and it worked out very well. She had some issues with toilet seats and paper but didn't seem to bother me. All trip instructions were laid out perfectly and to the point. The food was plentiful but somewhat bland. Alice and I enjoyed the daily itinerary immensel.. We will both be telling our friends about our great week together. Every aspect was outstanding.
Joe P. Baltimore, Md.
I truly enjoyed it all. The hotels, transportation, guide, food and of course the cultural exchanges we experienced. I found the people very warm and gracious. Of course I would enjoy taking another ECN trip (just have to get my finances in order!). Thanks for a fantastic experience Mike.
Wayne H. El Cajon, Ca
I enjoyed the cultural outings like the cigar and rum factories in Havana, the Boat trip around the harbor in Cienfuegos. I was never afraid or concerned for my safety at anytime in Cuba,
Cuba is a beautiful country with very nice people. It is unfortunate that some of the architectural and cultural beauty is a result of people being oppressed and cutoff from the rest of the world. I guess that’s communism for you! I am definitely happy that I got the opportunity to see Cuba though…something I will never forget.
Richard D. Dallas, Tx
Excellent. The ongoing communication and reminders as to trip details, logistics, paperwork/documentation requirements was quite valuable. I appreciated the sequence and distribution of the info via e.mails, so as not to overwhelm us with too much info all at once. Good balance on info relating to cultural and sports exchange info and interactions with local citizens, as well as general trip guidelines. Can’t say enough about Jorge and Alberto, our driver and guide.. They were always informative as to details and history lessons; they handled side questions well and you could tell they cared about our safety and security.. Excellent trip management by Mike.
Alan M. Denver, Co
The bus was excellent. Very comfortable and much cleaner than I'd expected. I appreciated the fact that Jorge "taught" us some history about Cuba. I tried my best to listen, but being in the back of the bus the whole time made that a little toug. Such awesome places to play. Such an amazing experience, interacting with the Cubans, young and old. The Cuban culture is unlike any I've ever experienced. It's hard to put into words for people here that ask me about the trip. All I can say is, I have a newfound appreciation for what I have, and the opportunities I've been given. Thanks so much for everything, I'm so glad I got to go on this trip. Completing this eval form was actually great, as it brought everything back.
Robert O. San Diego, Ca
Our driver and guide were very professional; the bus was very clean and comfortable the entire time. We had a variety of activities to keep us occupied and involved with the locals. Overall the trip was very well organized which resulted in no stress at all. The leaders were professional and seemed concerned about us at all times. The experience of a lifetime should and will be repeated by me!
Bob M. Miami, Fl