FAQ's About Using Electronics in Cuba | insightCuba]

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Frequently Asked Questions
Electronics

Visitors are allowed to bring laptops for their own personal use.

As is the case at most airports worldwide, laptops must be removed from luggage and placed in bins when going through security when entering Cuba. Sometimes security personnel will ask for your passport number when you bring in a laptop computer. This is standard procedure and should cause no concern. 

Smart and Mobile Phones
Some U.S. carriers, such as Sprint and Verizon, now offer international roaming services for customers in the United States traveling to Cuba. If your carrier offers a roaming plan and your mobile phone is capable of roaming in Cuba, you should ask your carrier about any additional charges for voice calls, data, and outgoing text messages that you may incur during your trip. We advise that you contact your current carrier for the most up to date information on usage before leaving 
 
Phone Rental in Cuba
Before you leave for Cuba, you can rent a compatible mobile phone from companies such as Cellular Abroad (offered by National Geographic), Cello Mobile, or Mobal for use in Cuba.  In addition to daily rental fees, you should expect to pay approximately $3 USD per minute of call time and up to $1.50 USD per outgoing text message. Depending on the type of phone rented, data may also be available at an additional cost. 
 
You can also now rent phones while in Cuba from Cubacel. There are Cubacel offices in Terminals #2 and #3 at José Martí International Airport in Havana.  Cubacel charges a one-time refundable deposit of $100 CUC ($100 USD), plus a daily fee of $10 CUC ($10 USD). Additionally, you should expect to pay all of the applicable per-minute call charges – approximately $0.35 CUC ($0.35 USD) per minute for calls within Cuba and $1.85 CUC ($1.85 USD) per minute for calls to the United States. Outgoing text messages cost $0.16 CUC ($0.16 USD) to send within Cuba and $1 CUC ($1.00 USD) to send abroad, and data is not available.
 
Other Carriers
Although your mobile phone or device may not have international mobile service or signal in Cuba, many guests, including our staff, bring phones, tablets, and other devices to access their address or contact lists, and for email and text usage when connected to hotel WiFi. Other smart-phone functions, including camera, alarm clocks, music storage, flashlight and apps not requiring internet, will work.
 
You may purchase WiFi access by the hour or day at certain hotels. This will allow your smart phone—but not mobile phones—to access email and instant messaging applications. Access to WiFi is generally available only in hotels, is often slow, and can be expensive.
 
In summary, most guests appreciate that their trip to Cuba virtually requires them to unplug.

Yes, we recommend that you bring a multi-adapter for Cuba to plug in your electrical devices, which should cost only $9.99 to $20.00, if you don't already have one. A multi-adapter will allow you to plug in your electrical devices to almost any plug configuration around the world. While the electrical current in Cuba can be both 110v AC (the same as in the U.S.) or 220v AC, most gadgets used today including smart phone chargers, lap tops, hair dryers, and more are dual-voltage, which means you will not need a bulky and expensive 'voltage converter', which is different from your electrical adapter.

If you are bringing an electric device, namely a very old one, and aren't sure if it will accept dual-voltage, you can look for your device online, check on the device itself, and see if it accepts dual-voltage. If it doesn't, many travel and consumer electronic experts recommend replacing the item, and buying a newer one, which will accept dual-voltage. If replacing the item isn't possible and you aren't certain if the device accepts dual-voltage, those same experts recommend leaving the device at home, or bringing a voltage converter.

Yes, most tourist hotels in Havana and other large cities have either a computer or small business center, where you can pay for internet usage by the minute or hour. To access the internet from your hotel, you will have to purchase an internet access ticket. This ticket will have a printed password that will allow you to connect to the internet for a specified period of time.

Please understand that the connection speed in Cuba may be slower than what you're accustomed to in the US and that internet is not widely available when traveling to the outer provinces.

On average, tourist hotels charge 6-10 CUC's per hour. While most hotels in Cuba do not have Wifi, travelers can utilize computers in the tourist hotel business centers.

Locations such as Foto Video and Photo Service sell small digital or instant cameras, but professional equipment like SLRs, lenses, filters and flash units can be very difficult to find. It is a good idea to bring spare batteries, tapes and film, which are also not commonly available.

Guests may bring digital cameras, small video cameras, and smart phones into Cuba; however, entering Cuba with professional photography or videography equipment is subject to Cuban governmental regulations and requires special permission from the Cuban government. If you plan to bring camera equipment that exceeds what can reasonably be carried on your person, please call us at 800-450-2822 for more information.

Yes. Before you leave for Cuba, you can rent a compatible mobile phone from companies such as Cellular Abroad (offered by National Geographic), Cello Mobile, or Mobal for use in Cuba.  In addition to daily rental fees, you should expect to pay approximately $3 USD per minute of call time and up to $1.50 USD per outgoing text message. Depending on the type of phone rented, data may also be available at an additional cost. 

You can also now rent phones while in Cuba from Cubacel. There are Cubacel offices in Terminals #2 and #3 at José Martí International Airport in Havana.  Cubacel charges a one-time refundable deposit of $100 CUC ($100 USD), plus a daily fee of $10 CUC ($10 USD). Additionally, you should expect to pay all of the applicable per-minute call charges – approximately $0.35 CUC ($0.35 USD) per minute for calls within Cuba and $1.85 CUC ($1.85 USD) per minute for calls to the United States. Outgoing text messages cost $0.16 CUC ($0.16 USD) to send within Cuba and $1 CUC ($1.00 USD) to send abroad, and data is not available.

Many hotels in Havana and Santiago de Cuba have WiFi, a business center with internet access, or both. WiFi is available either by the hour or by the day. Internet access in business centers is charged by the hour, and typically costs between $2-$10. Complementary WiFi is available for insightCuba guests staying at the Melia Cohiba in Havana.

Please note that Internet and WiFi access in Cuba is much slower than in the U.S.

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