MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Norwegian Sky cruise ship returned to Port Miami on Friday, one one of the last to be able to visit Cuba before the Trump administration implemented new restrictions for Americans traveling to the country.
Many on board the ship were disappointed their trip came to an end but they were even more disappointed not knowing if and when they could go back.
The Treasury Department says Americans will no longer be allowed to travel to the country by cruise ship, private air, and group educational and culture trips known as “people to people” travel.
“It’s a beautiful place and the people were very welcoming and I feel very sad for them,” said Donna Bornhofen.
CBS News reports the reason for the new restrictions is to punish the Cuban government for supporting embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The US wants democratic interim President Juan Guaidó, who they argue is the rightful leader, to take office.
The Trump administration hopes to apply pressure by cutting off the flow of American tourist dollars
“The people there were so appreciative of our money, in our tourism, and it’s definitely really going to hurt them,” said Michael Andrews.
“Speaking with other couples, they basically said that they did this tour in the event that we would never be able to do it again. So that was one of the reasons why I wanted to do it, while we still could,” said Miranda Andrews.
With less than a week at sea, vacationers were thankful they got in under the wire
“We actually went into lockdown for a while until it was cleared,” said Lorri Ventura.
Those onboard said the lockdown lasted for about 30 minutes to an hour until they figured exactly what was going on. They were then able to get on the island. Those who made the trip said they enjoyed the country and cannot wait to go back.