Citizens Emotional Over U.S. Cruise Ship's First Voyage to Cuba
The Adonia, a ship on Carnival Corp.'s Fathom cruise line and the first ship that sail from United States to Cuba, arrived in Havana, Cuba on Monday. The ship was set to sail on Sunday. The arrival of the cruise ship marked the first stop on a historic, seven-day voyage.
Aboard the cruise ship, passengers held Cuban and American flags as the first cruise left Miami's shores. Some Cubans were very happy about this first U.S. cruise ship voyage.
"I've been crying since dawn. I can't believe I am here," Maria Eugenia Peña, a 47-year-old lawyer born in Miami told AFP.
However, not all Cubans are happy about it.
CNN reports there was a small group of protesters gathered outside the port on Sunday. The police descended upon a nearby boat labeled "Democracia" when the cruise ship was about to leave Miami. On the "Democracia," there were demonstrators holding blue signs that read, "Castro why do you ask Cubans for a Visa to visit their own country?"
Despite the protesters, some cried for joy. Ana Garcia, one of the 700 passengers of the U.S. cruise ship, was crying and could not walk as she left the ship that traveled from Miama to Havana. Reuters reports that it had been more than 48 years since she stepped foot in Cuba, the country where she was born.
"I'm nervous and excited at the same time, I left Cuba 48 years ago, when I was six years old. So just imagine everything that I'm feeling right now," she said.
The source added that a Cuban rule prohibits people born in Cuba from entering or leaving the Communist country by sea. This was the reason why there were protests that delayed the cruise, before Cuba agreed to lift the ban.
When the ship arrived in Havana, the people on board chanted, "Cuba! Cuba! Cuba!"