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Arrival time and steps before our flight to Cuba

New Arrival


My family and I will be on the 6:15am flight from Tampa (TPA) to Havana, Cuba (HAV) in a couple of weeks.  We have two young kids and are from the west coast so we are dreading our wake-up time for this flight.  We will spend the night at the Marriott hotel located inside the airport terminal to make it a bit easier but wondered if someone can "walk-us-through" the steps we will need to go through at the airport once we pass the TSA security checkpoint?




1. I assume we must first visit the Cuba Travel Services booth to secure our visa.  Is this where we also declare our reason for travel (general license)... or will this be done at a separate location. (I.e. Another line to wait in?)  How much time should we allow for both of these tasks?


2. Will we save a substantial amount of time the morning of our flight if we procure our Cuba Travel Visa online or visit their office in Los Angeles prior to arriving at the Tampa airport...or must we still wait in line here to declare our reason for travel?


3. I realize it is strongly recommended we arrive to the airport 2-3 hours before our flight but what is the latest permissible time for us (with boarding pass in hand) to arrive for an international flight (to Cuba) without being denied boarding?  (We will only have carry-on baggage.)


Thanks for any help you can offer as we look to streamline our early morning check-in process!