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Historic Cruise From Cuba Returns to Miami

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    Historic Cruise to Cuba Returns to Miami

    The cruise ship making that historic trip to Cuba arrived back at PortMiami around 6:30 a.m. Sunday. (Published Sunday, May 8, 2016)

    The cruise ship making that historic trip to Cuba arrived back at PortMiami around 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

    The cruise marked the first time in more than 50 years that a U.S. cruise line had sailed to Cuba, and the first time in decades that Cuban-born individuals were allowed to sail to Cuba.

    The cruise included 700 guests and 373 crew and included 16 people who were born in Cuba. 

    Passengers eagerly shared their memories and stories of what it's like to finally return back home.

    "It was very emotional. everyone cried. Cubans, non Cubans, Americans, everybody. when we saw all these people welcoming us," said passenger, Mauricio Caltayud.

    Passengers aboard the first U.S. cruise ship to Cuba in decades each have a different reason for setting sail on Fathom's Adonia.

    "It was like ahh I'm home, finally," said Celia Mena, passenger on board. "It was in 1961. I was nine years old."

    That was Mena's last time in Cuba before her seven-day cruise. Now she's greeting her loved ones in PortMiami and sharing new stories.

    Mena continues: "It was going to José Martí's tomb. I think he embodies what it means to be Cuban. I just couldn't help but cry"

    Alex Hernandez is Cuban American who is simply excited to be a part of history, as the two countries open relations and finally come back together.

    "They're starting to become entrepreneurs or starting up little restaurants, you see some hope in their eyes," said Hernandez.

    Whether you have family ties with the island nation or not, passengers say the experience is priceless.

    Mauricio Calatayud visited relatives in Cuba: "To see my mom on mother's day doing it with me I beg her I pay for it to come it was a dream come true."

    Approval to Carnival Corporation to travel to Cuba was given by the U.S. last year, and Cuba provided its approval for the cruise in March.