If you are planning a cruise vacation, don't forget to pack some cigars. Although restrictions on cigar and pipe smoking onboard can vary among cruise lines and ships, chances are you'll be able to smoke your cigars in designated areas (check with your travel agent before booking). Many cruise lines also offer premium cigars for sale, and at premium prices, so it pays to bring your own. I have cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival, and both permitted cigar smoking outside on certain decks, but only on one side of the ship.
Winston's Cigar Bar
I was pleasantly surprised to find a Winston's Cigar bar on the Carnival Valor, for smoking cigars inside the ship. Premium cigars are available, or you can smoke your own while listening to live jazz music and enjoying a favorite cocktail. The bar is named after Winston Churchill, and its walls are decorated with several photos of the man. I have also cruised on a couple of Royal Caribbean ships that used their libraries as cigar bars during specified hours, but this pales in comparison to Winston's Cigar bar on the Carnival Valor.
Cuban Cigars for Sale
When visiting ports of call that are not part of the United States, you are likely to see signs that advertise Cuban cigars for sale. Cuban cigars
, as well as other premium brands, are usually overpriced for tourists, and there is a possibility that they could even be counterfeit. In addition, Cuban cigars are illegal for U.S. citizens. Again, we recommend bringing your own cigars on a cruise, but if you must try a Cuban, smoke it on the island and do not attempt to bring it back onto the ship or into the United States.
Make Sure Your Ship is Cigar Friendly
Before planning your next cruise vacation, check the smoking policy of the various cruise lines
. Smoking restrictions can change often, so remember to ask your travel agent if your ship is currently cigar friendly. Sailing on a cigar friendly ship really does make a difference. But again, bring your own cigars!