Smoking restrictions have curtailed some pleasures for cigar enthusiasts. But while smoking cigarettes is somewhat passé on cruise ships (several lines recently tightened restrictions), the art of cigar smoking is not. Clubby cigar bars done up in masculine colors with plush leather seating are a fixture on many ships.
Even some cruise lines that no longer have cigar bars per se may make some concessions to the culture. Holland America Line, for instance, has cigars for sale at its open-air Seaview Bars, located Lido deck aft. Smokers can puff with views of their ship's wake.
Here are the standouts at sea:
Norwegian Cruise Line provides cushy smoking retreats and cigars sold by the stick from makers including Davidoff, Gurkha, Cohiba and Fuente, as well as some selections by the tin. Lounges are named differently on various ships: the Corona Cigar Club on the Norwegian Gem and Pearl, the Havana Club on the Jade and Dawn, The Smoking Lounge on the Spirit, and The Humidor Cigar Lounge on the Epic, Breakaway and soon-to-debut Getaway.
On Silversea ships (with the exception of the expedition vessels), cigar-lovers can light up in the Connoisseur's Corner, a clubby lounge where the menu includes a wide selection of cigars and fine cognacs.
Princess Cruises reserves for cigar smokers Churchill's cigar lounges — cozy, windowed spaces with small humidors, located near the ship's casinos. Decor includes likenesses of — you guessed it — a cigar-smoking Winston Churchill.
On the MSC Divina (cruising from Miami), MSC Cruises has a well-stocked humidor in the Cigar Lounge, which also features modern Italian decor and dramatic lighting.
The Connoisseur Club onboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises' three ships provides guests with an elegant hideaway where they can relax in large leather armchairs and enjoy rare vintage cognac, port wine and a selection of Cuban cigars.
Crystal Cruises' Connoisseur Club is designed as a cozy, refined lounge for cigars, connoisseur spirits, and conversation. Cuban Cohiba and Montecristo No. 1 are among a selection of more than two-dozen cigars. Guests can also order fine beverages, including Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac, 40-year W&J Graham port wine and limited-edition craftsman beers.
On Royal Caribbean's Freedom- and Voyager-class ships, the Connoisseur Club has a modern decor and a menu that focuses on cigar education — detailing information on dozens of brands. What's in stock is itinerary-dependent, but the collection includes Fuente, Montecristo, Rocky Patel and Davidoff. The drinks menu includes Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac, single barrel bourbon, limited-edition Scotch and ports.
The cozy Churchill's Cigar Lounge is the cigar smokers' hangout spot on the three Cunard oceanliners. The leather and wood decor includes a built-in humidor. The cigar menu features classics including Montecristo No. 2. Fine spirits are available from the adjacent Commodore Club.
By Fran Golden, Special to USA Today
For more cruise news & articles go to http://www.cruisecrazies.com/index.html
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more