I recently came back from a seven-day cruise from New York City to Bermuda on one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest beautiful ships—the Norwegian Breakaway. For the most part, I had a great vacation with one glaring exception—I could only smoke cigars in one location! You see, the ship’s policy was that cigars could only be smoked within the ship’s cigar lounge (which has seating for about 20 to 25 people on a ship that lists passenger capacity at 4,000 people)—no where else!
Smoking outdoors on the ship was allowed for cigarette smokers in many areas while cigar smokers were severely restricted to the indoor cigar lounge. Throughout the week, other cigar smokers and I gathered in this small area which came to be known to us by many names—the fish bowl, the kennel, the cage, cigar detention room—among other names that I cannot repeat here.
While cigarette smokers were allowed to smoke their cigarettes on their private balconies, cigar smokers were not permitted this same luxury. I discreetly smoked cigars on the private balcony of my stateroom late in the evening anyway until one night I was admonished by the “smoke police” (cruise ship officials) that they had received some complaints about my cigar smoking from other guests on the ship.
I personally believe that it is not unreasonable for the cruise ship to establish a policy where cigars can be smoked inside a cigar lounge while also establishing at least one outdoor area where cigar lovers can experience a great smoke while taking in the ocean scenery and enjoying the sea breeze on a beautiful ship. After all, if one cannot smoke a cigar outdoors on a ship at sea, what else is left?
Perhaps an article or a piece on cigar-friendly cruise ships is in order for a future issue of Cigar Aficionado. Here’s a vote for keeping up the fight to enjoy one of life’s last great pastimes!
New York, New York
Editor’s Replay: Hector, we couldn’t agree more. What we have always argued for is consistency in smoking bans. It makes no sense to allow cigarette smoking and not cigar smoking in the same area.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Ashlan Gorse article. It is refreshing to read articles on women who love cigars in your magazine.
Ashlan particularly encompasses the modern woman. Here is a lady who knew what she wanted in life, experienced many exciting adventures and is now eager to explore new horizons. I am sure we have not heard the last from her. And yes, she smokes cigars!
San Diego, California
Editor’s Note: Lauretta, we couldn’t agree more. We are always looking for successful women who enjoy a great cigar, and are willing to be profiled in the magazine. It’s gotten harder and harder for some reason. But we keep looking.
I very much enjoyed David Savona’s article “Heart of Darkness” concerning growing tobacco in the Connecticut River Valley. I grew up in the heart of the valley in South Windsor—a tobacco town—and worked fields in Ellington, East Windsor and South Windsor as a teenager. I often wondered where the tobacco we picked and dragged went to after we took care of it, and this article provided some great information concerning that.
We worked primarily shade-grown tobacco and we knew of other kids who worked the “other” kind of fields, that being broadleaf. It was almost like the Hatfields and McCoys rivalry in a sense.
Yes, the work was dirty and incredibly hot under the nets, but I can guarantee if you asked any one
of us who worked those fields what we thought of it, we would all have great memories. It doesn’t get much better than a hard day’s work with all of your friends outside.
Thanks for making the picture complete.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Editor’s Note: Thank you for sharing the memories from your childhood, and for bringing new perspective to our story on harvesting broadleaf.