Cruising With Cigars
Holland America Eurodam - December 2016
By: Gary Manelski
This is the fifth and perhaps the last in a series of articles to appear on this website about the dwindling areas where cigar smoking is still permitted on cruise ships. I always recommend checking with a cruise line regarding its smoking policy before booking and making a final deposit on a cruise.
Since I always follow my own advice, I took a cruise on the Holland America Eurodam during December 2016, only because cigar smoking was still allowed on stateroom balconies. However, before you react to this article, that policy would have already changed. Starting in 2017, smoking will no longer be permitted on balconies of the Holland America Eurodam. Cigar smoking was not allowed anywhere inside the boat, but will still be permitted on the starboard side of the Lido Deck near the aft of the ship (next to the Sea View Pool). It is a nice size area that is partially covered, as you can see in the picture.
The Eurodam still sells cigars in its gift shop, but who knows how much longer that will last. Regardless, I also recommend that you bring some of your own cigars on a cruise. It's cheaper that way, plus you'll have some cigars that you know are enjoyable. Cigars are also sold at many of the ports of call, and since Cuban cigars are now legal for U.S. citizens, you may want to bring back a few, duty free! There is an $800 duty-free exemption, up to 100 cigars. You can buy more, but you'll have to pay the duty on amounts over the limit. And as always, watch out for counterfeits. Cuban rum can also be purchased at various ports, but only one liter per person is duty free.
Over the last decade, I have also cruised on several other lines, only to experience a gradual elimination of smoking areas for cigar smokers. Cigarette smokers have also been affected, but not to such a great degree. On most Carnival ships, there is only one outdoor area where cigar smokers can puff away, but not anywhere inside the ship nor on balconies. And Carnival's dedicated cigar bars have been history for a few years now. The Caribbean Princess still has an indoor cigar bar, which is the only place on the entire ship where you can enjoy a stogie (cigar smoking not allowed anywhere outdoors).
There are still a few cruise lines that have more lenient smoking policies, but that will not last for much longer. If smoking a cigar on your cruise ship vacation is important to you, I suggest that you cruise sooner rather than later. And always double check that the smoking policy did not change after booking, before making your final deposit.