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Everything posted by SokaKiel

  1. I found the first ones with the new band back in June at the LCDH in Napoli/Italy. But since then I’ve only ever seen the old band again, even with newer box codes. The usual Habanos chaos, why is it so hard to introduce the new band once you’re done boxing up all the cigars with the old bands and then from a certain date forward everything else gets the new band🤷🏼‍♂️
  2. Been traveling regularly since February, mostly for work but also a little holiday here and there. All within Europe though. Here it’s easy, you’re vaccinated and pretty much good to go anywhere. Have to agree on the airlines, service even with the major carriers is non existent! Airports not too busy but still sometimes chaotic long lines, especially during the summer and now autumn holidays again. In many restaurants and hotels it seems like only the idiots managed to keep their jobs! Feels like I’m more often frustrated with service staff then before. I guess the smart ones moved jobs and made it elsewhere while many less gifted stuck with their jobs. But I’m sure this will sort itself out again once travel gets back to normal next year. Fingers crossed Aus will open up again soon, my wife and I can’t wait to get back! Safe travels, Leif
  3. Hey Cliff, Rovinj and the countryside around it is one of my favorite areas of Croatia! There is a small shop called Havana Cigar Shop Rovinj. It’s inside the waterfront promenade of Grand Park Hotel, about 10mins. walk from the actual old town. I think this is the shop that Rob mentioned. During my last visit two years ago they had a pretty good selection. Just be aware that Cigars are not cheap in Croatia! If you’re into food and your trip isn’t fully planned yet, maybe consider a visit to the inland village of Livade. In September Zigante Truffles (I think Croatia’s biggest producer) offers early morning truffle hunt introductions for visitors! And they usually set up a truffle event for a few weeks each autumn. It says they offer the truffle hunt on Saturdays only but I know they do it on other days as well as long as it’s booked a little ahead and the group is big enough. Have fun! Cheers, Leif
  4. Enjoy your trip around France and Italy! In Cannes you might want to try La Civette Carlton, the best place in Antibes would be Tabac Boutique Contraste. On Capri I can recommend Della Monica directly at Piazza Umberto. Small but good storage and great quality smoking accessories! Hope the latest COVID restrictions won’t affect the wedding to much!
  5. Yes you’re correct, unfortunately the Casa has closed down end of 2019. They first moved out of old town down to Lapad beach due to the ridiculous rent in town. But then the laws in Croatia changed and they where not allowed to store the cigars visible from the outside so the glass doors of the walk in had to be covered up and all branding inside the shop and the windows had to be removed. Only the La Casa sign outside was still allowed. I think the location in combination with the “advertising” ban killed it. There’s a small spirit and tobacco shop not too far away in the Land area called Fumar. I’ve bought cigars there during my visit last year. Small selection, not cheap! The Casa was the last shop in Croatia where I saw the RA Adriaticos in 2019. Not sure if their main shop in Zagreb still exists, never been there. But I’ve been in touch with them by email in the past about ordering cigars directly and have them send to a Croatian address and they’ve been very helpful! There used to be a shop in old town Split too (in case you’re going), not far from the main waterfront, saw it last summer but didn’t go inside. Wouldn’t recommend to buy at hotels, even more expensive and often questionable storage. Bring your own stock! Enjoy Croatia!
  6. Very jealous to see all the awesome looking 24:24 boxes on here! Enjoy them gentlemen! Now that I’ve moved to Europe I have zero chance to ever score anything as it’s all sold out by the time I get up. I’m sure my wife is very please with that😂 On the other side I get to buy cigars at great prices in Spain now. That’s a nice plus! Currently on a short work trip to Greece, I found a nice little shop in Corfu old town today. Young knowledgeable owner, small but good selection of well stored cigars. Fair prices. As it’s roasting hot here I’ve decided to go for some small format cigars, don’t think I’ll smoke any of my DC’s this week🥵 Like his custom bags!
  7. Corfu old town with Frappe and an Upmann Epicure. Couldn’t smoke anything bigger, heatwave rolling in today, temperatures expected to rise up to 37C in the next days.
  8. This beast arrived today. And all I’ve got are these pictures, won’t be home for a few more month. Therefore the cigars will stay sealed, sorry, unfortunately no pictures of the sticks...
  9. This beauty just arrived back home in Germany! But due to Covid it’ll be a few month before I can head back to pick it up. Cigars are boxed and vacuum sealed so they’ll be fine. Price is pretty nuts but I love the jar! They have a customer who wants an empty jar so one of the next ones they receive will be broken up for singles! Will get a few, can’t wait to try them later this year and keep my pristine jar.
  10. Crappy set up, just watched the games on my phone. But very pleased with the results and the smokes! Sunshine during Tokyo winter is always nice!
  11. Been isolating in the Maldives for the last seven days before heading back on board tomorrow. Even though I couldn’t spend Christmas with the wife and kids I feel very fortunate to still work in these tough times. Merry Christmas everyone! Unfortunately the weather turned to rain and wind for the next few days... Best part was the meal in the underwater restaurant directly on the edge of the reef. My Christmas treat. Tomorrow it’s back to work on the floating beauty in the background. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Unfortunately they can’t drop the prices in Germany for Capitols and Club Kings. Once the cigars have been taxed by the government no change in price is allowed, neither down nor up! But hey, there’s always FoH?
  13. Yup, a friend of mine send me a picture yesterday from a LCDH in Germany, almost €40 for a tin of five. Way overpriced, but not quite as much as P. Capitols and R&J Club Kings. Sorry for the bad pictures, seems like he was in a rush? The only thing I like is the slightly curved shape of the Upmann tin, a little bit like a flask. Cheers, Leif
  14. When at sea we don’t really have a smoking area. The only spot we have is the crammed, noisy foredeck with bad ventilation. But no st of the time I’m not on board anyways if we cross from the Caribbean to Europe or Europe to SE Asia. During that time I travel ahead of the yacht and prepare shore side excursions and the like for the guests.
  15. Well, I’m in the yachting industry for more than 14 years after six years in hospitality, working for the same family since seven years and I’m earning a lot more than a GM at a 5* star resort is making. Base salaries for junior interior or deck crew are fairly standardized (and pretty good) across yachts these days but once you move up the ranks it depends on experience and negotiations. With longevity and seniority comes also more time off! I work a 2:2 rotation, two month on board followed by two month at home, 12 month fully paid plus an annual bonus. Compared to cruise ships we don’t operate with guests full time but only when the owner comes on board with family or friends! This allows for lots of time in some of the most amazing places of the world while we then only work 8-5. The rotation is the most important for me though, this gives me six month of quality time with the family and that makes up for the time that I’m away. Met my wife on board 12 years ago and she fully supports me which is very important when you’re away for long periods of time. This year is different for me as for many of you though! Been on board for three month now and most likely will do another two month before going home. Travel restrictions just don’t allow for any leave. But we’re well looked after and getting compensated for it. Looking at my brother with his own business in Germany and two kids I firmly believe that I do have the better life and spend more valuable time with my kids!
  16. Sailing the seven seas as a personal concierge to a UHNWI. Smoking daily while we’re in port. Resting around 1600 sticks back home.
  17. Rock hard cigars![emoji23] Just punched this beauty with my Victorinox cigar knife and it literally cracked the blade that holds the punches! Nothing ever went wrong in five years that I’m using these knives and I’ve got three of them in rotation and look after them well... Has anybody else experienced this? Will try to send it in for a service, according to their website in Germany they can fix almost anything. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  18. Sitting in my favorite Café in Tivat/Montenegro, VR Unicos. No tourists at all! For me this is absolute bliss, for the locals an ongoing struggle...
  19. Onwards to Montenegro First a ER Espana LGC, afterwards a HdM Epi2. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  20. After three month at home with reduced pay I’m finally back in Europe and at work! Straight out to sea. Headed from Spain to Croatia, the only place in Europe that currently allows pretty free movement for private vessels. Had our first trip with guests on board and now a few days for the crew to recharge and work out all the toys on board! Diving, SUP, jetskis... And of course some smokes for me! We’re still a long way off from a normal summer season but it’s good to see towns along the Mediterranean slowly opening up again! Cheers to that! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  21. Just bought a BBQ from Otto Wilde that has not even been released to the market yet, only available via Kickstarter so far. We don’t even know in which country we will live by the end of the year, this might turn into a head ache? Sexy machine! I love that you can extend it into a full outdoor kitchen one day with additional elements. Due to be delivered in September, fingers crossed that the summer won’t be over by then so I can actually test it before next year?
  22. It’s drizzling here tonight but today is our wedding anniversary, eight years and two awesome little boys later and I couldn’t ask for a better wife! A little Depez Rhum and a Nudies No. 1 for the celebrations. Stay safe guys! Cheers, Leif
  23. I have to admit, I didn’t take it serious in the beginning. We travelled from Japan to Europe and back in March because we didn’t expect it to be this bad! Been in quarantine with the family for three weeks now! First a week back home in Germany at my parents as we’ve all travelled to Barcelona in early March to prepare our move for later this year. But after three days we had to leave due to the upcoming lock down (The move back to Europe is called off until end of the year for sure). We decided to quarantine even though it wasn’t mandatory at that time. Then the wife started nagging about going back to Japan so our son can be ready for school. I told her from the beginning school ain’t happening in April! We flew back to Japan anyways, happy wife happy life! Tomorrow we’re finally done with two weeks mandatory quarantine here at home in Japan. So far all of us are healthy. Our seven year old is going nuts because all other kids are playing outside and he and his little brother had to stay inside. With the upcoming declaration of state of emergency by the Abe and his useless bunch of cronies school won’t be happening for another few weeks! I’ve been congratulating myself every day that I pushed for a bigger rental house a few years ago, at least we have enough space for us and the kids and don’t have to stay boxed up in a tiny apartment in central Tokyo! We’ve stocked up on long life produce online over the last two weeks. Once Abe steps in front of the microphone tomorrow the panic here will set in and more than 30 million people in greater Tokyo will raid the supermarkets! This will be mayhem! Last year one of the Taifuns cut all road and train connections to Narita airport, about 60km out of town, more than 10.000 tourists where stuck there for days because the government wasn’t capable of helping them. No idea how they plan to supply 30 million people here with the essentials for daily life! Everybody is completely oblivious to the things unfolding in the rest of the world. Especially New York should be a big warning to all Tokioties but nobody seems to care! It’s always ‘the dirty foreigners’, they don’t wear masks and don’t wash their hands often enough... Well, good luck, if I look at the packed trains here you can’t tell me that there aren’t 10’s of thousands of infected people in Tokyo already, masks or no masks! Restaurants, shops, most businesses still open. Sitting on the balcony for a smoke and can hear the local kids baseball team training further down the road, ridiculous! They closed all schools but parents went on to work and spread the virus around happily. Now all shops and parks closed for the last two weekends but it’s normal business during the week, morons! We will lock ourselves in for a few more weeks happily until this is hopefully over. Got more than 400 cigars and lots of booze to keep me happy! As I work in the Maritime industry as a crew member on a vessel I’m lucky, the company put all crew that are on holidays on sick leave! This means I’m not using up holidays while I still get paid. Very sorry for my crew mates on board though. They went through two weeks of quarantine on board in Antigua but then had to depart for Europe as the situation with food supplies and fuel got dire over there. Now they’re crossing the Atlantic, another two weeks boxed up. They’ll fuel in Gibraltar next week but can’t stay there as no dock space available. After that they don’t know where to go, most countries in Europe are locked down and only allow commercial vessels in. But my workplace is nothing more than a giant floating private gin palace so they won’t be allowed in! Captain is trying everything he can, in the end they might end up in Edinburgh, one of his friends works at the local port and got him a berth. But our crew can’t rotate out, no flights and boarders closed. Sorry for them! Will be an interesting summer season for us, I don’t think we’ll be able to have the owner and his family back on board before July the earliest. Thanks a lot to all you guys in the health services, I hope this whole crisis will help to improve future work environments and bring better pay for all of you! Good luck and best of health to all of us! Leif
  24. I heard the French send some of their “friendly” gendarmes in riot gear from Guadeloupe to St. Martin before Christmas to clear up the situation. But I haven’t heard how it all played out... I’m sure it has all calmed down by now! Enjoy the holiday! Leif
  25. I’ve been to both islands in December. The Casa in St. Martin was closed even though they were supposed to be open that day. Maybe there was no cruise ship in port on the Dutch side and that’s why they didn’t bother opening that day. On St. Barth there is still a good shop near Nikki Beach. It used to be a Casa too, not sure when they dropped out of the franchise. Can imagine the fees are crazy if you only really sell good amounts for maybe four five month a year. When you drive from the airport past Nikki beach you come to a round about. Park there, about 50m back on the right side of the road next to some clothing stores you’ll find the cigar shop. Friendly service, good selection. But no regionals or LE’s in December. For restaurants I’d recommend Bonito’s in Gustavia for dinner and Shellona for lunch. On both islands you can still find many places to smoke. Most terraces at restaurants and bars had no issues with me smoking. Some resorts might be a bit more complicated around the pools though. Some restaurants still had humidors with cigars on sale but not in the best condition. I’m sure you’ll bring your own stock anyways. Be prepared for chaos at St. Maarten airport, it’s still in shambles after the hurricane 2017. Same goes unfortunately for the French side St. Martin, while I was there the locals started riots, road blocks, cars on fire. The locals were protesting against the French government for little support in rebuilding after the hurricane. The Dutch side is definitely in way better shape already and in St. Barth you don’t see any damage anymore. Have fun! Leif

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