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About DSegal

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  • Location
    Upstate NY
  • Interests
    Music, gardening, cigars, business, Cuba

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  1. Partagas Coronas Junior Tubos ULA '14 (forget the month on the box stamp). Such a nice open draw and beautiful Partagas flavors, 5 years seems like perfect age for these. 2nd was a box of VR Unicos MUS ABR 18. Sweet burnt sugar and caramel, perfect draw and the length means you don't immediately want to light up another one...or maybe you do. BEST RECEIVED IN JULY but have not smoked yet: Punch La Lisa ER Cuba, RAG JUL 18. What a gorgeous little box of 10, just got these a week ago. Trying to show some will power...
  2. I've always bought my travel visa at check-in at the gate of the airline I fly with. It takes about 2 extra minutes there, and has always been $75 I think. So pre-buying that visa elsewhere is really just a matter of maybe saving a few bucks but taking an extra step at some point before travel day. It's not a question though--you have to have it so the airlines just produce it, there is virtually no process involved.
  3. Once you're in Vinales you can find lots of options for tours, or just walk out to the nearby farms (5-10 minutes from downtown at most) and people there will be glad to invite you in for a 'tour'. The farm rolls I encountered are fun but not really worth hoarding in my opinion. Nice to smoke while walking around and save a more serious smoke for sitting in the evening, or after a meal. We paid $1 per farm roll, more or less. There is an LCDH store on the main street in Vinales, an unassuming storefront--and inventory was sparse, but I did poke around and found a 50 cab of PL Petit Coronas for $203. That was fun, still have about half of it.
  4. Not upcoming enough but I booked a February trip a week or two ago, and will be booking a Dec or Jan trip pretty soon. Easy as ever.
  5. Yes there have been some changes in the language, but not much and nothing too substantial. it has always been a requirement to keep records, and to have appropriately full days of activities--that was already part of the deal. I think the important thing to remember is that this is a legal way to visit Cuba and if it were something our government was really opposed to, they'd have eliminated it. I bought airline tickets yesterday and the process was the same as before. Drop-down menu offering choices of travel categories. Nothing more.
  6. Correct, Support of the Cuban People is still 100% legitimate, as one of the 12 accepted categories of legal travel under the General License for Travel to Cuba. Unless that category is next on the list to be axed, but I think if it were, it would have been axed yesterday. Three times I've gone, no one in US customs is interested in anything at all related to reason for travel, itinerary, etc. The only time it has come up is when you book airfare--the airline asks, you tell them the category (Support of the Cuban People), they say ok, and that's it. You don't have to submit anything in order to buy tickets or to go to Cuba--this is the essence of the General License for travel to Cuba--it is legal, and requires no permission or up-front submittals, if you travel under one of the 12 categories. It is not a bad idea to keep an itinerary that shows what you did on your visit--museums, coffee shops, walks through neighborhoods, time spent with hosts during meals or at the casa--but honestly I doubt anyone cares on the back end. And since we Americans can't use credit cards anyway, no one can demonstrate that you spent money at any given place--if you want to document your itinerary, there's no other record of what you did, where you went, or what $ you spent where, other than your airfare on your credit card, which is 100% legal--you don't have to hide that. The airlines are the ones who now bear the real burden and that is why they ask you for a travel category. But the key is that visiting Cuba in a way that honestly complies with Support of the Cuban People is also fun, interesting and makes for a great visit.
  7. If you are buying more than a box, they will pretty much automatically write you one up. Just keep it handy as you go thru the airport leaving Havana, as this is the only thing I've ever been asked for leaving Cuba with a lot of cigars--and once they see it, they will waive you right through. If they even ask for it at all.
  8. Say what you want about politics, and support which party you want...but the obvious power of Obama's initial thawing of relations with Cuba did one main political thing: it weakened the Cuban government's ability to blame the US for its problems. Yes, it also allowed US travelers to visit more freely, and spend more $, some of which went to the Cuban government, and some of which went directly into the pockets of Cuban people. Now Trump is doing the opposite--he's giving the Cuban government the gift of something to blame for their problems--us, or US. I am not trying to start a political argument thread, but I think most of us US citizens in this forum want it to be easier to visit Cuba, not harder--and I think we all want life to be better for the wonderful Cuban people we meet when we visit. How life for Cubans can be improved is a popular topic of debate, but I fail to see how tightening the US noose is a way to do that. Nice article.
  9. where did you find those in Cuba by the way??
  10. 4 come to mind: HU Regalias always seem to pack a lot of flavor and fairly complex taste into a nice quickie. And they're reliably delicious every time I've smoked em. I know this is a SLR Regios crowd, but for $150 a box in Cuba, I am not sure there's a better cigar overall, when you factor in that it's not a little cigar. San Cristobal El Principe--another little one with surprising amount of nuance and depth without overpowering. Similar in this regard to RG Perla. Trinidad Reyes--despite the hype around Vigia, which I mostly love, and Topes which I haven't been impressed with, this small vitola is my favorite. I introduced a new CC fan to these and after about 1", he just said "this is perfect".
  11. H U San Cristobal Vegas Robaina Trinidad Monte As with everyone else's comments, you tend to pick a marca for this list based on a couple of vitolas...
  12. The 2nd floor of the Manzana Kempinski has a nice cigar lounge that is like many things in Cuba--elegant, ornate, and usually empty. It's not really promoted much and most people who stop in at this hotel to visit are going up to the 7th or 8th floor roof terrace. The 2nd floor cigar lounge had a pretty decent selection, lots of singles available, and a nice lady who was very knowledgeable working there. We stopped in on two separate occasions on my last trip in Jan. 2019 and it was pretty much empty both times. The room also has individual balconies every 8-10 feet with double doors so you can pull a few chairs and a table over to your own little balcony, and enjoy views of Parque Cental and the surrounding buildings. The cigars here are sold at a 10% mark-up over LCDH prices, so I was warned,..it seemed like maybe 15% or so to me.
  13. First thing I checked was the cigars and they look good. Assuming they don't need more than 30 days rest to try one, given they already have some years on them.
  14. I look up Renapur. Obviously want to avoid imparting any odor to the leather or the cigars...thanks guys. Dan
  15. I like the robustos and smaller size but sure, there would be times I'll want to pack something bigger. I find the most useful walking-around size is a 2 or 3 stick case and this is obviously too big for that too.

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