Heading Down to the Island


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So the wife gave me quite to the surprise for my upcoming birthday and she bough us an all inclusive for a week in Cuba. We are heading down the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria. As a result of course I will hauling back the maximum allowable so I would like to ask some suggestion as to buying blind. Its unfortunate that the LCDH in CSM will not let you open boxes before purchasing, however I have been getting friendly with one of the people there so I will try to grease some palms this time. Maybe he will let me open boxes before I buy. If that is not the case I will open right after purchase inside the store so that I can get an exchange is there are any obvious issues. Looking through the forums I found the following list of cigars that are on the safer side when it comes to quality. Any input would be greatly appreciated. The one cigar that is not on the list is H. Upmann Sir Winston. I have been trying to score these but it is a little bit difficult. How are there when it come to buying blind?

Cohiba Siglo VI (25's)

Hoyo De Monterrey Double Corona

Partagas Shorts

Boli PC

Punch DC

Quai D'Orsay Imperiales

Upmann Magnum 50 (25's or 10's)

San Cristobal Fuerza

San Cristobal Morro

Partagas 898

RASS 50 cabs

Partagas Lusitania

SLR Serie A

Upmann Connie A

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I am staying at the Royalton 19th to the 25th, we should definitely meet up for a smoke. You flying Sunwing on the 19th 6:20 am out of Toronto?

MoryC! When are you going? I'm headed there in July 19-26

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When in Cuba, I never buy blind. If they won't let you inspect before you purchase, I wouldn't bother. If they know you are going to purchase 4-8 boxes, and they have seen you before, perhaps they will make an exception. Compare prices before you go. Many of the boxes you have selected come up here on FOH for sale at or very close to Cuba cost...some often cheaper than Cuba.

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I know about buying blind in Cuba and I am not a big fan of it and I have purchased boxes at that LCDH before. I am hoping to that they will let me inspect before purchase.

When in Cuba, I never buy blind. If they won't let you inspect before you purchase, I wouldn't bother. If they know you are going to purchase 4-8 boxes, and they have seen you before, perhaps they will make an exception. Compare prices before you go. Many of the boxes you have selected come up here on FOH for sale at or very close to Cuba cost...some often cheaper than Cuba.

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Yes of course. I know how they are with the pricing there and I take that list with me every time I go. I have purchased quite a bit of sticks in Cuba in the past. I am just looking for suggestions on what is on the safe side quality wise.

Besides the buying blind factor do not forget to check yulcigars.blogspot.com

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I am surprised that they do not allow you to open the boxes given that you are buying a full box. I have never had this issue with any of the LCDH's in Cuba before. Hopefully they will allow it this time since buying blind a bad way to go. I do however always come bearing gifts for the employees at the LCDH's. Hand creams and lotions for the ladies, razors and shave cream for the men and Lindt chocolate bars for both. Cubans prefer dark chocolate for the most part and the Lidnt dark flavored ones (mint, Orange, and coconut) are especially well received.

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That's good to know. I never thought of these gifts. I will be sure to bring some of that with me. I got a cigar cutter last time I was there for one of the guys that works at the LCDH. Nothing to fancy, but he was really happy. He always gives me good advise. I was going to pick up a bottle of whiskey at the duty free as a gift, but I think your suggestions are great.

I am surprised that they do not allow you to open the boxes given that you are buying a full box. I have never had this issue with any of the LCDH's in Cuba before. Hopefully they will allow it this time since buying blind a bad way to go. I do however always come bearing gifts for the employees at the LCDH's. Hand creams and lotions for the ladies, razors and shave cream for the men and Lindt chocolate bars for both. Cubans prefer dark chocolate for the most part and the Lidnt dark flavored ones (mint, Orange, and coconut) are especially well received.

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That's good to know. I never thought of these gifts. I will be sure to bring some of that with me. I got a cigar cutter last time I was there for one of the guys that works at the LCDH. Nothing to fancy, but he was really happy. He always gives me good advise. I was going to pick up a bottle of whiskey at the duty free as a gift, but I think your suggestions are great.

No problem. I also try to get to know about their families. If they have recently had children I would bring down a load of diapers and formula for them. Small baseball gloves for kids are like gold as are baseballs. One guy I know loves to fish so i bring down fishing line and hooks for him. Really just have to go with what it is difficult for them to get there and what they need.

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Good question.

I'm going to be in Havana July 6-10 so I'm also interested in any feedback on this one!

So the wife gave me quite to the surprise for my upcoming birthday and she bough us an all inclusive for a week in Cuba. We are heading down the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria. As a result of course I will hauling back the maximum allowable so I would like to ask some suggestion as to buying blind. Its unfortunate that the LCDH in CSM will not let you open boxes before purchasing, however I have been getting friendly with one of the people there so I will try to grease some palms this time. Maybe he will let me open boxes before I buy. If that is not the case I will open right after purchase inside the store so that I can get an exchange is there are any obvious issues. Looking through the forums I found the following list of cigars that are on the safer side when it comes to quality. Any input would be greatly appreciated. The one cigar that is not on the list is H. Upmann Sir Winston. I have been trying to score these but it is a little bit difficult. How are there when it come to buying blind?

Cohiba Siglo VI (25's)

Hoyo De Monterrey Double Corona

Partagas Shorts

Boli PC

Punch DC

Quai D'Orsay Imperiales

Upmann Magnum 50 (25's or 10's)

San Cristobal Fuerza

San Cristobal Morro

Partagas 898

RASS 50 cabs

Partagas Lusitania

SLR Serie A

Upmann Connie A

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In my honest opinion, Quai D' Orsay Imperials. Get them while you can.

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  • 5 months later...

I'll be visiting Cuba over New Years 12/31/15. We have reservations for The Tropicana Show with a cigar and rum package as well as dinner. Would like to take some gifts down but have to watch the weight at $2.00 a lb. overage. Any more suggestions!

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Cohiba Siglo VI (25's)

Hoyo De Monterrey Double Corona

Partagas Shorts

Boli PC

Punch DC

Quai D'Orsay Imperiales

Upmann Magnum 50 (25's or 10's)

San Cristobal Fuerza

San Cristobal Morro

Partagas 898

RASS 50 cabs

Partagas Lusitania

SLR Serie A

Upmann Connie A

Not meaning to be a Debbie Downer on this but if you are forced to buy blind then go the most recent stock possible. Beetles have been a big issue in the past two years in Havana LCDH. I would be uncomfortable buying a box of 2012 Morro or Fuerza.

You really shouldn't have to. A smile, a laugh, and ask nicely. Try to pick a quieter time to go in. You will be fine.

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Not meaning to be a Debbie Downer on this but if you are forced to buy blind then go the most recent stock possible. Beetles have been a big issue in the past two years in Havana LCDH. I would be uncomfortable buying a box of 2012 Morro or Fuerza.

You really shouldn't have to. A smile, a laugh, and ask nicely. Try to pick a quieter time to go in. You will be fine.

The LCDH in Cayo Santa Maria seems to be very strict on things. They won't even let you go into the humidor. I chatted with the shop keeper for about two hours. We had a good conversation as I grew up under communism so we had some subject to talk about. We did have a very good connection when chatting. I brought him chocolate, shaving cream, hand cream, razors. Still would not let me even go into the humidor. He said he just can't. Still he is a good person, made some good recommendations for me to try. Picked out some good boxes that turned out good and gave me some freebies (custom rolls). Maybe next time

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The LCDH in Cayo Santa Maria seems to be very strict on things. They won't even let you go into the humidor. I chatted with the shop keeper for about two hours. We had a good conversation as I grew up under communism so we had some subject to talk about. We did have a very good connection when chatting. I brought him chocolate, shaving cream, hand cream, razors. Still would not let me even go into the humidor. He said he just can't. Still he is a good person, made some good recommendations for me to try. Picked out some good boxes that turned out good and gave me some freebies (custom rolls). Maybe next time

Interesting

Going there in January so hope to see if I can get into the humidor. In the past I have been into the a couple of the resort humidors but that predates the LCDH.

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There's something fishy in this refusal IMHO.

Their humidor is behind the counter. They are very nice people working there and seem to be knowledgeable. Everything I bought is legit. If you ask for specific box code they will look for one for you. They just won't let you go in, apparently managers instructions.

I've never had a problem in Havana opening boxes I intended to buy if the looked good.

Never been to Havana. The only places I've been to is Holguin (Guardalavaca) and Cayo Santa Maria. Guardalavaca, you can go into the humidor, but they will not let you open any boxes. CSM they won't let you go into the humidor or open the boxes

Interesting

Going there in January so hope to see if I can get into the humidor. In the past I have been into the a couple of the resort humidors but that predates the LCDH.

My advice is talk to Eddie. I must admit he is the most honest pricing wise and most knowledgeable (I suggest you print out the price sheet from Yul Cigars just in case anyway). Very nice guy as well to talk to. He has a daughter that just under 10 years old, so anything you bring for him that he can give to his daughter (especially chocolates) he truly appreciates.

When I was there in July he said that the cigar stock in Cube is very low. When I was there Cohiba pretty much non existent except for Siglo V and VI. He said that they put in orders that are maybe 6 pages long and 1/2 page of that will get fulfilled.

I would also trying the customs at that LCDH. Robusto is pretty good.

What resort are you staying at?

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  • 3 weeks later...

The LCDH in Cayo Santa Maria seems to be very strict on things. They won't even let you go into the humidor. I chatted with the shop keeper for about two hours. We had a good conversation as I grew up under communism so we had some subject to talk about. We did have a very good connection when chatting. I brought him chocolate, shaving cream, hand cream, razors. Still would not let me even go into the humidor. He said he just can't. Still he is a good person, made some good recommendations for me to try. Picked out some good boxes that turned out good and gave me some freebies (custom rolls). Maybe next time

Just had a few friends and co-workers come back from this exact same spot in the last month or so.

Exact same experiences, by three different people. All told that they couldn't go in.

Quite frankly - its bullshit. If those are the manager's instructions, I say eff them. If I'm going to buy anything down in Cuba, I'm hand picking (or need to trust the choices of the person who's handpicking on my behalf). I need to inspect my wares from down there, what with their storage condition issues and whatnot in recent years.

No letting me pick, no purchases, simple as that.

Guess I'm glad my buying in Varadero or Havana have all been without issue relatively over a number of years now.

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Their humidor is behind the counter. They are very nice people working there and seem to be knowledgeable. Everything I bought is legit. If you ask for specific box code they will look for one for you. They just won't let you go in, apparently managers instructions.

Never been to Havana. The only places I've been to is Holguin (Guardalavaca) and Cayo Santa Maria. Guardalavaca, you can go into the humidor, but they will not let you open any boxes. CSM they won't let you go into the humidor or open the boxes

My advice is talk to Eddie. I must admit he is the most honest pricing wise and most knowledgeable (I suggest you print out the price sheet from Yul Cigars just in case anyway). Very nice guy as well to talk to. He has a daughter that just under 10 years old, so anything you bring for him that he can give to his daughter (especially chocolates) he truly appreciates.

When I was there in July he said that the cigar stock in Cube is very low. When I was there Cohiba pretty much non existent except for Siglo V and VI. He said that they put in orders that are maybe 6 pages long and 1/2 page of that will get fulfilled.

I would also trying the customs at that LCDH. Robusto is pretty good.

What resort are you staying at?

Staying at the Iberostar Ensenachos. Departing Jan 13th. Will look at the customs at the LCDH. Going to bring some cigars with me too, will be weird bring cigars to Cuba! Hoping to find a couple boxes of the Cuban RE.

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