For most Caribbean cruises you can bring back a maximum of 100 cigars (if you have $400 exemption). They cannot be Cuban cigars. You will be hit with a major fine for bringing Cuban cigars back into the United States.
Realistically, you will probably have no problem if you remove the band and bring it back into the country. No one, not even the best dog, can tell the difference between a Cuban and non-Cuban cigar. But it is a risk.
I would just buy them a good Honduran and bring that back.
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Honduran cigars are quite good. I used to smoke them until I had to give up smoking.
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If your friend is an avid cigar smoker ask them for some bands off the cigars they normally smoke and just swap them out for the cuban cigar bands. Be sure you know the ring size so you can get similar ring size Cubans and don't throw out the Cuban bands b/c your friend wants to let people see him smoking a Cuban. Although, as inv106 stated you can get ripped off buying Cubans in the ports as they often take Cuban bands and put them on other cigars. Also, they are pretty expensive and are usually old and dried out. Ask your friend if he has tried Dominican cigars as many Cubans moved to DR and took Cuban seed when they went.
I agree with Dominican cigars being superior...I have heard that for years. If you go to John Heald's blog, he has given the name of a place that sells the real deal, but, honestly, I forget which port, he mentioned. This is one item that scams people all the time.
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I have to ask what will be achieved by not trading with Cuba?
The more you trade the more capitalist they become! The more companies that float shares the more diverse the market. Last time I went to Cuba they were crying out to diversify their economy.
I really can't see why after a couple of decades they can't become a real trading/tourist partner to the USA. Or even more
Spartan - I believe that the US not trading with Cuba is due to the large community of Cuban escapees and exiles in the US. They view trading with Cuba as playing with the bad guy. In some ways you can see a capitalist revolution in China but in other ways that money flow continues to support an oppressive regime. There are no promises that trade will improve the life of the ordinary citizen, especially ethinic or religious minority groups.
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This is interesting. I know someone who got away with bringing a whole box of Cubans home one time, that was during the Bush presidency. During that time I would bring 5 cartons of Cigarettes home and no one ever charged me any extra tax.
Since the Obama administration took over though, they are getting much stricter then before and so now I wouldn't advise anyone trying to sneak anything into the U.S. A couple cruises ago, before I quit smoking cigarettes, I ended up having to pay tax on 3 of the 5 cartons of cigarettes I brought back with me and tax on a extra bottle of booze too.
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