I’m not a cigarette smoker, but I do enjoy an occasional cigar, especially when on vacation. When it comes to smoking, you can only do so in a limited number of places. Every cruise ship is different, but the Disney Fantasy has some great places to get in a smoke while at sea. Every cruise ship is different, but I think the Fantasy has some of the best places that actually allow smoking. Back in the day, you could actually smoke on your stateroom’s verandah, but those days are long gone. Instead, you are restricted to certain areas of the ship and some areas are only available at certain times of the day. Don’t smoke on your verandah because if you are caught they will charge $250 to your stateroom account.
On the Fantasy, the preferred spot to smoke is on Deck 12 aft on the port side of the ship accessible through the Meridian Lounge. Here, you can go outside and enjoy a smoke after dinner or any time of the day. If you forgot to bring something to smoke, the bartenders at Meridian will be happy to help you. They have a selection of both cigars and cigarettes which you can charge to your stateroom account. Whether you brought your own smokes or bought something from the bar, they will be happy to
help you with matches or a cut of your cigar. UPDATE: 5/15/2016 – Disney no longer offers matches on the boat due to fire safety reasons. Your best bet now is to pick up a lighter or matches after your flight.
Once you go outside to smoke, you’ll find plenty of tables and ash trays. It can be a bit windy outside so I recommend standing towards the back wall for your best chances of lighting up. Oftentimes, you can “bum a light” from a fellow traveler who brought a lighter. I definitely recommend this as it can be windy at times which makes it difficult to light cigars. If you do plan on smoking, I recommend bringing your own lighter because it’s much easier than trying to use matches on the back of the boat. Just like any smoke hole, you’ll find that you quickly make friends and you’ll recognize the same people throughout your vacation.
If you are looking for other places to smoke, you can also do so on Deck 13 forward on the port side next to Currents bar. During the day, this area can be quite windy and sunny, but that may just be what you are looking for. You can also smoke outside on Deck 4 aft (port side) at night between the hours of 6:00 pm and 6:00 am. Any other time and the deck is considered non-smoking.
Smoking on other ships
The smoking area differs on each Disney Cruise Line ship. For example, on the Wonder they allowed it on Deck 10, star bird side at the front side of the ship at night. Whatever ship you are on, be sure and check the Navigator to find out where smoking is allowed.
Since you are making port in a number of Caribbean destinations, you are likely to encounter a number of cigar shops offering “Cuban Cigars”. When you are a touristy area, you can assume that all of these are 100% fake. If in doubt, do a search on “how to spot a fake Cuban cigar” before you go. While they may be decent cigars, more than likely they aren’t from Cuba. Whenever I am in port, I always tell them I am not looking for Cuban cigars and instead I am looking for Dominican or Honduran. It immediately deflates the merchant and it makes them much harder to sell me on something that isn’t real. I’ll still get a good cigar but I know they aren’t trying to sell me something any more that is obviously from somewhere else.
If you do manage to purchase Cuban cigars, keep in mind they aren’t allowed in the United States. On my last cruise, I heard a Canadian couple arguing that it was OK to bring their Cuban cigars back (which I am sure were fake) because they weren’t “staying in the US, they were going back to Canada.”. If you do somehow manage to acquire real Cuban cigars then you are in fact breaking the law when you return to port in the United States regardless of your citizenship or where your final return destination is. If you do manage to get such good cigars, my recommendation is to enjoy them while you are on the ship. As far as I know, there is nothing wrong with that. This will prevent you from having to deal with any legal issues when talking to the United States customs officials.
Tip your bartenders
If you find yourself getting cigars or cigarettes from the bartenders at Meridian Lounge or anywhere else, be sure and tip them at some point throughout your journey. I find that even when you aren’t buying anything from them, they are still eager to serve you out on the deck. Show them your appreciation at some point on your vacation.