There were a couple of stores in the shopping area (only sold cigars) The stores were marked about 1/2 block main walk. Both appear to be owned by the same person running back and fourth across the street.
Heard a tale of a shopper buying cuban cigars and switching the labels and bands. The shop owner did it to sell to American shoppers.
Any one else heard of this or know if this is a fact or just another sea story??
I stayed at a resort in Puerto Vallarta over the summer and my boyfriend purchased cuban cigars. It was a little shop owned by a woman and her husband, both Americans who loved the place so much once when they vacationed they moved down there. Anyway while he was buying the cigars I was freaking out... ex ample..."YOUR NOT PUTTING THOSE IN MY SUITECASE, WHY ARE YOU BUYING THOSE, I AM NOT GOING TO GET ARRESTED JUST SO YOU CAN SAY YOU BOUGHT A BOX OF CUBAN CIGARS, BETTER SMOKE ALL OF THOSE DARN THINGS BEFORE WE LEAVE AND THAT MEANS 20 CIGARS IN 2 AND HALF DAYS!!!!" The woman laughed and pulled out an empty Mexican cigar box full of cigar rings and proceeded to delable and ring the cigars in the box. Cleverly transforming a highly illeagal box of Cuban cigars into a cheap box of Mexican ones. I was sceptical but really how could the prove otherwise...He made it through customs without a problem, though I did get in a seperate line at the airport, I was ready to pretend like I didn't know him.
This wasn't on a cruise, however a friend of mine brought some back the same way on a cruise last summer.
In Cancun and Cozamel you need to Barter. You should be able to get Cabana cigars for about eight dollars a piece. If bartering doesn't get you your price, move on to the next place, chances are you will find a vender who wants a sale. Word of caution, check to make sure the cigar ring is secure on the cigar ( possible tampering) or get one that is wrapped. If buying a box look for the seal on the box opening. Best of luck on your shopping adventure.
Cuidado..........which means " be carefull " ..........Buyers should know that they are frequently victums of a " Double-Switch " Sting where unscrupulous Cigar Store owners TELL unsuspecting Customers that : " I am selling you Cuban Cigars...however; in order to bring them back to the United States ...I have removed their " original " Cuban Cigar Rings ( such as Cohiba )......and replaced them with Mexican Cigar Rings ( such as Te-Amo ) and placed them in a Te-amo Box. "...IN ACTUALITY...the rings & boxes have NOT really been switched & the customer winds up paying Cuban Prices for Dominican, Honduran or Mexican Cigars........................Even if the " original " Cuban Rings are removed in front of you you could still be buying Mexican or Dominican Cigars because some owners have previously removed the Mexican or Dominican Rings; replaced them with Cuban Rings and now; in your presence; " offer " to Switch Rings so you can....." Bring ' Cubans ' back to the States " .. Think about it.....The owner makes a great deal more profit if he sells you Dominican Cigars at Cuban Cigar prices; rather than selling you Cuban Cigars at Cuban Cigar prices.....Don
So called "cuban" cigars being sold are actually just cheap cigars with a cuban label.
On Aruba while we were there for 2 weeks, my BF had bought "cubans" from a reputable cigar shop.
According to another cigar shop, they can't get cubans. They just advertise they do & put on a fake label mainly for the tourists. As the guy said to us, if you want Cubans, go to Cuba. Apparently this is done throughout the Caribbean islands. Castro is tight on exports.