Little Havana

Join the Club: Smoke on the Water

Join the Club: Smoke on the Water

Aficionados who take their cigars to sea enjoy more than just an open-air view.

By Clark Norton

Craig Carringer enjoys a good cigar — actually, about two a day during the week and four to five a day on weekends — and keeps about 400 on hand in his house. Not surprising, perhaps, for a man whose first name is an anagram of “cigar.”

But Carringer, who owns auto collision repair centers in Knoxville, Tennessee, lives in a rural area, and neither his wife nor any of his neighbors smoke cigars. “So I smoke by myself all the time,” says Carringer, which is a problem because he likes to meet other people through their mutual love of cigars. “I look forward to sitting and talking with other cigar smokers,” he says. “We share a common passion, and I’ve made a number of good friends that way.”

Unknown to Carringer, another avid cigar smoker and entrepreneur from Kansas City, Missouri, Dean Prather, had been wrestling with the idea of getting cigar devotees together on a cruise ship for a week of sea, sun, seminars, and cigar-smoking. “There are a lot of events on land devoted to cigars,” the cruise-loving Prather mused, “so why not a cruise?” It was a simple question, but took several years to answer.

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