Not only do I spend half of my life in LA, but I also actually just came back from a cruise yesterday. Safe to say, I'm exhausted. Let me start with the cruise details. I don't have any experience with Cunard unfortunately as we traveled Holland America. There were no cigar lounges on board our ship which was a shame, but I wasn't expecting there to be one. You were completely free to smoke in any outdoor areas, including your balcony, but not in the room. You could also smoke freely in the casino, and the bar next to the casino but that was it.
Here is why I started with the cruise issue though, as I came across one problem. So, I had planned to take a few smokes with me for some sunset smoking on the balcony, so I phoned in advance to see if there would be any issue with me taking a cigar cutter with me. I was told that although there wasn't anything written, there was a chance when having my bags scanned, I may be told I wasn't allowed to bring it on board. I asked in advance, and knew there was a small selection of cigars on board for sale, so I decided to leave the cutter at home, just to avoid any issues. Second day into the cruise, I went to the store that had the cigars for sale, to see if I could borrow or buy a cutter. However, they didn't sell, or have any cutters on the ship. I had to wait until we got to Puerto Vallarta to get to a shop to buy one. I'm not entirely sure you would have any issues taking a cutter on board, but it might be worth a call before hand.
Where is the cruise heading to? Are you leaving from San Diego? I'm assuming Mexico or Hawaii if you are leaving California? The reason I ask is completely unrelated, but if you do leave from San Diego and youre setting sail in the afternoon, make sure youre outside somewhere you can see the SD skyline, as when the sun is just setting (about 5:27pm currently) SD has one of the most beautiful skylines you'll see.
Right, LA. The most important thing first of all, is where in LA will you be staying? As it's a pretty large place, and getting around isn't always the easiest. If you let me know where abouts youre staying, I'm sure ill be able to shoot some recommendations over to you. We do have some great shops scattered around.
As for lounges. There is only one I would recommend, and its the same one I recommend to everyone.
Buena Vista Cigar Lounge.
The address is: 9715 Santa Monica Blvd Beverly Hills, CA 90210-4201
It's in the heart of Beverly Hills, just around the corner from Rodeo Drive, but don't let that put you off. If you can get there, you won't find a better place to go. (In fact if you do decide to, feel free to let me know, and I will happily come and join you if you want some company!) Its a beautiful little lounge, with a great selection, great drink selection and great company. It's owned by Rigo, who is a fascinating character who you can happily sit and talk to for hours. As he is the only one that works there, youre guaranteed to meet him. The prices are very reasonable, youre only worry would be if the wife decided to go take your wallet to Rodeo Drive whilst you were treating yourself to a smoke. Whenever friends come over and they want to smoke, this is the only place I will ever take them. It can be a little busy at times, especially on a Friday, but I've never not been able to find a place to sit. I can assure you, you won't leave disappointed! If youre peckish afterwards there are also a couple of great places to eat around the corner too that I can recommend.
There is a cigar shop almost every 500 yards or so it feels, but they only ever normally have one or two seats at the front of the store, and the locals are normally in their seats, everyone is always welcoming though.
There are a couple of other lounges I would recommend if you were not able to get to Buena Vista, but they are much further afield and would depend completely on where you were staying. Let me know, and ill let you know whats close!