Nate Rogers (Missouri): What a trip you all put on for us last week! It was more than I had imagined. Great people, sites and cigars! Looking back after the trip I can already see that I need to make a return visit. I would like to start off by saying that my trip to Cuba was by far one of the most inspirational and eye opening experiences I have ever been a part of. Sure, the trip was centered around the cigar industry in Cuba, but the people and history of the country made the trip for me. All of the folks we met along the way were very warm and welcoming. From the skilled Torcedors, tour guides, drivers, house hosts and especially the group of individuals you hosted, the people truly were amazing. I cannot wait for the day I get the chance to visit again. The work you all put into your trips is unimaginable and for that I am very grateful. The four days we had in Cuba were jammed packed with activities and events that could not have been possible without the hard work and connections you have made on the island. Anyone who is entertaining the idea of going to Cuba for the first time should give Nick or Doc a call to discuss the trip and all it has to offer. Cuba will undoubtedly be unlike any other country you have ever visited. Thanks again for a wonderful trip!
Rene and Lynn Voss (California): Doc and Nick - Doc, first off, I wanted to thank you for all your pre-trip help. A lot of things happened in a short amount of time and we appreciate that it was all handled so smoothly. Also, we are so thankful that our trip was able to proceed given there were only four of us traveling on this departure date due to the rescheduling of our large group. Having such a small group size made the trip so much more intimate, we really feel like we made friendships which will last a lifetime. Everything about our Cuba experience with Smooth Draws was amazing! Nick was a professional and gracious host throughout our trip. His knowledge of Cuba and his connections in the cigar industry were unbelievable. Every need we had was taken care of down to the smallest detail. The only thing we had to be “concerned” about was being ready for the day’s adventure. We enjoyed learning about the start to finish method of making a cigar. From the plantation to the factories all the way to the many incredible Le Casa del Habanos we visited, what a beautiful process. Nick, thank you for introducing the people, architecture, history, food, rum and of course the wonderful cigars of Cuba in such a personal way to us. This adventure surpassed anything we could have imagined.
We look forward to returning to Cuba!
Stephen "Roux" of Denton, Dallas & Beyond... A Travel & Resource Podcast writes:
Prior to hearing about the person to person trips to Cuba being offered by the crew at Smooth Draws, I thought it was pretty unrealistic to actually make it legally into the country. At first the upfront costs seemed a bit steep for a 4 night trip, but it would turn out to be an amazing bargain based on all of the things that were included (Visas, food, lodging, transportation, roundtrip flights to Cuba from Miami and a very generous food and beverage credit). Not only did Nick “The Boss” Syris arrange some amazing tours, but he also flexed his Cuba insider muscles to make sure we got to meet some amazing people at each of our stops. It was very impressive how many master rollers and cigar insiders that he was familiar with. We were truly treated like VIP’s at ever location. Even when things went wrong they ended up going right.
For the "rest of this interesting travel story" visit: Traveling to Cuba with Smooth Draws.
Don and Susan Boozer of Don Boozer & Associates (Texas): Please pardon my delay in getting to you to tell you how great your sponsored trip to Cuba was. Our group has not stopped talking about the trip since we got back. There are so many things that we could thank you for but I will list just a few;
The old cars – for me were among the things I will most remember! I drove cars like that in the 50s and 60s so riding around in them was like a trip back in time.
The complete care for the ‘details’ was spectacular. You didn’t miss a trick from the time we met in Miami till the time we left you in Cuba. You escorted us through the airport lines, the customs lines and the money exchange. What a time and energy saver.
The cigar and drink at EVERY stop were great. We especially enjoyed your LH cigars. Maybe one day they will be for sale at a place we frequent.
Your choice of restaurants was impeccable. EVERY meal we ate was special.
We all loved the cigar stores. We were treated like VIPs at every stop. The same was true at the restaurants and bars. I don’t know how you pull it off – but it was all special.
We loved the accommodations while we were there. We would like to stay in the same place the next time we are there. Which brings me to my point.
We have decided that we would like to go back (as long as the rules don’t change with Cuba and the U.S.). We have not picked a time yet but we will. What we would like to do is get our group together (enough to make a group of you). We would like to vary the itinerary just a bit so that we can see more places and sites that we didn’t get to see this trip.
We are going to wait and see what the rules are going to be. We think that we would like to go back within the next 12 months – but we all need to get our money together first and also get our group together. Would you be interested in hosting one more of these trips for us?
Thanks again for a spectacular trip!
Matthew Machtay (North Carolina): "The trip could not of been any better. Nick was a great host and really knows his way around the island. The weather, cigars, rum, food, and sights were all tremendous. The Cuban people were wonderful and it was very interesting place to visit. I cannot wait to go back!"
Robert Kennedy (Managing Partner, Charred Oak Bourbon): "If you are looking to go to Cuba for an awesome cigar experience you MUST go Smooth Draws Cigar Tours! It was awesome! Nick and Doc will be your guides and, trust me, you don't want to go with anyone else. These guys are deeply entrenched in the Cuban cigar scene and they know who to visit and where to go. I went with my brother, John and others from the Charred Oak Bourbon Company. It was unbelievable! Everything from the food, to the accommodations and who to see was so much more than was anticipated and it was truly an unbelievable experience, not to mention the price! The people we met and the sites we visited where more than I had hoped for. If you want to do a cigar trip to Cuba, you must go with Smooth Draws. If you use anyone else your wasting your money!"
John Kimmel (Virginia): "Everything about the Cuba trip was excellent. It was obvious that Nick knows his way around Cuba and that he knows tobacco and cigars. It was great to get behind the scenes and meet so many master rollers. There is something special about being handed a freshly rolled cigar on the spot and enjoying it with Cuban rum or coffee. The trip to Pinar del Rio was the highlight of the trip. I learned so much that day and enjoyed the peaceful farm setting and lunch. I can't wait to go on my next Smooth Draws adventure."
Mike Adams (Illinois): "I really enjoyed the plantation and learning about the tobacco growing process, from start to finish. It was so interesting to see just how many hands are involved in the tobacco growning and cigar making process."
William Cooper (Of Cigar-Coop fame): "The trip exceeded my expectations! Nick has connections inside the cigar industry that introduced me to cigars that very few could have access to."
Stan Weaver (Owner Prohibition SpeakEasy Lounge, Atlanta, GA): "The culture, the history, the people, the informative guides, the cigars, this trip was everything they said it would be... and more!"
Tom Maughn (Florida): "I have never had a better trip to Latin America, be it a cigar tour or vacation. Every day revealed interesting people, great cigars, culture and those American classic cars!"
Monty Crown (Maryland): "Each brought something new and something to learn. The accommodations, food and cigars were wonderful! Nick made sure the group thoroughly enjoyed themselves."
Gregg Johnson (California): "Nick and Doc were great about special, personal touches, from reserving the patio in advance at the Hotel Nacional for our group to enjoy a cigar and cocktail, to the special treatment at the Casa del Habanos."
Damon Raque (Georgia): "The trip was absolutely fantastic! With Nick's deep connections in the Cuban cigar industry, we had special access to the cigar scene like few others!"
Janett Dugan (Virginia): "Although I was a non cigar enthusiast along on the trip with my husband Dennis, I found the culture, history and the cigar making process extremely informative and we enjoyed the trip immensley."
Carr Scott (Georgia): "What a great time! It was money very well spent from my perspective and was a total success. I can't wait for my return trip in a few months!"
Christopher A. Pitaniello (Colorado): "I can't recommend Nick's trip enough, lots of cigar history, Cuba history, great food, drinks, cigars and just a great time in Cuba. Nick is a master at cigars... he makes the trip seamless. If you know anyone that wants to see Cuba, this is the way to go. I am looking forward to going back now that I know more about the cigars and country."
Dasher Short (Louisiana): "Nick, Thank you for such an interesting and engaging trip. You did a masterful job. Will remember this trip as “The Best”.
David Britt Patterson (North Carolina): "Thanks again for organizing and leading a great cigar tour of Cuba. I learned a lot and enjoyed smoking and drinking with the guys.”
Darrin Schmidt (California): Nick, just wanted to once again thank you for a great experience in Cuba this week. You are one special human being!"
William H. Brubach (Ohio): Nick the thing that made it special was your door to door hospitality and care. Thanks for an unforgettable experience!