This week Carnival announced that as of October 9, it will ban smoking on its balconies, joining most other mainstream cruise lines. Just Norwegian and Holland America allow balcony smoking now, and in the UK, Saga and Fred. Olsen (which doesn’t have many balconies anyway).
The first reaction for many cruisers is probably ‘Good!’ Even as a smoker-friendly non-smoker (some of my closest cruising friends smoke) I’m pleased; there’s nothing worse than going out for sea air first thing in the morning and having your neighbor light up a ciggie, causing you to cough and wheeze. Or getting ready for a formal dinner with the balcony door open and having fumes waft in from next door, leaving a nasty smell on your fancy frock.
Smoking in a designated area on deck is fine, because as a non-smoker, you can choose to go elsewhere. But you pay extra for a balcony and you should have the right to enjoy it without this invasion of your fresh air.
And yet… some people will smoke, for the foreseeable future. So some of our members wonder, why can’t cruise lines create nicer places for them to smoke onboard?
There’s nothing wrong with a classy cigar lounge. It doesn’t take up much space and it’s much more sociable than huddling on deck after dinner and having the wind wreck your hair.
Hotels manage to offer smoking and non-smoking rooms. So why can’t cruise lines, wonders Cruise Critic member Cheewiee: “I don’t see the need to ban all smoking on balconies, maybe reserve a few balconies at the end of the ship for smokers.” The reasoning is if you want one, you book early and when they’re gone, they’re gone.”
Member racerhank29 makes an equally valid point: “I smoke and that is the main reason we book balconies, and I understand that other people don’t like the smoke, but some people don’t like being around obnoxious drunks either.” And member fishtaco points out that smoking is still allowed in cruise ship casinos, which could potentially affect more people.
What do you think? Is there any solution to the eternally heated debate of smoking on cruise ships? Or is an all-out balcony ban the only answer? Tell us in the comments.
*Read more details about cruise ship smoking policies.