Hot on the Forums: Up in Smoke

July 11, 2014 | By | 45 Comments

Broken cigarette
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.
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    45 Responses to “Hot on the Forums: Up in Smoke”

    1. birdiedeb
      July 11th, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

      One side for smokers the other for non-smokers.

    2. Ray Watters
      July 11th, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

      I am against allowing smoking on balconies since there is no effective barrier between balconies. How can someone sit out on the balcony and enjoy the sea air while being attacked by second-hand smoke? Just allow designated areas on the ship for smokers.

    3. genealogygail
      July 11th, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

      Would love to see it cutout at casinos, harmful to all, for sure no on balconies

    4. Melanie Acosta
      July 11th, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

      I’ve learned a LOT since I quit smoking! I quit smoking from the help of the E-Cig and I’ve decided the “non-smokers” will do ANYTHING to show their hate for the habit. Here’s my story: I was in a casino using my E-Cig, for those not familiar, an E-Cig uses vapor technology…there is NO smell and no harm of second hand smoke. Well, a lady sat next to me, and as I was “vaping” she continually waved her hand in my direction shoo away the “smoke” because the “smoke” was bothering her! This act proved to me that this lady was doing this just because she thought I was smoking. She was absolutely NOT bothered by the smell. Unbelievable!

      I am glad to to say I’m a non-smoker but I do believe some go to an extreme to prove a point and really are not bothered at all and just love to hear themselves complain!

      Just my opinion, of course!

    5. DeAnna LM
      July 11th, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

      While I am not a huge fan of people smoking on their balconies, what bothers me even more are the people who smoke and then throw their butts “into the sea!” Not only do ALL cruise lines forbid throwing anything off of the ships due to the dangers and the environmental consequences, but a lot of those butts don’t actually end up landing in the places these inconsiderate, lazy people think they will. In fact, on our last cruise, we had chosen our balcony very carefully in consideration of noise, activity, and views; within the first half day on the ship, however, we found three cigarette butts had landed on our balcony, stinking it up and making a mess of ash and bits of tobacco. THAT is beyond an annoyance, and even more unpleasant than only having the second hand smoke to deal with.

    6. LMV
      July 11th, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

      I wonder if Carnival will see a decrease in balcony bookings? We only book balconies because occasionally (meaning while on vacation w/ a cocktail) my husband and I like to smoke.

    7. Dennis K
      July 11th, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

      I would love to see non-smoking cruises.

    8. Steve Goad
      July 11th, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

      I’ve seen the 2.0 upgrades on a couple of ships (the Glory, the Sunshine).

      My wife is a smoker, I’m not. We never get a balcony room, so it means little to me… but we do have a big problem with the way they moved smoking from the Lido deck.

      Before, I will admit as a non-smoker, there was some fun in the smoking section. My wife could smoke, I could have a cup of coffee, some ice cream, maybe a drink in the evenings because everything was there close by. By the end of a cruise, the smokers (and family) became a nice friendship that, at least on a few occasions, has become lasting friendships.

      Now, the smoking deck is moved to a small section up the stairs, no coffee, no bar, no ice cream, no anything, without going down stairs.

      And forget the “getting to know” each other. Since seats are minimal, amenities are non-existent, people just smoke and leave.

      In 4 years, I’ve been on 10 cruises… 6 of which have been on Carnival… If I want to cruise with my wife, we’ll still look at Carnival, but not as likely will it be our first choice.

    9. TerryDF
      July 11th, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

      Don’t understand the drinking comparison. If someone else is drinking it doesn’t spill over on my balcony and doesn’t affect my health. Can’t wait for NCL to ban on balconies also. Lots of rumors that may be happening in 2015. Definately think they should create a nicer area/lounge with good ventilation for smokers.

    10. Gray Sullivan
      July 11th, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

      We don’t smoke and dislike the fresh sea air being tainted by the smoke from cigarettes. We pay extra for a balcony so that we can enjoy the fresh air. We feel cheated when a neighbor comes out on their deck and lights up, especially knowing that we are on our balcony. Often, when we come out on the balcony, the neighbor will put out the cigarette, but you can’t count on that. There should be areas set aside for smokers where their smoke won’t bother non-smokers.

    11. David Goldman
      July 11th, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

      Ban smoking on balconies and then enforce it. I stayed on the rear balcony of the Conquest once and every morning there were no less than 15 cigarette butts on our balcony. Smokers have no consideration for others so why should we be concerned with their addiction? These things killed my father, uncle, aunt and two cousins. Nope… they have no place on a cruise ship.

    12. Fred
      July 11th, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

      Half the ship is WAY too much. Too few people smoke. Maybe the aft section of 1 side.

      Far more important is the casino. On Carnival ships, the main promenade is right next to the casino. Walking that thing with smokers puffing away is the most unpleasant part of the cruise for me.

      And as for those that want to “vape”: the vapor still contains nicotine and I want no part of it. You are not just sucking down water vapor (which is actually wax). Granted, it is much less objectionable than actually smoking. But that does not mean I am suddenly OK with being exposed to it.

    13. Diller12
      July 11th, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

      I will smoke on mine regardless of the Ban. None Smokers say we pay top dollar for our Balcony. Newsflash So Do I.!!!!

    14. Randy Starner
      July 11th, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

      We have sailed on aft balconies several times on Carnival. I just canceled our May 3, 2015 trip due to the new policy. I don’t get the offense of outdoor smoking. The casino I get. Apparently, that will cost money. I like premium cigars. I don’t expect anyone else to get it. The balcony was a private place where the smoke dissipates immediately. The ships belong to Carnival and they can do whatever they want with them. The “good riddance” attitude of the various threads on this topic, demonstrates more ignorance and bad will than anything else. Numerous compromises were possible, but, the smoke nazis won and they have now conquered the seas. I’m afraid to book on Holland America or NCL, because, I’m sure this only makes it easier for them to submit to the whims of this vitriolic minority. Just remember, when this is conquered they will come for your beef, poultry, and seafood.

    15. Pat L.
      July 11th, 2014 @ 4:38 pm

      Our balcony was essentially unusable because of a cigar smoker next door…we can tolerate cigarette smoke but not cigar smoke. Move them to a cigar lounge or to the aft end of the Lido Deck!

    16. ken
      July 11th, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

      Ban smoking on all ships everywhere. Celebrity is as close as you can come to that. I won’t go into a restaurant or bar where smoking is allowed why should i have to deal with it on a ship?

    17. Elizabeth
      July 11th, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

      There are designated smoking areas on the ship. Secondhand smoke is deadly. It causes so many health problems. If a person is not a smoker, then the smoke is just a major problem. Some have made the argument that drinking is a problem just like the smoking. Drinking alcohol is completely different. Alcoholic beverages are not wafting all around and choking people with smoke. I am an asthmatic and when someone is smoking near our balcony, I have to go in and cannot enjoy a balcony for which we paid.

    18. Jan Olson
      July 11th, 2014 @ 5:59 pm

      As an exsmoker I am still in favor of allowing smoking on balconies. Make the aft port side all smoking just like they used to do in restaurants. The smokers would have to book early enough or run the risk of not getting a smoking room. While smoking is not a good habit, it is their right, as Americans, to smoke and just because a few non smokers get upset shouldn’t dictate policy. The cruise lines will lose business if they take it away completely.

    19. betty evans
      July 11th, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

      I have been invited to cruise with family members and was considering it after this absolutely not! News flash people not only do non smokers pay extra for balconies but so do smokers while u may think you are better or have more money than I do the pay for the balconies are the same and a smokers money is just as good as yours!

    20. Sandi
      July 11th, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

      I don’t smoke and have cruised a lot, I don’t remember being smoked off my balcony. I can’t believe the complaints on this from people who must be either very sensitive or who just like to complain. Maybe the suggestion to put smoking and non smoking cabins will work but I doubt it cause they’ll just find something else to complain about.

    21. Sharon
      July 11th, 2014 @ 6:40 pm

      Just got back from an Alaskan cruise on the Celebrity Solstice. Although they forbid smoking on the balcony the people in the stateroom directly under ours smoked and threw the ashes and butts over the side. Although we complained a number of times to the purser’s desk they took their time to investigate and the smoke was no longer a problem. They told us they had to catch them to say anything. it was frustrating.

    22. Tracey Jenkins
      July 11th, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

      All ships should not sell cigarets.

    23. Tracey Jenkins
      July 11th, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

      Smoking should be banned on all ships.

    24. Jim
      July 11th, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

      It is what it is. There are more important things in life to deal with than limiting smoking on a balcony. (and I’m a smoker) So when I hear people getting passionate about being against something I have to wonder; do you want everyone to conform to your way of thinking or is it that it makes you happy to live the victim role.

    25. Richard
      July 11th, 2014 @ 8:01 pm

      I also like booking a balcony so my wife and I can enjoy the sights and fresh air. Although they say not to, we sometimes leave our for own at night to hear the ocean…. Nothing angers me more than to have cigarette smoke come in our room or over power is on the balcony. I pay extra to be there and should be able to enjoy it. If I have a cocktail on my balcony it does not affect anyone else. I too have found butts on my balcony where people have thrown them over. As an asthmatic I can’t hardly stand cigarette smoke. Most smokers seem to be very inconsiderate and not really care where the smoke goes. Good for any cruise line that bans it except in designated areas, except rooms and balcony’s of course.

    26. Melody
      July 11th, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

      Main reason we switched to Celebrity. No smoking on balconies & no smoking in the casino.

    27. Donald Greenlee
      July 11th, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

      Thank you Carnival Cruise Lines for taking a major step in (1) improving the comfort and health of the vast majority of your passengers, (2) improving the health of your shipboard employees, and (3) improving the safety of all onboard by banning all unsupervised smoking onboard your ships.

      Following the Star Princess fire most open flames – candles, cooking, the flaming Baked Alaska etc. – have been eliminated shipboard. Smoking is dangerous anywhere onboard a ship at sea but the requisite safety precautions of an open flame simply cannot be managed in the unsupervised environment of a private balcony.

      I note that recently Celebrity, Disney, RCCL and now Carnival have all dramatically restricted smoking – Princess and Oceania already had restrictive policies in place. As a result, NCL is becoming the smoking cruise line. While only 17% of the population smokes, NCL could have a majority of passengers that smoke

    28. Fiona P.
      July 11th, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

      I’ll be heading on my first cruise this Sept to Alaska with my mom, and we chose Norwegian because they allow smoking on their balconies. I am not the smoker, my mom is, so it was important to choose this line for this reason.

    29. deborah flanary
      July 11th, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

      Just have smoking balconies on one side of the ship. I am not a smoker and I am not bothered by smokers. I think people are giving into the hype of smoking. People smoking on their balconies do not bother me – drunks do! Is that banned? You are on vacation – lighten up~

    30. Denise Woermle
      July 11th, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

      I agree with Birdiedeb and Randy Sterner! Make a section of balconies for smoking. We love to enjoy our cigars on the balcony – outdoors where the smoke dissipates quickly.

    31. Sandy
      July 11th, 2014 @ 11:20 pm

      We cruised on the Carnival Paradise when it was new. It was absolutely non smoking through out. You had to sign a contract, that if you were caught, crew also, you would be put off at the next port at your own expense and fined. The whole ship smelled good, even the casino! It was wonderful! We are all non smokers and some with allergies. I wish they were all that way!We also went on the Disney Wonder years back. They didn’t have a casino, but smoking in all of the lounges. We went to the Route 66 show. We walked to the door and were hit with smoke and left! I really did want to go to that too! Also to get to the excursion desk, you had to go through a lounge full of smoke. I haven’t been back, so I don’t know what it is like now.

    32. OldTeddyBear
      July 12th, 2014 @ 9:17 am

      Ontario Canada has been smokeless indoors for several years now. Nearly all of the bars and restaurants complained that they would go out of business but have instead thrived as they now have customers that could not stand going before due to the smoke. I know many smokers, some of them are courteous smokers who take care of their butts, do their best to avoid blowing it at anyone close, and will ask before lighting up. Unfortunately too many of them think that it is their right to blow it in your face. Rules are made and enforced because too many will not be considerate unless it is forced upon them.

    33. peggy and john smith
      July 12th, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

      with 70 some odd cruises under my belt–and as much as all aspects of it has gone down and down and down—believe me, it gets more frustrating every cruise.we choose the ship by which one has INSIDE CIGAR LOUNGES.this is purely a guess, but, i bet you it is less than 1% of the public space on a ship. AND, that is where we live while onboard. so why, oh why, oh why, do they have to screw up our one little bitty place where we can go and be nice and comfortable and enjoy ourselves???they do that for private parties on some ships. and, why, oh why did carnival have to STOP THE SMOKING OUT ON THE LIDO OUT BY THE POOL ON ONE SIDE OF THE SHIP after the 2.0 conversion (whatever the heck 2.0 means no one can tell me). early in the am–usually 5 to 6 am—that was and always has been my favorite place to go. there is never anyone up there except us smokers. it was soooo nice out there then. peaceful and quite UNTIL THE HOARDS CAME. at which time i would go to the inside cigar lounge. the only balconies we ever do is in the aft where the wind does not hit you at 35 to 40 mph. we hate the side balconies for that reason. so, the non smokers can have all of them. and i do not think holland america allows smoking on their balconies–and neither does ncl i don’t think. we stopped cruising HAL YEARS AGO when they did away with their lounges. and that broke our heart because we met on the veendam 16 years ago. i think carnival is the last hold out on that. i think the solution for the lines is to ask passengers when they book and want a balcony if they smoke. that way they should start filling the smokers from the aft–and go down one side with them— put all non-smokers from the front starting with the other side of the ship. and when the all non-smoking is full fill the other side from the front. because when you are moving, the 35 mph wind blows the smoke back toward the aft. AND, THEY SHOULD ALL TALK TO THE PASSENGERS LIKE US WHO HAVE BEEN CRUISING MORE THAN ON-HALF OF THE PEOPLE WHO WORK THERE. STOP BEING A GENERAL FIGHTING A WAR FROM HIS OFFICE.

    34. Tracey
      July 12th, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

      I do not smoke and never have, I do understand that smokers need somewhere to go. I normally travel in a group with my family and friends when we cruise and half of them do smoke. They go off to smoke and we meet up later. I think its only fair for them to go on an outside deck but I do not agree with smoking on the balcony and if I have paid more money for a balcony I would not appreciate smoke wafting over.

    35. Christina
      July 12th, 2014 @ 10:49 pm

      Thank you Carnival. Now PLEASE REINFORCE IT!!!!! Otherwise it means nothing. And no cigarette smoke does not dissipate quickly enough. Not before it goes right up your neighbors nose. It is not a pleasant smell by any means.

    36. Maggie
      July 13th, 2014 @ 5:04 am

      I object to people getting drunk – on planes boats and in public areas. Am revolted by the amounts of food people load on their plates at buffets, also—— we all have pet hates, but the vilification of smokers has to stop. M

    37. Christina
      July 13th, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

      Thank you Carnival.

    38. Donna Ledet
      July 17th, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

      We have been run in off our balcony by smokers , but what was more disturbing we had to call security to the non smoking side of the Magic for smokers smoking and throwing the cigarettes over the side . Fire on a cruise ship is ones worst nightmare . I will be thrilled when CCL & other lines realize the lives of their guess and crew are more important than a smokers nasty habit .

    39. terry
      July 18th, 2014 @ 8:37 am

      make the back balconies on the ship smoking that way they wont about a 100 or so on both sides of the ship, thay way everybody gets their way, we cancelled 4 balconies and a wedding on carnival because of the new smoking policy

    40. CathyB
      July 18th, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

      I note the above comments are in favour of no smoking by 24:15 so where is the majority of smokers some have commented on? People who object to smoke or vape, usually have a health issue, e.g. asthma, and these ‘smells’ irritate their airways. Its not a case of stopping you smoking,its about showing consideration to other people. Smoke does not ‘dissipate immediately’ it does get into other cabins and those who do not want that cannot use their balconies. Is tbis fair? I doubt if tbe lady in the casino was acting, it really is an obnoxious smell to be close to. As for Diller12, well I hope you don’t cruise with Celebrity, you may find yourself in trouble with large fines, again no consideration for other people, just selfish!

    41. Canon
      January 11th, 2015 @ 10:11 am

      Every day we encounter things that make us go EW or Gross and smoking is no different. People are obnoxious, bus fumes are gross, farting is noxious, etc. and none of them are banned. Smoking is legal and the world should accommodate us at least respectfully. On a cruise, a segment of balcony rooms should be smoking. If I’m spending over $1500 for 4 days, I shouldn’t have to go down a deck to the pool bar in my PJ’s to have my wake-up smoke. A little privacy and dignity is in order in the morning please. Then there’s the last smoke of the night before bed after I’ve washed my face and put on my PJ’s (which on a cruise may not be for public viewing). I think for $1500+ for 4 days, the world should be able to deal with two smokes on a balcony. If you happen to notice it, close your door for 5 mins. and I’ll be done and gone. Why is this such a hard thing? I’m a respectful person and don’t litter and always walk far away from people when I smoke, but on a cruise, where ya gonna go? I deserve a vacation too and the 4 mins in the wind at sea where it won’t even affect you is not going to kill you. Please have some compassion and respect that I respect your right but you have to respect mine too. There should be better areas for smokers on board also so one can sit and relax with drinks and conversation and not get the evil eye from everyone. I get it, you don’t like smoking. I will walk away from you to smoke but don’t come up next to me and complain when I do! It’s NOT affecting you and you WILL NOT DIE from it I swear if you get a slight whiff walking by. Consider it a fart and move along and you’ll be fine. Seriously. It’s gone too far. I can’t take a relaxing vacation anymore. That is not fair. I’m not going to kill you-relax. It’s no different than passing by someone with too much cologne or bo or who just farted.

    42. Canon
      January 11th, 2015 @ 10:31 am

      Additionally, e-cigs are water vapor and affect NO ONE around them and some even have zero nicotine in them so why are they banned? I at least enjoy using them when cigarettes are banned and it would help me on the balcony situation a LOT. You can’t even smell those so what is the issue? I could wear a nicotine patch and you wouldn’t complain (although it’s not the nicotine I enjoy). Also, if someone did come out on a balcony near mine, I would put it out. I get that some don’t but why punish ME for that. I even check on my patio to make sure the neighbors windows are closed before I smoke at home! I also do NOT litter and carry a little ashtray everywhere I go. Why should I be punished because some people are rude about it (just like some drunks or overperfumers are). There is no health risk to you for very temporary wafts of smoke and you are by FAR exposed to more toxins in your own home every day from the offgassing of cabinets, carpet, cleaning products, etc. so don’t use the toxic excuse. Why can’t we just coexist? Smokers deserve vacations too and if it’s going to cost me $1000 MORE for a balcony room, by golly I deserve to be able to smoke on it because that is the ONLY reason I paid $1000 more. If you don’t like smoke, get a room with a window that doesn’t open and you will be just fine and save a ton of cash.

    43. Canon
      January 11th, 2015 @ 10:33 am

      Lastly, it is BECAUSE non-smokers are so obnoxious that smokers have BECOME so obnoxious so if you chilled out they would be MUCH more considerate. Think about that. It’s because they feel so alienated and there are no ashtrays anywhere that they are rude to you and litter (I don’t, but that’s why some do.) Accommodate them respectfully and they will be respectful.

    44. Linda Hartwick
      March 9th, 2015 @ 5:22 am

      I have sailed on 110 cruises on carnival cruise lines ships I have always booked a Inside cabin. I met up with a male 80 year old man who likes to cruise so now we both split the cost of a cabin. Since carnival cruise lines now have a non smoking balconys once in a while not all the time we will book a balcony. When we do this I am always on the phone to guest services telling them our next door neighbor is SMOKING out in there balcony we can see them with the cigarette in there hand. Then the following day I am back on the phone again saying they are smoking out in the balcony. I find it very stressful I am supposed to be on vacation and relax. THE BOTTOM LINE IS IF YOU ARE A SMOKER AND YOU WISH TO SMOKE OUT IN YOUR BALCONY I was told by a guest service employee they said there is NOTHING THAT THEY CAN DO ABOUT IT! Then when HOUSEKEEPING CLAIM that they checked it out they are on the SMOKERS SIDE they say NO THEY WERE NOT SMOKING! THIS HAPPENED ON THE CARNIVAL SPLENDOR just a few weeks ago. On this cruise it was a premier casino cruise I was in the casino playing the slots at the end of the cruise all my dresses stunk of SMOKE I had to have 4 dresses DRY CLEANED as I was getting off the ship and hopping on another ship. The hotel director does not care we see people smoking where ever they are and that is all over the ship. The answer to this problem I say non smokers go back to a Inside cabin and allow smokers to smoke out in the balcony.Its a no win situation SMOKERS will do what ever they want and they are getting away with it! WHY WASTE YOUR MONEY paying for a balcony is not CHEAP!After the cruise I reported my horrible experience to guest care the guy on the phone told me they were getting a lot of non smokers paying for a balcony and telling the company guests were SMOKING out in there balcony. DO YOUR SELF A FAVOR IF YOU ARE A NON SMOKER do not book a balcony!

    45. Sharon
      May 19th, 2015 @ 11:53 am

      why don’t you pushes overs on the back of the ship????
      I always get. Balconies once in a while I enjoy a cigar so I paid the money for my room I should be allowed to smoke a cigar. If they don’t like itput the non-smokers in the front or the middle of the boat unless the back of the boat for smoking I just don’t understand how you can do that I paid good money for my balcony and I should be allowed to do what I want!!!!

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