This is big news for the German-based line, which attracts mostly Europeans -- who are more likely to smoke than Americans (nearly 40 percent of Europeans smoke, as compared to about 25 percent of Americans). Deilmann's new policy reflects changing European attitudes toward smoking, with nations like Ireland and the Netherlands introducing legislation to ban smoking in public places, and the European Union speaking out about the health risks associated with cigarettes.
Though attitudes may be changing, past attempts to ban onboard smoking have been short-lived. Carnival's Paradise debuted as a smoke-free vessel in 1998, but the ban was lifted last fall after the ship was redeployed to Long Beach, CA. Renaissance Cruises' entire R-series of ships was smoke-free, but the line folded in 2001.
There are now no smoke-free ships, though certain cruise lines have stricter policies than others. Most ban smoking in dining rooms but allow it in staterooms and in designated areas of bars, lounges and open-air decks. More restrictive lines include Oceania, which allows smoking only in designated areas of the Horizons Bar and the Pool Deck, and Disney, which consigns smokers to stateroom verandahs, a few bars and lounges, and open-air decks well away from the children's pool.