Beginning on Crystal Serenity's May 7, 2008 London-to-Rome cruise and Crystal Symphony's May 25, 2008 Athens-to-London voyage, the line will begin prohibiting smoking on verandahs of all staterooms and suites aboard. Guest will still be able to smoke cigarettes in their private accommodations.
Smoking is already prohibited onboard in dining venues -- the Crystal Dining Room, Bistro, Lido Cafe and alternative restaurants -- and the Galaxy Lounge (the main show lounge).
Crystal will still permit guests to light up at certain tables in bars and lounges; cigar and pipe aficionados may participate in those leisure activities in the Connoisseur Club and most open decks.
As with the current policy, guests who do not observe the non-smoking policy will first be asked to comply. Failure to do so can result in a guest being asked to leave the ship at his/her own expense.
While not as stringent as boutique line Oceania Cruises' policy -- there are only two tiny areas onboard for smokers and the "Master of the vessel reserves the right to disembark any guests, without prior warning, for violation of this policy" -- Crystal's new policy nonetheless represents a step in a more stringent direction.
Other lines who've stamped out balcony smoking include Azamara Cruises, Fred. Olsen and Regent Seven Seas Cruises (which only recently made the change in December of 2007).
For a full roundup of cruise line smoking policies, see our At Your Service roundup.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor