Cruise Wisdom: Smoking

Fired Up

So what’s the real deal with this smokin’ hot topic?

By Cindy O’Neil

My husband is a smoker and we are considering our first cruise. Whenever I ask my friends about cruise ship smoking policies, I just get heated opinions instead of answers. Will my husband be able to smoke on the ship or not?

— Marta A., South Palm Beach, Florida

The short answer is yes, but that is a very short answer. As a former smoker I have viewed shipboard smoking policies from both sides of the ashtray. Gone are the days when smoking was considered fashionable and passengers could fire one up almost anywhere on board.
I remember when smoking was allowed in every cabin, every lounge, and even in the dining room, where smoking was the norm. Today, people are much more concerned about their health, and therefore smoking policies on ships have become far more restrictive.
Of course, policies vary from cruise line to cruise line and sometimes even from ship to ship. Generally speaking, on most ships, smoking is not allowed in your cabin or on your balcony; it’s prohibited in all dining venues, and is allowed only in designated areas of the ship such as on select outside decks and in some lounges or the casino. Some ships have a dedicated cigar bar or lounge where smoking is allowed indoors. Cruise lines also vary on their policies regarding the use of electronic cigarettes.
Carnival Cruise Line, for example, states that all staterooms and suite accommodations are entirely smoke free, including the balcony. Smoking is allowed in designated exterior open deck areas, as well as in nightclubs (except Carnival Sunshine), on ships with designated jazz clubs, and in certain areas within the casino (for playing guests) and casino bar.
Likewise, Norwegian Cruise Line’s policy states that smoking in staterooms or on stateroom balconies is prohibited, public areas are smoke-free, and smoking in the casino is limited to players and is also allowed in designated outdoor public guest spaces and open decks only.
No butts about it: The topic of smoking brings out some heated responses from cruise passengers. A few years ago, I was…

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