Are you allowed to smoke on cruise ships? Rules for smokers explained and which lines are best

Author: Susan Johnson

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Can you smoke on a cruise ship? Whether you hate the thought of being exposed to cigarette smoke or you are a smoker, this might be one question that’s constantly bothering you before getting onboard a cruise.

The smoking policy on cruise ships varies depending on the cruise lines. Generally, cruise ships do allow smoking onboard.

However, in most cases, you are only allowed to smoke onboard in a few designated areas. For instance, you can’t smoke in cruise ship restaurants or cabins, and smoking on balconies is a definite no due to the fire hazard.

While a lot of people prefer no smoking cruise ships, guests are free to smoke in designated smoking areas.

After all, when 15 percent of adults in the UK regularly smoke, banning smoking from cruise ships altogether wouldn’t be practical or profitable.

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Is there a smoking area on cruise ships?

Yes! Almost all cruise ships feature designated smoking areas that are tucked away from (and easily avoidable for) non-smokers. Once you board a cruise ship, you will be given a copy of the deck plan that highlights useful areas such as toilets, lifts and smoking areas.

If you wish to enjoy a virtually smoke-free cruise, your best bet is to make a mental note of where the smoking areas are, so you can easily avoid them.

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Can you smoke on a cruise ship balcony?

The simple answer to this question is “No.” While a few smokers dislike the idea of walking to the smoking area every time, non-smokers often worry about second-hand smoke making its way into their balcony from the one next door.

Additionally, safety is a huge concern. With no staff members around, it would be hard to ensure the cigarettes are properly extinguished if smoking on a cruise ship balcony were allowed. There also exist fears that smokers might throw cigarette butts overboard, polluting the ocean.

For these reasons, smoking on cruise ship balconies is banned by most cruise lines, except one. Costa Cruises is perhaps the only cruise line in the world that allows smoking on private balconies.

Costa Cruises is the only line to allow smoking on private balconies. Credit: Shutterstock

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Who is Costa Cruises?

An Italian cruise line owned by the Carnival Corporation, Costa Cruises offers value-added services that are popular among families, young cruisers and groups.

The line has a relaxed smoking policy, allowing guests to smoke on their balconies. Nevertheless, smoking in cabins isn’t allowed.

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The ship features additional smoking areas and almost all bars on the top deck have ashtrays.

Costa Cruises also have a space called “Cigar Lounge,” where passengers are allowed to smoke cigars, cigarettes and pipes.

Plan ahead whether you'd like to smoke onboard or want to stay away from smoking areas. Credit: Shutterstock

Smoking Policies for Major Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Line

Cigarette smoking is allowed only in designated areas within Carnival’s casinos, nightclubs and bars. There are also designated exterior open deck areas where cigar and pipe smoking are permitted.

Celebrity Cruises

Guests can only smoke in designated outdoor areas on Celebrity Cruises. This does vary by ship.

- READ MORE: Celebrity Cruises looks beyond for 2022 - what to expect -

Holland America Line

Smoking is allowed on the starboard side of the Sea View Bar/Pool, the Oak Room on Noordam, and the Sports Deck forward and starboard side on other cruises. Furthermore, smoking is permitted in all casinos with Holland America Line, except in Oosterdam, Eurodam, Zuiderdam and Westerdam.

Norwegian cruise ship passengers can smoke in designated areas. Credit: Shutterstock

Norwegian Cruise Line

Can you smoke on a Norwegian Cruise Ship? Yes, in designated areas on open decks, casinos for players and cigar bars. However, a slightly different smoking policy exists for a few of the ships. For instance, Garden Villa passengers can smoke in their private gardens or sun decks.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Cigarette smoking is only permitted in designated areas within the Connoisseur Club and the outdoor pool. You are also allowed to smoke in Horizon Lounge on Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner. The Connoisseur Club allows cigar and pipe smoking.

- READ MORE: Inside Norwegian Cruise Line's new ship Norwegian Prima -

Royal Caribbean International

All Royal Caribbean ships permit smoking in designated areas of the open decks. Casino Royale allows smoking, with a few exceptions of voyages departing from the UK and Australia. Cigar and pipe smoking are permitted in cigar bars, found on Freedom-class and Voyager-class ships.

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