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Norwegian Cruise Line is the latest in a string of cruise line competitors in banning smoking on private balconies on its ships.
The ban will begin on all sailings from November 1st. In casinos, passengers will only be allowed to smoke if they are actively playing.
Currently, Norwegian allows cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars and pipes to be smoked outdoors in certain areas and on open decks, depending on the layout of the individual ship. It defended it’s inclusion of e-cigarettes in the new ban on the basis that they ‘look so realistic…other guest’s perception is that we are not enforcing the No Smoking rule’.
Last summer, Cunard, P&O and Disney all decided to ban smoking on balconies, although some of the bans didn’t come into effect until the beginning of this year. A similar ban applying to balconies is already in place on ships run by Celebrity, Princess, Oceania and Crystal.
The issue of smoking on ships is a controversial and divisive one, however, with many smokers feeling like they should have the freedom to light up in private while on holiday, just as they would in a hotel.
Other cruisers disagree – “There is nothing worse than being driven out of your balcony – for which you have paid a premium price- by the stench of cigarette smoke”, said Jane Archer, Telegraph’s cruise critic. “Fires on cruise ships are feared more than anything else so there are also safety issues at play here. It is tough for smokers,” she said, “but most ships have a top-deck smoking area and there are still a few vessels where they can light up inside, for instance on Hapag-Lloyd Cruise line’s Europa 2, which has a dedicated smoker’s room.”
The Holland America line is now the only major line to still allow smoking on its balconies.