Smoking is NOT allowed on the Balconies of Carnival ships nor is it allowed on the majority of balconies with other cruise lines. If you would have contacted the customer service desk, those people would have gotten some hefty fines (think it's like $250 per occurrence). As for recommending not to purchase a cruise if they allow smoking on the ship, no one would take a cruise as smoking is permitted on cruise ships in designated areas. The Balcony is not one of those areas.