I was on Hal in December. Did not notice an increase in smoking in balconies. However, it would not surprise me if Hal followed all the other cruise lines.
I can see HAL moving to the no smoking on the balconies. HAL has been trying to reinvent itself as it had tended to cater to the Blue hair's and is trying for a younger demographic. I would not pay for a balcony if I can not use it because my neighbor is smoking.
I thought Costa still had a lot of Smoking areas on it's ships ?
As a smoker, I have gotten used to being sent to smoking areas wherever we are. While I cannot comment on being around smokers on a balcony, since I have not used a balcony suite on a cruise, I do understand a travelers concern. While smokers still make up a demographic in cruising, they will still be catered to in some degree. I understand that smoking is not allowed in many areas and venues, and I agree with the rules in almost all cases. Since cruise lines depend on supply and demand, if the demand grows for non-smoking balconies, then the lines will prohibit the practice.
Time will tell if HAL modifies it's rules, to acomidate a different demographic.
Regarding smoking on Costa:
Where You Can Smoke: Smoking is permitted on designated spaces on the open decks, and in the Cigar Bar.
Where You Can't: All public rooms are nonsmoking. Smoking in cabins an on balconies is also prohibited."
I'm not certain exactly when all the lines established their recent prohibitions on balcony smoking, apparently it came on rather sudden. We were on HAL for a little over a month exactly one year ago and didn't detect anything out of the ordinary. It wasn't until October that we noticed something amiss. We were planning a cruise for next fall, checking out the itineraries of the three lines we use, HAL, Regent and Princess when we noticed all HAL balconies were sold out yet the other lines had lots of available space, strange. Discovered then that on the HAL threads a virtual war was taking place.
That is a shame, I was looking at HAL for Alaska this summer :-( I'm now thinking I'll pay more and go Celebrity. I was also surprised to see the reviews on Cruise Critic not coming in great on the Opsterdam not coming in so good. Nobody mentioned smoking, just the service and ship condition.
Yea JusMe, probably the reason nobody posted much about the smoking subject on the Oosterdam is that the HAL smoking policy got so heated a while back and so many pertinent threads were started, the C.C. moderators called a halt to it all. Now there is only one thread available for discussions regarding HAL smoking and that is huge. Also it is under close surveillance by moderator Walt and one better not stray very far from the pertinent subject.
I think HAL will join the rest of the Cruise lines on No Smoking Balconies
I am sailing on HAL in 2016. I did not take a balcony because of the smoking policy. I hope that HAL reconsiders. I have been on my balcony and had to go inside on many occasions because of smoke. Now I don't take a balcony stateroom on any ship. Passenger don't follow the rules.
This change is a bit late than I thought but a welcomed one. Smoking (2013 Med cruise) ruined our being able to enjoy our balcony for much of the cruise. It seemed that every time we were sitting outside, someone would light up which effectively ended our balcony time. My respiratory system cannot tolerate any kind of smoke, nor do I enjoy the smell of burning tobacco While I believe in a person's right to choose, I do not support a choice when it has an impact on others. Designated smoking areas are one way to accomplish a balance in rights. It may be a little inconvenient for the smoker but that is minor when compared to maintaining a healthy environment for everyone on the ship.
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