QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Smoking on a Cruise

We just updated our articles on cruise line smoking policies, and want to know what you think of the current situation. Are smokers and non-smokers both treated fairly? Is smoke a problem when you cruise?

Tags: Smoking

21 Answers

I read lots of complaints in ship reviews about offensive smoking - usually relating to passing through the casino. It isn't a problem for me - I do smoke cigars - and the cigar lounges are usually kept clean enough for an enjoyable experience. I will say that when the HVAC or ventilation goes out - smoking lounges can become sties. I do think that the "pariah" image of smokers is often exaggerated.

As a smoker, I appreciate the areas that Carnival has set up for smokers. They have nice seating in outdoor areas. I never smoke indoors at home, so oddly enough, the casino smoke bothers me--I can thus empathize with non-smokers about that situation. When we had a balcony cabin before the new rules against balcony smokers took effect, I thought it stunk to the high heavens, so I totally agree with that rule.

The one thing I encounter nearly every cruise are non-smokers who choose to sunbathe or relax in the smoking area and then loudly complain about the smoke. I honestly try to be courteous and respectful of non-smokers, but I expect the same in return.

I was a smoker - then a vaper - now I'm back to smoking and vaping Angry, The non-smokers definitely have the advantage as to non-smoking areas on the ships in general. I know that many would prefer that the entire ship be smoke free and not unlike many hotel chains that have adopted that policy, it is probably forthcoming....

That said, I agree that the non-smokers who complain about the smoke in the designated smoking areas are in the wrong ... it's clearly designated smoking area, so stay out if it bothers you. There are very distinct designated smoking areas in the casino (a little symbol on the machine will indicated if it's a smoking machine) and most casinos have "smoke-free" nights.

The ventilation on ships in cigar lounges and smoking bars could be improved but I have yet to see any system that works effectively. The Royal and Regal Princess seem to have the best outdoor areas for smokers.

People who go to a clothing optional beach don't tell others to put their clothes on so I see no reason why people who come to smoking areas should criticize those smoking.

My biggest pet peeve about smoking is when a morbidly obese person lectures me on the health risks of smoking ...

As a non-smoker I find the casinos are getting better at putting the non-smoking slots near areas where the general passengers might be. I agree that ii is rude when non-smokers try to take over the smoking areas, I often find myself there because I don't pay attention, but I look around and say "oh it's the smoking area". Carnival tried a non-smoking didn't work. The Paradise made 1/3 less revenue than the same class ship, sailing the same itinerary, out of the same port than it's sister ships. While that was a while back, I still think most cruise lines are doing a good job.

EXACACTLY!!!! Also, the casinos really need to invest in powerful ventilation system.

As smokers are a minority now it will get tougher and tougher on them to find a spot to light up. I think ships do an OK job with the smoking areas. I do think they need better HVAC and filters to keep the casino smoke in the Casino. I know on Carnival ships the areas around the casino also stink of smoke so that non-smokers can not enjoy the bands playing in that are or some of the bars near the casino. As pointed out nonsmoking was tried and failed on the Paradise, Seams Smokers have addictive personalities and the addictions go to drinking and gambling as well.

The problem is not the ship it is the guest. Some want to smoke or vape anywhere (Saying Vape has no smoke so they can do it in the clubs of anywhere) Others do not want even a hint of smoke anywhere on the ship (they are the ones sun bathing in the smoking section and complaining about it)

The Ruby Princess had a very smelly casino.We are seniors and few seniors I saw were smoking.I want all the cruise lines to re-think offering smoke-free cruises again or at least keep the smoke-free sections anywhere on the ship better ventilated and clean.And like most casinos the smell of stale beer was always in the air.

Cigarette smoking never really bothered me, wife is another story, she a reformed smoker. I disliked cigar chain smokers on the balcony next to us, so quit HAL.

Mentioned often is that Carnival ship, years ago, that was smoke free for a while. Also, many point to Renaissance, which went bankrupt, as one cause of their demise being their very strict no smoking rules.

I can't attest to the validity of either one of those examples however that was then and now is now. About four years ago HAL became the only North American major to still allow balcony smoking. So many pertinent threads were started on C.C. they had to restrict HAL smoking to one only, on Aug 9, 2014. Two weeks ago they finally closed the thread due HAL's policy change, there had been 5005 total posts on the thread and countless locks for time-outs due comment getting so heated.

It appears to me that a number of major cruise lines are rapidly approaching no smoking---period. HAL's decision was a surprise to me, as almost overnight they went from one of the most smoker friendly lines to almost zilch since they have only one ship with an exclusive smoking lounge, I would have bet they would have put in lounges before getting rid of balcony smoking, doesn't look like they want to do that though. Celebrity doesn't have lounges either nor does X allow any smoking in their casinos, X is very close to allowing no smoking at all. Our most recent experience is on Princess, we notice very little smoking there, wife says she rarely sees a smoker in the casino anymore even though some slots allow for that. Some friends I have met on Princess are smokers and they are very displeased with these developments but indicate they are still sticking with Princess as rules have tightened everywhere.

Demographics, and cruise line smoking is another interesting aspect, HAL guests, prior to their becoming the only game in town as far as balcony smoking went, were about 8% smokers. Now that they have eliminated balcony smoking one would expect the demographics to soon be about average again. For average smoking today, it appears about 15% of the total populace smokes, which is down from before when the age categories were 8.5% for 65 and older, 18% for ages 45-64, 20% for ages 25-44, 16.7% for ages 18-24. Considering ship board percentages, one must factor in that the more affluent members of society are, statistically, the less likely to smoke. Therefore, it stands to reason, since HAL guests are generally better off financially than the average in any given age classification the percentage of HAL smokers pertinent to each classification is less, plus, on HAL the average age of a passenger is probably well over 65. Might even be only 7% or less of HAL guests smoke today.

I think the lines are doing the best they can with the vocal groups.

Most lines severely restrict smoking inside (limited to the casino and possibly one enclosed club area) and outlaw it in all other indoor areas including cabins and balconies. Celebrity (as far as I know) has the most restrictive policy relegating it to outdoor (designated) areas only.

As a vaper, I am included (for the most part) in the smoker demographic (Princess does allow vaping in one's own stateroom, but not on the balcony). I have found that in most cases the smoking area was convenient and comfortable enough.

In short, I find nothing wrong with the lines' policies.

* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.