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This week I posted about a selfish idiot who risked the lives of everyone onboard by smoking on his cabin balcony. Smoking on your balcony is clearly against the rules on all Norwegian ships and is more than just unpleasant but also a great risk to the ship.
In the post I also highlighted what can happen. The Star Princess had a fire that resulted not just in the loss of life but also the destruction of over 100 cabins. You can see a terrifying video of the event below:
What a nightmare to experience. Honestly it simply amazes me there was not a higher loss of life and that the exemplary crews were able to put the fire out and save the ship.
Believe it or not, on my second cruise ever on the Norwegian Dawn, there was also a fire in the middle of the night in the incinerator of all places. They were able to quickly get it put out but it did smoke up two below decks and you could see smoke rolling out of the ship. Before you ask, yes I was really freaked out and my wife and I got fully dressed with layers and were ready to go to our assigned muster station if alerted to do so.
Bottom line is fire is one of the biggest risks on any cruise ship and smoking, especially on balconies, is a HUGE risk and should be avoided. Almost every major cruise line you can think of from Norwegian, MSC, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and on and on all wisely BAN smoking on your private balcony. This change is likely the reason we have seen many less incidents like The Star Princess event.
This nonsmoking policy is not only a safety issue (as clearly shown) but also smart because those of us who do not smoke want to be able to enjoy the balcony we paid for without the disgusting stink of smoke from a cabin near ours.
That said there are, as far as I can tell checking the 2023 updated posted policies, only 3 major cruise lines that show by their policies that they DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR SAFETY and foolishly allow guests to still smoke on their private balconies. We should all avoid sailing with them until this changes. The 3 cruise lines are AIDA, COSTA & FRED OLSEN Cruise Lines!
The wording on their websites says the following:
- AIDA: “The cabin balconies and designated smoking areas on the open deck are available for guests who do not want to do without a cigarette or an electronic cigarette entirely.” (in German via Goggle translate)
- Costa: “Smoking is allowed at clearly indicated external smoking areas and on guest cabin balconies, where wind proof ashtrays will be made available.“
- Fred Olsen: “Smoking will only be permitted on cabin balconies (excluding Terrace Balconies on Bolette and Borealis), and in designated open deck areas.“
Thankfully this is a very short list of cruise lines to AVOID and should not impact your choice of destinations as there are plenty of other choices with smarter and safer policies.
What to do if you smell or see someone smoking onboard where they should not? Simply pick up any ship phone and call customer service and report it and cabin number if possible. The offending guest will likely be charged around $250 per incident and many cruise lines, if they continue to break the rules, will put them OFF THE SHIP and not refund any of their cruise fare.
Sadly there are no 100% smoke free major cruise lines as of this date but we are seeing more and more restrictions coming online. As an example on my recent NCL JOY cruise even the bulk of the casino is now smoke free with only a small glass enclosed, sectioned off area where smoking is allowed.
Either way you now know the cruise lines to AVOID booking and sailing until they show they care for your safety like almost every other major cruise line on earth! – René
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