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Can you tell me what one of the greatest risks is to a cruise ship? If you said icebergs, even so many years after the Titanic tragedy, you would not be that far off. But clearly not if you are on a Caribbean cruise.
No, one of the greatest risks — and something we should all fear — is FIRE! Why is this? Well, think about where you are and just what could happen.
“One of the dangers of cruising is the cruise ship catching on fire. Most families who go on a cruise don’t like to think about it. But it happens.” – cruiselawnews.com
How bad can things go? Scary bad! So bad that it can, and has, resulted in death and massive destruction to a cruise ship. That is just what happened a few years ago on The Star Princess. Notice what NBC News reported back then (and check out the shocking photos):
“A fire apparently started by a cigarette broke out aboard a giant cruise ship early Thursday as it sailed through the moonlit Caribbean, leaving one passenger dead, 11 people injured and at least 100 rooms scorched.” – nbcnews.com (bold mine)
This is one of the reasons, since November of 2014, that Norwegian Cruise Lines announced that smoking on the ships balconies was explicitly banned.
The current wording on every issue of the “Freestyle Daily” delivered to your room clearly warns you NOT to smoke in your room or on your balcony. NCL.com tells us:
“Staterooms: Guests are not permitted to smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipe, electronic cigarettes and vapor devices in their staterooms or on their balconies. Smoking inside your stateroom or on your balcony will result in a $250 USD cleaning charge added to your onboard account. If cigarette burns on furniture, linens, towels or carpeting are detected; guests will be advised and charged for the damages. Guests in the Garden Villas may smoke in their private garden and on their private sun decks.” – BOLD MINE
This is, without question, a very serious matter — and the repercussions can be even more than just having to shell out more cash for your cruise. Notice what Cruise Critic tells us:
“What happens if I am caught smoking somewhere I’m not supposed to be smoking?
If you are caught smoking outside in a nonsmoking area, you will be asked to move to a smoking area. If caught smoking in your cabin or cabin balcony, you will be told to stop and charged a “cleaning fee” (typically $200 to $250). If you continue to break the rule, you may be forcibly removed from the ship.” – cruisecritic.com
That kind of warning did not stop this IDIOT on my recent Norwegian Joy western Caribbean cruise from constantly smoking on his balcony.
Once again, this is NOT a trivial matter and his selfishness put the lives of thousands of souls on the ship in danger just so he could have a drag of poison. It would not have taken much for one of his butts to get sucked back into the ship and possibly cause a fire at some point.
A woman, on many occasions, joined him to vape on their expansive balcony. That, too, is also prohibited and falls under the same rules and restrictions (and penalties) for engaging in smoking on an NCL balcony or in the stateroom.
What to do?
I reported these idiots twice.
Did it make any difference? They seemed to continue in their brazen conduct and not care about anyone but themselves and kept smoking so who knows. It does not appear they were ever put off the ship and I have no idea if they were fined $250 for their actions.
I guess we can only hope so.
Beyond the clear safety issue there is also the fact that I paid a big pile of cash and points to enjoy my balcony — which I simply can’t do that if it reeks of smoke from cabins around or below me. – René
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