When it comes to cruising, it’s time to kick back and enjoy the finer things in life. For many of us, smoking is a guilty pleasure we look forward to at sea, even with the acknowledged health risks. Yet understandably, non-smokers prefer to enjoy their cruises free from smoke and cruise ships do their bit to ensure there’s a balance between both kinds of passenger.

Whichever side of the divide you fall on, rest assured that your cruise is going to meet your lifestyle choices. Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know about smoking on cruise ships.

The basics

As a general rule, you’ll find that the rules about lighting up on deck onboard your cruise are good old fashioned common sense. While there have been cruises that completely banned smoking in the past, it hasn’t become common practice, as some guests didn’t appreciate that kind of segregation. Therefore, nowadays, if you’re wondering can you smoke on a cruise, chances are it’s a yes.

There are some details to keep in mind though. As a general rule, areas such as restaurants, theatres and cabins are seen as non-smoking areas of your cruise ship. Some bars will also fall in line with this. However, for the most part, your chosen cruise ship will have designated smoking zones, which are mostly found outdoors. This is more than just a case of which cruise lines allow smoking on balconies though, because it can also include some deck spaces too.

In terms of indoor smoking, cruise ships tend to keep it to very specific venues. It’s most common for these spaces to be casinos, specialist lounge style bars, some nightclubs and, naturally, any cigar lounges you might find onboard.

E-cigarette rules

On the whole, cruise lines treat other ways of smoking, like pipes and cigars, and especially e-cigarettes, exactly the same as smoking cigarettes. As such, even with an e-cigarette you’ll be expected to follow the same rules during your voyage as you would smoking a more traditional cigarette. However, sometimes you’re able to enjoy an e-cigarette in your cabin, so if in doubt, check with the staff during your cruise.

Smoking explained, cruise by cruise

Every cruise line is different and each has their own approach as to how smoking on a cruise is handled. While you’re free to bring up any questions during the time of your booking, here are a few examples of how some of your favourite cruise lines designate where you can and can’t smoke onboard.

Onboard the lively cruise ships of Carnival Cruise Lines®, you can expect smoking areas to be very clearly signposted. Smokers are welcome to spark up in designated areas of casinos and nightclubs onboard, as well as specific part of open deck areas, across the cruise ship. However, you cannot smoke in your cabin or on the balcony.

Onboard the cruise ships of Cunard, you’re freely allowed to smoke in your cabin and on your balcony. While out and about on the ship at sea, you can expect to see designated smoking areas on the starboard decks, as well as certain lounges, bars and casinos that allow you to smoke at your leisure.

Marella Cruises has express parts of its colourful cruise ships where smoking is permitted and guests cannot smoke anywhere else onboard. However, smoking areas are largely found outside, on some choice areas of the open deck, meaning smokers can enjoy sublime views. Furthermore, e-cigarettes are permitted in both casinos and the nearby bars that serve their clientele.

Every cruise line afloat nowadays has a tolerant policy for its smoking guests, so don’t be shy in asking for specifics when you book your next relaxing adventure at sea.

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