I’ve never been on a cruise ship. But to the best of my knowledge life on one of them is more or less one non-stop party, from dawn to dusk.
But it seems that now the party’s over.
Cruise Lines to End Smoking on Balconies
Cabin balconies are now off limits to smokers on two more cruise lines.
Last week, Carnival Cruise Line announced a change in its smoking policies, banning cruisers from lighting up on its balconies (a ban on smoking in the cabin was already in effect) beginning Oct. 9, 2014.
On Wednesday, Norwegian Cruise Line followed suit, prohibiting smoking on stateroom balconies beginning Nov. 1, “As the health and well-being of our guests and crew is of the utmost importance,” it said in an email announcement. Norwegian also prohibits smoking in ship cabins.
“The cruise industry is following what hotel industry is already doing,” said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of CruiseCritic.com. “They are limiting smoking, not banning it outright.”
Nonsmoking areas have been growing in the past five years aboard ships, although most lines still offer public areas outdoors or in casinos to smoke.
So you can’t smoke in your cabin. And you can’t smoke on your cabin balcony either. And you almost certainly can’t smoke anywhere inside the ship (except the casino).
Why should a smoker like me ever want to take a cruise on one of these ships? The way I read it, the cruise companies are telling 20% of their customers that they’re no longer welcome.
Why? Surely a ship at sea is one place in the world where national or state smoking bans don’t apply. Why are the cruise companies unilaterally imposing their own bans? Have they become their customers’ moral guardians?
Perhaps they have. But if they’re going to ban smoking, why not ban drinking and gambling and dancing as well? After all, if smoking can be banned on some pretext or other, so can anything else.
And perhaps that’s exactly what they intend to do, and drive all their customers away.
I expect to see cruise companies going bust just like pubcos.