P&O, Cunard and Royal Caribbean have announced significant changes to their onboard smoking policy which will affect passengers who wish to smoke onboard.
P&O and Cunard has announced that passengers will no longer be able to smoke on stateroom balconies and smoking will only be permitted in specific areas. In a joint statement they said “Following feedback from guests and the results of recent customer research, smoking will no longer be permitted on stateroom balconies. Smoking is therefore not permitted in staterooms, balconies or public areas but will continue to be permitted in designated areas of the open deck.”
Both lines have said they will however allow electronic cigarettes to be used in staterooms, on balconies and in other designated areas onboard.
P&O and Cunard have said that these changes will take effect on all cruises departing after the 2014 world cruises.
Soon after this news broke, industry giant Royal Caribbean revealed they too will be changing their onboard smoking policy from January 2014.
Smoking is already banned in staterooms onboard all Royal Caribbean ships but smoking has been allowed on stateroom balconies and in designated areas. However, from 2014 smoking will no longer be allowed on balconies.
As well as balconies the line has also extended the interior smoking ban to all public spaces on its ships, with the exception of the casinos. The casino, Connoisseur Club and some areas of the starboard side of outer decks will be the only designated smoking areas. The new restrictions also apply to electric cigarettes.
Effective on all cruises from January 1st 2014, Royal Caribbean said the new smoking restrictions are the result of "careful consideration and review of guest feedback."
Extensive research, guest reviews and feedback were used to make these decisions by the cruise lines and it is anticipated that these changes are going to bring positive feedback from guests.
By Sally Grimes