Carnival Cruise Ship Smoking Bans Ignite Fiery Debate

SmokingCarnivalCruiseShipCarnival Cruise Line is drawing both criticism and praise this week as news about its smoking-area-experiment aboard three ships is making headlines. Well, at least cruise travel headlines. The trial-run on the cruise ships is over but the debate between smokers and non-smokers is raging on.

Carnival took three ships – the Destiny, Freedom, and Glory – and imposed stricter smoking regulations by making several lounges smoke-free where previously smoking was allowed. Included among them, the cigar bar, which has been the focus of much of the debate.

On the surface it may seem silly to ban smoking in a placed named for doing just that. Carnival says it’s reviewing the “guest experience” after the change, but how about taking into account employee health as well? After all, most smoking bans in the U.S. are justified under occupational safety and health laws – not customer satisfaction.

Some may say that cruise lines could simply give employees the option of working there – but as we’ve all experienced on board – “no” is hardly a typical response from a crew member, and I’m guessing their allegiance to their boss is even stronger than it is to Mr. Jones from Alabama who he’ll only know for a week.

Another point worth mentioning is that on these three ships (and a few other Carnival vessels in the Conquest class), the only access to the internet café is through the cigar bar. Also, some entertainment options may only be available bars where smoking is allowed.

I’ve been on several cruises where I wanted to catch the jazz combo and have a drink before dinner, but didn’t want to be eating or watching the evening show and smelling like the Marlboro man. I also avoided the piano bars and casinos following dinner for the same reason.

I hope Carnival is taking more than just guest experience and comments into consideration. They should also look at:

1. Employee Health and Safety
2. Revenue from internet café
3. Revenue from the smoke-free bars

Yes, smokers spend a lot of money in bars – but so do the 80% of others that do not smoke.

I don’t care if you smoke, so long as I don’t have to smell it. I’m fine with having a smoking lounge near the back of the ship with private ventilation – but don’t make employees work in there for hours, don’t make it the only gateway to the internet café, and don’t have entertainment that is exclusive for those who smoke or are willing to put up with it.

4 thoughts on “Carnival Cruise Ship Smoking Bans Ignite Fiery Debate”

  1. All cruise ships should enforce a smoke-free environment in enclosed places such as eating establishments, restaurants, entertainment, clubs, etc. There are health and safety issues to think about: Adults and children with respiratory problems can’t be around smokers, irritates sinuses, scientific evidence on secondhand smoke is a real disease, fire hazards, burns, as well as personal reasons, etc…

    All cruise ships should have designated smoking areas and also in enclosed areas with smoke extractors. This is a fair compromise with individuals who do smoke and other individuals who just want to breathe in a smoke-free environment.

  2. I am glad Carnival Cruise lines have made this decision i just hope they would keep it implemented. THe problem is that you need to enter some of the smoking lounges before you can go into the main dining area. I think smoking should just be banned inside cruise ships and in cabins, although it needs to be allowed while on deck.

  3. I have been on 18 cruises and the last two were on NCL and the smoking ban in most areas were great, however, I quit spending my money in the casinos, since the cruise lines think like Las Vegas. Well contrary to popular belief, non-smokers spend more on gambling than smokers and smoking doesn’t make you a better gambler. In fact, if you run out of cigarettes in Vegas, be willing to pay about 10-12 dollars per pack. New Zealand is charging 23 dollars per pack and they are seeing fewer smokers. I don’t care if you smoke, but remember your freedom to smoke, ends where my freedom for clean air begins.

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