Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Two More Cruise Lines Issue Stricter Smoking Policies

Non-smokers have waged a serious campaign for some years now to cut out smoking on cruise ships and two more cruise lines have issued new restrictions aboard their ships—MSC Cruises' MSC Divina and Royal Caribbean fleetwide.

With the upcoming arrival of MSC Divina in PortMiami to launch its year-round cruises from the U.S., MSC Cruises is expanding its smoke-free policy on that ship in order to accommodate the North American market. Effective Nov 2nd, when MSC Divina’s Grand Voyage departs Venice en route to Miami, smoking areas on board will be limited to two general areas: the Cigar Lounge and port side of designated outside decks (away from all bars and food areas).

The Top Sail Lounge, located in the private MSC Yacht Club, and the Black & White Lounge will also become 100% non-smoking. In addition, the casino has been designated as non-smoking. At the discretion of the casino manager, smoking will be occasionally allowed for playing guests, during certain hours and in limited areas that will be clearly designated as smoking permitted. As with all other MSC ships, smoking will continue to be prohibited in staterooms, on balconies, and in corridors, elevators, stairways, and public bathrooms.

Royal Caribbean has also added restrictions to their policy, outlined in a letter sent recently to travel agents. The major change is that smoking will no longer be allowed on stateroom balconies:
"In consideration of ongoing guest feedback and evolving industry standards, Royal Caribbean International is revising its onboard smoking policy, effective for all sailings departing on or after Jan 1, 2014. All indoor public spaces and private staterooms will be smoke free, with the exception of the Casino, the cigar clubs, on Freedom and Voyager Class ships, and one designated smoking venue on ships sailing from Chinese homeports. In the Casino, there will be designated smoking and non-smoking areas.

Additionally, smoking will not be permitted on stateroom balconies. Outdoor smoking areas will be designated on the starboard side of all ships. Guests in violation of the stateroom and balcony non-smoking policy may be assessed a stateroom cleaning fee. Indoor smoking areas permit tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. Cigars and pipe tobacco can be enjoyed in designated outdoor areas, or in the cigar club on the ships that offer this venue. Consult our Smoking Policy FAQ for more details. Royal Caribbean International is committed to continually enhancing the guest vacation experience. To find smoking venues and areas while onboard, passengers may consult their Cruise Compass, or visit Guest Services, where we will be happy to assist them."

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