Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Carnival Cruise Lines Introduces More Restrictive On Board Smoking Policy & Raises Gratuity Guideline

Here at Cruise Diva we hate to hear about cruise line policy changes second hand. In this case, I came across Facebook posts about a new smoking policy and an increase in gratuities quietly being introduced by Carnival Cruise Lines. I say quietly because there had not been an official announcement to the media as of 2:30pm yesterday.

However, when I searched the line's web site, sure enough, I came across the information in the Question & Answer section, which follows below.
Q: What is the smoking policy?

A: Effective on voyages departing October 9, 2014, or thereafter, all staterooms and suite accommodations are an entirely smoke free environment, including the outside balcony.

Cigarette and E-cigarette smoking will continue to be allowed in designated exterior open deck areas, as well as in our night club, and in certain areas within the casino and casino bar.

Cigar and pipe smoking will continue to be allowed in designated exterior open deck areas only.

Note: Guests who smoke in their staterooms or on their balconies will be assessed a $250 cleaning and refreshing fee on their Sail & Sign account. Information on this fee is included in Carnival's cruise ticket contract. Guest agrees to strictly comply with Carnival’s non-smoking policy.
We certainly hope travel agents have been notified. Their booked clients who are smokers should be made aware of the change in time to cancel their reservations if they feel strongly enough about the new policy, which mainly no longer allows them to light up on private balconies. Some Facebook posts indicate that previously loyal Carnival past passengers are cancelling.

As of this date, to our knowledge, Norwegian Cruise Line and Holland America Line are the only cruise lines that still allow smoking on balconies.

And the gratuities? Here's the Q&A:
Q: What is the tipping policy onboard?

A: For your convenience, we automatically charge the gratuities for dining and stateroom staff to your onboard Sail & Sign account.

• Voyages departing through Oct 8, 2014; the daily amount is $11.50 per guest
• Voyages departing Oct 9, 2014 onward; the daily amount is $12.00 per guest
Cruise Diva understands that booked guests who prepaid the gratuities by July 7 will not be charged the increase.

Image Courtesy Carnival Cruise Lines

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