We are booked on Freedom of the Seas sailing on 5/10/09 and are booked in room 6288 category E2 with a balcony. I read the no-smoking policy posted on this site. The policy said smoking is permitted on the starboard side, what side of the ship is that? We booked pretty far in advanced and are hoping for a upgrade. Our first cruise on the Diamond Princess to the Mexican Rivera, we had 7 rooms booked side by side, we all had problems with people above us butting their ashes over the edge, and throwing their matches down, landing on the patio deck of our balcony. I should mention the balconies on the Diamond Princess are tiered, it doesn't look like RCI's balconies are tiered. Any comment on my room selection, and the starboard side would be appreciated.
If you ever are in a situation where someone is throwing butts, or matches down on your balcony I certainly would report it. The end result could be a very dangerous situation. They always announce during the life boat drill for people not to do that. Some people are totally ignorant though.
And another thing - the starboard smoking rule is only for public areas. Smoking is allowed on all balconies regardless of the side of the ship they are on.
It is a shame people can be so ignorant. A fire probably started by a cigarette butt on a balcony caused the fire on the Star Princess a few years ago. This caused a terrible fire that burned away many balconies and caused internal damage. One passenger died from a heart attack due to the stress of the emergency.
People seem to forget that where there's smoke, there's fire. Welcome to Cruise-Chat, Lauri Few! You're going to be in AWE when you board the Freedom. The first time I was on the Freedom we were in cabin 6580, which is an E-2 category. Here is a picture of the balcony: