RCI has announced that effective January 1, 2014, smoking will be banned on all balconies. They had already banned smoking in all cabins so the policy now is extended to the balconies too. Those caught doing so will be assessed a $250 fine in accordance with the cruise contract and guest conduct policy.
Also - with the exception of ships with a Connoisseur Club for cigars, and designated areas of the casino, all interior public areas will be smoke-free.
Smoking will be allowed on the port side of outside areas, except that the Central Park and Boardwalk open area on Oasis and Allure will be entirely smoke-free.
Their are also going to be some exceptions for cruises departing from selected Asian ports.
A statement from Royal Caribbean said: After careful consideration and review of guest feedback, Royal Caribbean International has adjusted its smoking policy on its fleet of 21 ships. Effective January 1, 2014, all indoor public spaces will be smoke-free on all ships with the exception of those sailing in Asia. Smoking will not be permitted in any interior space, including but not limited to restaurants, theater, bars, lounges, corridors, elevators, staterooms and stateroom balconies.
This is the best decision Royal Caribbean has made in years. One of my favorite places on the ship to hang out at night is the English pub and in almost every situation it becomes unbearable. I have never understood how they can operate Celebrity with such a strict smoking policy and Royal Caribbean without. I only wish they would change it before my repositioning cruise in a couple months. The one reason we have been taking Celebrity cruises recently over Royal Caribbean is exactly for this policy, Besides after my trip on the solstice they have some real nice ships
Vickie Freed just posted the policy on Facebook and she has something different than I posted above as follows: Outdoor smoking areas will be designated on the starboard side of all ships; with the exception of Oasis-class ships that will allow smoking on the port side of the ships.
I imagine this has to do with the pool on the starboard side with the fake beach access on Oasis and Allure. People who pull their chairs into the water would be smoking and cigarette butts would end up in the pool water.
Dave, the first leg of our Serenade B2B begins on 12/28/2013 to 01/04/2014. The new itinerary has us in Nassau until 11:59 PM on 12/31/2013. That's just one more thing for us to celebrate when the clock strikes midnight and the smoking lamps go dark indoors. It will be 20 years since I last smoked, including cigars. Also, this will be the first New Year cruise out of 9 previous when we are not out to sea at the magic moment.
__________________ "Sea" You, Keith & Rita Ann
Fast dancing is the second best form of exercise, slow dancing leads to the first!
What I learned today is how far Australia is ahead of us on their smoking policy. No ship can sail their waters with smoking in the casinos or the bars, I never knew that prior to today's announcement. Also no live plants on deck anywhere and this is not a policy of the cruise lines but of the government.
I wonder if Nassau will have fireworks or anything special on New Year's eve?
You can fill me in when we meet aboard for the January 4 leg of your cruise.
I also wonder how rigorous they are going to be on cruises that have the new rules kick in midway of those cruises? Hmmm. That could be interesting too. "Are you telling me that last night I could smoke on my balcony but today I can't???" I'm sure that will be heard more than once.
I read on the Royal Caribbean site that it will go into effect for cruises departing on or after January 1, 2014. (Link to FAQ on smoking.) They may have updated this as the original wording could cause confusion. This is much easier than putting in a new policy mid-cruise.
Been a long time since we have smoked but I'm in favor of all the changes. I feel that Canadians and Europeans tend to smoke more than us Americans. It does make for an unpleasant experience sometimes in the lounges. I always felt smoking on the balconies was not OK as we have experienced smoke from adjoining balconies coming our way, especially in port. Also, I have seen cigarette and cigar butts being thrown from the balconies a few times that could pose dangerous situations.