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 Fewer places for you to smoke on cruise ships
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
3910 Posts

Posted - Aug 14 2007 :  10:42:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fewer places for you to smoke on cruise ships

By Tom Stieghorst

South Florida Sun-Sentinel


August 14, 2007

Ahh, the sea. The briny scent. The crisp breezes. The cloud of secondhand smoke.

While the rest of the hospitality industry has cracked down on smoking, cruise ships remain an exception, at least in parts of almost every ship.

But as new policies at two major lines show, the cruise industry is slowly dimming the smoking lamp.

Royal Caribbean International recently announced that starting in January, smoking will be banned in passenger cabins, making it the largest line to adopt that policy. Norwegian Cruise Line last month began tightening up, too. A few smaller lines are largely smoke free, and kid-oriented Disney Cruises also bans smoking in staterooms.

While smoking has gradually been snuffed on airline flights, restaurants and many hotel chains, the cruise industry has lagged or two reasons: It caters to a large base of passengers outside North America, where smoking is more accepted and prevalent. And groups, a key part of the business, don't book nonsmoking venues if even one member of the group would be excluded as a result.

Completely cutting out smoking has its consequences.

When Carnival Cruise Lines made its 2,052-passenger Paradise entirely smoke free in 1998, the ship brought in less revenue than other Carnival ships. Carnival scrapped the ban in 2004.

But the smoking habit continues to recede in the United States, falling from 22.8 percent of adults in 1999 to 20.1 percent last year. So cruise lines are strategically reducing the opportunities to smoke, while doing their best not to alienate the minority of passengers who still indulge.

That works for Florence Schemer, a real estate agent from Jacksonville, who was waiting at Port Everglades on Monday to cruise on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas.

"I'll come back and go again," said Schemer, a heavy smoker until about 20 years ago. "I wish everything was nonsmoking."

Another firm mending but not ending its mixed smoking policy is Norwegian Cruise Line, which last month further restricted the public areas where tobacco is allowed. Although Norwegian still lets passengers smoke in cabins, the casino and the cigar bar are now the only other permitted indoor smoking areas.

Some outdoor areas near restaurants are also off-limits, a spokeswoman said.

At Royal Caribbean, a new "wellness" theme helped trigger the smoking changes, spokesman Harrison Liu said. An on-board program dubbed Vitality will encourage passengers to take exercise classes, use the spa, pick active shore excursions and learn about healthier eating habits.

"This got some of our executives thinking about the entire cruise experience and trying to bring that in line with our new focus on wellness," Liu said.

So after Jan. 1, passengers on 18 of Royal's 21 ships face a cabin cleaning charge tacked on to their bill if they're discovered smoking in their rooms. Smokers can still light up on cabin balconies, as well as the starboard side of the ship, Liu said.

Tellingly, the three ships temporarily exempt from the new plan all sail in parts of the world where smoking rates are far higher than in the United States. They include the Rhapsody of the Seas, sailing in the Far East, and the Legend and Splendor of the Seas, which are on European itineraries. Those ships won't adopt the new smoking rules until next summer, Liu said.

Although Royal Caribbean said its internal polls show support, not everyone is on board with the new approach.

Katrina Cheathom-Standors, of Chicago, said the change will put off smokers like her. "A lot of the restaurants that don't allow smoking, I don't go to anymore," she said before boarding the Enchantment of the Seas on Monday.

Cheathom-Standors said she picked the Royal Caribbean ship for the special honeymoon suite package, but said she wouldn't have gone if the new policy had been in place. "I would have found someplace else," she said.

Tom Stieghorst can be reached at tstieghorst@sun-sentinel.com or at 305-810-5008.

Online
Should smoking be allowed on cruise ships? Vote now at Sun-Sentinel.com/smoking.

Copyright 2007, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Dave, Forum Administrator
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Joyce-ON
Moderator

Canada
11 Posts

Posted - Aug 14 2007 :  6:49:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

All our restaurants in Toronto and the bars are now non-smoking. At first revenues fell, but once non smokers realized that they could go to all bars and restaurants and not have to come home with sore eyes, and smelling, revenues went back up. Then they actually increased! At present patio's and decks are smoking areas, but come this January, they will also be off limits to smokers.
I hope all resorts and cruise ships follow suit.
Joyce-Toronto

SNM Team Leader
http://www.copd-support.com
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
3910 Posts

Posted - Aug 14 2007 :  8:11:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ohio has followed Toronto's example. All restaurants and bars are now smoke free inside. Some have now faired well, but the bulk have seen their sales up and more families. We have not been fast to cruise since the got rid of the Paradise and we do not want to deal with smoke everywhere.

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
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Turtle
Member

USA
41 Posts

Posted - Oct 28 2008 :  8:21:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
nice cruise

Leah

Edited by - Turtle on Nov 05 2008 12:57:30 PM
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