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aug 25 2011

Butt out! Cruise ship no-smoking zones expand in a big way

The number of places where it's OK to smoke on a cruise ship is shrinking: Increasingly, passengers aren't even allowed to smoke inside their cabins.

This winter, smokers on cruise ships won't be able to light up in quite as many spots as they used to. At least four cruise lines have announced they are adjusting their smoking policies, and all of them designate cruise cabins as strictly non-smoking areas. The lines are:

Carnival, which restricted smoking in certain public areas in June, and which is prohibiting smoking in staterooms as of December 1, 2011.

Norwegian, which as of January 1, 2012, will ban smoking in all indoor spaces with the exception of the casino. Smoking is prohibited inside cabins, though smoking (of cigarettes only, not cigars or pipes) will be allowed on the outside balcony of balcony staterooms.

Holland America, which is designating staterooms non-smoking areas starting on January 15, 2012. Smoking will be OK, however, outside on stateroom verandahs.

Princess Cruises, which is prohibiting smoking in staterooms or balconies as of January 15, 2012.

While all four of these cruise lines are making their smoking policies more restrictive, that's not to say that they are the most restrictive lines out there. A Cruise Critic post offering a comprehensive overview of cruise ship smoking policies reveals that many cruise lines already ban smoking in cabins.

And the most restrictive cruise line of all? That award goes to Oceana Cruises, which allows smoking in just a handful of places on ships. Anyone busted smoking in a non-smoking area faces serious disciplinary action as well, including being forced to disembark at the next port of all, and possibly additional fees to cover damage or cleaning costs related to the offense.

As for cruisers who'd like to smoke like chimneys, Cruise Critic recommends Pullmantur, a Spain-based cruise line with sailings in the Mediterranean that allows smoking nearly anywhere and at any time -- even during massages or in between courses at ship restaurants.

MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL:

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Confessions of...a Cruise Ship Musician

Ask Trip Coach: Ocean Cruising

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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