Smoking Policy Changes for Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises

By The Cruise Web, Inc.
No SmokingAs onboard smoking garners more and more resistance in the cruising industry,  many top cruise lines are reevaluating there smoking policies. Industry-leader Royal Caribbean and European cruise line MSC Cruises have recently adopted new rules and regulations regarding smoking onboard.
Royal Caribbean International’s smoking policy changes will be effective beginning January 1, 2014, MSC’s on November 2, 2013 (onboard the MSC Divina). Let’s take a look at the changes that have been made moving forward for these two cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean’s Smoking Policy Changes

  • All indoor public spaces and private staterooms will be smoke free, except the casino, cigar clubs and one designated smoking venue on ships sailing from China.
  • In the casino, there’s going to be designated smoking areas.
  • No smoking on stateroom balconies.
  • There will be designated outdoor smoking areas on the starboard side of ships.
  • Violations in staterooms and balconies could result in a stateroom cleaning fee.
  • Indoor smoking areas will allow tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
  • Outdoor smoking areas will allow the same as indoor, plus cigars and pipes.

MSC Divina’s Smoking Policy Changes

  • Smoking areas limited to two areas: the Cigar Lounge and port side of designated decks (not near bars/food areas).
  • MSC Yacht Club staple The Top Sail Lounge and the Black & White Lounge are now non-smoking.
  • Casino is non-smoking, but casino managers may make exceptions when requested by playing guests during certain hours in designated areas

Given the changes, we have a few questions for you to answer in the comments below:

  1. How do you feel about the changes instituted by Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises? Are they fair, or will they inhibit you from choosing them for your next cruise vacation?
  2. Would you suggest any further changes to the policy?
  3. What other cruise lines would you like to see these changes appear on?

We’re looking forward to seeing what you think about this clearly important situation. Thanks for reading, and happy cruising!
The Cruise Web, Inc.
The Cruise Web, Inc.

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  1. Why would they not at least make the change date for new itineraries coming out?! Changing on cruises already booked is Very wrong. I carefully read the policy when I booked my THREE Allure cruises to make sure. A date change would be fair for everyone. At least you dont screw up already booked plans!

    • Marylee – We are sorry that this new policy change will negatively affect your upcoming cruises on the Allure of the Seas. While we cannot speak on behalf of the cruise line as to why they decided to update this policy, having it take affect January 1, 2014 ensures the transition takes place fleet wide at one time. If you need help changing your cruise plans we would be glad to discuss your options, just give us a call at 1-800-377-9383.

  2. I was told mine was many of RCCL’s requests to cancel cruises as a result of the new policy. They were many alternatives that would have been reasonable. I hope the non-smokers that regularly complained enjoy the results of the less profitable RCCL of the future. There were already enough lines with restricted balcony smoking and it was a saturated market. So RCCL can’t make up the cancellations with non-smokers.

  3. So disappointed in RCI that they handled it the way they did. I am not a smoker but agree it was handled un-fairly. Designated balconies for smokers should of been considered or have they policy implemented on cruises before they become open. I have only cruised on RCI and have stuck by their side after removal of many so called “perks” each year. It may be time for me to look for a new cruise line. I am seriously considering canceling my two booked cruises. I am a believer in fairness for all, not matter what the situation.

  4. The no smoking policy should be practised on all cruise lines and in particular those children oriented cruises. We all know the hazards of smoking especially in enclosed area on a cruise line.I think that the cruise lines are waking up to the fact that there are lots of us who don’t appreciate being treated to second hand smoke. I certainly welcome the new policy.

  5. I too am very dissapointed with the way the no smokng policy has been handled. I was in the process of planning my next cruise and was going for a balcony as this way I would have a little outdoor space where I could enjoy a cigarette in peace and private. If a no smoking ban on balconies is in place I will not be cruising on the ships that have implemented it and will have to look into alternative holidaying. I would ask the directors of cruise lines to seriously look into a way where they please both non smokers and smokers. They could at least designate a section of balconies for smokers and give us a choice. After all we don’t go around the streets asking people not to drive because we are swallowing their car exhaust fumes.

  6. I am so glad that I read this about RCI new smoking policy. I was a few days from booking my May cruise on the Oasis. I have sailed RCI and Carnival several times each, but my prefrence WAS RCI. I think I’ll cruise Carnival in May. Very dissapointed.

  7. I complained to MSC officers last year because I like to dance when on a cruise I had to pass up dancing in some of the lounges because of the smoke. I am glad that MSC changed their smoking policy. Now I will condider curising with them again.

  8. Whoopee!!!! It’s great that some cruise lines are considering the non-smokers and their issues (sometimes life-threatening) with smoke/second-hand smoke. We were on a Carnival cruise in 2009, and everywhere we wanted to go we had to go through the Casino — and I couldn’t breathe. I tried staying in my room for a while, but the occupants in the adjoining cabin were smoking on their balcony. It was a most horrible experience — for which I paid the same (or maybe more than) the smokers who ruined my holiday> With all the knowledge now regarding the hazards of second-hand smoke, all cruise lines should adopt a smoke-free policy on their ships. When Tim Horton’s coffee shops in Canada did this their business increased, even though the smokers thought the opposite would happen. I am thrilled with the decision, as are all of my friends who also like to cruise and see the world — in comfort.

  9. Really? wondering why we cant smoke on our balcony?? Thatis taking it a bit far, considering the amount we pay to get the balcony!! that is the main reason I book a balcony to get to smoke in the early morning with a cup of coffee to start the day! ugh!! really RCCL??

  10. Cancelled plans as this policy did not consider alternatives such as back end balconies for smokers. No worries there are alternatives. I am happy that I did not make it to double diamond status on such a short sighted line. I had already noticed the lowering of the bar in other areas to be honest. This is the last straw for me. Enjoy!

  11. Thanks Glen! I to have noticed that year by year they have been “lowering the bar” but stuck with them. This was the last straw for me also, I cancelled my bookings and will spend my money were it is appreciated.

  12. If Tracy and Glen and others of like mind consider a cruise line to be lowering the bar because it decides to implement what most cruisers are asking for, they are more than welcome to go elsewhere. More power to them. Those of us who prefer to breathe fresh air are delighted that they will be going elsewhere.

  13. Thanks Betty. As you may have noticed MOST here do not agree with you but I am sure you’ll still say otherwise. Thanks for playing.

  14. Betty, first of all, I never said I was a smoker, I’m not. I believe in fairness for all instead of one-sided. I’m sure there is a way this could have been implemented to please everyone not just “people like you.”

  15. We are very dissapointed in RCCL. As diamond plus members we were very loyal, but not anymore. They should look at drinking policies and children policies to. I hate the drunk people mainly at the poolside. Kids running up aand down the hallways. Parents who do not watch their kids or think everyone thinks their kids are funny. But no, children and alcahol means money so never mind RCCL thinks. I always thought americans were open minded and let people live. Well at least there is such a line as NCL

  16. I am very disappointed in this change. We always book a suite so that we have some privacy to enjoy a cocktail and a smoke. I refuse to travel to a smoking lounge to have a smoke. I spend a lot on cruises and have NEVER smoked in my cabin. However, I do enjoy a smoke on my balcony. Oh well, thank goodness there are other vacation options available.

  17. We don’t smoke, however, this will be our first cruise together with my sister and husband. She smokes and I know she will not go on a cruise with a non-smoking prohibition. Hopefully, we’ll find a cruise line that accepts smokers. We don’t think smokers are a hassle anymore as their numbers are dropping. Also, smokers are now very aware and considerate to the extent where they will not smoke at mealtimes or in areas where there are children nearby. If it’s something I don’t like, that is alcohol, I’d say ban that on cruise lines!

  18. Just booked allure, we dropped princess for the same smoking ban, this may be our last cruise depending. So here we go on our second cruise where as smokers are banned from how we enjoy our vacation. A smoke with a coffee, gone for the day, a smoke with beer getting ready for dinner, gone for the evening, a smoke with nightcap late in the evening when all non smokers are in bed. Maybe a solution to the smoking policy could be designate mid forward as non smoking and mid rear ship as smoking, the breeze is blowing front back, as smokers we would forfeit the diesel (second hand fossil fuel) and enjoy our trip as well. As smokers we do take into consideration of non smokers, we are discrete. Anyways we will come aboard enjoy our vacation because we do abide by policy and will not let it ruin our planned vacation. Once complete we will now read policy prior to booking any vacation as long as we are still smokers.

  19. I read policy before booking. In february. Apparently…that doesnt matter. They still changed it on already booked cruises. Very bad business.

  20. Absolutely Wonderful. Our last cruise on the Allure in a Junior Suite was spoiled by continuous smoking on the balcony was so bad that we could never make use of our balcony. Very selfish inconsiderate people. We will now book another cruise with RC

  21. I will not travel on RCL anymore because of the smoking policy. If I pay for Balcony then I should be able to smoke. its out doors and the wind is always blowing. You lost my money Now I’m going to NCL

  22. We only book suites as we enjoy a cigarette and a drink on the balcony. The new policy is not acceptable to us and we decided to book with a cruise line which allow smoking on balconies. Sorry RCL. Non-smokers have complained all this time. Now it is our turn.

  23. If people realised that fire is the worst hazard a sea, they would appreciate that non-smoking regulations are for the safety of the ship,it’s passengers,& crew. So just use the smoking areas,& keep safe at sea…..for all our sakes!! 🙂

  24. I really wish the cruise lines would consider so many smoking balconeys . This really is not fair to the people that like to sit on balconey and have a drink and smoke . I mean seriously , lets make it fair people .

  25. It seems that smokers don’t realize how truly disgusting their cigarette smoke smells to many non-smokers. It is much more fair to look out for those that have no choice in the matter, as opposed to the cigarette smokers who CHOSE to pick up the habit. It’s shockingly selfish when cigarette smokers claim they have a right to ruin other people’s experiences with their smoking.

  26. Smokers try to be considerate to non-smokers, but it don’t work the other way. I realy think it is disgusting to see so many drunk peaple on board. The smell of alcohol out of their mouth is disgusting to me. I hate the way they bhave. But because alcohol means money there is no cruiseline that limit drinking. It is not fair and very selfish of drinkers that nobody does something about that.

  27. No Jenna you are absolutely right. It is better to consider only one side and not work to accommodate BOTH sides. It would be possible to do so. Typical one sided thinking. Truly surprised there was no recommendation to have the government step in to enforce it for you.

  28. GB, even if non-smokers tolerated cigarette smoking (which they shouldn’t), it’s also a safety risk for passengers and crew, as previously mentioned.

  29. Not happy with the no smoking policy on the outdoor balconeys.
    I respect that non-smokers want fresh air on their balconeys, but there really should be cabins in the rear of the ship, with balconeys where people may enjoy a cigarette and a drink in the evening or a cigarette and a coffee in the morning. That would make the cruise more enjoyable for smokers also.

  30. will not cruise while being dictated to by people who have got nothing better to do than moan about other people who enjoy adrink and asmoke on the balcony that is why they extra money to do that

  31. I will never book a cruise when smoking is not allowed anymore, then I prefer to stay at home !!
    But as long that smoking is still allowed I would really appreciate that one can book a room/reserve as close as possible to a smoking area. Would be great if this website would accommodate in this, that one can actually see the location of the room in distance to the smoking area. Don’t feel like walking hundreds of miles every time I need to smoke.

  32. Such a loss. We had a incredible cruise with you on the Allure and was able to smoke on our balcony. We were must getting ready to book again and found this policy. We smokers are very mindful people. We must have class or we wouldn’t be sailing with you. Sorry……..not gonna happen 🙁

    • Hi Tory, thank you for posting. We are a cruise travel agency and, while we don’t set the cruise lines’ policies, we understand how these changes can be upsetting for smokers. In the past few years, smoking policies have become more restrictive for almost every cruise line, so unfortunately your options are becoming more and more limited if you’re looking for a cruise line that allows balcony smoking.

  33. I think the non-smoking policies are ridiculous. I would think twice about cruising with you given the new restrictions. I and my wife smoke. If you want me for a passenger, lighten up.

    • Hi Ross, thanks for commenting! We respect your opinion and appreciate that you shared it, but please keep in mind that we (The Cruise Web) are a cruise travel agency, and this post shared a policy update from Norwegian Cruise Line – just one of our many cruise line partners. If this policy has dissuaded your from cruising with Norwegian Cruise Line, please give us a call at 1-800-377-9383 to discuss alternative cruise lines.
      The Cruise Web Team

  34. I purposely got a balcony suite so I could smoke outside and not in my room, now I see you can’t do that. Last cruise for me. This will be my 12th and last cruise. Either make smoking illegal, or get with the program. I am always considerate of people who don’t want to be around smoke, just don’t make it so I have to jump of the ship, plane or train to do it. Wayne S.

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