Carnival Becomes Latest Line to Ban Smoking on Cabin Balconies

PHOTO: Carnival Cruise Lines latest to ban smoking on cabin balconies.

Cruisers who are also smokers should check their preferred line's smoking policy before they book their next voyage. More and more lines are banning smoking on cabin balconies, once considered a must-have feature for smokers who needed a place to puff in private.

The latest to join the balcony smoking ban is Carnival Cruise Lines, one of the largest and most popular lines, especially for American cruisers.

The ban on balcony smoking will take effect on Oct. 9. The line had already banned smoking in cabins. Smoking will continue to be allowed in designated open deck areas, as well as night clubs and certain areas within the casino and casino bar, the cruise line said.

Colleen McDaniel, Managing Editor of Cruise Critic, called the new policy a "big move on Carnival’s part."

But it seems to be the "wave" of the future: several other lines -- including Royal Caribbean, Cunard, P&O, Disney and Seabourn -- have also banned balcony smoking, at least to some degree. But while the smokers may be fuming, it seems the majority of Carnival cruisers are in favor of the policy change.

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"We’re currently seeing a pretty favorable response from our members. Many say that they’ve refrained from booking a balcony cabin for this particular reason, so it’s a step in the right direct for those cruisers," said McDaniel.

Carnival Cruise Lines told ABC News the change was "response to the preferences of a majority of our guests."

The only mainstream cruise lines that still allow smoking on cabin balconies are Norwegian and Holland America. Holland America is part of the larger Carnival Corp., but the ban does not apply across all brands.

For smokers who are used to smoking on cabin balconies, it will be more important than ever to become familiar with cruise line smoking policies prior to boarding, as many lines have already made similar policy changes. Carnival Cruise Lines said guests who smoke in their staterooms or on their balconies will be assessed a $250 cleaning and refreshing fee.

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