Travel tips & advice: Is smoking allowed on cruise ships?

It is, and there are no non-smoking cruises among the major lines, but since the mid-1990s, when cruise ships began banning smoking in dining rooms, cruise operators have been tightening the screws on smokers.

Almost 20 years ago Carnival Cruise Line launched the first purpose-built, smoke-free cruise ship, Carnival Paradise, with a US$250 fine and a booting off at the next port for offenders, but the ban cost them patronage.

Soon after Carnival did a turnaround and now allows smoking in their ships' casinos and nightclubs, as well as in designated outdoor areas.

Princess Cruises also allows smoking in its casinos, but only when the smoker is playing the  poker machines.

Passengers on Princess ships are also allowed to smoke e-cigarettes in their cabins but not on balconies.

In January 2017, Holland America, the last major line to allow passengers to smoke on the balconies of their staterooms, announced a progressive ban on the practice.

All the big cruise ships have at least one area where smoking is permitted, usually an outside bar.