Wanting to light up while on your cruise? It’s not as easy as simply having a smoke wherever you please. At sea, fire is by far the biggest danger to the ship, so cruise lines are serious about policies surrounding cigarettes and vaping. That means there are a number of rules that you’ll need to know about.
The good news is that smoking is allowed on cruises, so you don’t have go without. Still, if you’re one of the millions who smoke, here’s what you need to know about doing it on the cruise ship.
Can You Smoke While on a Cruise?
First things first, if you want to smoke on your cruise, then yes, it is allowed. This includes cigarettes, cigars, and vaping. However, it’s not as simple as just lighting up wherever you want. Cruise lines have strict rules surrounding smoking for the safety of the ship and the comfort of all guests who may not want to smell cigarette smoke (more details on this below)
But if you’re someone who wants to have a smoke, rest assured that it is allowed. In fact, some cruise ships even offer cigar lounges for those who like a puff.
What Are the Rules Around Smoking Onboard?
As mentioned, the cruise lines have a number of restrictions on smoking aboard the ship. This is all designed to keep other passengers from being bothered by the smell and to keep smoking safer from creating a fire.
Smokers are allowed to light up only in designated areas around the ship. Generally this will be an open-air deck where boxes will be provided for disposing of cigarette butts. As well, smoking is generally allowed in casinos, though some ships may have non-smoking sections.
That said, large portions of the ship are off-limits to smoking. This includes all public areas like the theater, restaurants, and even most outdoor areas of the ship. As well, you aren’t allowed to smoke in the cabin or on a balcony should you have one.
In other words, it may be a big ship, but only a small portion is actually available for smoking.
What’s the Smoking Age on a Cruise?
If you are sailing from the United States, then you should know that cruise lines follow federal law regarding the legal age to smoke. That means you will need to be 21 years old to smoke.
However, if sailing from other countries or visiting ports off the ship, then you are subject to the rules of that country. So if you visit a country where the legal age to smoke is lower, you’ll be able to smoke while in port.
Can You Vape on the Ship?
Technology has seemed to touch everything in our lives, and that even includes smoking. These days vaping is extremely popular as an alternative to traditional cigarettes.
You should know that vaping is allowed on cruise ships. It does, however, follow the same rules as smoking cigarettes or cigars. Vaping is only allowed in certain areas on the ship and never in your cabin or on your balcony.
What Happens if I am Caught Smoking in my Cabin?
Smoking in your cabin — including on the balcony — is a big “no-no” on a cruise. All the lines have explicit rules against it. This is for a couple of reasons. For one, no one wants to stay in a cabin after a previous occupant smoked heavily.
More importantly, however, the risk of starting a fire. All it takes is one unattended cigarette or a flick of hot ash to accidentally create a fire on the ship while at sea. The risk is simply too great, even if smoking on a balcony.
If caught smoking, expect a fee. Major lines including Carnival and Royal Caribbean assess a “cleaning fee” if you violate the policy. This ranges in amount from $250 to $500. Just stick to the designated areas and you have nothing to worry about.
Are Cigarettes Sold on the Cruise?
If you want to stock up on cigarettes, a cruise ship is a pretty good place to do so. Duty-free shopping is a big deal on a cruise, and that means you can buy vices like alcohol by the bottle and cigarettes by the carton. The prices here are usually pretty good as the taxes and fees normally seen on land don’t apply.
It’s typical that any alcohol bought in duty free shops will be packaged and then delivered to your cabin on the last night of the cruise. While we’ve never purchased cigarettes on a cruise, it’s our understanding that they can be subject to similar rules.
As Royal Caribbean shares on their site: “Duty free items purchased onboard can be taken to your room and enjoyed during your vacation. However, duty free alcohol and in some areas cigarettes will be delivered on the final day or morning of your voyage.”
If they are held, you can always purchase packs while in port if you run low to smoke during the cruise.