What Smokers Need To Know Before Taking A Cruise For The First Time

Smoking on cruise ships is a contentious topic and one that’s often debated in Facebook groups and forums. But, the fact is that smokers are always welcome on board. That said, there are a few things you’ll need to know to make sure you don’t break any rules or upset anyone.

smoking on cruise

1. You Can Smoke On Every Cruise Ship

All cruise ships allow smoking on board. While many people would relish the idea of a non-smoking cruise ship, in reality, every cruise ship has at least one smoking area.

With 13% of US adults regularly smoking cigarettes and 5% vaping electronic cigarettes, banning smoking from cruise ships altogether wouldn’t be practical or profitable for cruise lines in the modern day.


2. You Can Only Smoke in Certain Places Onboard

Smoking on cruise ships is only permitted in designated areas. Cruise ship smoking areas are usually tucked out of the way and are pretty easy for non-smokers to avoid.

When you board your cruise ship, you’ll receive a copy of the deck plan which highlights useful areas such as smoking areas, toilets and lifts.

Most smoking areas are outdoors, but there’s usually a covered area to shelter from the rain. Some cruise lines also allow smoking indoors in smoking rooms, cigar bars or in the casino.


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3. Some Cruise Lines Allow Smoking on Your Balcony

The question ‘Can you smoke on a cruise ship balcony?’ is often asked by smokers and non-smokers alike.

Some smokers dislike the idea of having to walk to the smoking area first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Whereas non-smokers worry about the possibility of second-hand smoke drifting onto their balcony from the one next door or below.

Of course, there’s also the issue of safety as on balconies there are no staff members around to ensure that cigarettes are properly extinguished. There are also fears that some inconsiderate smokers may throw cigarette ends overboard and pollute the ocean.

For these reasons, smoking is banned on most cruise ship balconies. The only cruise line allowing smoking for the foreseeable future on private balconies is Costa Cruises. You can smoke on a balcony on a Fred. Olsen cruise ship but only until 1st April 2025 when the policy will change.

smoking on cruise ship balcony

4. Some Cruise Lines Allow Smoking in the Casino

Smoking in cruise ship casinos varies by cruise line, by ship and even by the day of the week. Some ships have smoking areas or smoking rooms within the casino, some allow smoking throughout the casino and some ban it altogether.

Scroll down to see a table showing which cruise lines allow smoking in casinos. Please note though, that if mask mandates are in place, there may be a temporary ban on indoor smoking.

smoking in casino

When I cruised on MSC Preziosa, I noticed that most people in the casino seemed to be smoking and it did put me off staying in there too long. At the roulette table, the etiquette seemed to be that players would offer a cigarette to each person at the table before lighting up themselves.

Here’s Where Can You Smoke on a Cruise Ship

This table shows where smoking is allowed with each cruise line. Most information is given about each cruise line smoking policy below the table.

Cruise lineOutdoor smoking areas?Indoor smoking lounges?Smoking in casino?Smoking on balconies?Smoking in your cabin?
Celebrity Cruises YES NO NO NO NO
Costa Cruises YES YES NO YES vaping only
Cunard YES Cigars and pipes only NO NO NO
Disney Cruise Line YES NO NO NO NO
Holland America Line YES NO Selected ships on designated nights NO NO
Marella Cruises YES NO NO NO NO
Norwegian Cruise Line YES Cigars only Yes (except for cigars and pipes) Only for guests staying in Garden Villas NO
Princess Cruises YES YES At designated slot machines only. Not at table games NO NO
Royal Caribbean YES Cigars and pipes only on selected ships Depends on departure country NO NO

Prefer to Vape?

The general rule regarding electronic cigarettes on cruise ships is that they are treated in the same way as cigarettes and so vaping is only permitted in designated smoking areas. There are three cruise lines – Costa Cruises, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, which allow e-cigs to be vaped in cabins.

Read more: Vaping On A Cruise Ship? What You Must Know!

It’s important to note that electronic cigarettes are illegal in many countries including the United Arab Emirates, India and much of South America and Southeast Asia. You should check before you travel as you may have to leave your e-cigarette on the ship. Punishment for possession ranges from confiscation to a fine or even up to ten years in prison.

Be Careful To Bring The Right Lighter!

Cigarette lighters are allowed on cruise ships. However, torch lighters that emit a powerful, concentrated flame are not allowed on most ships. Similarly, novelty lighters that look like guns are also not allowed.

What Happens if You Get Caught Smoking Somewhere You Shouldn’t…

If you get caught smoking on a cruise outside of the designated areas then you will first receive a warning. If you repeat the offence then you may be kicked off the ship. If you’re caught smoking in your stateroom you may have to pay a cleaning fee.

Fire is one of the biggest threats to a cruise ship, so you should only ever smoke in the designated smoking areas.

Suggested read: How To Get Away With Smoking On A Cruise Ship

What Should You Do if You See Someone Smoking on a Cruise?

If you see someone smoking on a cruise ship outside of the smoking area then you can either ask them not to do it, or tell a crew member.

It may be that the person is unaware that they should not be smoking, so they may be grateful for your tip-off. However, they may have chosen to break the rules and may not relish being reprimanded.

If you’d prefer to avoid confrontation, then you can tell a nearby crew member or telephone guest services. That way, the smoker needn’t ever know that it was you who reported them.

No Smoking Cruise Ships

At the moment, there is no such thing as a no-smoking cruise ship. However, if you are determined to avoid smoke, you most certainly can. All you have to do is look up where the smoking areas are and avoid them.

Cruise Line Smoking Policies 2024

Here are links to the latest smoking and vaping policies for each cruise line…

Celebrity Cruises Smoking Policy

Celebrity Cruises only allows smoking in designated outdoor smoking areas. This policy includes smoking-like products such as electronic cigarettes, pipes and cigars.

Carnival Cruise Smoking Policy

Carnival Cruise Line limits smoking to specific exterior deck areas and designated casino and nightclub spaces that can be monitored. Cigars and pipes may only be smoked in outdoor smoking areas.

Costa Cruises Smoking Policy

Costa Cruises allow smoking only in designated indoor areas which are marked as ‘cigar lounges’ and designated outdoor smoking points. Smoking cigarettes and tobacco are not permitted in cabins but electronic cigarettes are allowed in cabins. Smoking is allowed on private balconies.

Cunard Smoking Policy

The smoking of cigarettes and electronic cigarettes is permitted only in designated outdoor smoking areas. Pipes and cigars are also allowed at any time of day in Churchill’s lounge, but cigarettes are prohibited here.

Disney Cruise Line Smoking Policy

Disney Cruise Line allows smoking and vaping only in designated outdoor smoking areas.

Holland America Smoking Policy

Holland America Line allows smoking only in designated outdoor smoking areas. Some ships (Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, Amsterdam, Maasdam, Volendam, Zaandam, Rotterdam and Veendam) also allow smoking in the casino, but only on certain nights and only whilst playing. Electronic cigarettes may be vaped in staterooms.

Marella Smoking Policy

Marella cruise ships only allow smoking in designated areas of the open deck. The same rule applies to e-cigarettes.

MSC Cruises Smoking Policy

Smoking is permitted only in designated indoor and outdoor smoking areas and in the casino.

Norwegian Cruise Line Smoking Policy

Smoking is permitted in designated outdoor smoking areas. Most ships (all except Norwegian Sky, Sun, Star and Pride of America), have a cigar lounge where cigars are welcome. Nothing but cigars and pipes may be smoked in these areas.

Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Encore have a designated smoking room within the casino where people can smoke whilst playing.

On other ships, smoking is allowed throughout the casino. Cigar and pipe smoking is not allowed in the casino.

Whilst smoking is not generally allowed in cabins or on balconies, guests staying in Garden Villas are allowed to smoke in their private garden and on their private sun decks.

P&O Cruises Smoking Policy

Smoking is only permitted in designated outdoor smoking areas. These locations are not published as they change depending on the weather or cleaning processes.

Princess Cruises Smoking Policy

Princess Cruises allow smoking in designated areas which include outdoor smoking areas, cigar lounges and a section of the nightclub. In the casino, smoking is allowed only whilst playing designated machines and not at table games. The casino will have one or more non-smoking nights on each cruise. Electronic cigarettes are permitted in cabins (but not on balconies) and within the smoking areas.

Royal Caribbean Smoking Policy

On Royal Caribbean cruises, smoking is permitted in designated outdoor smoking areas. The rules about smoking in the casino varies for different regions of the world. On cruises departing from China and Hong Kong, smoking is allowed throughout the casino. On cruises departing from the UK and Australia, smoking is not allowed in the casino. On all other cruises, the casino will have a designated smoking area. 

Cigars are not allowed in the casino, only in designated outdoor smoking areas. Freedom-class and Voyager-class ships feature cigar bars where cigars and pipes are allowed, but no other types of smoking.

Final Word

So, can you smoke on cruise ships? Yes, but only in very specific places. Usually, you can’t smoke on your balcony or in any of the restaurants, but there are very limited places indoors and outdoors where you can use cigarettes or vapes.

It’s important that you follow the rules because you can get in a lot of trouble if you keep flaunting them. One strike will probably just get you told to extinguish your cigarette but keep pushing your luck and you might be more severely punished.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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2 thoughts on “What Smokers Need To Know Before Taking A Cruise For The First Time”

  1. Hi, this is our first cruise and we have just booked a 35 night cruise, we don’t want to do glamour dress and tuxedo nights, is this okay

    • Hi Andrew. Which ship did you choose? The dress code varies by ship but on most dressing up is entirely optional. Jenni

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