|Seabourn Spirit // Photo by Seabourn|
Two more major cruise lines have changed their smoking policies, citing comments from past guests and their own customer research. Seabourn Cruise Line and Cunard Line are both tightening their policies, starting in February and April, respectively.
Seabourn is one of the few lines that has continued to allow guests to smoke in their accommodations. Now that's changing. Effective February 1, guests on Seabourn Spirit will no longer be permitted to smoke in their staterooms/suites. The policy will become effective for Seabourn Pride on February 2 and Seabourn Legend on February 3.
Guests can continue to smoke on their balconies, as long as they’re not in Category B suites on those vessels. Category B suites feature sliding doors that open within the cabin to create an open-air feel, but they don’t have actual balconies so the smoke can’t be isolated from the cabin itself.
Guests on the line’s larger vessels, Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Quest and Seabourn Sojourn, also will not be able to smoke in their suites, effective February 11, March 22 and May 1 respectively. However, smoking on all balconies of those three larger ships will continue to be permitted.
Seabourn also says guests may use electronic cigarettes in all suites. And designated indoor and outdoor smoking areas in public spaces will continue to be available.
Agents may read the complete revised Seabourn policy at: http://www.seabourn.com/luxury-cruise-vacation-planning/Planning-And-Advice.action?tabName=Frequently+Asked+Questions&contentMenu=Onboard+Life
Cunard is also planning to ban smoking on balconies of its three ships. Expect the new policy to begin starting April 28 on Queen Victoria, May 16 on Queen Mary 2 and June 8 on Queen Elizabeth.
“Smoking is no longer permitted inside any stateroom or public area with the exception of Churchill's Lounge and designated areas on the open decks on all ships and the upper level of G32 on Queen Mary 2. Smoking is permitted on private balconies until the three dates mentioned above.”
In a summary on its website, Cunard said: “This change has been made for the safety and comfort of our passengers and means that all passengers will be able to enjoy full use of their private balconies, without the effect of drifting smoke.”
As for electronic cigarettes, they may be used in cabins and on cabin balconies. However, the line bans those in non-smoking public areas.
The complete Cunard policy is at https://ask.cunard.com/help/cunard/latest_news/2014_smoking
In addition, Disney banned smoking on its cabin balconies late last week. Read more at: www.travelagentcentral.com/family-cruises/disney-bans-smoking-cruise-ship-balconies-42090.
|Queen Mary 2 as it celebrated its 200th trans-Atlantic crossing. // Photo by Cunard|
Amber Blecker, owner, CruiseOne, Aurora, CO, believes that the changes in policy could "slightly adjust existing clients," meaning they'd move between one line and another, whichever best fits their preference.
"However, I believe the true impact will be to strengthen the perception that cruising is a vacation which fits with a healthy, active lifestyle and changing society," said Blecker.
Margie Jordan, president and CEO, Jordan Executive Travel, Jacksonville, FL said that while smoking on some lines had been restricted to just balconies, "there's no question that for the non-smoker the 'smell' has blown across their balconies. For those sensitive to it, this presents a problem. They're unable to enjoy the same amenities as smokers."
Jordan says limiting smoking to certain public areas is a smart move. "Smokers are able to enjoy a cigarette and the non-smokers are alleviated of smoke smells," said Jordan. "Honestly I think given the situation, it's the best decision that could be made."
If you are a travel agent who sells cruises, let us know if you think the smoking policy shifts will help, hurt or do no harm to your cruise sales?