The internet is full of so-called travel hacks and ways around cruise ship guidelines and restrictions, but Carnival Cruise Line has responded swiftly and severely to one poor maneuver for a guest who claims to regularly smoke on their stateroom balcony. To be clear and concise – this behavior and flagrant disregard for onboard safety is never tolerated.

“I have been on 30 cruises. I smoke on the balcony. I paid for the cruise. The steward always brings an ashtray with $50 tip,” an unidentified guest messaged John Heald.

Heald is Carnival Cruise Line’s official brand ambassador. He answers hundreds of questions each day from cruise fans and eager travelers via his popular Facebook page, and often addresses a wide variety of concerns with grace and humor.

No Smoking Sign on Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Kaptures By K)

This obvious circumvention of the rules and disregard for safety, however, raises Heald’s ire, with good reason. Not only is it a safety violation, but it also reflects poorly – and Heald feels, inaccurately – on the cruise line’s cabin attendants.

“I know the cabin attendants, I know them well, better than most having spent so many years working alongside them,” Heald explained. “I know that none of them would never jeopardise their job, a job that helps and provides for their families at home, for an extra tip $50 just to provide a guest with an ashtray. If they were caught , they would be going home, their job would be over.”

Smoking is never permitted on stateroom balconies, a policy which is clearly outlined in Carnival Cruise Line’s Cruise Ticket Contract, Section 9(b):

“Smoking is only permitted in designated areas. Guest agrees to refrain from smoking in non-designated areas and agrees that Carnival has the right to assess up to a $500 charge, per violation, and to disembark the Guest … with no refund.”

Furthermore, the policy explicitly addresses smoking on stateroom balconies. For the purposes of Carnival’s smoking policy, all types of smoking – cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaporizers, and electronic cigarettes – are included in the prohibition.

“All staterooms and suite accommodations, including the outside balconies, are NON-SMOKING,” the policy reads. “Any evidence of smoking in a stateroom or balcony, e.g.; smoke smell/residue, butts, ashes, upholstery/furniture burns, tampering of the smoke alarm, will constitute a violation.”

Heald emphasizes this policy as well as its consequences. The cruise line does not pull any punches with such safety violations, as even a small fire could have a catastrophic result at sea.

Carnival Cruise Ship Balconies (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Read Also: Can You Smoke on a Cruise Ship – What to Know

“Anyone caught smoking on the balcony will face serious consequences also. If we catch someone doing so or find ash or anything smoking related on the balcony there will be a $500 fine and the serious possibility of not being allowed to cruise with us again,” Heald said.

Heald also confirmed that the individual who made the original claim of tipping their cabin attendant $50 to bring an ashtray has already been banned from sailing with Carnival Cruise Line, while urging others not to follow their irresponsible example.

“Speaking as sailor and a human being. Smoking on your balcony is selfish, truly selfish. It is wrong and it is dangerous so please, do not do it,” he said.

Anyone who sees other travelers smoking outside designated areas, especially on stateroom balconies, is urged to alert the ship’s Security or Guest Services department. While it may seem like tattling, it is a safety issue and a great concern for everyone aboard.

“Please, if anyone sees someone smoking on the balcony, call 7777 or 8000 immediately,” Heald said. “Don’t wait, please report it. Be a tell tale tit because it is the right thing to do to protect the ship from the dangers of fire that smoking on a balcony has caused in the past.”

Several cruise ships under the Carnival Corporation & plc umbrella have have fire incidents that may have been caused by smoking.

Photo Credit: Filistra / Shutterstock

For example, in May 2023, P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Adventure had a fire at night, impacting several balcony staterooms and causing an evacuation to muster stations. In 2006, the then Star Princess of Princess Cruises – now P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Encounter – had a devastating fire that damaged more than 200 cabins and caused the death of a passenger.

It is only coincidental that these two tragic incidents both involved ships now sailing with P&O Cruises Australia. It was announced just days ago that Carnival Cruise Line will be absorbing P&O Cruises Australia as the brand is dissolved in early 2025. Both Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter will be rebranded as Carnival cruise ships but will continue to sail from Australia after their renovations.

Undoubtedly, smoking will continue to be prohibited outside designated areas on both ships, regardless of which cruise line they sail with.

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