While on a cruise ship, you cannot pull out a cigarette and lighter wherever you want. If you're caught smoking on your balcony, you could face fines upwards of $500. The best way to get away with smoking on a cruise ship is to simply follow the rules and only smoke in designated areas.
The specific areas will vary by cruise line and ship. If you're used to smoking in the casino on Carnival or Royal Caribbean ships, you won't be able to do so on Celebrity ships. Moreover, Disney Cruise Line does not even have onboard casinos!
Here is everything you need to know about smoking on a cruise ship and how to successfully get away with it, so you do not end up with a large fine on your onboard account!
Read more: Can you smoke on a cruise ship?
Yes, smoking is permitted on cruise ships
While smoking is allowed onboard, it is only permitted in designated areas. The majority of cruise lines have banned smoking in staterooms, including on private verandahs, and most public venues, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Celebrity Cruises, and Disney Cruise Line.
Typically, smoking areas are somewhat enclosed if they're inside, such as the casino or cigar lounge, rather than allowing it in the atrium or Main Dining Room.
Outdoor areas are usually found on one side of the ship, such as the port or starboard side. Moreover, some smoking areas are limited to set hours. Onboard Disney Wish, for instance, the smoking areas can be found forward and aft port side of Deck 14 at any time, as well as Deck 4 port side from 6:00pm to 6:00am.
You cannot get away with smoking on your cruise ship balcony
Since you paid for a private verandah, it makes sense to think that you're able to do whatever you on while sitting outside, right? Wrong. Even if you board your ship knowing that smoking on balconies is prohibited, it is one of the most obvious places to try and smoke because nobody is technically around!
Despite the smell, cruise lines have banned smoking on balconies due to the fire hazard that they present, as there are no crew members present to ensure that the cigarettes are properly extinguished.
Additionally, throwing cigarettes overboard pollutes the sea, and cruise lines strive to protect the waters that they sail in. If a neighbor happens to smell the secondhand smoke, it's possible that they could report you, too.
Plus, many balconies can be observed through the ship's CCTV or from decks below, meaning that it's easier than you think to get caught smoking on your private verandah.
Costa Cruises, an Italian cruise line that primarily sails in Europe, does permit smoking on balconies, so if this is something that interests you, consider cruising with them!
Note, however, that Costa by Carnival ships, including Carnival Venezia and Carnival Firenze, are technically part of Carnival's fleet, despite sailing for Costa first. This means that if you opt to sail on either of these ships, you're subject to Carnival's rules, rather than Costa's.
Vaping counts as smoking
Indeed, the secondhand smoke that comes from vapes isn't as obvious; it often smells fruity or minty! Does that mean there are fewer regulations regarding vaping on cruise ships? Unfortunately, no. To cruise lines, vapes are the exact same as cigarettes and are subject to the same rules, meaning that you cannot use them in your cabin, including the verandah.
While you may think that it's easier to hide evidence of vaping versus a cigarette, cabin stewards know to look for signs when they're servicing your stateroom. It may be tempting to take a hit in your room while getting ready like you do at home; however, it is prohibited.
You could be fined if the cruise line catches you smoking or vaping outside of the designated areas
Rather than paying a fine, wouldn't you prefer to spend that money on fun cruise add-ons, like shore excursions, alcoholic beverages, or Wi-Fi? If you're caught smoking outside of permitted areas, you could be fined hundreds of dollars per violation. While policies vary based on the cruise line, the average fine is $250-$500:
🚬 Carnival Cruise Line: $500
🚬 Celebrity Cruises: $250
🚬 Disney Cruise Line: $250
🚬 Holland America Line: $250
🚬 Norwegian Cruise Line: $250
🚬 Princess Cruises: $250
🚬 Royal Caribbean: $250
🚬 Virgin Voyages: $500
In addition to hefty fines, cruise lines have the right to take further action if you're caught multiple times. While unlikely, if you look at the fine print of cruise contracts, many state that if you continue to fail to observe their policy, you could be kicked off the ship.
Carnival Cruise Line's website, for instance, says, "Guest acknowledges that 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 for failure to observe."
You can't get away with smoking weed on a cruise ship, either
While marijuana is legal in a few states, CBD oil and cannabis are banned on cruise ships, even if you have a medicinal prescription. This is because cruise terminals in the U.S. are federal facilities. Moreover, different countries have different laws when it comes to weed, and you don't want to be caught in violation of another country's law.
You should never try and smuggle weed onboard with you. If caught, not only will it be confiscated, but you'll probably be removed from the voyage. In fact, Carnival Cruise Line has K9 narcotics dogs at the terminal on embarkation day; they sniff all carry-on bags before you're able to board the ship.
This happened to TikTok user @infamousxdrew while sailing onboard Mariner of the Seas. Despite claiming the marijuana he had was for medicinal purposes, the Royal Caribbean security team deemed it best for him to disembark while the ship was docked in Falmouth, Jamaica.
While you could probably get away with smoking on a cruise ship, it is not worth risking your vacation over
Since smoking is permitted onboard cruise ships in designated areas, there's no need for you to risk receiving a large fine or getting kicked off the ship just to take a few hits of a cigarette or vape.
Ending your vacation with a $250 cleaning fee posted to your onboard account would be a huge bummer, especially if you already maxed out your vacation budget or were looking forward to placing a deposit for another cruise.
If you are confused as to where the smoking locations are on your ship, visit Guest Services. They'll be able to tell you exactly where to go.
Those wanting to smoke more freely with fewer restrictions will want to consider booking a cruise with Costa Cruises, as they permit smoking on private balconies. Of course, this means that you'll have to pay extra for this stateroom, so this might not be a good option for those who want to save money on their accommodations and book an interior room.