Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Changes A-Comin' to How Passengers Smoke and Eat at Sea

Though smokers will complain that their civil rights are being infringed upon, I'd like to applaud Norwegian Cruise Lines decision to disallow smoking in cabins after January of 2011.

(Photo by Leni Lunatic)
As the New York Times wrote almost two years ago, researchers now know that the hazardous chemicals contained in cigarettes don't leave the environment once the smoke clears. Carcinogens, heavy metals and even radioactive chemicals are left on the surfaces of a room, particularly the bedding and carpeting. That's why its possible to smell when a smoker inhabited a hotel room, even if they left hours or days before and the room has since been cleaned.

So bravo to NCL for shielding its passengers from these carcinogens. The line follows Celebrity and Disney Cruise Lines which already have these bans in place. Princess cruise lines has announced a similar ban to begin in January; Cunard will phase in these anti-smoking regulations, starting in March for the Queen Victoria and April from the Queen Mary. Fines will be charged for those who flout the rules (they vary by cruise line).

Also in cruise news today: Celebrity will be raising the surcharges at its onboard specialty restaurants by $5 to $10 (varying by venue). But there is a loophole! If you book a reservation before September 1, you'll be charged the old rates for the meal. So Celebrity cruisers: if you're traveling in the upcoming months make your plans and reserve now, for a bit of a savings.

Not that all passengers head to specialty restaurants aboard. This week, Cruise Critic posted an interesting survey of its readers which found that some 39% avoid the specialty restaurants altogether.

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