Carnival Reviews Smoking Policies

Carnival Cruise Lines is causing a bit of a stir among smokers with the disclosure that the cruise line at least temporarily banned smoking in the cigar bars on three ships.

Smoking bans on cruise ships are always a hot button for both cigarette and cigar smokers and those who advocate for more non-smoking areas.

Carnival's cigar bar experiment came to light on popular Cruise Director John Heald's blog.

In response to a reader question, Heald wrote last week that the line had done a trial on three ships, the Carnival Destiny, Carnival Glory and Carnival Freedom, making cigar bars and some other lounges non-smoking, and moving cigar smokers outdoors or to the sports bars.

Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher tells AOL Travel News the move was an "experiment," that the cruise line was seeking guest input, and that officials would look at the results. "Now it goes into the evaluation period and it will take some time before any decisions are reached," he said.

Meanwhile, smoking in the cigar bars and lounges on the three ships will be restored after the current cruises, Gallagher said.

At issue, at least on some ships in the 22-ship Carnival fleet, is that the cigar bars are positioned so that you have to walk through them to get to the ship's Internet cafe.

"I personally understand why we are looking at this," writes Heald, himself a cigar smoker. "I know it is not much fun for non-smokers to pass through the cigar lounges to get to the Internet cafe."

He adds that putting the Internet cafes near the smokers, "was silly."

According to Cruise Critic, a leading cruise website, Carnival's smoking policy is considered to be one of the industry's least restrictive, with cigarette smoking permitted in cabins, casinos, discos, live music venues and designated open deck areas.

Heald is conducting an informal poll on the possible smoking policy changes.

Photo, Tomas Fano, flickr

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