Going on a cruise can be an amazing experience, allowing you to relax and enjoy the open seas.
However, for smokers, a cruise may seem daunting, as most cruise lines have banned smoking in nearly all public areas and cabins. Still, cruising doesn’t have to mean going completely cold turkey.
With some preparation and discretion, it is possible to sneak in a smoke without getting caught.
This guide will walk you through the do’s and don’ts of smoking on a cruise so you can enjoy a puff in peace.
Where can you get away with smoking on a cruise ship?
Based on typical cruise ship smoking policies, there are a few areas where you may be able to get away with smoking discreetly:
- Designated outdoor smoking sections – Most cruise ships have certain open air decks, lounges, or bars specifically for smoking. This is where you can light up without issue as long as you avoid non-smoking zones.
- Casino – Many cruise ship casinos allow cigarette smoking as they have separate ventilation. You can smoke tobacco here without problems, but vaping policies vary.
- Night clubs/cigar bars – Some adult-only nightlife venues allow cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking. These areas cater specifically to smokers.
- Off-ship excursions – When docked in port, you may be able to wander off ship and find local areas, cafes, or lounges where smoking is permitted. This is at your own risk however.
- Private balconies late at night – You might be able to have a late night puff on your balcony after hours without detection, but this is extremely risky. You can easily get caught.
It’s smartest to only smoke in designated areas of the ship where it is explicitly allowed.
Rules-breaking to smoke in prohibited indoor zones or trying to hide it other places puts you at high risk of fines or getting kicked off the cruise.
Follow policies and smoke outdoors in permitted smoking sections only.
Can you smoke in your cabin?
Most major cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and more do not allow smoking in any indoor cabin, including private balconies connected to a room.
The only exception is if you book a specific designated smoking room or suite.
However, these special smoking rooms are extremely rare, so don’t count on being able to smoke in your room. Lighting up here means you will almost certainly get caught by detectors.
Some smaller, more niche cruise lines still offer indoor smoking rooms, but these are dwindling.
Always check directly with your cruise line before assuming you can smoke in your cabin, as nearly all have banned it, even in pricier suite rooms. Lighting up indoors is a surefire way to get caught and heavily fined.
Can you get away with smoking on a cruise ship balcony?
Many smokers think they can get away with sneaky smoking on their cruise ship balcony late at night or when docked in port. However, this is extremely risky and still strictly prohibited on most lines.
There are a few cruise lines that allow smoking on balconies, but be sure to double check before you embark.
Cruise ship balconies are very close together, so smoke will inevitably disturb other passengers and attract immediate attention. You will likely get slapped with a $250 – $500 fine or more if caught smoking on your balcony.
Even just tossing a cigarette butt overboard from your balcony can lead to fines for littering.
Cruise ship balconies are considered semi-public areas and monitored closely. Don’t think you can hide smoking here. Get caught, and you’ll face consequences.
Can you get away with smoking on a cruise ship bathroom?
Some smokers attempt to sneak a quick smoke in their cabin bathroom. They turn on the vent fan, stuff towels by the door, and think they can get away with quick puffs undetected.
However, this is a very bad idea that can easily backfire.
Cruise ship bathrooms have extremely sensitive smoke detectors and fire alarms installed.
Even blowing steam from the shower can sometimes set them off inadvertently. There are stories of smokers lighting up in the bathroom only to have security knock on their door minutes later.
You will definitely get caught if you try smoking in the bathroom, and may have to pay a fine for a false smoke alarm. Don’t risk it.
What happens if you get caught smoking on a cruise?
Cruise lines take smoking violations very seriously for the safety and comfort of all passengers. Here are common penalties if you are caught breaking the rules:
- First offense– Verbal warning or $250 – $500 or more fine
- Second offense – Up to $500 fine. Cigarettes may be confiscated.
- Third offense – Heavy fine up to $1,000. Potentially kicked off ship at next port.
In extreme cases, such as smoking marijuana cigarettes, you may be confined to your cabin or kicked off the ship immediately when docked.
Don’t think you can just get away with a slap on the wrist if you get caught smoking on a balcony or in your cabin. Fines can add up quickly.
Can I get away with smoking weed on a cruise ship?
As marijuana use becomes legal in more places, some first-time cruisers may wonder about smoking weed on board.
However, absolutely no smoking of any form of cannabis, marijuana, CBD, or THC is allowed on any cruises, even medical marijuana.
Marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law and rules all cruise ships must follow when leaving port. If caught with any form of cannabis, you will immediately be disembarked and may face criminal charges at the next dock.
Don’t even think about trying to smoke pot in your cabin or on your balcony. You will be caught by the pungent smell alone and get in major legal trouble. Consuming edibles is equally risky. Leave marijuana totally off the cruise ship.
E-Cigarette and Vaping Rules
So where can you smoke on a cruise?
Policies around e-cigarettes and vaping provide some alternatives. Here are typical vaping rules:
- E-cigs are permitted in designated outdoor smoking sections on most lines.
- Vaping is sometimes allowed in casinos, bars, lounges, and clubs. Check rules first.
- Never try vaping in your room – smoke detectors can still be triggered.
- Big clouds of vapor or mods may not be allowed in all public venues.
- Ask before charging batteries in public spaces or plugging in devices.
Vaping does provide some options for smokers on cruises with tight regulations. But always ask first, and don’t assume vaping is permitted everywhere, including formal dining rooms or shows. Stealth vaping is still your best bet.
Cruise Ship Smoking Policy
To avoid getting caught and fined, carefully research and follow your cruise line’s specific smoking policy. Here are examples from major companies:
Carnival Cruise Smoking Rules
Carnival Cruise has strict rules and guidelines when it comes to smoking obard.
- Absolutely no smoking or vaping allowed in staterooms or on balconies.
- Designated outdoor spots provided for smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes and e-cigs.
- Smoking area available for passengers above 21.
- 24-hour smoke-free casino. No cigarettes, only vaping allowed.
- Duty-free cigarettes sold on board to use only in permitted areas.
Princess Cruises Smoking Regulations
- Strictly no smoking anywhere inside staterooms or balconies.
- Allowed outdoor smoking zones include specific bars, lounges, and sections of open deck.
- E-cigarette use permitted in designated outdoor areas only, not indoors.
- Follow all signage for smoke-free zones, including formal dining rooms.
- Heated air and vacuums quickly clear all smoke. You will get caught!
Royal Caribbean Smoking Policy
- Indoor smoking is only allowed in select designated areas like cigar bars and lounges.
- Certain casinos and nightclubs allow cigarette smoking.
- Vaping is permitted in outdoor sections but not in non-smoking indoor venues.
- Balcony smoking results in a $250 cleaning fee at least, if not immediate disembarking.
No matter which cruise you take, never try to skirt the rules outlined in their policy. You will almost certainly get caught and punished if smoking in a clearly non-smoking area.
Follow all posted signage, and don’t light up anywhere indoors unless expressly permitted.
Alternative Smoking Options
To get your nicotine fix on a smoke-free cruise, you have some good alternatives:
Use Nicotine Patches, Gum, or Lozenges
Nicotine replacement therapy products like patches, gum, and lozenges are great for delivering nicotine without smoking. Use these inconspicuously throughout the day to manage cravings.
Just don’t slap on multiple patches at once thinking it will up your nic levels. This can cause nicotine overdose. Follow dosing instructions.
Take Frequent Smoke Breaks
Even on cruises with the strictest no indoor smoking, there will still be designated outdoor smoking areas like certain open decks, lounges, or casinos. Plan to take breaks from activities 2-3 times a day to smoke here. This will give you a chance to get your puffs in.
Just don’t skulk around alone smoking in random areas. Stick to designated zones.
Vaping with e-cigarettes or mods is more discreet than smoking and allowed in some outdoor spots of cruise ships where cigarettes are banned. Take nicotine vape juice in leak-proof containers and use these devices cautiously in permitted areas for your nic fix.
You can also find skeevy vape lounges in certain port towns.
Book the Right Cruise Line
If having ample smoking areas on board is a priority, do your research to find the most smoker-friendly cruise lines. Some smaller, international, or adults-only lines still allow indoor smoking in select areas.
Read recent reviews about actual enforced policies before choosing your cruise.
Find Alternative Destinations
If most mainstream cruise lines seem too restrictive, look into options like chartering a private yacht where you make the rules. Smaller river cruises in Europe and Asia may have more relaxed smoking policies too.
Lakes, seas, and waterways worldwide offer amazing non ocean cruise destinations.
Now let’s get into crucial tips for cruising while staying stealthy and minimizing risks when you do smoke on board….
While cruising with a smoking habit can seem daunting, it is possible to sneak in smoking on cruise ships in select areas.
Getting away with smoking in non-designated areas is not nearly as easy as sneaking alcohol onboard.
The key is picking the right cruise line, knowing the policies extensively, and only lighting up in designated zones, never your cabin or balcony. Have alternatives like vaping or nicotine gum handy for smoke-free times.
With diligent research, discretion, and carefully following rules in outdoor-only zones, smokers can find ways to get their nicotine fix on a cruise without getting caught. Just don’t ever push your luck smoking in banned areas unless you want to pay big fines.
FAQ About Smoking on Cruise Ships
Can I smoke cigarettes on my private cruise ship balcony?
No, smoking on balconies, even private ones, is universally prohibited and can lead to harsh fines up to $500 in some cases. Lighting up on a balcony is never worth the risk.
What happens if I’m caught smoking weed on a cruise ship?
Bringing any illegal drugs like marijuana on a cruise will lead to immediate disembarking and even potential criminal charges when docked. Don’t attempt it.
Where are the designated smoking areas on cruise ships?
Outdoor smoking sections will be in certain bars, casinos, lounges, or open decks. Ask your cruise line for exact locations before boarding. Policies vary.
Can I smoke e-cigarettes anywhere on a cruise ship?
No, vaping is only allowed in specific designated outdoor areas on most ships, not indoors. Again, check regulations.
Do all cruise ships have outdoor smoking areas?
Most have select smoking spots, but some smaller luxury and river cruises have banned smoking completely, even outdoors. Research before booking.
Will I get in trouble for smoking in a cruise ship bathroom?
Yes, smoking in your cabin bathroom can set off alarms and lead to immediate fines or disembarking at the next port. Don’t even try it.
Can I smoke on river cruises or private yacht charters?
Policies may be more relaxed in these cases, but smoking is still typically limited to certain outdoor areas. Inquire beforehand.
How can I manage nicotine cravings on a non-smoking cruise?
Bring nicotine gum, patches, or lozenges to use discreetly. Take frequent strategic breaks in designated smoking zones. Vape cautiously where permitted.
What is the best way to safely dispose of cigarettes on a cruise?
Never toss lit cigarettes overboard – this can lead to fines up to $300. Use provided ashtrays and disposal receptacles only.