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10 September 2013 13:54
The right to an on-balcony cigarette aboard cruises has become an increasingly divisive subject
British cruise passengers strongly support a ban on passengers being able to smoke on their cabin balconies, research shows.
More than half (54%) of those questioned by cruise reviews website Cruise Critic believe smoking on balconies - even when the balcony belongs to the passengers' personal cabin - should not be permitted.
Going one step further, nearly a quarter (24%) claim smoking should be banned in all areas of cruise liners.
Only a fifth (18%) of British travellers who regularly book cruises disagreed with the idea of banning smoking on balconies, arguing that a cigarette is a personal choice.
Smoking at sea is currently a hot topic, with numerous cruise operators forbidding their customers from lighting up on board.
It may be a hotly disputed debate, but it is important that travellers don't forget to book things like
cruise travel insurance before they set off.
Royal Caribbean recently became the latest major cruise operator to ban smoking on the balconies of its ships.
The order is due to come into effect from the beginning of 2014, with those caught facing fines of US$250 (£190). However, the company's Asia-based liners are currently exempt from the ban.
Smoking is already banned inside all staterooms on Royal Caribbean vessels - and in public areas except for casinos, and on the starboard side of outer decks.
Rival operators such as Cunard, Seabourn, P&O Cruises and Disney Cruise have already restricted smoking areas on their ships.
Some passengers regard smoking as an acceptable practice conducted in the privacy of their cabins, while others complain that smoke drifting into neighbouring rooms is unfair.
"Smoking on board cruise ships is a highly debated and contentious issue within the cruise industry," said Adam Coulter, the UK editor of Cruise Critic.
"Cruisers have very strong opinions on this topic. However, while a large number of cruisers support this ban, it is important to acknowledge that many feel they should be offered a choice."
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