[% 15420 | | Royal Caribbean %] will start the new year with a resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle. The cruise line will roll out a new smoking policy on most of its ships in January 2008. The remaining ships will adopt the rules in summer 2008.
In response to guest feedback, Royal Caribbean will ban smoking in all staterooms and suites, as well as in one bar or lounge per ship. Currently, smoking is not allowed in any hallways, restaurants, entertainment venues, or most public areas. The exceptions are designated areas in bars and lounges, starboard outside decks, and cabin balconies, where smoking is permitted.
The change is part of the cruise line’s new Vitality program, focusing on guest health and wellness. Cruisers can participate in fitness classes, spa treatments, and active shore excursions, and dine off healthy menus.
Nonsmokers will surely appreciate the decrease in secondhand smoke and cigarette smells throughout the ship. Smokers, on the other hand, may resent the limitations imposed on them. Between current trends toward healthier lifestyles and fears about onboard fire safety, I predict stricter smoking policies will become the norm and not the exception. If you don’t like it, your best bet may be to look for lines that don’t cater predominantly to Americans.