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Recent cruise fire may affect smoking policies

CruiseMates reports that the recent fire on the [% 328232 | | Star Princess %] was most likely caused by a cigarette tossed from the top deck of the ship that landed on a balcony below. The fire “quickly jumped to balconies on three decks covering roughly one quarter of the vessel’s length,” likely due to interaction with the (possibly flammable) paint used on the balconies.

As a result, Oceania Cruises has immediately issued a “zero tolerance” policy for smoking in nonsmoking areas. Offenders will be removed from the cruise ship with no exceptions. This strong penalty is very different from current attitudes, where guests found smoking in nonsmoking areas are politely reminded about their ship’s smoking policy. Smokers and nonsmokers alike will be interested to know whether Princess and other lines take a firmer stand regarding onboard smoking.

In related news, Princess has now canceled the April 2 sailing of the Star Princess. As with the other canceled cruises, guests booked on this departure will receive a full refund of their cruise and airfare plus a future cruise credit equal to 25 percent of the cruise fare paid for the canceled sailing.

The Star Princess is now at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport where it will undergo repairs.

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