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This Thread Is To Be Used For All Discussions About HAL's On Board Smoking Policies

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We have established this thread to be the "go to" thread for all discussions pertaining to Holland America's on board smoking policies. This thread is intended to make it easier for all Cruise Critic members to discuss these policies and any future changes thereto.

 

Here's a link to HAL's policy summary Shipboard Life: Is smoking allowed on board? - Click on "Shipboard Life" and a drop down menu will appear. Click on "On Board Policies" in that menu and you'll see the last question is "Is smoking allowed on board?"

 

Here's the currently posted policy (as of August 9, 2014):

 

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Is Smoking Allowed On Board?

For the comfort of all of our guests, all staterooms (cabins), showrooms and most other indoor areas are designated non-smoking. While smoking is not permitted in staterooms, guests are allowed to smoke on stateroom verandahs. Smoking is also permitted on certain other designated, outside decks. The designated smoking areas for all ships are as follows unless otherwise noted.

 

  • Stateroom verandahs
  • Casino (Active players only)
  • Seaview Bar
  • Outside Decks
    • Sports Deck
    • Observation Deck (ms Prinsendam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Oosterdam, ms Westerdam, and ms Zuiderdam only)

 

Cigar and pipe smoking is not allowed anywhere inside the ship; it is only permitted on the outside decks where smoking is otherwise allowed and on stateroom verandahs. Electronic cigarettes are permitted in staterooms but not in other public areas of the ship other than on outside decks designated as smoking areas.

Any guest who smokes inside staterooms in violation of our policy will be charged a US$250 cleaning fee per day of violation.

----

 

Reminders.

 

1. Our community guidelines continue to apply to this thread.

 

2. This is a forum for discussions of cruising and associated topics. It is not a forum for discussing the health, economics and public policy aspects of smoking, whether associated with cigarettes, pipes, cigars or controlled substances (marijuana).

 

3. Discussions of this approach to smoking posts and other board policies are off topic and will be removed. Please post discussions of this approach for smoking posts to this thread: Single Smoking Thread on the HAL Board - a Sticky

 

Thanks for your understanding and continued participation on the Cruise Critic forums.

Edited by Host Walt

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I totally missed the survey - however had I not, I would have voted for 'no smoking on balconies' - keep smoking areas on the ship aside from balconies, and allow those who have balconies the opportunity to be smoke free. I am an ex-smoker, so not totally unsympathetic.

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First - thank Walt for giving us a clearly titled thread to express views.

 

Second - I will reiterate my own feelings - I prefer balconies to be smoke-free, but would like to see HAL provide a pleasant, well ventilated area inside the ship to accommodate smokers.

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Thank you Walt for listening to your members. I appreciate your vigilance.

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As an ex smoker, who truly can not stand the smell of cigarette smoke (pipes and cigars bother me a lot less) the issue with HAL is quite simple. We can cruise on HAL without many smoke related problems if we book an inside or outside cabin and totally avoid the casinos (which often smell like a dirty ashtray). But the problem comes with balcony cabins....and our preference is to book cabins with balconies. Having cigarette smoke drift onto my balcony...makes the balcony unusable. Asking a cruise line to guarantee a cruiser "clean sea air" is not an unreasonable request. Personally, I could care less if folks want to smoke as long as that smoke does not get near my lungs. But given a choice to book a cruise with a line that has no smoking on balconies versus one that allows balcony smoking is a no-brainer. Yes, we continue to cruise on HAL when they have an itinerary (and price) that we find attractive. But, the smoking policy does drive us away from HAL whenever it is reasonable. This year we are cruising Princess, Celebrity and HAL (total of 74 days). The 25 day Ruby Princess cruise would have been a 32 day HAL cruise except for the smoking policy...which made our decision to cruise on Princess very easy. Not only did we not have to deal with smoke, but we got to enjoy Princess Pizza :).

 

We have gleaned a benefit from the HAL smoking policy. Several years ago we took a personal pledge to not gamble in any casino where we could smell smoke. There was a time when we might actually drop more money in a ship casino then we paid for the cruise (we also had cruises where we won money). But on HAL, for about the last 200 days of cruising, we have not lost a single penny in the casino (because we never enter the place). So perhaps we should thank HAL and their smokers for having saved us thousands of dollars :).

 

 

Hank

Edited by Hlitner

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I really think this thread needed to be started.

I never smoked -- but unfortunately when I had my breaks, I had no choice but to go to a smoke filled area. One of my careers I was a teacher and someone else was assigned to my room during my "preparation" period -- I had no choice but to go to a smoke filled lounge to work. I am paying the price for that now.

I am totally in favor of HAL stopping smoking on the balconies and verandahs -- we pay the higher price for a larger cabin and verandah and feel we should not have to be forced into our cabin because people "have" to smoke.

JMO

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Just wanted to note my pleasant surprise that in the thread on where HAL will be in 10 years, no one has raised the smoking issue, either pro or con. Much better that any related discussion take place here and leave the tone of the other thread civil. :) Will HAL thrive as the last bastion of balcony smoking, will it go under for the very same reason, or will smoking have no influence on the final outcome?

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Thank you Walt for listening to your members. I appreciate your vigilance.

 

Another Thank You Walt.

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I just wish they would make up their minds and say if they're going to ban the smoking on balconies or not. I don't smoke but DH does. I'm trying to plan next years cruise and if HAL is going to do a ban then that puts all the lines on a equal level and would make it easier for me to pick a cruise. Actually I think it will work out to our advantage cause I'm just going to book a OV room and save some money.

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I have on very good authority that by Q3 2015 HAL will roll out and / or implement similar restrictions as to what Carnival and NCL have recently put in place. My source from within HAL Corporate did note that there was some surprise at NCL's announcement, they did not think NCL would implement or even announce before 2015. More surveying and data is being collected for good corporate CYA but basically "the writing is on the wall". It all comes down to timing and phase in of implementation.

 

I trust my source 100%. This is a long time friend going back many, many years. If I were to divulge further details I could jeopardize their career. Suffice it to say, anything I have shared is high enough level as to not pinpoint to any single person within the organization.

 

I'm just the messenger.

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I have on very good authority that by Q3 2015 HAL will roll out and / or implement similar restrictions as to what Carnival and NCL have recently put in place. My source from within HAL Corporate did note that there was some surprise at NCL's announcement, they did not think NCL would implement or even announce before 2015. More surveying and data is being collected for good corporate CYA but basically "the writing is on the wall". It all comes down to timing and phase in of implementation.

 

I trust my source 100%. This is a long time friend going back many, many years. If I were to divulge further details I could jeopardize their career. Suffice it to say, anything I have shared is high enough level as to not pinpoint to any single person within the organization.

 

I'm just the messenger.

 

This would be a very foolish decision, IMO, and will fail just as badly as Carnival's decision several years ago to make the Carnival Paradise totally smoke free. Cost them dearly in bookings and in casino revenues. Eventually they reversed their decision and Paradise is now following the standard Carnival smoking policy.

 

We're nearing our 30th year sailing mostly on HAL. Neither of us smoke, never did, but we really never noticed any issues relating to smoking on board whether in the dining room or showroom, let alone adjacent balconies.

 

I'm a CCL shareholder (I'm in it for the OBC but it's always nice to get a dividend) and hope that the folks in Seattle continue to think this thing through carefully.

 

BTW, the hip shooters at RCI keep announcing, then changing and reversing their policies which causes great confusion among even the most loyal RCCL and Celebrity cruisers. That ambivalence, coupled with a few other bonehead decisions like extra loud music piped into previously sedate lounges, have caused them some business.

 

What I like about what you say is that the senior management is moving slowly and carefully and won't go public with their decision until it has been fully made.

Edited by Sow There

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I have on very good authority that by Q3 2015 HAL will roll out and / or implement similar restrictions as to what Carnival and NCL have recently put in place. My source from within HAL Corporate did note that there was some surprise at NCL's announcement, they did not think NCL would implement or even announce before 2015. More surveying and data is being collected for good corporate CYA but basically "the writing is on the wall". It all comes down to timing and phase in of implementation.

 

I trust my source 100%. This is a long time friend going back many, many years. If I were to divulge further details I could jeopardize their career. Suffice it to say, anything I have shared is high enough level as to not pinpoint to any single person within the organization.

 

I'm just the messenger.

 

We have a cruise booked in April 2015 with HAL as they allow smoking on balconies. However in 2016 we booked with Seabourn. Even if they disallow smoking on balconies there are more than adequate smoking areas on the ship which in my opinion HAL hasn't got.

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I just wish they would make up their minds and say if they're going to ban the smoking on balconies or not. I don't smoke but DH does. I'm trying to plan next years cruise and if HAL is going to do a ban then that puts all the lines on a equal level and would make it easier for me to pick a cruise. Actually I think it will work out to our advantage cause I'm just going to book a OV room and save some money.

 

I am a little confused by your comments. HAL made their decision to allow smoking on its balconies years ago, and that decision still stands. What makes you think that HAL is even re-examining this policy at this time? HAL hasn't given any indication that any change in this policy is imminent.

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I have on very good authority that by Q3 2015 HAL will roll out and / or implement similar restrictions as to what Carnival and NCL have recently put in place. My source from within HAL Corporate did note that there was some surprise at NCL's announcement, they did not think NCL would implement or even announce before 2015. More surveying and data is being collected for good corporate CYA but basically "the writing is on the wall". It all comes down to timing and phase in of implementation.

 

I trust my source 100%. This is a long time friend going back many, many years. If I were to divulge further details I could jeopardize their career. Suffice it to say, anything I have shared is high enough level as to not pinpoint to any single person within the organization.

 

I'm just the messenger.

 

If this is the case why wait over a year? That seems strange. My fear is that now that so many lines have eliminated smoking on balconies that HAL will become a smoking haven.

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I am a little confused by your comments. HAL made their decision to allow smoking on its balconies years ago, and that decision still stands. What makes you think that HAL is even re-examining this policy at this time? HAL hasn't given any indication that any change in this policy is imminent.

 

NCL didn't give any hint either. The CEO said in January 2014 that they had no plans to change the rules anytime soon. Mid-July 2014 and 'all change' from Nov. 1st.

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I am a little confused by your comments. HAL made their decision to allow smoking on its balconies years ago, and that decision still stands. What makes you think that HAL is even re-examining this policy at this time? HAL hasn't given any indication that any change in this policy is imminent.

Common sense?

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What I like about what you say is that the senior management is moving slowly and carefully and won't go public with their decision until it has been fully made.

 

From my conversations it seems like the research and surveying to collect data is more for corporate CYA than anything else. Unless of course that data revealed something wildly different than what they expect it to reveal.

 

There is a faction that feel strongly that the new builds come on line with more restrictive policies already in place.

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If this is the case why wait over a year? That seems strange. My fear is that now that so many lines have eliminated smoking on balconies that HAL will become a smoking haven.

 

That is a good question. I will ask my friend if there are particular reasons behind it but my thinking would go as follows

 

1. Longer and more unique itineraries requiring more planning on the guest part than a 7 day caribbean roundy round. As such HAL does not want to alienate guests. HAL also has a pretty high loyalty rate and a good amount of guests only sail HAL. There could be too many eggs in too few baskets, so to speak.

 

2. An older and much less open to change clientele that do not like "last minute" changes.

 

I would be absolutely shocked if HAL abandoned the idea to implement these restrictions but it is possible I suppose. I would not bet on that but it will be interesting to find out what the data bears out.

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LMaxwell, did your source indicate whether there will be a corresponding increase in public smoking areas to compensate for the loss of smoking allowed space? Or will the same amount of smoke (smokers tend to smoke the same amount every day, regardless of schedule) be kept in the already too little smoking areas?

Is this idea even under consideration?

 

Will there be added an inside designated smoking area, that's available to all smokers all the time, for use when outside decks are off limits?

The only inside smoking area now is the Casino, which is not always open. One has to be an active gambler to smoke there, too, which not every smoker wants to do all the time.

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We only do Regent, HAL and Princess. We are 4 star on HAL. Always get a balcony. We were on a 30 day voyage with HAL in Feb and March. Didn't have any problems with the balcony smokers because our neighbors didn't smoke, much anyway. We were on the Prinsendam a few years ago for almost a three month voyage. At that time they did allow smoking inside. At the best dance floor on the ship. A group of smokers who had previously been chatting regularly and smoking up on the Lido gravitated to this area during the final four or five weeks of the trip. There were a number of single older ladies who really enjoyed dancing just before dinner. This smoking practice really upset them, in one case a lady who was a long time HAL cruiser was so irritated I believe she pulled the pin on the line due this experience.

 

Wife had a problem in the casino though on this last voyage. I don't like gambling. Seems that, at times, some smokers go in there just to smoke. She detested the experiences where hubby stood along side of spouse as she pulled the slots and smoked and smoked. This usually occurred in the evening after the show, she would go down to the casino and soon be back in a huff. Yea, I realize that one needs to be an "active" gambler to smoke there, but that is really difficult to enforce. Furthermore, I don't believe they even try to enforce it.

 

We are booked for a 30 day B to B on HAL a year from this October. May cancel out if they don't clean up their act. Our scheduled cruise just happens to be on the Prinsendam, from the comments made on these smoking threads maybe HAL has changed the rules and guests can not smoke inside the ship at all anymore except in the casino.

 

Prefer Regent anyway over the other two. All three usually pencil out cost wise pretty much the same so expense isn't a concern.

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If this is the case why wait over a year? That seems strange. My fear is that now that so many lines have eliminated smoking on balconies that HAL will become a smoking haven.

 

 

I think you are right.

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Ruth, I will ask the next time we speak.

Thank you. I think these are important considerations, that go beyond (but include) the CYA consideration.

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