Smokers are being squeezed outside on P&O’s cruise ships. From April next year, there will be no indoor smoking areas on Arcadia, Aurora, Oriana, or the company’s newest ship, Azura.
Passenger cabins will also be no-smoking, and nicotine addicts will be restricted to defined areas of open deck and their cabin balconies.
Similar restrictions were introduced on Oceana, Ventura and Artemis last October, following UK legislation which banned smoking in bars and restaurants.
A company statement says: “As a direct result of feedback from our passengers, it has become increasingly apparent that the acceptance of smoking inside our ships has now declined to such an extent that we have decided to implement a complete non-smoking policy in inside public spaces on board all P&O Cruises ships.”
The decision to continue to permit smoking on balconies is a strange one, as it can be a source of annoyance to non-smokers in neighbouring cabins, and an investigation in 2006 established that a fire which destroyed 79 passengers on board Star Princess was caused by a smouldering cigarette.
Smoking is not allowed in cabins or on balconies on Celebrity Equinox, where I spent two days this week, but the ship does permit smoking in one section of the Sky Bar – appropriately enough behind the bandstand.
Even as a smoker myself, while I welcomed the rare opportunity to have a cigarette with my drink, it was apparent that the smell could spread into the rest of the bar. Perhaps it is finally time for me to stub out the habit – I know my doctor would agree.