* Photo by Don Burgess
Limits: Norwegian Cruise Lines has announced a ban on all its balconies.
* Photo by Don Burgess Limits: Norwegian Cruise Lines has announced a ban on all its balconies.
Where’s a smoker to go?

Norwegian Cruise Line announced on Wednesday that guests will no longer be allowed to puff up on balconies, effective November 1. It will also limit smoking in the casino to those who are gambling.

The cruise line will also limit smoking on The Waterfront on the Breakaway and the Getaway to the starboard side, except near the outdoor restaurants and dining areas.

The smoking ban includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars and pipes. Those who get caught smoking on their balconies or in their stateroom will be faced with a $250 cleaning fee.

The line is making the move for the “health and well-being” of guests and crew.

One of my complaints about the Breakaway was the amount of smoke coming from the casino, which is in an atrium setting and the smoke rises to other floors so hopefully by banning people who are just standing and watching there will be less smoke.

Or, maybe Norwegian is hoping they will plop their butts down on a seat and spend their money. Carnival has a similar ban going into effect on October 9.

Within five hours of posting it on its Facebook page, the announcement had received 1,175 Likes and more than 500 comments.

The Facebook fans spoke out on both sides of the issue. Becci Otis from Bullhead, Arizona wrote: “No longer a smoker, but I do believe taking away smoking on your balcony is too much!”

Karen Boutros from Barrington, Rhode Island was the first person to comment and she said the cigarette smoke “never bothered” her as “most areas on ships are smoke free, but when people are on vacation they want to relax.

Many people enjoy sitting on their balcony having their coffee or reading a book while they are able to smoke”. She felt a possible solution was to make the balconies on one side of the ship smoke-free and the other side for smokers.

But there were plenty of people glad with the new policy. Mary Pittzen from Ottumwa, Iowa wrote: “I hated going in the casino because of people smoking in there.”

Norfolk, Virginia’s LeeAnn Respass added: “It’s sad that people will stop cruising with you because of this new policy. It’s a great change because of the health and safety of passengers and crew is more important.”

She said that being on a balcony and having to breathe in smoke did not make it enjoyable and NCL deserves kudos for the ban.

Bigger ships

Norwegian Cruise Line confirmed this week they have ordered two additional Breakaway Plus class ships.

These ships are bigger than the Breakaway and the Getaway and Norwegian will take delivery of the unnamed ships in 2018 and 2019.

The other two Breakaway Plus ships, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss are due to enter service in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

While larger than the Breakaway and Getaway — 163,000 tons compared to 144,000 tons — they will actually carry 300 fewer passengers — 4,200 compared to 4,500. It will cost Norwegian slightly more than $1b per ship to have them built.