I've just returned from a 3 day cruise on Carnival Paradise and the experience with the new smoking policy was horrific.
As you know, the new policy states that:
Effective today, cigarette smoking in public venues will only be permitted in Carnival's dance clubs as well as in designated areas within the casino and casino bar.
Well, the situation actually is as follows: The dance floor ("disco lounge" ) is available for smoking only during disco hours (9pm to 1am). The rest of the time, the lounge is occupied by wedding receptions, class reunions, camp carnival activities.(of course, non-smoking).
Another dance lounge (The Leonardo) is Non-Smoking.
The second smoking place suppose to be the designated smoking area of the casino. Right! .....WRONG!!!
You can smoke in the designated area of the casino ONLY when playing the machines AND the Casino is open.
The 3rd allowed area is the Casino Bar Smoking area. That is an area of 10ft. by 4ft. with 6 barstolls and 4-6 ashtrays.
That means that whenever the Casino is not open (while in port or early / late in the day) your option is to stay cramped together with other smokers - and out of the 2698 passenger, a few hundred smoked.
There is an open air smoking area on the Lido deck (starbord), but at my age I am not comfortable with the wind and the outside temperature (too hot or too cold).
The crew and staff were very curteous and professional about the new policy - no complaints whatsoever there. They just had to obey to whatever directives were received from the Miami Headquarters.
We have 7 more cruises reserved for the next 9 month, but under the new conditions, we will try to find other cruiselines that do not discriminate against smokers.
The new Smoking Policy sounds great the way that it's written, but the way it is applied is bad. Nowhere does it say that the disco lounge is available only during disco hours, or the casino is available only when it's open and while you play ( by the way, we are Ocean Player Club members with a great play history.) And the 10ft. by 4ft. area at the Casino bar I assume is actually smaller than a prison cell.
In our over 25 years of cruising (32 cruises on Carnival, more on other cruise lines), we have always been considerate to the non-smoking passengers, never smoked in our cabin or non-designated areas. I remember when we cancelled our reservations on the now defunct cruise line named "Rembrand" when we heared about their non-smoking policy.
Again, I agree 100% with the way the smoking policy is written, the rights of the non-smokers to a healthy environment, but the way it is applied stinks. One solution would be to have the smoking area in the Casino available for smoking 24 hours a day (with no strings attached.) That way the dance lounge can still be used for other activities during the day.
Whoever remembers the Piano lounge (America Bar) and the Rotterdam Lounge (sports lounge) on the Paradise - they are non-smoking now!
I wish somebody with enough clout in the Corporate Offices has a chance to read my message.