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Carnival Cruises Lines is enforcing harsher penalties on smokers caught lighting up in undesignated areas like their balconies.

The news follows other lines outlawing smokers from balconies and decks.

Carnival is among the toughest, telling its guests they could be fined $500 or even disembarked at the next port for persistent bad behaviour over smokes. And its new policy adds that other guests in the same stateroom could suffer the same fate.

All guests who are thrown off at the following port for violating the smoking policy are responsible for their own return travel expenses.

The other potential punishment is violators could be prohibited to travel with Carnival Cruise Lines in future.

Passengers caught smoking illegal substances, including medical marijuana, will be reported to authorities and also receive the equivalent probable penalties stated for passengers found smoking cigarettes and similar objects containing tobacco or herbal substance.

The issue of smoking at sea is contentious and divisive. Passengers in the past have argued that smoking is a personal choice; however, the reason smoking areas on cruise ships are being reduced to only a few designated outdoor areas usually links to safety precautions and for the comfort and enjoyment of their guests.

Smoke from balconies often blows into adjourning cabins, to the fury of non smokers.  Cruise lines have now decided to clamp down on smokers, containing them to designated and sometime sealed and air conditioned glass rooms on deck.

You can read the smoking policy here.

Smoking on Carnival is now strictly limited to specific exterior deck areas as well as designated casino and night club spaces that can be monitored.

All staterooms and suite accommodations, including outside balconies, are non-smoking.

How to other cruise lines compare?

On Royal Caribbean, smoking is not permitted inside any stateroom and any stateroom balcony, dining venue, theatre, bar, lounge, hallway, lift and jogging track.

Violating their policy would attract a fine of USD$250.

Cigarette, cigar, e-cigarette and pipe smoking is permitted in designated outdoor areas of the starboard side of all ships.

Look out for signage posted and ashtrays within all smoking areas and be aware of restricted areas in the outdoors such as food venues and children’s play areas and pools.

The exception is Oasis-class ships which allows smoking on the port side of the ships prohibits the behaviour in Central Park or the Boardwalk neighbourhoods.

Casinos on Royal Caribbean also permits smoking and has a designated area for non-smoking guests, with the exception of all cruises departing ships departing from Australia and the United Kingdom where smoking is not permitted.

You will also not find a non-smoking area in the casino on all cruises from China and Hong Kong.

Royal Caribbean like Carnival also considers marijuana under illegal substances even if you are boarding the ship from any of the American states and some destinations with legalised marijuana for medical and recreational use.

Illegal drugs or substances will be confiscated and appropriate action taken, which may include removal from the ship and involvement of appropriate authorities.

On P&O Australia, smoking is not permitted indoors, including in rooms, suites and on private balconies. This applies to cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

It is permitted in designated areas of the open deck and you will find the outdoor smoking venues published in Good Times onboard the cruise or simply approach guest services to clarify.

The cruise line also highlights that the use and possession of electronic cigarettes is illegal in the United Arab Emirates.

If you are arriving and/or leaving the country by plane, any electronic cigarettes will be confiscated at the airport and you may face a penalty.

If you are visiting any UAE ports as part of your cruise, also do not take electronic cigarettes ashore.