How To Get Away With Smoking On A Cruise Ship: What Smokers NEED To Know

As a smoker preparing for a cruise, you may be contemplating how to smoke on board without getting caught.

However, before you sneak a cigarette, we really recommend adhering to the rules and regulations of your ship.

While it may not be the most exciting solution, it is essential to note that there really are no hiding spots on a cruise ship, and numerous surveillance devices are in place.

We highly recommended that you comply with the rules to avoid any significant fines.

Cruise 'No Smoking' Sign

How To Get Away With Smoking On A Cruise Ship

Most cruise ships have designated smoking areas, and some even permit smoking in certain staterooms or on designated balconies. Plus, there are some smoker-friendly cruise ships.

Along with finding a smoker-friendly cruise line, it’s important to note the restrictions when it comes to e-cigarettes and vaping.

Much like traditional cigarettes, vaping is often allowed only in designated smoking areas, but some cruise lines offer more lenient policies.

Some cruises even have such relaxed policies that you can enjoy a cigarette or cigar at the casino.

Certain popular cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, even have cigar lounges. So you definitely don’t have to go through withdrawal symptoms on your next cruise vacation.

Understanding Cruise Ship Smoking Policies

Before you embark on your cruise, it’s important to understand the smoking policies of the cruise line you’ll be traveling with.

Cruise ships have strict rules regarding when, where, and how you can smoke, including the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices.

Familiarize yourself with these policies to avoid violating the rules which could result in fines or other penalties.

  • Research the specific smoking policies of your chosen cruise line
  • Note the restrictions and rules regarding e-cigarettes and vaping devices
  • Be aware of potential fines or penalties for violating smoking policies

Finding Designated Smoking Areas

Once on board, seek out the designated smoking areas where you can enjoy your cigarette or vaping device without breaking the rules.

These areas are typically clearly marked and can often be found in the following locations:

To enjoy your smoking experience while adhering to the rules:

  1. Locate a designated smoking area on your ship
  2. Use proper disposal methods for cigarette butts and other smoking-related waste
  3. Be respectful of non-smoking passengers by staying within the designated smoking area

By understanding the smoking policies of your cruise ship and being respectful of fellow passengers, you can get away with smoking on your cruise while staying within the rules and avoiding penalties.

Can I Smoke Cigarettes In My Cabin?


Smoking in cabins is not allowed on any major cruise line due to the potential fire hazard it poses.

Designated smoking areas are available on most ships operated by U.S. cruise lines, with indoor public spaces being off-limits for smoking.

However, some cruise lines make exceptions for casinos or have dedicated smoking rooms within the larger casino.

Can I Smoke On My Balcony?

Smoking on cabin balconies is only permitted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line and Costa Cruises, as stated by Cruise Critic.

Other major cruise lines prohibit smoking on cabin balconies due to the potential fire hazard it poses.

Can I Smoke Weed On A Cruise Ship?

Despite the legality of cannabis in certain ports, smoking weed is strictly prohibited on all cruise ships.

This ban applies to both recreational and medical marijuana use, meaning that even if you have a prescription for medical marijuana, you are not allowed to smoke it onboard.

This is because cruise ships are registered in countries where marijuana is illegal, and the ships must adhere to the laws of their country of registration.

Therefore, anyone caught smoking weed on a cruise ship can face serious consequences, including being disembarked at the next port of call and possibly even facing legal action.

We highly discourage you try smoking weed on a cruise ship.

Being caught smoking weed on a cruise ship can result in severe consequences, including but not limited to being placed in the cruise ship jail, removed from the ship, facing arrest, and potentially being banned from cruising for life.

It’s just not worth it. Plus trying to mask the smell is almost impossible and you are very likely to get caught.

Can You Bring Cigars On A Cruise?


Similar to cigarettes, cigars and tobacco pipes can be brought onboard and smoked in designated areas on some cruise ships.

However, the areas where smoking cigars and pipes are allowed are typically more restricted than those for cigarette smoking.

But there is the cigar lounge on a lot of major cruise lines.

What Cruise Lines Have A Cigar Lounge?

The following cruise lines have cigar lounges on some, not all, their cruises:

  • Crystal Cruises
  • Cunard
  • MSC Cruises
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Princess Cruises
  • Regent Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Silversea Cruises

Make sure to double-check the cruise you are booking if a cigar lounge is an important selling point for you.

Can I Smoke Cigarettes In The Cigar Lounge?

This may vary, but most cigar lounges on cruise ships are strictly for cigar and pipe smokers only.

You cannot smoke cigarettes in the cigar lounge as they have a separate designated smoking area.

Are There Non-Smoking Cruise Ships?

While there are no entirely non-smoking cruise ships, many cruise lines have implemented strict smoking policies and designated smoking areas to accommodate non-smokers.

These areas are typically limited to outdoor decks and designated indoor areas, such as casinos, bars, and lounges.

Preparation and Tools For Your Next Cruise

Cruise SHip Balcony with chairs

Choosing the Right Cruise Line

Researching different cruise lines and their smoking policies before booking your cruise is extremely important.

Some lines have more lenient rules regarding smoking and vaping, such as Costa and a few others.

These lines may allow smoking in designated areas or even in your stateroom.

Be aware that most cruise lines treat e-cigarettes the same as traditional cigarettes and restrict them to designated smoking areas.

Packing Smoking Essentials

To ensure a hassle-free smoking experience on your cruise, you may want to pack essential items such as:

  • A portable ashtray: to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly and avoid littering.
  • A lighter or matches: to light your cigarettes, consider a windproof lighter option if you plan on smoking outside.
  • Tobacco or e-cigarettes: bring enough supplies for the duration of your cruise. They may not be available for sale onboard or cost a pretty penny at shore.
  • A sealable bag: to store used cigarette butts, especially if you have a cabin without a designated smoking area or a balcony.

Utilizing Smokeless Alternatives

If you still have concerns about smoking on a cruise ship, booked a smoke-free cruise, or want to be more discreet, consider using smokeless alternatives such as:

  • Nicotine patches: a convenient way to get a nicotine fix without smoking.
  • Nicotine gum: can be easily used on a cruise ship without drawing attention.
  • Snus (smokeless tobacco): placed under your upper lip, snus provides a nicotine boost without creating smoke.

Make sure you know the specific guidelines regarding vaping onboard and which areas are designated for e-cigarette use.

Some cruise lines, like Cunard and Holland America, do allow vaping in passenger staterooms.

However, policies may change, so it’s best to check the up-to-date information before your trip.

Tips for Discreet Smoking

'No Smoking Area' Sign

Despite the strict non-smoking policies on cruise ships, there are ways to discreetly smoke without getting caught. if you want to smoke inconspicuously on board, consider these tips.

(And no. We are not condoning breaking the rules, but if you’re going to do it, at least be smart about it.)

Timing and Location

To minimize the chances of being detected, choose the right time and location for your smoking sessions. Consider the following:

  • Opt for late-night or early-morning hours when fewer people are awake and moving around the ship
  • Find a secluded spot, preferably on the highest deck, where the wind can help disperse the smoke and reduce visibility
  • Use the designated smoking areas to your advantage. Although smoking is allowed in these areas, make sure to distance yourself from non-smokers and abstain from drawing attention

Odor Management

Properly managing the smell of smoke is crucial when trying to smoke discreetly. Here are some tips:

  • Utilize smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes, which produce less odor than traditional cigarettes
  • Use a personal air freshener or a simple mixture of water and essential oil in a spray bottle to mask odors
  • Keep mints or gum with you to freshen your breath after smoking

Proper Disposal Methods

Discreetly disposing of your cigarette leftovers is essential to avoid detection. Make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Always dispose of cigarette butts in the designated receptacles found in smoking areas to minimize any trace of your smoking activities
  • Carry a small, portable ashtray or a sealable container to store your cigarette butts and ashes temporarily if you’re smoking in a non-designated area

Keep these tips in mind as you navigate the challenging landscape of smoking on a cruise ship, and remember to be responsible for your actions and respectful of the rules and other passengers.

Consequences of Breaking the Rules

When you break the smoking rules on a cruise ship, several consequences may arise, impacting both your experience and the overall safety of the passengers and the ship.

Firstly, if you’re caught smoking in an unauthorized area, you’ll be asked to move to a designated smoking area immediately.

It’s important to follow these guidelines, because repeated violations may lead to more severe consequences.

Next, smoking in your cabin or cabin balcony is strictly prohibited on most cruise lines. If you’re caught doing so, you’ll be told to stop and may face a substantial cleaning fee.

This fee is designed to cover any additional cleaning efforts required to remove the smell and residue left by the smoke.

Disregarding the smoking rules could lead to dangerous situations, such as fire hazards.

The enclosed environment of a cruise ship makes it vital to adhere to these guidelines not only for your safety but also for the safety of those around you.

Furthermore, continuously breaking the rules might result in harsher penalties, such as:

  • Fines for violating ship regulations
  • Removal of certain privileges or amenities
  • Forced disembarkation at the next port
  • Refusal of future bookings with the cruise line

Keep in mind that designated smoking areas are set up for everyone’s benefit, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for all passengers.

By observing the set rules on a cruise ship, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation without causing harm or discomfort to yourself and others.


In summary, getting away with smoking on a cruise ship can be challenging due to many cruise lines having strict policies against smoking in certain areas.

However, there are a few key strategies you can implement to minimize the chances of being caught or penalized.

First, familiarize yourself with the smoking policies of your chosen cruise line, and ensure you follow their designated smoking areas. These areas typically include specific outdoor spaces and designated indoor lounges, such as cigar bars or casinos for active players.

Second, consider using e-cigarettes or vapes, as some cruise lines treat these differently from traditional cigarettes.

While they may still be restricted in the majority of areas, they might be perceived as less intrusive or noticeable to fellow passengers and staff.

Finally, pay close attention to the rules regarding smoking in cabins and balconies. While it may be tempting to try and sneak a smoke on your private balcony, cruise lines have strict policies against this, and you may face significant fines or penalties if caught.

Remember, adhering to the smoking guidelines on board not only prevents you from potential trouble but also maintains a pleasant environment for everyone aboard the ship.

By following these tips and staying aware of the rules, you can enjoy your cruise while still indulging in your smoking preferences when and where it is allowed.

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