Princess Complaint - Smoking on the Island Princess
CALIFORNIA -- Princess fails to protect non-smokers from the well-known negative health consequences of second-hand cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke.
Princess makes no effort to enforce the minimal rules they do have. If you point out a violation of the rules to the Pursers office, they will listen to you and do nothing. Security people who are supposed to enforce the rules can see people smoking in non-smoking eating areas - and not say or do anything. I understand that Princess employees don’t want to hassle customers, but letting smokers pollute the air wherever they want is grossly unfair to non-smokers.
There is so much Princess and other cruise lines could easily do to make things better - like have all smoking cabins on the Port side and all non-smoking cabins on the Starboard side; and restrict smoking in public rooms to enclosed designated areas. Celebrity and RCI have taken a step in the right direction by banning smoking in cabins and on balconies, but more is required!
P&O Cruises Australia seems to be leading the way in limiting smoking on cruise ships. Their policy is: “In the interest of our passengers' health, safety and enjoyment during their cruising holiday, smoking is not permitted indoors, including in cabins, suites and on private balconies. This is in line with Australian standards. Outdoor smoking venues will be published in the Pacific Daily on board your cruise” (see www.pocruises. co. nz/AlreadyBooked/CruiseHandbook/Pages/SmokingPolicy.aspx).
The smoking policies of most cruise lines can be found at: http://www.shipdetective.com/ships/programs/smoking_policies.htm . Princess is not alone in catering to smokers and disregarding the health, safety and enjoyment of non-smokers.
Princess wants to pretend that sensitivity to tobacco smoke is just a matter of personal preference and opinion – not a real health and safety issue. You would think the Star Princess fire of March 23, 2006 would have made it abundantly clear to Princess management how dangerous smoking in cabins and on balconies is to the physical safety of passengers, crew, and the ship itself. See http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news. cfm?ID=1576 for details of the horrific fire.
Princess once told us in a letter that cruise ships were not like airplanes, and that passengers could not be expected to wait for the next Port to smoke. I would respond that smoking is completely optional, and treatment options are available for those wishing to quit smoking. Breathing fresh air is not optional; in fact, it is an absolute necessity for people with respiratory issues like Asthma, and is generally necessary for everyone’s good health – including smokers.
Princess says that smoking is prohibited in dinning areas and theaters. However, when smoking is allowed in cabins, the clothing of smokers is saturated with the stench of stale smoke that goes with them throughout the ship. The stench lingers for a long time after the smoker leaves the area. This definitely affected our enjoyment of public areas.
Some public areas are divided into smoking and non-smoking sides. This ridiculous approach results in the whole area being filled with cigarette smoke. The only effective way to control the spread of cigarette smoke in public areas is to eliminate it at the source. Otherwise, you should label the public areas as Smoking Only.
Non-smokers pay the same price as smokers for a cruise. But smokers have the power to prevent non-smokers from enjoying most of the ship’s features by the simple act of smoking and polluting the air in an area. If cruise lines were fair, they would charge non-smoking passengers substantially less because they cannot enjoy the ship as much as smokers.
Cruise ships seem to be the last refuge of smokers. Smokers think nothing about lighting-up in the presence of non-smokers. They often seem to enjoy exposing others to their second-hand smoke. Cruise line management is extremely reluctant to offend the sensibilities of smokers. They don’t seem to realize how many non-smoking customers they are loosing after each trip. According to the CDC, only 19.8 of U.S. adults smoked cigarettes in 2007. Cruise management had better start being concerned about the sensibilities of the 80% of the population that don’t smoke, if they want to remain a growing industry.
Princess management doesn’t want to know what their customers think about their smoking policy. They could easily find out by including smoking in the things they put in their evaluation questionnaire, like:
v Should smoking continue to be allowed in cabins?
v Should smoking continue to be allowed on balconies?
v Should smoking continue to be allowed in bars and lounges?
v Should smoking continue to be allowed on the Promenade Deck?
v How effective is enforcement of the Smoking Policy of this ship?
v Does allowing smoking on this ship negatively impact your enjoyment of the cruise?
v Does smoking on this ship negatively impact your health?
v Does allowing smoking on this ship cause you to be concerned about the safety of cruising?
v What could we do to reduce the impact of smoking on you?
v How important is it for you to be able to smoke on this ship?
v Should smoking be banned on this ship?
Princess could easily ask these questions if they were interested in what their customers thought about smoking. The fact that they don’t ask any smoking questions tells me how desperate they are to allow smoking in spite of their fiduciary duty to the stockholders. They don’t ask the questions because they don’t want to know the results that would probably require them to take actions to limit or band smoking. By not asking any questions, management can pretend that everything is fine, and that they are not aware of any serious problem allowing smoking causes their customers. This is folly on steroids!
Princess needs to join the rest of the civilized world and highly restrict smoking on ships so that non-smokers are not continually subjected to the stench and health impacts of second hand smoke, the potential of spending many hours/days in a life boat, or worse - cancer from second smoke or death by fire.
I personally favor an absolute ban of any type of smoking on cruise ships – with violators removed from the ship at the next Port (like they do for drug possession or use). My wife and I have decided to boycott Princess until they completely ban smoking on their cruise ships. The perks of being Platinum means nothing compared to the stench of cigarette smoke.