Originally Posted by You
I have never broken any rules regarding smoking areas, but now I feel that my business and my loyalty are not wanted. There are hundreds of cabins on any given ship - why can't a small percentage be designated "smoking cabins"?
There probably are two parts to the answer to this.
>> 1. There are several factors that result in higher costs.
* Smoking cabins require more frequent deep cleaning (dry cleaning of draperies, bedspreads, and blankets, shampooing of carpets, etc.) and more frequent replacement of pillows and of filters in the ventilation system to keep the room smelling fresh. The cost of this additional cleaning is not trivial, especially when you consider the direct labor involved. Note that the cleaning fees that most hotels charge to guests who smoke in non-smoking rooms now start at $250.
* Cigarettes dropped by people who nod off to sleep while smoking in bed have long been a major source of fires -- and we both know that some passengers would smoke in bed if permitted to smoke in their cbins. Thus, insurance companies probably offer much lower rates to cruise lines that forbid smoking in cabins than for those that don't.
* There also have been more than a few instances in which cigarette butts pitched overboard from cabin balconies have been sucked into the ship's air intakes and gotten into places where they have started shipboard fires. This also would affect insurance costs, but a major fire also would put a ship out of service for a couple months, depriving the line of revenues during that period.
>> 2. Smokers now constitue a very small percentage of the travelling public that is still declining. Airlines phased out smoking on their aircraft over a decade ago, and the first to do so actually saw an increase in their market share because they drew more non-smokers from competitors than the number of smokers that they lost to competitors. Many airport terminals also are completely nonsmoking now, so you can't even light up between flights without leaving the secure area and having to clear security all over again. In the cruise industry, the lines that imposed more restrictive smoking policies two or three years ago also did not lose business as a result, so it's not surprising that the rest are now following suit.
The decision to institute more restrictive smoking policies is indeed a business decision. If the executives of a cruise line thought for a minute that they would win more passengers from other lines by retaining less restrictive smoking policies, and thus would be able to charge higher fares and make more profit, they absolutely would do so.