Originally Posted by Fieldmouse
Plu-ease! You can be sure not all of us are as diplomatic as you where our personal or family safety is concerned. No one is asking for extreme unreasonable measures...but some common sense!
If there is a fire at sea...it's not like you can run out of the ship the same as you would a burning building. How many tragedies do we need? Really, isn't one enough for a wake up call? Or does the lesson we need to learn only gain importance the more that suffer? Is that the way we really want to learn?
If it was your family member that died, or was injured...or your possesions that were lost in the fire...and you found out that all this grief that affected YOU PERSONALLY was caused by a careless smoker...would that be enough for you to want something positive done to prevent this from happening again?
We all face risks from all sorts of things everyday. If we start banning anything that could possibly cause us danger, life as we know it would change forever. Fire at sea is certainly a scary thing and cruiselines are right in banning any item that poses an unacceptable risk, however the fact that thousands of sailings occur each year and that this is the first cigarette-caused fire in recent memory tells us that the risk from cigarettes is so small as to be statistically insignificant.
It may seem that banning smoking would be an easy way to make cruiseships safer, but in fact, it would be nothing more than a "feel good" measure and it would drastically change cruising as we know it. Carnival already proved with the failure of the Paradise that the industry is not yet ready for even one smoke-free ship. How do you expect them to survive with 100's of such ships? Better question, exactly how much are you willing to pay for your next cruise? Lose the smokers (and the family and friends that sail with them) and you may be surprised to find that you can no longer afford to cruise.
Rather than approaching this problem with the knee-jerk reaction to ban smoking, it would do much more to improve safety to analyze how this fire was handled and what could be improved upon in the future. Why did it take so long to account for all the passengers? Why did the fire spread to so many cabins so quickly (perhaps fire alarms and sprinklers are needed on the balconies)?
By the way, I am a non-smoker.