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  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 11th, 2007, 11:51 AM
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Default HAL Veendam's NEW NON SMOKING POLICY

The quote below is taken from CruiseMates Rita's Virtual Cruise Report live from the Veendam.
Being a smoker, I wouldn't be very happy.... and less so that the move went UNANNOUNCED! Should such a policy be put in place, don't you think an announcement should have been made prior to allow passengers to decide if they want to continue with the cruise plans on the ship?


Quote:
although I guess I should mention the mini “revolt? that is taking place onboard among the smokers on this cruise. HAL has just changed their smoking policy on the Veendam, with the cruise prior to ours. There is no longer any smoking allowed on the Lido Deck, even at the Lido Bar. The entire deck is non-smoking. Smokers are relegated to the aft deck, an area where there is absolutely no protection from the elements. The casino is also non-smoking every other night, which means that people who like to use those facilities are unable to enjoy them every other day. The only bar and lounge that I know of that still allows smoking is the Ocean Bar, a small section of it around the bar area, and one side of the Crow’s Nest. The Casino Bar, Piano Bar and Explorer’s Lounge are entirely non-smoking. Some long-time HAL cruisers feel that they are being forgotten by the cruise line, who is knuckling under the pressure of the non-smoking majority, who probably spend nowhere near what the smokers spend on drinks and casino gaming. So, we have written letters to Seattle and to the onboard Hotel Manager and Guest Relations Manager, and plan to do more of the same when we get home. We all got a very nice letter back from the Guest Relations Manager … very detailed and very apologetic. I was truly impressed that she would write such a personal letter to me, addressing my issues and concerns. Then I find out that we all got the exact same letter. Oh, well. While I will certainly support the group effort to change this policy, personally, I think it will only get worse over time … not better. Unfortunately, us smokers are in the minority and I’d bet that at one point, HAL ships will go entirely non-smoking, as will the vessels of just about every other line. It’s not a prospect I look forward to, but it is one that realism forces one to foresee.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Kuki: Although I am a non-smoker, I do agree that HAL should have made this decision prior to a week ago and made everyone who was sailing on upcoming cruises aware of it in enough time to make other arrangements if they so desired.
If I am reading Rita's quote correctly, she says the casino is non-smoking every other night? I really do not see the advantage to this, as it would still smell of smoke on the non-smoking nights.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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It actually surprises me that it's HAL making this move first, as opposed to some of the other cruise lines.

Since HAL carries more "older" passengers, I'd think those in that age range are amongst the largest numbers of smokers... where there are way less younger smokers.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 12:41 PM
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I have a feeling that the "backlash" with cause HAL to rethink their limitation of smoking areas. I'm not a smoker, but I believe there are enough smokers out there, that this decision will impact their bookings.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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I feel for you smokers, because I also used to smoke and I understand the desire to have a cigarette in peace without being judged or corralled into "smoker's areas."

Unfortunately, smoking is really bad for you, and second hand smoke is a factor, according to my doctor.

Anyway - the question here is the right of the passenger to know what to expect before he goes on a cruise. As unannounced changes in rules result in unexpected reactions to the rules.

Unfortunately, I have to go with the cruise line on this one. Even if you had known I seriously doubt if you would have changed your travel plans. But now that it is out in the open, you have a choice of what to do before you book.

But I am not anti-smoking. I think you people have the right to damage your body as much as you want to without being judged. (Sorry for the bad joke) - from an ex-smoker who has smoked and quit for at least 10 years three differenet times in his life - it isn't THAT hard to quit. You just never smoke another cigarette.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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The subject of smoking vs non-smoking always opens a can of worms, but my stand is that breathing is not an option so I really don't see giving smokers any consideration if their smoke can be smelled by others. As a non-smoker, I have many times had a nice meal on an outside deck ruined by smokers, even though I was sitting in a non-smoking section.

Carnival tried to have a totally non-smoking ship--the Paradise. I loved being able to go anywhere on that ship and not have to be subjected to second-hand smoke. I went three times, and then--bingo! The ship was designated smoking once more. The Hotel Director told me the reason was revenue. The ship just did not generate as much from alcohol and gambling as the other Carnival ships. I know a concerted effort was made by non-smokers who enjoyed the ship as much as I did to stop it from happening by writing letters, etc., but to no avail.

I agree HAL should have let people know ahead of time re. the new policy, but I also agree with Paul Motter when he said if they had he doubts it would have made any difference to the smokers already booked.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 05:08 PM
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I am a non smoker married to a smoker. I think for the real hard core smokers, no, they would not cancel if all plans were in place, and a cancellation fee would be charged.

But I bet my husband would say, if there was enough lead time to book another ship for the given date,& that would allow us to use the airfare we bought, he would probably say..cancel!

The casino alternate day policy, will soon be history I would bet!
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Old April 11th, 2007, 05:45 PM
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Gotta agree on the casino thing - as Pat says (and I never thought of this) sin goes with sin. The people who smoke are the ones who gamble, Right Kuki?

A toast to the sinners, bottoms up!
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Old April 12th, 2007, 06:14 PM
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All Ships should be non smoking. Maybe we could tow a dinge for the smokers. In the real world a smoking area should be indoors but secluded from passersby. On the Sea class of Princess there is a bar that allows smoking that you have to pass by to get to the photo gallery. And there is no other way. I do not wan to inhale second hand smoke.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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Non-smoker here.

The issue here is that the cruise line changed the policy after the passengers had already booked and paid for the cruise. The passengers believed that they were getting a certain product that they had agreed to and paid for, and then they didn't receive that product.

It's kind of a "breach of contract" situation.

The cruise line should have set the policy to begin for all NEW, future, cruises, so that passengers would know exactly what product they were paying for.

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Old May 6th, 2007, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryLou
If I am reading Rita's quote correctly, she says the casino is non-smoking every other night? I really do not see the advantage to this, as it would still smell of smoke on the non-smoking nights.
It works out to be about every other night. Our cruise was sea day-intensive, and there were five sea days during the cruise where the casino was entirely smoke-free. That equated to approximately half of them.

But the thing that really upset most people on the Veendam sailing of April 1 was losing that small area under the magronome. That area, comprised of about six tables, was our unofficial "meet and greet" spot. It was the center of socializing for smokers. We could eat a Lido meal out there al fresco, enjoy a drink from the Lido Bar, or just socialize with other smokers over a nice cup of java. Now that area is gone, and with it much of our opportunity for socializing. Yes, we can still smoke on the aft deck, but somehow it is just not the same. First of all, the area is much more crowded back there ... since its smaller ... and secondly, there is absolutely no protection from the elements save for table umbrellas. If it's too hot, or too cold, raining, etc. ... that area becomes totally unusable.

I can live with the other changes, but find the loss of those few tables out by the Lido Bar area to be very devastating. The group of smokers we had on the Veendam cruise felt the same way. They may not have liked the changes in the casino, but they could live with them. But the loss of that Lido Deck area was major to all of us.

The fact that HAL instituted these changes with no warning is also very distressing. I had friends on the cruise prior to ours (Kakalina ... Trish, and her husband Virgil). Trish told me that on the morning of April 1, before disembarkation began, she and her husband were enjoying a cigarette in that Lido Deck area. Stewards were busily trying to remove all the ashtrays from the tables in preparation for our cruise, where the new policy would go into effect.

Our fear is that if HAL made these changes without notice, what future ones will be sprung on us? Will we board one day to find out that we can no longer smoke in our cabins? Will we find that HAL ships have gone 100% smoke-free ... after we have boarded and can do little about it?

I think HAL handled this situation very poorly. Believe me, I love HAL and consider myself one of their biggest cheerleaders, but this policy implementation has really rocked me. Now I don't know if I can trust them any longer. I know that I would be beyond upset to get onboard and find out that I cannot smoke in my cabin any longer. Frankly, I would be unable to abide by that policy, and would be forced into the position of "sneaking" a smoke ... as I once did as a teenager. I shouldn't be put into that position.

If HAL further amends this smoking policy to something even more strict, I think they owe it to their loyal Mariners to give notice of their intentions ... far enough into the future that people can amend their cruising plans if they wish. It pains me to see HAL knuckle under to the pressure of non-smokers ... especially when it is us smokers who probably on average spend more money in just those venues HAL has made non-smoking ... the bars, lounges and casino.

And ... believe me, I am far from being alone in these sentiments. We had a whole contingent of very unhappy HAL passengers on that 18-day Veendam cruise.

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Old May 6th, 2007, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryLou
If I am reading Rita's quote correctly, she says the casino is non-smoking every other night? I really do not see the advantage to this, as it would still smell of smoke on the non-smoking nights.
The ENTIRE casino was non-smoking on those nights ... even the casino bar. Ashtrays had signs placed over them ... with a drawing of a cigarette with a red slash through it. I don't think the casino necessarily smelled of smoke from the night before, but I do know that it sure appeared to be less people in there on the non-smoking days. The casino players in our group made it a point to stay out of there on non-smoking days ... not to pour one cent of revenue into their coffers if they were unable to enjoy a cigarette as they did so. Hopefully, HAL will quickly realize that this policy is hurting THEM ... by impacting their revenue figures. If so, hopefully, they will quickly reverse it.

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Old May 6th, 2007, 05:37 AM
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I understand that there is a bill before Congress (and also within EU) that would ban cigarette smoking in cabins and balconies. If this passes, all cruise lines will be on equal footing. However, I think that all locations where alcohol is served or gambling takes place should allow smoking. As for dining rooms, it would sure be nice if they could install satisfactory ventilation to allow a smoking area in the main dining rooms.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
I understand that there is a bill before Congress (and also within EU) that would ban cigarette smoking in cabins and balconies. If this passes, all cruise lines will be on equal footing. However, I think that all locations where alcohol is served or gambling takes place should allow smoking. As for dining rooms, it would sure be nice if they could install satisfactory ventilation to allow a smoking area in the main dining rooms.
And when that day comes, my guess is there will be a lot of former cruisers out there who will be seriously investigating various land-based resorts. After all, no one's gonna spend their money in a place that doesn't cater to their needs ... especially when there are lots of viable alternatives, right?

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Old May 6th, 2007, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
It actually surprises me that it's HAL making this move first, as opposed to some of the other cruise lines.

Since HAL carries more "older" passengers, I'd think those in that age range are amongst the largest numbers of smokers... where there are way less younger smokers.
That's what surprised me too. It's generally the younger people that abhor smoking and don't want to be around it. But then ... HAL seems to be trying to attract the younger market, so maybe this new policy is a step in that direction?

I do know for an absolute fact that the edict came down from corporate and applies to ALL ships in the fleet. The specific areas that have been deemed smoke-free, however, differ between the Vista class ships and the rest of the fleet. The restrictions seem a bit more stringent on those Vista class ships ... which would seem logical since it is those ships that draw the youngest people.

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Old May 7th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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I have never cruised HAL but I would guess that this ship is a trial.

As the cruise industry caters more to the European market, they will have to rethink this smoking ban thing. In Europe many more people smoke openly (in the US, there are many, many closet smokers) and the Euro market is not going to be dictated to by their vacation providers. It is just not the way things are done.

I remember when the Paradise was non-smoking. Then it became a smoking ship. It is all about revenue. There are also loads of social smokers. People who only smoke when they drink, party, gamble, etc.

If HAL or any other line continues the spread of the smoking ban, expect to see your cruise fares (and everything else) raise. The industry will have to make up the revenue shortfall some other way.

P.S. There is a good chance that the bacon you eat for breakfast or the butter on your toast will kill you long before someone else's cigarette will.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
I have never cruised HAL but I would guess that this ship is a trial.
No, this new policy was fleet-wide and went into effect with cruises beginning April 1st (or the closest date after when a new cruise embarked). I know this for a fact because I saw an internal HAL memo regarding it.

Also, when we wrote letters of protest to the Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, Captain, etc. ... we received a nice form letter back from the Guest Relations Manager telling us that these new guidelines were issued directly from Seattle and applied to all ships in the fleet, with a separate set of guidelines for Vista and non-Vista ships.

So the Veendam was not a trial. All of the ships in the fleet are.

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Old May 8th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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Good for HAL!!!!! I was a happy "Hardcore" 3 pack-a-day smoker who quit 16 years ago. No one can convince me the "Hardcore" can't quit. Face it smokers, society has passed you by and is giving you a big hint. Hey if you quit, except maybe for Kuki, you could afford more cruises and cruise many more times because you will live longer.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR.
Good for HAL!!!!! I was a happy "spammmmm" 3 pack-a-day smoker who quit 16 years ago. No one can convince me the "spammmmm" can't quit. Face it smokers, society has passed you by and is giving you a big hint. Hey if you quit, except maybe for Kuki, you could afford more cruises and cruise many more times because you will live longer.
OK filtering is one thing but censoring the word h a r d c o r e in this context is absurd. :evil:
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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR.
Good for HAL!!!!! I was a happy "spammmmm" 3 pack-a-day smoker who quit 16 years ago. No one can convince me the "spammmmm" can't quit. Face it smokers, society has passed you by and is giving you a big hint. Hey if you quit, except maybe for Kuki, you could afford more cruises and cruise many more times because you will live longer.
OK filtering is one thing but censoring the word h a r d c o r e in this context is absurd. :evil:
Not me. I didn't touch his post. He's entitled to his opinion and while I don't necessarily subscribe to it, opinion is what this board is all about.

Of course, if this post was edited by a moderator, I didn't see the original ... so maybe there was good reason to edit it.

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Old May 9th, 2007, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR.
Good for HAL!!!!! I was a happy "spammmmm" 3 pack-a-day smoker who quit 16 years ago. No one can convince me the "spammmmm" can't quit. Face it smokers, society has passed you by and is giving you a big hint. Hey if you quit, except maybe for Kuki, you could afford more cruises and cruise many more times because you will live longer.
OK filtering is one thing but censoring the word h a r d c o r e in this context is absurd. :evil:
Not me. I didn't touch his post. He's entitled to his opinion and while I don't necessarily subscribe to it, opinion is what this board is all about.

Of course, if this post was edited by a moderator, I didn't see the original ... so maybe there was good reason to edit it.

Blue skies ...

--rita
Rita- Where you see "spammmmmmmmmm" in the orginal quote is where h a r d c o r e was supposed to be. This is an automatic censorship program the operators of Cruisemates have instituted. It is silly because it flags certain words regardless of context.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR.
Rita- Where you see "spammmmmmmmmm" in the orginal quote is where h a r d c o r e was supposed to be. This is an automatic censorship program the operators of Cruisemates have instituted. It is silly because it flags certain words regardless of context.
.... ohhhhhhkayyyyyy. Now I understand ... at least I think I do.

By the way ... what's wrong with "h a r d c o r e?"

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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvcruisn
All Ships should be non smoking. Maybe we could tow a dinge for the smokers. In the real world a smoking area should be indoors but secluded from passersby. On the Sea class of Princess there is a bar that allows smoking that you have to pass by to get to the photo gallery. And there is no other way. I do not wan to inhale second hand smoke.
On the other hand,why not tow a barge behind the ship for non smokers.Kinda dumb,don't ya think?
I only smoke in the areas it is allowed.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: HAL Veendam's NEW NON SMOKING POLICY

Kuki,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
The quote below is taken from CruiseMates Rita's Virtual Cruise Report live from the Veendam.
Being a smoker, I wouldn't be very happy.... and less so that the move went UNANNOUNCED! Should such a policy be put in place, don't you think an announcement should have been made prior to allow passengers to decide if they want to continue with the cruise plans on the ship?
It's really quite simple. All policies that may affect a passenger's experience -- dress codes, drinking age, gambling age, private supplies of alcoholic beverages in one's cabin, smoking policies, etc. -- should be published and provided in writing to all passengers before the cruise line accepts their bookings. Those policies should be incorporated by reference into the passange contract, with the expectation that passengers will comply with them and that cruise lines will enforce them. And, of course, passengers would have to consider those policies as part of the decision to cruise or not to cruise on a particular line.

Also, any cruise line that decides to change such policies after it has started accepting bookings should provide written notice of the change and offer each passenger a reasonable period of time after receipt of the notice of the change to cancel the booking and receive a full refund.

Norm.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: HAL Veendam's NEW NON SMOKING POLICY

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
It's really quite simple. All policies that may affect a passenger's experience -- dress codes, drinking age, gambling age, private supplies of alcoholic beverages in one's cabin, smoking policies, etc. -- should be published and provided in writing to all passengers before the cruise line accepts their bookings.
I couldn't agree more.

A cruise line has the right to change its onboard policies anytime it wishes. However, they have an obligation to inform customers of those changes via notations on their websites and informational emails to their network of travel agents. No one should get onboard a ship and find out that something near and dear to them has been taken away ... and there is nothing whatsoever at that point they can do about it.

My fear is that one day I will board one of my favorite HAL ships and find out that I can no longer smoke at all onboard. I would have a major problem with such an occurrence and without prior notice, there would be no way I could comply with that rule.

So, believe me ... I'm not necessarily bashing HAL for changing their smoking policy. I'm only a bit perturbed that they did it without providing any advance notice whatsoever. To me, that's just playing "not fair."

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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Dean, I agree with your outlook on the subject.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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All policies, not just about smoking should be well known prior to being in place. That is only fair. On the web site, booklet and so on. I am thrilled to see less and les smoking on board. I dont want to be or need to be exposed to any ones smoke. They can throw a few umbrella's in the aft deck, tables and chairs, and should have for those few people. I say few because as compared to non smokers, smokers are well into minority territory now. Montreal no longer has smoking is bars and places to eat, and it is GREAT! We go out far more often now, because we dont have smoking any more any where in public spaces.......
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