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Cruise Line Balcony Smoking Policies – On These Four Lines You Can Still Smoke On The Balcony

If you are a smoker (or want to avoid smoke when you cruise) you may be wondering which cruise lines allow smoking on their balconies.

I’ve personally cruised on cruise lines where smoking on balconies is allowed

Can You Smoke on Cruise Ship Balconies?

Four cruise lines still allow you to smoke on their ship’s balconies. They are:

  • Costa Cruises,
  • Aida Cruises,
  • TUI Cruises – Not to be confused with Marella Cruises – the British Arm of the same company.
  • Fred Olsen Cruise Line

All other cruise lines have banned smoking on balconies for safety reasons.

Other cruise lines do have designated smoking areas – usually on the top decks of the ships. Occasionally ships have “Cigar Lounges” where you can also smoke insideas long as it is within that enclosed lounge.

Costa Cruises

Guests on Costa cruises are allowed to smoke on their balconies.

Smoking on BalconySmoking in CabinDesignated Smoking AreasE-Cigarettes/Vaping
Costa CruisesAllowedNot AllowedYesAllowed in Cabins and Smoking Areas

Who are Costa Cruises? 

Costa is an Italian cruise line owned by the Carnival Corporation. They offer great value cruises and are popular with families, young cruisers and groups.

A number of languages are spoken on board and the Italian ownership is felt in the dining and entertainment.

To find out why Costa have made it onto my ‘Best Cruise Lines For Families’ list, check out our recommended cruise lines page here:

Best Cruise Lines For Families (Tried & Tested, Pros & Cons!)

Costa Cruises Smoking Policy

Costa Cruises has a relaxed smoking policy that allows guests to smoke on their balconies.

Smoking in cabins is not allowed and there are other smoking areas around the ship.

I took my first Costa cruise in 2018 and was surprised by the number of smoking areas on the ship.

We cruised on the Costa Luminosa (Now Carnival Luminosa) and on the top deck, a lot of the bars had ashtrays.

I took a cruise on the newer ship Costa Smeralda in 2023. There were designated smoking areas around the ship, but as a non-smoker, I never felt the need to visit them. I had a balcony cabin but didn’t smell others smoking on theirs.

Smoking Policies
Smoking of cigarettes, cigars and pipes is not allowed in all internal areas of the ship including private guest cabins with the exception of any designated cigar lounges clearly indicated as smoking areas. Electronic smoking devices can be used in private guest cabins and any designated cigar lounges, but cannot be used in other internal public spaces. Smoking is allowed at clearly indicated external smoking areas and on guest cabin balconies, where wind proof ashtrays will be made available.

Costa Cruises

In addition to the balconies and top deck space guests are also permitted to smoke inside in the area marked “Cigar lounge.”

In the cigar lounge passengers are able to smoke cigars, cigarettes and pipes. This is an enclosed area, but you may smell smoke when passing it.


E-cigarettes may be used in any smoking area on board and also inside the cabins on Costa Cruises.

Costa Cruises Bar Luminosa Outside Deck

The photo above shows one area on board the Costa Luminosa where smoking was permitted. This ship is now sailing as Carnival Luminosa, after a recent refit.

To learn more about my most recent Costa cruise check out this video:

Fred Olsen

Fred Olsen allows smoking on most balconies.

Smoking on BalconySmoking in CabinDesignated Smoking AreasE-Cigarettes/Vaping
Fred OlsenYes, Excluding Terrace CabinsNot AllowedYesAllowed in Cabins and Smoking Areas

Who are Fred Olsen? 

Fred Olsen is a British cruise line that operates small and mid-sized traditional cruise ships.

The experience onboard is geared towards British cruisers and they tend to attract an older market.

Fred Olsen currently has four ships in the fleet.

Fred Olsen Smoking Policy

All Fred Olsen ships have outside smoking areas and do not allow smoking inside the ship.

We operate a strict ‘no smoking’ policy in all inside areas. Smoking will only be permitted on cabin balconies (excluding Terrace Balconies on Bolette and Borealis), and in designated open deck areas.
Electronic cigarettes that don’t emit vapour, may be used in cabins or on cabin balconies but are not permitted in any non-smoking public areas. Electronic cigarettes emitting any vapour – even water vapour – may only be smoked in designated external smoking areas.

Fred Olsen

There aren’t any “Cigar Lounges” or any internet room that allows smoking.

Interestingly Fred Olsen ships have some “Terrace Cabins” that have sliding patio doors onto the Promenade deck. You are unable to smoke in these, as they don’t have a conventional balcony.

To find out more about these cabins, and read about other cabins available, read this article next:

Fred Olsen’s Borealis. Cabin Reviews and Cabins To Avoid


Rules regarding E-cigarettes

  • E-cigarettes that don’t produce any vapour can be used in your cabin or on your cabin balcony.
  • They are not permitted in any other “non-smoking” area of the ship. You can use them in the smoking areas.
  • E-cigarettes that do produce some vapour can only be used in the designated smoking areas. This is applicable even if the vapour is only water.

Fred Olsen also says E-Cigarettes “Can easily be mistaken for real cigarettes, which may result in an unnecessary confrontation that requires staff intervention.”

It sounds like they have had arguments and disagreements between passenger on this controversial subject in the past!

I took a wonderful cruise onboard Fred Olsens Bolette, in search of the Northern Lights. Find out all about that cruise, and whether or not I did actually see the lights – watch this video next:

Tui Cruises (German Cruise Line)

Tui cruises are part-owned by Tui and part-owned by Royal Caribbean. They target a German market, and the primary language spoken on board is German.

That said, it is possible to cruise with Tui without speaking German, as the staff onboard almost always speak English.

When cruising with Tui, guests are allowed to smoke on their balconies. There are also external and internal smoking areas on all ships.

Mein Schiff 1 – Picture by Tui Cruises

All Tui’s ships are called Mein Schiff – with a number after them. This literally means “My Ship” in German.

There are seven ships in the fleet – Mein Schiff one to seven.

The British Arm of the giant holiday company Tui sells cruises under the brand name “Marella.” Marella does not allow smoking on their cruise ship balconies, so please don’t get mixed up between the two!

Smoking on BalconySmoking in CabinDesignated Smoking AreasE-Cigarettes/Vaping
TUI CruisesAllowedNot AllowedYesAllowed on balconies and in smoking areas


Aida cruises allow passengers to smoke on their balconies.

AIDASmoking on BalconySmoking in CabinDesignated Smoking AreasE-Cigarettes/Vaping
TUI CruisesAllowedNot AllowedYesAllowed on balconies and in smoking areas

Who are Aida Cruises? 

Aida Cruises is a German cruise line who are owned by Carnival Corporation.

Aida cruises do primarily have guests who speak German, although English-speaking guests are also welcome. Most crew members onboard will speak English.

Aida currently has 13 ships and tends to attract a younger cruise passenger.

All ships in the fleet feature eyes and lips on the bow which make the ships instantly recognisable.

Aida Bella – photo Aida Cruises

Aida Cruises Smoking Policy

Aida is similar to Costa Cruises in the sense that smoking is much more widely accepted than it is on most British or American cruise lines.

Aida is a German company – Germans smoke more on average than people from the UK – so this may explain the cultural difference.

Aida ships feature a lot of external and some internal smoking areas.

Why Don’t More Ships Allow Smoking on Balconies?

If you were to go back 10 years you’d find that most cruise lines allowed smoking on their balconies.

Following “Guest Feedback” most have since banned the practice.

I suspect that in the future Costa, Fred Olsen, Tui and Aida may also do the same.

In 2013 Cunard, P&O and Disney Cruise Line all banned smoking on balconies. Prior to 2013, they had allowed this.

Smoking on balconies is generally not allowed for two reasons:

  • Safety – It is generally regarded as safer to not allow passengers to smoke on their balconies. The biggest risk for cruise ships is fire and as a result, anything that could start a fire is a potential problem. By keeping guests in designated areas when smoking cruise lines can make sure that cigarettes aren’t thrown overboard.
  • Other guest’s comfort – When passengers are allowed to smoke on their balconies the smoke often drifts onto the surrounding balconies or public areas which can cause a nuisance. Many cruise lines have stated that customer complaints caused by this were the reason that they banned smoking on balconies.

A Fire Onboard Star Princess In 2006

The fire onboard Star Princess in 2006 had a huge impact on safety regulations on cruise ships.

This fire was thought to have been started by a discarded cigarette butt.

This cigarette butt set fire to the balcony furniture, partitions, and flooring causing the fire to spread rapidly.

297 Balcony cabins on the Star Princess were destroyed or damaged in this incident. Luckily no one was killed or injured.

To find out all about that fire, and the widespread changes that were made in the cruise industry afterwards, watch this video next:

Before You Go!

All guests must take part in a safety or “Muster Drill” when they embark on a cruise ship. These have changed since the Covid pandemic, but are important as they tell you what you should do in case of a real-life emergency. Find out everything you need to know about Muster Drills here:

Have Muster Drills Changed For The Better? (REVIEW of Traditional and Virtual Muster Drills)

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

Ever wondered how the mainstream cruise lines compare? Cruise lines won’t tell you this, but I will.

This FREE guide shows you everything you need to know to find your perfect cruise line.