Travelers who loved vacationing on the Carnival Paradise, which once was a cruise ship entirely cigarette smoke free among passengers and crew, have reason to cheer. As 2011 draws toward a close, second-hand smoke at sea is dissipating.
With this year’s trend toward prohibiting smoking in cabins and in most gathering spots aboard ships, cruise lines slowly are catching up to the lifestyles of their passengers at home, where work places, public areas, restaurants, and bars are smoke free over much of North America.
As the number of smokers at sea decreases -- Carnival says that only 5 percent of its passengers say they want to smoke in their cabins – places to puff diminish. The Paradise, which debuted in 1998, was ahead of its time. I remember the delights of the piano bar and dancing in the disco without the haze of second-hand smoke attacking my eyes, nasal passages and throat.
The Paradise remained smoke free for six years, taking a financial hit because fares and onboard revenue from bars and the casino were lower than on other Carnival ships; apparently non-smokers, a decade ago, also drank less alcohol and gambled less frequently.