(3 p.m. EDT) — Norwegian Cruise Line is planning on building a separate smoking room within the casino on its newest ship, Norwegian Escape.
The new area will contain a number of slot machines and games and will be fully ventilated. It will be retrofitted on the ship in November.
Smoking is banned in the casino until the ship’s first cruise in the Caribbean on November 15. This includes the ship’s forthcoming transatlantic crossing and inaugural celebrations on November 9 in Miami.
Speaking onboard Norwegian Escape during its two-day stopover in the U.K. before heading to Miami, Norwegian Cruise Line’s President and Chief Operating Officer Andy Stuart told Cruise Critic: “We are doing a Casino retrofit and putting aside a very large area that will be enclosed and fully ventilated.
“Assuming there are no unintended consequences, then we will look at other ships, but just the bigger ones — from Epic onwards.”
Only two ships in the Norwegian fleet were built after Norwegian Epic: Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.
Stuart explained “unintended consequences” could mean the ventilation system not working or getting the wrong number and variety of games in the room.
He went on: “We were a little late doing it in the construction phase [of the ship], and we don’t want the casino to be seen as a smoking area — we want it to be seen as a casino.”
He also said the pervasive smell of smoke from the casino on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, which are similar in layout to Norwegian Escape, had in part prompted the decision. The smell of smoke on the two Breakaway-class vessels continues to be a problem.
Cruise Critic members first brought the no smoking issue onboard Norwegian Escape to light on the forums.