Q – Dear Sirs; I am writing to inform you that the politically correct have taken over Seabourn Cruise Lines. I sit here on my porch on a sparkling evening in Eugene, Ore. The stars are bright and I have a glass of cognac on the table next to me. In my hand I have a rather excellent Cuban cigar. I am comfortable and disturbed at the same time. I had booked a Seabourn cruise for this December on the Sojourn. Earlier this week I was advised by my travel agent that Seabourn has changed its smoking policy. I will no longer be able to smoke on my own balcony, even though I pay a small fortune for some of their top suites. I will also no longer be able to enjoy a smoke after dinner in the Observation Lounge. Much like a leper, I will be relegated to the open terrace that is right off Seabourn Square on Deck 7.
Don’t these management types realize that I have other options? Don’t they realize that a “gentleman”, which I consider I am, wants to be able to indulge in a fine cigar in a proper setting with a cognac by his side? I will not be relegated or cast off to a hidden space outdoors. What will happen if I choose not to be politically correct and I continue my Seabourn lifestyle as I have been allowed to do for the last six years of sailing? Trust you will pass this on with the encouragement that the policy be changed.
A – Nicely written – poorly conceived. Smokers have no rights. They are mostly suicidal, which is fine with us as long as their stink does not reach our nostrils. You really don’t have options. Smoking anything on a cruise ship is dangerous so restrictions such as those most recently adopted by Seabourn are now the norm. Our favorite part of your note was the fact that you see yourself as a “gentleman”. A real gentleman would never light a cigar on an open cabin balcony given the odors it would emit to other portions of the ship and the obvious fire risk from errant ashes.