Can you smoke aboard Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas and how does it affect you if you are a non-smoker?

The short answer is yes, you can. However, if you want to smoke, there are only three places you can do so, and they are all outdoors.

Smoking locations are:

  1. Outer deck, starboard side on deck 5, the main shopping deck.
  2. Outer deck, starboard side on deck 11, the pool deck.
  3. Outer deck, starboard side on deck 13, behind the Starquest Disco.

Smoking anywhere else incurs a USD$250 fee.

The impact from Deck 11

Radiance of the Seas in Moorea
Radiance of the Seas in Moorea

Personally, as a non-smoker, I think it would be great if the whole ship were non-smoking. I find that especially on deck 11, the entire centrum area around the lifts and the front of the Windjammer buffet often smell strongly of cigarette smoke. It makes me sick almost every time I walk in there and if the wind is blowing the wrong way it is even worse! You can kind of avoid it by accessing deck 11 through the forward lifts and walking down the port side to the Boardwalk Doghouse and entering the Windjammer through those side doors. Unfortunately, you do sometimes still catch a whiff, but it is much less than coming up through the Centrum.

The Art Gallery is almost entirely off limits if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke. I’ve tried a number times to get in there, but the smoke smell from the pool deck comes through those doors so strong that I just can’t handle it. It smells like every smoker on the ship must be congregated just outside the doors. I feel for the Park West guys that are trying to run an art program with a space that is virtually unusable for anyone that’s a non-smoker. On an 18-night Transpacific cruise, there was only one time I found I was able to go in there without it smelling of smoke.

The other area that was a real problem for me was the pool towel collection/drop off point. It is right next to the smoking area on deck 11 and is the only place you can get pool towels. So if you want to go for a swim or get a towel for your day on shore, expect to hold your breath. I’m actually a little surprised about this placement. I would think this could make Royal Caribbean liable for adverse health effects, forcing non-smoking guests to brave the smokers section to get a towel. I find this especially surprising given there are plenty of other towel locations on deck 11 away that are not in use.

Of note, Deck 12 starboard side was also affected here since it is open air directly above the smoking area on Deck 11. The wind does pick the smoke up fairly quickly, but there is just so much coming up from Deck 11 when it is busy or when the ship is in port that you can’t avoid it on Deck 12 on this side of the ship either.

The Impact from Deck 5

Deck 5 smoke did not seem to me to be as prominent. The main times and places I noticed it was at the doors to the main dining room and at the doors to the Aurora Theatre, mainly around the show and dinner time. It didn’t seem to waft through the doors at other times much, nor did it appear to penetrate as far or thick into the ship. I do have to admit that I rarely went outside on the starboard side though because I didn’t want to breathe in the smoke. If I wanted to go outside on deck 5, it was the port side.

The Impact from Deck 13

Honestly, I don’t think Deck 13 got much use. Every time I was in the vicinity of the smoking area, there was no one there. I never noticed smoke wafting into the Starquest Disco, nor did I ever notice it at the rock wall or around the waterslide. That said, I did see the occasional cigarette butt in the ash tray there so it must get used from to time.

Overall Impact

Radiance of the Seas in Picton
Radiance of the Seas in Picton

For me, the main Impact was Deck 11. Unfortunately, the only place you can get towels is right next to the smoking area, so it’s impossible to enjoy your cruise without inhaling cigarette smoke. The pool and hot tubs are far enough away from the smokers section that the wind generally picks up the smoke and takes it away before it reaches them, but you can still expect to smell it from time to time. It’s really annoying if you are trying to watch the outdoor movie from the hot tub, but at least it’s not constant. From just a swimming perspective as adults, we use the solarium pool and hot tub for the most part since it is smoke-free. This isn’t always practical though, especially where children are concerned.

Deck 11 also negatively affected my Windjammer experience since it often wafted into the Centrum and stairway area, and it certainly prevented the use of the Art Gallery. At least it wasn’t constant in the Windjammer entrance and stairs.

Deck 5, I often noticed when near the starboard doors, but fortunately, it was only briefly when the doors opened and not every time. So it was annoying to have to smell it inside, but at least it wasn’t too bad.

Deck 13 I didn’t really notice, I don’t think it gets used a lot. The only time I noticed was briefly when we were playing basketball, but that was it.

So honestly, I would say Deck 5 and 13 are not a significant impact for the non-smoker. Deck 11 though has a huge impact to the point that we pretty much avoided the outdoor sections of deck 11 altogether except to briefly get towels, we couldn’t really go to the art gallery, and we even had to breathe the toxins in to go to the Windjammer. It doesn’t ruin the cruise, but it certainly puts me off going on Radiance of the Seas again. In every other way I’d say it is probably my favourite ship so far, but because of the smoking locations, I’m inclined to steer clear of it in the future. I don’t want to have to breathe in smoke just to get a towel or food.

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