Cruise etiquette is crucial to an enjoyable cruising experience. When everyone on the ship is on their best behaviour, all of the cruise guests have the best time. However, there are always a few cruisers who either disregard some major cruise etiquette infractions, or just don’t know them. Don’t be that girl, or that guy.
There are some things on a cruise that you just shouldn’t ever do. I’ve seen many of these play out and honestly you are not making any friends by hogging all the loungers on the deck and then disappearing for the day to eat or drink at the bar. Also, it’s great to relax and there are many safe places for kids to hang out, don’t let small children get lost on a 21 floor cruise ship!
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11 Cruise Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid
Some of these might seem like no-brainers, and honestly, some are. However, there are some on the list that people seem to do and not even realize how rude it can be. The key to cruise etiquette is to remember that while you’re on a cruise to have a good time, so is everyone else.
1. Keep Your Hands Clean
Always be diligent about washing your hands on cruises. It keeps both you and the other passengers healthy by helping minimize the risk of passing bacteria around. Everyone needs to be cautious with germs on ships, so do your part. Here are a few other ways to stay healthy on your cruise.
2. Be Careful at the Buffet
Speaking of hands and spreading germs. Only touch the food you’re going to put on your plate. Don’t move food items around with your hands to see what’s buried underneath. In fact, it’s a good idea to only use the provided serving utensils for any food you’re choosing. If you don’t like it, don’t touch it please.
3. If You Feel Ill, Go to Your Room
Stay away from everyone. If you feel sick, go to your room, or find the onboard doctor immediately. Do not pass Go – or any more people than is strictly necessary – on your way.
4. If You Feel Nauseous, or Sea Sick, Go to Your Room
No one wants to see you lose your lunch. If you start to feel queasy, immediately head for the bathroom, your room, or any area nearby that is free of people.
Of course, sometimes it comes over you out of nowhere, but if you can, get away from others before nausea turns into something more. If you know that you are prone to nausea on board then get treatment from your doctor prior to the cruise. On one rocky cruise we did a couple of years ago a family was seated in the main dining hall with a relative who clearly was extremely nauseous. She clutched a container close to her mouth for the entire meal (clearly a bag into which she was prepared to vomit.) That’s all kinds of gross.
5. No Saving Seats
It’s a hard and fast rule we all learned in grade school. Don’t save a bunch of seats for hours on end. If you’re cruising with a group, and you all want to hang out at the pool, be sure everyone gets there on time. Remember, everyone on the ship is also on their dream cruise, and hogging a bunch of chairs for people who don’t get to the pool on time is a nautical drag.
6. Avoid Excess Noise
It’s only natural to be loud when you’re at the pool or on a water slide, but being loud in your room, especially in the evening or at night is a HUGE cruise etiquette infraction. It makes a big, fat rain cloud on the other cruisers’ vacation parades.
7. Drinking to Excess
There’s getting a little loose on vacation, and then there’s getting sloppy drunk. When at the bar, at dinner, or by the pool, be sure you’re aware of your tolerance and how much you can and can’t have. Overindulgence can only lead to embarrassment for you and the other cruisers. Also guaranteed you will lose a chunk of the next day.
8. Crazy Kids
Vacations are supposed to be fun. They’re a time for both parents and their kids to cut loose. However, cutting loose and being obnoxious are two totally different things. If you bring kids on a cruise, it’s your responsibility to ensure that they have fun AND are safe. Period. I get it, everyone has fun and cuts loose, but don’t let your little ones wander so they get lost. My kids often end up finding upset, lost kids on cruises and then locating a staff member to help them find their parents.
9. Dirty Dishes in the Hallway
On my last several cruises, I’ve noticed a very rude trend of leaving dishes in the hallway and drink glasses wherever the person happened to be when they were done. It’s not okay. Your cabin steward or room service are only a phone call away to come pick up your dishes. There’s no need to clutter up the hall with your leftovers and dirty dishes. The same can be said for used drink glasses. Just drop them off at the nearest bar.
10. Making the Cabin a Trash Bin
While vacation means doing less, it doesn’t mean doing nothing. Of course, cabin stewards are paid to clean up after you, but taking advantage of it is just plain rude. There’s no reason for your room to look like a bomb went off in it every single day. Rather, put dirty clothes in a laundry bag, papers in the trash, and loose items in drawers. Remember, the stewards are paid to do a job not be trashed, as it were.
11. Dress Code
Dress appropriately for dinner. It’s proper cruise etiquette. You don’t have to be crazy over the top 24/7 of course, but bring along the dressy attire for dinners, especially if they are the sit down ones in the dining room. That said, I totally give parents a pass when it comes to kids. Sometimes your kids just won’t have any of that dress up stuff. Believe me, I know.
Avoid Cruise Etiquette Faux Pas
Getting away from it all is a chance to let someone else handle the mundane moments of life for a while and leave all those crushing worries behind. That’s what it’s all about. However, it’s important to remember that everyone else on the ship has the same goal in mind. When you practice good cruise etiquette, it ensures that everyone on the ship, and on your dream cruise, has a great time.