Argue in the cabin
Especially late at night, be courteous. “Cruise ship rooms tend to have thin walls; therefore you always want to be respectful when you’re walking through hallways so as not to disturb other guests,” says Bonnie Tsai, founder and director of Beyond Etiquette. “This also includes being as quiet as you can when you’re inside your cabin.” Cruisers who really want to avoid as much noise as possible shouldn’t book their room under the gym or pool deck, if possible.
Pretend the cruise is a personal yacht
The ship is your home away from home for a set amount of time. You should still keep in mind your behaviour and presentation, according to Tsai. “There’s no need to show off your immense collection of expensive jewellery or wear lingerie or PJs in the hallways,” she says. There are plenty of other guests sharing the same space, and they may not want to see your plaid PJs.
Hog lounge chairs
It’s impolite to save seats for your family and friends, whether it’s by the pool or in the theatre. Tsai says if you must save a seat, do so for only 30 minutes. Ships have a limited amount of seating, so be mindful.
Another important tip to keep in mind is if your group wants to sit together, show up at the same time.“If it’s a situation where every lounger is sure to be occupied by 10 am, many cruises allow guests to place towels on loungers for a maximum of 30 minutes before they arrive,” Tsai says. “Gauge the situation and act with consideration for other guests.” Don’t fall for one of the most common cruise misconceptions, either.
If you’re not feeling so great during your cruise, do your best to keep your germs to yourself. “When one person is sick on a cruise, it’s easy for the whole ship to get infected as everyone’s staying in close quarters,” Tsai says. If you feel a cold coming on, try to avoid being in overly-crowded areas, so you don’t get others sick as well. And always cover your mouth with the nook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
Skip the tip
Many major cruise lines charge a daily fee for tips, but lots of people have confusion about tipping, according to Tsai. Confirm the tipping policy before booking your cruise. “If the cruise line doesn’t include tip in your payment, be sure to factor that into your budget when you plan for your trip,” Tsai says.
“If tipping isn’t included and there is a standard tipping policy, then be sure to deliver it to the staff who’s helped you during your trip.” If tipping is expected, it’s customary for room service, dining services, childcare, and any additional alcohol.
There’s no reason to be rude if something doesn’t go your way during the cruise. Polite people never take issues out on crew members, according to Emilie Dulles, an event protocol and etiquette expert. “The crew is there to ensure that every traveller has the best experience onboard possible, yet they are also skilled human beings who should be treated with respect, grace, and kindness,” Dulles says.
“Nothing is as tacky as yelling at a server, or complaining at the turn-down staff for forgetting an extra blanket, or hitting on a mixologist after one too many daiquiris.” Pay respect and attention to cruise workers.
Drink too much
Everyone should enjoy their cruise, and if that means sipping on fruity cocktails, that’s your business. If drinking regularly isn’t something you do, or you don’t know how to handle your liquor, it could lead to lots of rude behaviour.
“Inhibitions go down as blood alcohol content goes up, so to avoid embarrassing oneself and disrupting other travellers’ cruise experience, it’s more polite to keep one’s cocktail count in check,” Dulles says.
Let kids run wild
Many families don’t keep a close eye on their kids while on a cruise, Dulles says. “There are assigned areas for children to run, jump, and be themselves with full energy under the supervision of trained staff,” Dulles says.
“The entire ship is not their playground.” Polite people recognise that not all cruise travellers want to see or hear kids all the time. Mind the signs that show what areas are only for adults, families, or kids. “By respecting those boundaries, not only will children enjoy themselves more, but also adults will be able to relax and make the most of their time at sea.” Some cruises are especially for families.
All-inclusive food is very alluring. It’s easy to take things to the extreme. And although the buffet is tempting, remember not to be wasteful. “When it comes to the all-inclusive aspect of cruise voyages, many travellers will see this as an opportunity of getting as much as possible out of their fare,” Dulles says.
“By piling more food than they can consume on their buffet plate and ordering cocktail after cocktail just because they can, travellers can be very wasteful and inconsiderate towards the crew who spends a lot of time and energy putting together the meals and drinks available.” Instead, take enough food for one sitting. You can always choose to go back for seconds, but this is more elegant than throwing away platefuls of perfectly good food.
During the daytime, there are generally no dress code requirements on cruises. Tsai notes, however, if you plan on a formal dining experience with other guests, dress appropriately for the occasion. Generally, dress code requirements for the evening are in the cruise’s daily program, according to Tsai.