Going on a cruise is a unique vacation experience. Being on a giant cruise ship for a week, or two weeks, is significantly different from anything else that you will do in your life. As such, adjusting to the new environment can be a challenge for first-time cruisers. There are certainly things that you should do while you are on your cruise but perhaps more importantly, there are several things that you absolutely should not do while you are on your cruise. Hopefully, this article will help you to identify some of them. It will name the 20 things we should definitely avoid doing on a cruise ship.

There is a variety of reasons why you should avoid doing all of these things on your cruise. Some of these tips will save you from embarrassment, criminal charges, and keep you safe and sound. Just remember that you can only leave the cruise ship under the most extreme circumstances, so you will most likely have to live with any decisions that you make while you are on board.

If you have had a bad cruise experience and want to warn our readers about additional things that they shouldn’t do on their cruises, feel free to mention them in the comments section.

20 Don't Go In Areas That Are Off Limits

There are some rules that are okay to break and others that should only be breached under the most extreme circumstances. Going into the restricted areas on a cruise ship is one of the latter. We take cruise ships for granted but they really are technological wonders.

These huge, floating hotels have to support so many things and people while staying afloat in potentially rough waters. I don't want to do anything or go anywhere that could mess with this. Sometimes, things are closed off to you for a reason.

19 Don't Stay On The Ship When It Docks

I have never been able to understand why people decide to stay on the ship when it docks. No matter what cruise you are on, you are getting the chance to visit an exotic location that you might not visit again in your lifetime.

I know that an empty pool is tempting after spending a few days overcrowded at sea, but nothing on the ship can compare to the memories of visiting a real place.

If all you wanted was the pool and sun, you easily could have booked a room at a resort that would have been much less crowded.

18 Don't Sleep The Day Away

This is a trap that is very easy to fall into when cruising. There is so much free food and after spending most of the morning by the pool, in the hot sun, it is understandable that most people are ready for a nap. I am not saying that you shouldn't relax during your vacation but if you find yourself sleeping for more than 12 hours a day, you will not be having as much fun as you could be having.

If all you wanted to do was sleep, you could have stayed at home and saved yourself $700. I think that everyone should be able to do whatever they want during their vacation but just make sure that they are the things that will make your vacation worthwhile a week later when you are back at your 9-5 job.

17 Don't Back Yourself Into A Corner

I debated whether this next entry fits into the general theme of this article but after a friend's entire cruise was ruined (or he ruined it himself), I thought that a warning was definitely appropriate. Most people think of cruises as a family vacation and for the most part they are.

There are, however, a number of cruisers who get on the ship looking for someone to "hang out with" during the trip. If you are going to do this, make sure that things end amicably between you. You don't want to be like my friend who had to stay in his room for the whole trip in order to avoid his first-day love interest.

16 Don't Go To The Captain’s Dinner

There are plenty of things that the cruise lines do that are borderline scams. Automatic tips are added to your room charge and unless you get a drink package, there is an additional gratuity charge on most adult drinks.

One way that they convince a lot of cruisers to spend extra money is by offering a "Captains Dinner." This dinner comes at an additional charge but it gives you the chance to enjoy some fancy food and sit at the table with the captain.

But everything is not as it seems. The Captain's table is extremely large, so chances are that you will only talk to him when you take your complimentary photo. The food itself certainly isn't worth the added cost of the dinner.

15 Don't Cut In Line

Like any place where tons of hot, sweaty people are crowded into a small area, cruises can get violent quickly.

There is tons of video evidence that small disagreements on the ship can quickly devolve into actual fistfights.

One of the quickest ways to piss off your fellow cruisers is to cut in line for things. Lines for food and activities on cruises can get pretty long. If you cut into these lines, you are lighting the gasoline that has been dumped by people having to stand and wait for things in 90-degree weather. Even under the best of circumstances, cutting can be pretty rude.

14 Don't Risk Getting Food Poisoning

If you travel to a lot of places, chances are that you will eventually get food poisoning. A big part of traveling is trying new things but this comes with some risk. One place where I would not take the chance of getting food poisoning is on a cruise ship. There is a doctor on board but there is no place for you to go to an actual hospital. Also, you don't want to get nauseous in a place that is constantly rocking.

13 Don't Make 'Private Activities' Public

I recently found a Twitter feed where people were admitting to scandalous things that they had done on vacation. A lot of these stories were from people who had found unique places to do their stuff on cruise ships. Trust us, it is not worth the effort.

I have been on a lot of cruise ships and even at 3 in the morning, there is nowhere besides your room where you can safely be alone. You can be in a deserted hallway one minute and the next minute a mom and three of her kids will be behind you. Save yourself the embarrassment and keep your extracurricular activities to where they belong.

12 Don't Jump Off Ship

On every cruise ship there is a ton of things to do but no matter what, at some point in your journey, you find yourself leaning over the railing, looking out over the ocean. The ocean is amazing to look at and the waves immediately below deck can look very soft and inviting. With that being said, at no point should you ever jump off of the deck and into the ocean.

For starters, the water might look soft but depending on how high up you are, it could hurt like hell when you land. Even if you find yourself safely into the water, how do you get back on board? If the ship is moving you will quickly be left behind. Even if it isn't, you better hope that someone on deck spots you while you can still tread water.

11 Don't Do Things That You Don’t Want To Do

One thing that everyone should remember on every cruise they go on is that this is your vacation. You paid a lot of money to be on the ship so you should have fun while you're there. You should do everything that you want to do on board and just as importantly, avoid doing anything you don't want to do.

A lot of ships have shows and stuff going on during the cruise that are very fun but if these programs don't sound good to you, then you shouldn't go. I feel like people get so wrapped up in experiencing everything that the ship has to offer that they don't get to fully enjoy their vacation. Don't fall into this trap.

10 Don't Steal From the Buffet

I didn't think that this was an entry that ever needed to be written but on my last cruise, two different women got caught stealing plates and silverware from the cruise buffet line. For starters, what are you even doing with this stuff? If you can afford to pay $800 per person for a cruise, I think that you can buy your own silverware.

Putting that aside, are these things really worth getting caught and embarrassed? I can personally attest that the cruise staff will call you out for cheating and it is not a pretty sight.

9 Don't Get Heated With the Ship Staff

We talk about following the cruise rules in a lot of these entries but this next number pretty much sums up how to deal with cruise officials. Everyone bends the rules a little bit on vacation but I would not recommend standing your ground if someone in charge on the cruise tells you not to do something.

The Captain and his mates have ultimate authority on the cruise and they have the authority to kick you off of the ship and leave you stranded on a foreign island. This is obviously an extreme situation but it has happened. If things are getting heated between yourself and ship officials, maybe save your arguments until you are safe at home.

8 Don't Opt For the Drinks Package

When you start to plan a cruise, the drinks package seems like a good idea. Nobody wants to be pinching pennies on vacation and these packages let you drink without shelling out $10 for every drink. Or do they? I did the math, and it doesn't quite work out (unless you guzzle down drinks by the minute).

Considering that most people get off the ship to enjoy the islands, you'd have to be a very thirsty person for the drinks package to actually be a good deal.

7 Don't Hide Food In Your Room

There is absolutely no reason why cruisers should hide food in their rooms, but every voyage you hear a story about someone who forgot about leftovers in their room and stunk up the whole floor. The vast majority of cruises comes with meals included so why are people taking food back to their room?

The buffet lunches that cruises provide are practically the same every day, so you could go back tomorrow and get exactly the same food that you are taking now. If you want food for a midnight snack, just go back up to the buffet then, as most stay open 24 hours. It is a case of extreme laziness that causes people to keep food in their room during a cruise.

6 Don't Use the Community Restrooms

Just like they are in most other places, the community bathrooms on cruise ships are disgusting. I guarantee you that if you use them for a significant length of time, you will eventually find something that makes your stomach turn.

It is super convenient to be able to go from the pool or the casino immediately to the bathroom, but you are almost always better off using the bathroom in your room. The housekeeping staff and crew ships are very diligent but they simply cannot keep up with the amazing amount of foot traffic that the community bathrooms get.

5 Don't Dive Into the Mini Bar

When I last went on a cruise I realized that Carnival had removed the minibar from my room. I think that they have become less popular as people realized how much of a rip off they are.

The price for drinks on cruise ships is already extremely high but they jack up the price even further for the convenience of having it right in your room. If you look at the prices of the minibar on some cruises, a regular size bottle of wine can cost you almost 3 times as much as it would in the store.

4 Don't Regularly Order Room Service

Just like you pay more for the minibar because of the convenience of having drinks in your room, ordering room service to your room on the cruise can also get very expensive. This is especially true on those cruises where food ordered through room service is not complimentary. But for the purposes of this entry, let's act like the room service food is comped like the regular buffet.

First of all, there is the added burden of making sure that you don't get food all over your bed. In addition, one of the wait staff has to bring the food to your room, meaning that you will be required to pay a gratuity.

Getting room service is a fun experience and I highly recommend it at least once during any vacation, however, I do not recommend that you let it become a regular event.

3 Don't Pee In The Pool

I didn't think that this was an entry that even needed to be written but prior experience has told me that more people than you would think are willing to take the risk of letting loose in the pools on deck. And I'm not talking about small children or teenagers, I've seen grown men and women called out for going number one in a pool where they are surrounded by other people.

Even at the best of times, the pools on the cruise ship can get very crowded. Why then, would someone think that it is acceptable to go to the bathroom, is beyond me.

2 Don't Splurge On A Suite

This next entry contains a good bit of advice not only for cruises but really for any trip where you stay in a hotel-like place. Unless you were on your honeymoon or are seriously trying to impress the person staying with you, there is no reason for you to pay for a suite.

Sure, they are bigger and a lot of them have better amenities, but very few suites are good enough to justify the inordinate amount more that you would pay for them over a regular room. A recent study was done that found that per square foot, the suites at the Marriott hotels were up to three times more expensive than the rates of a regular room.

Think how much better your money could be spent on a cruise than shelling out a ton of money for a room that you won't even be in very much.

1 Don't Ignore the Sunscreen

My girlfriend learned this lesson the hard way on the last cruise that we went on. We paid extra for carnivals faster to the fun ticket that let us board the ship faster than the regular entrance. And since very few other cruisers were at the pool yet, we decided to take that time to chill out by the pool and get some sun. My girlfriend has a much fairer complexion than I do so she didn't take to the Miami sun very well.

I don't think that people who live above the Mason-Dixon line understand how hot the sun gets down south. If you are cruising into the Carribean like we were, the sun gets even hotter. She was miserable for the next few days because she got so sunburned.