Idyllic pools set against the backdrop of the sun sinking into the ocean, all you can eat of the very best international cuisines, nightclubs, shops, and entertainment venues all in the same place: an ocean cruise really is the perfect vacation. All the luxury and amusement you could want is right at your fingertips, all rocking to the gentle rhythm of the rolling waves beneath you. It really doesn’t get any better!
If you want to make sure you’re the best passenger you can be on a cruise, there are a few etiquette tips you should always follow. Check them out below!
10 Always Treat The Crew With Respect
If you want to be a good passenger on a cruise ship, the best thing you can do is treat the crew with respect. According to Cruise Sale Finder, this tip is a no-brainer because it’s a win-win situation. You make their job easier by being polite and respectful, and in turn, they might reward you with perks if they choose to.
Before you board, it’s a good idea to check on what the tipping policy of the ship is. Some cruise lines will appreciate tipping, while others won’t.
9 Only Smoke In Designated Areas
On most cruises, smoking is only allowed in designated areas. That means that if you want to be a good passenger, you should always abide by these rules and smoke only where you know for sure that it’s allowed.
You’ll find that some ships have cigar lounges where smoking is acceptable, and others will have areas on the open deck or in the casino. Even smoking e-cigarettes in cabins, balconies, and other public areas could land you in trouble. It’s better to avoid smoking unless you know for certain that it’s not prohibited - and smokers should check the rules before booking.
8 Be Vigilant About Using Hand Sanitizers Or Washing Hands
It’s easy to catch bugs while traveling, but the chances of contracting something are always multiplied on a cruise ship. Entire cruise ships getting sick with stomach viruses is not unheard of. So protect yourself and your fellow passengers by always using hand sanitizers or being careful to wash your hands.
Most rooms of any given ship will be equipped with hand sanitizer, but it never hurts to bring your own. If you do get sick, the best thing to do is alert the crew. You might be confined to your cabin, but at least you’ll stop your germs from spreading to everyone else.
7 Always Be On Time
When you’re on a ship that docks at various ports, it’s crucial that you’re always on time. Any lateness can hold up the rest of the ship, which will make you the opposite of a good passenger. In most cases, it will be your responsibility to keep track of time and make arrangements to get yourself back to the ship in time.
If you only have a day or half a day to explore a port, it’s a good idea not to try and cram too much in your itinerary. You’re better off allowing plenty of time to get back to the ship before it leaves.
6 Pay Attention To The Dress Rules
The cruises of today have come a long way from the traditional ships, where it was customary to dress formally every time you stepped out of your cabin. You don’t have to dress like you’re an extra in Titanic, but do respect any formal dressing rules. On most ships, there will be formal dining and casual dining, and the dress requirements reflect the ambiance of each area.
For example, many ships won’t allow shorts or swimwear in the formal dining area. Others won’t allow jeans in the dining area. Each cruise is different, so it’s always best to check what’s allowed before you board.
5 Respect Adults Only Areas
Depending on the cruise, there may also be a few designated areas on the ship that are for adults only. To be a good passenger, you must always respect this and never bring children or babies where they aren’t permitted. It’s good to know that many ships have babysitting and childcare services so you can still enjoy adult-only events if you have children.
Some cruises don’t allow children at all, while some cater to families. Doing your research beforehand will give you a better chance of choosing the cruise that suits your needs.
4 Be Aware That Not Everything Is Free
A common misconception about cruises is that everything available on the ship comes under the price of the ticket. To avoid coming face to face with a rude awakening, be aware that not everything is free. Typically, your ticket price will include meals in the main dining room and buffet, entertainment, and poolside snacks, as well as your accommodation. Other services will be charged to your cabin.
There are lines which tend to be a little more all-inclusive, but generally, certain services will always cost you. Things like spa treatments are especially expensive.
3 Attend The Lifeboat Drill
For your own safety and the convenience of everybody else, please attend the lifeboat drill. This compulsory drill will take place before you set sail, and there’s no way to get out of it. You are electronically ticked off a list, and the drill won’t come to a close until everybody is ticked off.
Yes, it can be annoying to have to put on your life jacket and line up at various points around the ship, especially when you just boarded and you can’t wait to explore. But the lifeboat drill is a matter of safety. Just get it over with.
2 You’ll Have To Queue Up
Generally, you’ll always have a more pleasant time on a cruise if you treat the other passengers with respect and remember your manners. This means lining up for things rather than cutting the line and pushing in. Remember, you’ll be seeing the same people for a while, so you don’t want to make any enemies.
The one place where you’ll always have to queue up will be at the buffet. There are a few more buffet etiquette tips to remember too, including never taking the last of a dish if there is no more and waiting until you’re seated to start eating.
1 Leave Pool Chairs For Other Guests
The most popular place of any cruise ship is probably the pool. In an area that is such high demand, it’s just not polite to reserve a chair for yourself if you’re not using it. There will always be other people who want to sit in a pool chair, so throwing your towel over it to make sure nobody else can take it while you go off and do something else isn’t good form.
Many cruise lines will have a policy against this anyway. In some cases, if you fail to claim your belongings after a certain amount of time, the chair will be cleared and your belongings will be taken to the lost and found.