5 Rudest Things You Can Do on a Cruise

Whether it’s your first time sailing or your 100th, being aware of cruise etiquette is important. If not, your fellow passengers might force you to walk the plank.

Your efforts to have a good time while cruising shouldn’t interfere with others trying to enjoy themselves.

Today, we’re sharing the five rudest things you can do on a cruise.

Let’s set sail!

Are Rude Cruisers Common?

Yes, rude cruisers are typical on ships. These individuals shift into “vacation mode” when they board the ship and seemingly lose their manners. They’ll put themselves and their traveling companions first and disregard everyone around them.

Luckily, a majority of passengers are easygoing. While it’s common to encounter a rude individual violating cruise etiquette, most people onboard follow the rules. As they say, there are always a few bad apples in the bunch. Right?

People sitting on lounge chairs in a row on a cruise overlooking the side.

5 Rudest Things You Can Do on a Cruise

You’ll want to avoid breaking cruise etiquette to avoid upsetting your fellow passengers. These are the five rudest things you can do while on a cruise.

Cutting Lines

Whether boarding the ship, going to the buffet, or waiting for a show to start, you should expect to stand in lines on a cruise. It’s the most efficient and effective way to get everyone where they want to go.

One of the rudest things you can do on a cruise is to cut in line. If there’s an activity or event that you want to enjoy, you’ll need to plan accordingly.

This may require you to arrive well before the start time to get in line. Don’t show up at the last minute and shove your way ahead of others.

Additionally, avoid using a “placeholder” for your group. Having one person stand in line for a large group can be as bad as cutting. If you do, you’ll likely not make any friends with those waiting behind you in line. Don’t be surprised if they say something or it turns into a situation, especially if the activity has limited seating. This is a big cruise etiquette rule to follow.

Reserving Deck Chairs

Another typical rude behavior on cruise ships is reserving deck chairs. Some passengers wake up early and haul their toys and floaties to the pool deck. They’ll drape pool towels across multiple loungers to “save” the space and head to breakfast.

Unfortunately, many of these individuals do not intend to return to these seats for several hours. To us, reserving deck chairs is incredibly rude and a behavior we highly discourage. Everyone in your party doesn’t need a chair, especially if you spend most of your time splashing or cooling off in the water.

Luckily, many cruise lines are taking a stand against this behavior. You’ll frequently see signs informing passengers that pool attendants gather and move unattended items.

There’s nothing wrong with using these chairs. However, don’t be one of the punks who takes up an entire row of chairs for hours. If you do, don’t get upset if you come back and your stuff is missing.

A cruise pool with lots of people there and a pretty day.

Excessive Noise

Some of the largest cruise ships can hold several thousand passengers. A side effect of cramming this many people into a tight space is the noise it generates. There’s nothing rude or wrong with having a conversation and laughing. However, creating excessive amounts of noise is incredibly rude and against cruise etiquette.

The walls that separate the staterooms and cabins are incredibly thin. As a result, if you have your music or television turned up, there’s a good chance your neighbors can hear it.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with normal noise from conversations and entertainment. It becomes rude when it’s extreme.

Be mindful of your volume when walking through hallways and other areas of the ship, especially during sleeping hours. However, remember that some people may be trying to take an afternoon nap. They may be resting from the night before or preparing for an exciting night in the clubs or casinos.

Ignoring Ship’s Rules

Just because you’re on vacation and throwing caution to the wind with your food choices or schedule doesn’t mean it’s the Wild West. Ships have rules, and it’s your responsibility to follow them. Failing to do so could get you booted from the boat at the next port.

Some rude passengers push the limits when breaking cruise etiquette. They’ll enter restricted areas or attempt to bring prohibited items. Floating in international waters doesn’t mean there aren’t laws you must obey. This is one area we suggest you avoid messing around to discover how much trouble you’ll get into.

Rules on cruise ships are typically there to help keep you and others onboard safe. Since crews take these very seriously, they usually aren’t patient when guests intentionally violate them. Do yourself and the staff a favor and be a rule follower.

HOT TIP
Don’t be this person: Woman Slapped with Lifetime Ban From Carnival Cruises.

An extremely crowded pool on a cruise ship with someone cannon balling into the water.

Being Disrespectful Towards Crew

Another rude behavior we often see on cruise ships is when passengers are disrespectful towards the crew. In our experience, these are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. They’ll typically go above and beyond to make your entire experience memorable.

The crew works long hours and rarely gets a day off. When they’re lucky, they may get treated to an afternoon off occasionally. However, this is often as a reward for providing excellent service.

We’ve seen individuals breaking cruise etiquette and speaking unkindly to these individuals. Unfortunately, some things are simply beyond their control. They can’t do anything about the fact that you don’t like the interior cabin you booked not having a window.

Don’t be the person who treats the crew with disrespect. Remember, they’re on your side and want to do all they can to help you have a great time sailing. You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

HOT TIP
Now that you know what not to do on a cruise, check out 5 Rudest Things You Can Do On an Airplane next.

How Should You Handle Rude Cruisers?

Unfortunately, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter a rude cruiser during your sailing. While you can’t do anything about how they conduct themselves, you can choose how you respond. In our experience, this can be a critical decision that can significantly impact your vacation.

We choose to ignore rude behavior and not let it impact our experience. We paid too much money to let some bonehead with an ego or attitude problem ruin it for us. However, there are extreme situations where you’ll need to get involved.

If someone behaves in such a way that you feel requires action, remember that almost every inch of the ship is on camera. Not only did these cameras likely capture the rude behavior, but they’ll also capture your response. Remain calm and avoid escalating the situation. Get a crew member involved as quickly as possible.

The most important thing you can do is to remember you’re on vacation. Cruising lets you see exciting places, try new foods, and relax. You’re doing it wrong if you’re not experiencing these during your trip.

Will you get the raw end of the deal from time to time? Probably. However, it doesn’t have to prohibit you from enjoying yourself.

A woman facing the camera with her eyes closed and her hand on her head with a man in the background with his hands in the air looking frustrated.

Don’t Be a Rude Cruise Passenger

Breaking cruise etiquette is the easiest way to get labeled a rude passenger. You’ll significantly reduce your chances if you avoid the disrespectful behaviors discussed today.

While you want to have a great time, you don’t want to be the cause of someone else’s misery. So, be aware of those around you and enjoy as best you can every second you’re onboard the ship.

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