7 Things You Should Never Do on a Cruise

See recent posts by Jason Leppert

A busy pool deck on Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Breeze. Photo: Jason Leppert

A busy pool deck on Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Breeze. Photo: Jason Leppert

A cruise is a fantastic vacation that can be made even better for yourself and other fellow travelers provided you remain mindful of a few things while onboard. Please consider avoiding the following to maximize the experience for everyone involved.

1. Save empty deck chairs.

It’s one thing to reserve a collection of deck chairs around the pool if you are away for a short period of time to grab some food or enjoy the pool or waterslides. However, saving empty loungers for extended periods of the day as a home base for other activities is greedy, especially on ships where they are relatively limited.

2. Become excessively inebriated.

A cruise ship is a safe place to get a little tipsy and relax accordingly, but as anywhere in the world, it’s still a good idea to keep your wits about you enough to securely navigate the vessel and harmonize with others. Drunken debauchery can only lead to trouble, and no one wants trouble while on vacation. So, know your limits, and drink responsibly.

3. Forget to budget for extras.

Cruises are remarkably inclusive affairs, but there are still things that are priced outside the base fare on certain lines, like gratuities and shore excursions. It’s always wise to know what such extras are ahead of time and budget accordingly so as not to be surprised once onboard. There’s nothing worse than receiving a lofty bill at the end of the cruise for unexpected expenses.

Seabourn's luxurious Seabourn Encore at sea. Photo: Jason Leppert

Seabourn’s luxurious Seabourn Encore at sea. Photo: Jason Leppert

4. Get upset when your ship skips a port.

It’s a rare occurrence, but from time to time cruise ships must forego a scheduled port, often due to weather restrictions. This is for safety reasons, and there is nothing that the cruise line can do. Sometimes, the ship may offer some form of compensation, but it is not contractually required to do so. In such cases, it’s best to just take advantage of the additional time onboard to enjoy the ship’s activities.

5. Neglect to wash your hands.

The spread of germs on cruise ships can easily be prevented with the help of every individual passenger. All that is required is for each guest to regularly wash their hands, particularly after using the restroom. Failure to do so is how norovirus becomes more prevalent onboard. Truth is, such outbreaks are often not the cruise ship’s fault, but actually the passengers’.

The Terrace Cafe buffet on Oceania Cruises' Riviera. Photo: Jason Leppert

The Terrace Cafe buffet on Oceania Cruises’ Riviera. Photo: Jason Leppert

6. Begin to eat in the buffet line.

Another biggie in the defense against onboard sickness should be an obvious thing not to do, but it still happens far too often: eating in the buffet line. Worse yet, sometimes guests serve food with their bare hands. Common sense should tell anyone to avoid both of these actions, but if not, let this be the warning.

7. Stop in the middle of a thoroughfare.

Onboard, I often joke in the cadence of Dos Equis’ The Most Interesting Man in the World, “I don’t always have a family conference, but when I do, I make sure it’s at the foot of the passenger stairwells.” There’s nothing more annoying than fellow passengers blocking the flow of traffic though a thoroughfare — stairs, a passageway, elevator entrance, or otherwise — by simply stopping in the middle, without concern for others. Please do not be those people.

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