Cruise Faux Pas
Seasoned cruisers will tell you that a cruise is unlike any other holiday you’ve been on before- and with that comes unspoken, golden rules. To escape being ‘that person’ on your very first cruise holiday, we’ve put together a list of what not to do on a cruise so you can avoid the most common cruise faux pas!
1. No bathrobes outside the cabin
Though you may become attached to your soft, snuggly bathrobe and would prefer to stay wrapped up during breakfast, it’s a good idea to change into casual clothing. Similarly to wearing shorts and a vest at dinner, a bathrobe isn’t quite covered up enough to be considered polite. Think about your fellow guests and how they might not enjoy indecency with their egg and bacon in the morning!
2. Bring a change of clothes to the pool
During a hot sea day you can easily spend an entire day poolside, relaxing on a sun lounger with occasional dips to cool off. When the hunger pangs arrive it’ll be tempting to nip to the buffet without freshening up or vacating your sun lounger. Be considerate of fellow passengers- no one wants to sit down on a sopping wet seat, or slip on water on their way to get dessert! Have a quick rinse, towel off and throw on a beach dress or a t-shirt and shorts, and let someone else have the sun lounger.
3. Remember your ID when going onshore
When calling in to port, you’ll want to make the most of your time onshore. There’s nothing worse than queuing up bright and early for disembarkation and realising you’ve forgotten your passport. Many ports won’t allow you to get very far without having some form of identification, so if you’d like to get the most out of your destination make sure to have your documents sorted the night before.
4. Don't be late
This is perhaps every cruisers biggest fear! When onshore it’s imperative you keep an eye on the time. An excursion, taxi or train being delayed can mean being late to getting back onboard and, consequently, the ship leaving without you. While the captain may wait fifteen minutes if you call ahead, it’s common courtesy to your fellow passengers to be punctual. Be sure to arrange transportation back to the port ahead of time if your excursions are not booked with the cruise line.
5. No technology at the spa
Picture a low-lit spa adorned with delicate flowers and the scent of aromatic candles. Imagine a soothing deep-tissue massage to help you unwind after a busy day of sightseeing. The last thing you want during your luxury spa treatment is to have your alarm go off or to receive a phone call! This is supposed to be ‘me time’- leave your phone in your cabin safe and allow yourself (and other spa-goers) to feel truly zen.
6. No shorts, vests and sandals at dinner
Dinner attire can differ depending on the cruise line (in fact, we have a helpful blog for more details on that here), but most share this golden rule. Whether you’re at your allocated dining or in a speciality restaurant, shorts, vests and sandals are a touch too informal for mealtimes. Many cruise lines adopt a ‘smart casual’ dress code, while others require black-tie attire. If you’re unsure what to pack for, check out our FAQs.
7. Remember your manners
Cruise lines endeavour to bring you the best possible service particularly during dining, and for some, this means a more traditional approach to mealtime manners. Wait staff will pull out your seat for you and will arrange the napkin across your lap. Women will be asked for their orders first and courses will be served one by one (skipping an appetiser does not mean you get to your main course first). Don’t forget to thank your waiter and sommelier for their wonderful service afterwards.
8. Make use of the laundry service
Packing your best tuxedo and most beautiful dress for the ball would be a waste if they were covered in wrinkles. Avoid looking unkempt on the formal nights and make use of the laundry service onboard. Staff will be happy to get your finery looking crisp, clean and ready for you to dance the night away!
9. Use the hand sanitizers
The last thing you want is to be on the cruise holiday of a lifetime and catch a cold. Spreading germs can be easily avoided by declaring any illnesses during embarkation, making good use of the hand sanitizers before and after dinner and washing hands frequently. You, your fellow passengers and the crew will all appreciate disembarking feeling as good as new.
10. Smoking on cruise ships
While smoking is allowed on cruise ships, you won't be able to do so anywhere you like. Exact policies will depend on the cruise line, but in general there will be designated smoking areas on decks. As well as this, many ships will have dedicated cigar lounges where guests will be able to buy cigars and smoke them indoors. However, it's important to note that you won't be able to smoke in your cabin, even if you're lucky enough to have a balcony or verandah. So don't light up anywhere you’re not allowed and remember to dispose of your butt properly or you’ll get fined for it!
Although there may seem like a lot to remember, good cruise etiquette is simply about being polite towards the people you are onboard with, and now you've read our guide on what not to do on a cruise, you're ready to go. If you’re looking for a cruise line that’s a little more relaxed with the rules, try Norwegian Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean who are a hit particularly with families. Alternatively, for a more traditional approach to cruising, take a look at Cunard or Celebrity Cruises. Some may like their cruise to a be grand occasion while for others it’s all about putting your feet up- whichever you prefer, there’s a perfect cruise line for you.