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Cruise Etiquette Tips

Going on a cruise, for some of us, is just what the doctor ordered. It is a time to rejuvenate ourselves and indulge in some rest and relaxation. How wonderful it would be to cruise the Hawaiian islands, Mexico, or a European cruise?When on a cruise, most of the travel specifics are already taken care of for you, so you just have to sit back and enjoy the scenery around you. After looking forward to such a trip for months in advance, the last thing you want is for it to be ruined. When you step onto the ship, you don’t want to hear other people being rude and obnoxious. The following tips are great tips when setting sail on a cruise, but are equally applicable to land and business vacations. It’s time to restore some civility to the art of travel.

Perfection, What’s That?

It is easy to expect perfection out of your cruise when you’ve planned so much for it and looked forward to it for quite some time. The reality is that perfection is not going to happen all of the time, if ever. Cruse ships nowadays typically carry between three to four thousand people at a time, so some of those passengers are bound to be upset by something at one point or another. Just like frustrations happen at home, they will happen here as well. You toilet may clog, activities may be cancelled, or table mates may be rude. The best rule of thumb, is just to expect these things to happen and have a good attitude along the way. Your cruise will go a lot more smoothly if you do your part.


It is a known fact that passengers on a cruise ship will gain weight. How much weight? Well, that will possibly vary. Cruises are known for their delectable spreads of goodies and foods. This is a chance to forget about those extra pounds and enjoy yourself. The time after your cruise is when you can worry about losing weight. Some things you can do are to walk the decks as much as you can, take advantage of the exercise room and equipment, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. After all, it will probably be full of people. These examples are all great ways to work off that extra couple desserts that you partook of.

Keep Noise to a Minimum

Keep the noise level down is especially true at night time when some passengers actually take time to sleep. When entering and exiting your cabin, make sure not to slam the door. Not only will the next cabin hear the door slam, but the next few will as well. Many passengers stay up late to party and hang out, but others go on a cruise to truly rest and relax. It wouldn’t be fair if this was taken away from them.


Not only is this true of what we eat, but also of what we engage ourselves in. For example, it is not a surprise that cruise ships serve alcohol, but be cautious when partying and drinking. It is not good etiquette to drunk yourself and end up in the medical facility because you hurt yourself doing something stupid.

Be Mindful of Other Travelers

It will be commonplace to hear others speaking foreign languages. Not only Americans go on cruises. It is best not to throw a fit that you can’t understand what people are saying, because they may think that you are speaking a foreign language. Often, when announcements need to be made, they will do so in many different languages so that all may hear and be kept safe. There are many times when language is universal, so try to use this universality as much as you can with your fellow passengers.

Audience Etiquette

Cruises are filled with many diverse and exciting activities to do while on board and off board. When you are given the chance to see a show or a play, be courteous to the performers. For example, if you are tired, don’t sit on the front row where performers can see you snoozing. Make sure to applause at appropriate times, and be thankful for the entertainment that has been provided for you.

Don’t Whine

If you are unfortunate enough to encounter some bad luck while aboard ship, take care of the probelm quickly, quietly, and efficiently. There is no need to drag a thousand other people into your mess, just to get everyone riled up. If it can be easily corrected, simply ask management to correct the issue. There are some things that just cannot be fixed, like a cloudy day on your “perfect” vacation. Other passengers don’t want to hear it, and it will just bring them down. Do what you can to correct the situation, then resort to management if needs be.

Dress To Be Seen in Public

A vacation is an opportunity to get a tan, relax in comfy clothes, wade in the water, etc. Although, be cautious, others may feel uncomfortable by what you are wearing. A good rule to follow is if you wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing the outfit in a public place at home, don’t wear it here on the ship. Make sure your swimwear is also appropriate for others to view you in. Most people don’t want to be exposed to your body. There are also times on a cruise when it is time to dress up and be elegant for a night. Make sure that you pack appropriately for this occasion. You probably don’t want to walk into the elegant night wearing jeans and a t-shirt because you forgot to bring your fancy outfit. If this is the case, just sit this activity out. Many people look forward to this night, so do your best to plan for it.

Be Generous

When you pay for your cruise, it typically doesn’t include the tipping you should give to employees aboard the ship. Like waitresses and waiters at restaurants, many of the cruise ship employees are paid minimal salaries, like $50 a month, and the rest of their income comes from tips from passengers. Check with the cruise line you are traveling to see what a sample tip should be.

Fortunately, rude and obnoxious passengers are few, but they are present. If you do your best to be a good cruise ship traveler, others may see your etiquette and decide to act more like you. And, don’t let others bad attitudes ruin your wonderful, relaxing trip. This is your time to unwind. Don’t let others take that away from you.