11 Annoying People You Meet on Every Cruise

annoying cruisers ship irritating
There are some kinds of people you just can't avoid. - Photo by conrado / Shutterstock

A cruise is a wonderful place to meet diverse groups of fun-loving, adventurous people looking to make new friends and explore new destinations. Sadly, every ship also comes with a few irritating personalities. Here are the ones we seem to see on every cruise:

1. The Shutterbugs (See Also: Young and In Love)

shutterbug cruise annoying people

Photo by michaeljung

Identifying Characteristics: Individual or couple taking photos every 5 minutes. Selfie-obsessed to the point of owning a selfie stick, and not being afraid to use it.

Most Irritating Trait: Instagramming every meal. Yes, even at the buffet.

Common Saying: “Can you take a picture of me sipping my margarita?”

How to Deal With Them: Selfie bombs. (This could backfire horribly if they find it funny.)


2. 'Merica! Man

merica man cruise annoying people

Photo by Lou Oates 

Identifying Characteristics: This blue-blooded, blue-collar dude literally wears his patriotism on his sleeve with American flag shirts, vests, and so on. Often sports a bald eagle tattoo, a Budweiser ball cap, and at least one bandana.

Most Irritating Trait: Taking their patriotism way too far, they will try to start a discussion about politics with anyone within earshot by making intentionally provocative statements as loudly as possible.

Common Saying: “It’s a shame that kids these days aren’t taught the actual facts in history class.”

How to Deal With Them: Try not to engage. Even a conventionally safe conversation topic like the weather could turn into a discussion on climate change before you even realize what happened.


3. Vacation Parents

vacation parents cruise annoying people

Photo by JP Wallet

Identifying Characteristics: Forgetting they have kids once they step onto the ship. Often found at the bar or the pool with Long Island Ice Teas in hand, soaking up every ounce of relaxation as though they left the kids back home with grandma.

Most Irritating Trait: Making no effort to enjoy the vacation with their kids or monitor their behavior. Even when they grab ALL of the food off the buffet with their sticky, dried-on-juice-covered hands.

Common Saying: “Don’t tell me how to parent MY kids!”

How to Deal With Them: Shoot them daggers with your eyes so they know exactly what you think of them. Don’t worry… they won’t notice.


4. Chair Hog

chair hog annoying people

Photo by volkansengor

Identifying Characteristics: Up at 5 am to put their towel on a lounge chair at the pool. They never come back to claim it, so one one has actually seen what they look like.

Most Irritating Trait: You've never hated an inanimate object more than that towel sitting all day on prime pool-side real estate.

Common Saying: Nothing. Because you won’t ever see them reappear to claim back their spot.

How to Deal With Them: If you see a lounge chair that’s been unused for more than 30 minutes or so, it’s perfectly acceptable to give their things to a crew member so you or someone else can use it.


5. The Penny Pincher

penny pincher cruise ship annoying people

Photo by Medioimages/Photodisc

Identifying Characteristics: Cheapskate that will go to great lengths to avoid paying any upcharge or extra fee.

Most Irritating Trait: Standing in the guest services line at the end of the cruise removing gratuities from the bill for some asinine reason.

Common Saying: “Thanks, I’m good” to every bar waiter that passes within five feet.

How to Deal With Them: Buy them a drink, and make a toast to “living the good life”.


6. The Party Crew

party crew cruise ship annoying

Photo by oneinchpunch

Identifying Characteristics: 20-somethings most often spotted on long weekend cruises. There to drink, party, and participate in all kinds of debauchery.

Most Irritating Trait: Slamming cabin doors late at night. Turning the lido deck into their own South Beach party spot. General lack of common courtesy. We could go on...

Common Saying: “Woooooooo!”

How to Deal With Them: Situate yourself as far away as possible if you want any chance of peace and relaxation, and hope that you don’t end up in a cabin next door to them. If you do, see if you can switch cabins immediately. Upgrade if you have to. Trust us on this one.


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7. Young and in Love (See Also: The Shutterbugs)

young in love couple cruise annoying

Photo by michaeljung

Identifying Characteristics: That young couple hanging on each others' every word, lots of smooching and hand-holding.

Most Irritating Trait: Selfies. So many selfies.

Common Saying: “I love you more!” “No, I love you more!’ “No, I love you most!”

How to Deal With Them: Keep your distance and be sure not to get in their way. We all know they won’t stop holding hands just to let you pass by.


8. The Loyalty Lizard

loyalty lizard cruise ship annoying

Photo by Ostop Davydiak

Identifying Characteristics: These cruisers sail on the same cruise line every time, and wear their upper-level cruise card like a badge of honor on a lanyard around their neck.

Most Irritating Trait: Every person sitting near them is going to hear about their last 15 cruises, where they went, and most importantly, the great deal they got.

Common Saying: “We’ve actually done this cruise four times now. Yeah, we wanted to book a Panama Canal this time but the ship was full, so we ended up here. Again. *sigh*”

How to Deal With Them: Nod politely and tell them you have a fitness class starting in ten minutes. They want to go too? Oh sorry, reservations filled up on the first day.


9. Nothing to Do’s

nothing cruise ship annoying

Photo by Syda Productions

Identifying Characteristics: Not quite adults, but not kids anymore either. These 18 to 20 year olds are too old for the kid's programs, but too young to drink or gamble.

Most Irritating Trait: They won’t bother you too much, but you may find them watching pre-loaded Netflix shows on their phone, which is midly irriating in its own way.

Common Saying: “Isn’t 18 the legal drinking age in the Caribbean?”

How to Deal With Them: They don't usually require much intervention as they're too focused on maintaining their carefully cultivated air of apathy to make trouble.


10. Leisure Suit Larry

leisure larry cruise ship annoying

Photo by Ronald Summer

Identifying Characteristics: Single guy in his 40s or 50s, easily spotted by the trademark gold chains and slicked-back hair, trying (unsuccessfully) to recapture his prime. You’ll find him at the bar or around the pool, chatting up girls and openly staring at them, making everyone around uncomfortable.

Most Irritating Trait: Always looking for a girl to buy a drink for or dance with.

Common Saying: “Let me buy you a drink, beautiful.”

How to Deal With Them: If your gut is giving you a creepy vibe, stay away. Same advice goes for men too, as there are some sleazy statements you can't unhear.


11. Chatterbox


Photo by Kar Tr

Identifying Characteristics: Tries to be your best friend and follows you around, no matter how much you want some time to yourself.

Most Irritating Trait: Their inability to pick up on obvious social cues.

Common Saying: “What’s your email address? I’ll send you some photos of my hometown when I get back.”

How to Deal With Them: Polite hints rarely work. Tell them directly it’s time you spent time with your traveling companions, and don't give them a chance to latch on to your entire group.



Join the discussion

What irritating person do you always see on cruises?


Posted by CrusinTim

#2: Really Cruiseline.com? There is NO such thing as being Over-Patriotic. And exactly which cruise line do you see these types of "ANNOYING" people? After 13 cruises, I have not met one that fits your description! And just so you know, the majority of these blue collar workers are Veterans that HAVE EVERY RIGHT to be over patriotic. And yes, I am a Veteran and have a tattoo...ONE tattoo of an American (or as you title it, 'MERICA") flag. Does this make me annoying? Does an adult discussion on any topic including politics make me annoying ? These "annoying" people are the least likely to bring up or start discussions about climate change as most feel that is all BS anyway. And it IS a shame that kids aren't being taught today in schools, they are being DIRECTED on how to think about many subjects, not just history. I have met more people over my past cruises that do meet your description in the MDR that cover most of what you describe as being a #2. They weren't wearing their Country on their sleeve, they just felt everyone was entitled to their opinion. And you forgot one point, #12. Those would be the folks that cruise and actually take the time to label the prior 11 points as opposed to maybe actually interacting with them or just going about their own business and enjoying their cruise. I have made many lasting friendships from cruises over the years. Yes they just like I, have opinions. And being allowed to have opinions in my Country is what separates us from other Countries! And it was many of these blue blooded, blue collar "Merica Men" that brought this point of FREEDOM to you! Please try to keep your CRUISE posts about cruises and stay out of the Politics. Goodness knows you don't want to be labeled as an ANTI-#2 !

Posted by Bogeyguy

Merica Man, I see at least a few on every cruise. And that "Bud" hat never comes off, never, not in the MDR, Buffet, Pool, and I even saw one in the sauna. No sense of Etiquette. LOL.

Posted by Bogeyguy

I've been known to move a lounge chair from the spot where the chair hog laid a towel or what ever and vanished for to long. Just placed their "stuff" on the deck and move the chair to a different spot. Love the look on their face if they ever come back. LOL.

Posted by KenBell

Be calm Tim; I agree with a lot of what you say. But don't you think it is a bit ironic that your response kind of serves as an example of "mericaman?' I am a patriot, veteran, political, and cruiser. Truth is I avoid the typical "mericaman" equally as I do someone wearing an obnoxious... well, let's just say a leftish t-shirt. I'm profiling I know, but it is a stereotype that pretty much holds true. The conversation will always lead to politics and I could give a rat's behind about changing the mind of someone I will never see again in my lifetime. They should not have limited it to one political side, but ALL who come on the ship to display their political point of view.

Posted by DaveNAlison

Meeting different people is one of the best aspects of cruising.

Posted by maywell

Actually, CruiseTim, talking politics all the time on cruise ship is annoying especially if you're doing it during a seaside movie, a Broadway show or when its drink/wine tasting. Not everyone wants to speak or hear politics during their vacation because they deal with it at work anyway - It's their vacation too, whether it cruise / resort / camping/etc; is their time to unwind/unplug from it. So if they tell you "I have to go / Nice speaking to you" after less than 2-3 minutes of you speaking politics wherever- Respect that they are avoiding you now due to you being "Merica man" and let them go on their merry way.

Posted by Rblenassi

You missed the other side of the parental spectrum. The people who can’t seem to shut up about their kids. Also way to go bringing up politics, being bias always helps your credibility.

Posted by dwelchnait

"mericaman" is too specific. I have meet people from many countries with the same personality, mine included. "man" is also too specific a gender. Yes everyone has their right to their opinion. No I do not need to agree with that opinion, just as I don't have to listen to their opinion. If I wish to engage I will. If I don't want to engage, I have options; walk away, speak to someone else in the group about another topic, let the person talk until they realize I don't agree or care what they say because it is way too out there for my opinion. Sometimes, I will just play with them (because I am bored or just want to mess with their mind) until they leave, shut up or talk to someone else. I know that "playing" with them is not nice. The thing is, they believe in what they are saying and unless you are really great at changing people's opinion, well, ..........

Posted by Bert67

Have to say I agree with all on your list, except #9 as they are too busy being bored and indifferent to bother anyone. I was rather surprised at all the comments about "mericaman"; this is an annoying person we run into all the time, not just on cruises. The thing that gets me about 'mericaman, is he is totally ignorant, and while he thinks he is promoting patriotism by decking himself out in American flag speedos, shorts, hats etc, he is actually in total violation of flag etiquette! Hardly anyone these days seems to be aware of the rules of displaying flags, it should NEVER be worn, or made into merchandise like can koozies, purses, or beach towels. see https://www.almanac.com/content/us-flag-etiquette-rules-and-guidelines

Posted by jamdunk

Not just 'Merica Man'! On short hop to Amsterdam (before discovery that I don't sleep on boats & will not cruise ever again!), was assailed repeatedly by a Surrey golf professional (with his lovely quiet wife) as to how I should vote in Britain's EU Referendum, as I demurred to disclose this Brexit enthusiast assailed mine and my partner's (who is pro-Brexit) ears with online cant & You Tube experts. Oh, plus the total Scottish busybodies on the previous cruise fm Dundee to Norway. Also, the prissy suburbanite who sidled up to me at the casual dining to complain at all the 'fat people eating', as though I had something in common with her as we weren't as big as houses. Ghastly, boring & I can't sleep... cruising is not for me, at all!

Posted by MrBill

Loved reading comments......and we all have met them. My blanket response is, “yes, I have a sister”......turn quickly and try to escape.

Posted by Memryskr

I just love this article. You guys are absolutely right on ! For the ones who find negativity on your story, write a page about their complaining. this was fun reading.Thanks !!!

Posted by TwoAtSea

You missed one other type Tim. YOU and your ilk who are snobs that make fun of other everyday people enjoying their cruise time that do not fit your idea of what a cruiser should be. I agree with a few of your types: chair hog, vacation parents who ignore their kids, party types who are loud and obnoxious and are oblivious to how they annoy people around them. Otherwise, cruisers are people from every social type from around the world. It is interesting and fascinating to meet and learn about different people with different backgrounds and lifestyles. Don’t be a judgemental snob!

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