6 Embarrassing Cruise Faux Pas
Embarrassing moments are a part of life, and unfortunately they’re not always easy to escape. However, some can be prevented if you’re armed with the know-how and knowledge ahead of time. Here are six common faux pas people make on cruises, and how you can avoid making them.
1. Smoking on your balcony
Smoking has become one of the biggest cruise sins you can commit. There are no cruise lines left that allow smoking in cabins, and nearly all also prohibit passengers from lighting up on their balconies. Not only are cigarettes a serious fire hazard, but the smoke will waft to surrounding cabins and potentially ruin relaxing balcony time for other cruisers. If you get caught, hefty cleaning charges will be added to your bill at the end of the cruise. If you continue to ignore the rules, smoking on your balcony or in your cabin could get you kicked off the ship.
Telling Quote: "Our only complaint is we had a balcony room and we liked to keep the balcony door open but our room would get inundated with cigarette smoke from nearby rooms which totally ruined the balcony experience for us." - CareAK
2. Being a chair hog
Let’s just start off by saying, please don’t be one of these people! You’ve heard us mention chair hogs before, and we’ll probably never stop talking about them. If you aren’t familiar with the term, chair hogs are people that lay out their towels and belongings in the loungers (a problem on the lido deck especially) early in the morning and then disappear for hours to do other things around the ship. It’s disrespectful to everyone else who shows up and sees a bunch of chairs full of stuff, but no one around actually utilizing those coveted loungers. Thankfully, some cruise lines now have policies in place where if someone isn’t seen at their chair for a certain amount of time, crew members will pick up their things and move them so that someone else can have the spot. Whether your cruise line has a policy for chair hogging or not, do unto others as you would have them do unto you and only claim a deck chair if you’re actually planning to use it for its intended purpose.
Telling Quote: "Chair hogs out in mass as usual. But I just wait for a while, look for ppl in the pool etc then move there stuff now. Although many times the deck hands took care of that for us." - LisaG9
3. Asking for the bill at dinner
While this certainly is an embarrassing rookie move, we do love the honesty behind it. Whether it’s someone who didn’t organize the cruise and has never sailed before, or just a newbie who read up on how cruising works but just wasn’t thinking once the meal was over, it’s not unheard of to hear people asking for the bill in the main dining room. But at least it would make for one happy mistake when you realize that the three appetizers and two desserts you just ate were all included in the cost of the voyage!
4. Letting your child in diapers swim in the family pool
Even kids in swim diapers are technically not allowed in pools on cruises, but sometimes a parent manages to sneak in their baby before a crew member notices. Who wants to be the family that other passengers are grossed out by? Obviously some people just don’t care, but for the sake of literally all of the other passengers who will use the pool that day, please follow the rules that the cruise line has set out. Save the pool time with your babies and toddlers for when you’re at home, and rest assured that they can enjoy the onboard pool all they want when they’re older.
Telling Quote: "One selfish guest brought their baby into the main pool and its diaper exploded contaminating the pool.. The pool was closed and drained and NO ONE could use it for the rest of the day. One selfish parent ruined the afternoon for hundreds of people." - johnstienejr
5. Not returning to the ship on time
Ah, pier runners. They do make for great entertainment among the passengers who are already safely on the ship, but you really don’t want to be the reason for everyone’s laughter in this situation. Being late to the ship and nearly missing sail away might be the number one most embarrassing cruise faux pas we can think of.
Telling Quote: "Unfortunately we made a error in the time difference and almost missed the ship in Roatan - the Captain actually waited for us for 35 mins! We were embarrassed but sooo happy." - Jluvspalmtrees
Tip: To make sure you’re never in this situation, set an alarm for when you need to head back to the pier. Be sure to leave plenty of wiggle room for traffic or other delays, and keep in mind that you need to be on the ship’s time — whether or not that matches the local time.
6. Wearing shorts and flip flops in the main dining room
Long gone are the days of wearing cocktail dresses, gowns, and tuxedos to dinner every night during a cruise. However, cruise lines still do have dress codes and guidelines to adhere to if you’re going to enjoy dinner in the main dining room, even if it is much more relaxed than in days past. Most passengers have no issues following the simple rules (no shorts, ball caps, jeans, and flip flops that look right at home by the pool) but there will always be some people who stroll in from their day at the poolside bar without giving it a second thought. Depending on the infraction, sometimes the dining room staff will let it slide, but other times, you’ll be asked to go back to your cabin and change, or head to the buffet instead.
Telling Quote: "Only complaints I have is them letting people come in the dining room with shorts and flip flops. My husband and I along with two other couples where the only ones that dressed every night. Enforce the dress code in the dining room." - MrMrsRayford