6 Embarrassing Cruise Faux Pas

six embarrassing cruise mistakes faux pas
Here's how to avoid some of the most embarrassing cruise mistakes! - Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

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

princess cruises balcony cabin
Photo by Princess Cruises

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

princess cruises lounge chair hogs lounger
Photo by Princess Cruises

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

royal caribbean dining dinner family
Photo by Royal Caribbean

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

royal caribbean kids fun pool family quantum of the seas
Photo by Royal Caribbean

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

star princess cruises alaska exterior ship
Photo by Princess Cruises

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

family casual shorts t shirt happy carnival
Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

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



Posted by excellentvacay

My niece and I have become seasoned cruisers! The only vacations we take are on cruise ships. There is so many places to go and see. I can't imagine going on vacation and it not being a cruise. Not only do we really enjoy going on cruises, but we have become closer. She lives in Connecticut and I live in Las Vegas. If you have never been on a cruise, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. The food nightly is gourmet, and you can order more than one appetizer, entree and dessert. You will never be hungry on a cruise!

Posted by Potti

All of the mentioned changes are a concern, especially the cut backs. It seems lately once you are on board you are a caught market and an opportunity to up sell sell sell, not the select atmosphere it used to be.

Posted by Lynn12d

An earlier post stated they liked to keep the balcony door open... on most ships you are told not to keep it open as it affects the air conditioning.

Posted by Lynn12d

An earlier post stated they liked to keep the balcony door open... on most ships you are told not to keep it open as it affects the air conditioning.

Posted by BruceAero1

I am a smoker and have near 50 cruises with Carnival and Royal Caribbean. When I started cruising, smoking was allowed in staterooms and on balconies. Times have changed as have the rules. I agree with no smoking in staterooms because of the lingering odor similar to walking through the casino. However, since there is no other place aboard for smoking except he casino and designated areas on the upper open deck, where is there a place I can go to smoke with a cup of coffee or book in my pajamas or early morning scrub? The balcony! Smoke wafting to other balconies is transient. No worse than the ships exhaust or barbecue. Fire hazard is a concern, but only if the ignorant smoker discards a lit cigarette or cigar over the side. Agree, that should be outlawed. Non-smokers tend to be non flexible with getting along with smokers and generally send signals to let smokers know of their displeasure. Get over it! You are not around us long enough to get cancer, just a foul smell for a moment. I could “fluff” and cause you the same foul smell moment. Cruise lines could establish a smoking lounge with proper ventilation and odor control. A place to go smoke, watch TV, read a book and maybe get a cup of coffee. That would be better than chasing smoking complaints and controlling personal habits.

Posted by Brownowl2

I have trouble with the smoker’s comments . I am a non smoker. And extremely allergic to cigarette smoke. If I were in a cabin next to yours.. and in line of the smoke ... I would be sick for the rest of the day. It is NOT the smell “offending” me.

Posted by Abbys1mom

It is not non smokers trying to make it difficult for smokers! Some people have serious health problems. I have COPD. It will cause me a lot of health problems such as being able to breath. People have walked past me smoking and I have started coughing until I can hardly catch my breath. You say "get over it", I say "I wish I could"

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