Contributor Level: Captain

People behaving badly

Good day,

Since there are quite a few "experienced" cruisers on this site. I have a question?

Should there be, or is there a guide to behavior on cruises.

I know there is Etiquette guidelines for Golf, and there are guidelines for office behavior, but what about cruising?

I've seen posts complaining about reserving chairs on the pool deck, Smoking in designated areas, drinking and lewd behavior. So where can one find a general behavior rules for cruising?

Any ideas folks?Big Smile

Tags: How much fun is too much?

16 Answers

Contributor Level: Captain

It's called common civility.   Or, the do unto others thing.  But when people go on vacation something happens.  You'll hear things like " it's my vacation, I'll do as I please ".   or,  " I pay my taxes "........have yet to figure out the relevance of that one !     

We were doing a B2B years ago, back when they had a breakfast for those staying over. In walks this big mook over to the maitre d, and he starts looking at the table seating ( he was just getting on mind you ).  The maitre d asks if he can help, and if he belongs at this reserved breakfast....the jerk says, " no, I just got on and I wanted to see where we are sitting tonight, so I'll know if I have to kill you or not ".      We all heard this, and couldn't believe it !    After the guy left we went up to the maitre d and asked if he wanted us to back his story to security in order to get this idiot thrown off before we leave.    This guy was a real pig throughout the cruise.  One of those real loud louts you wish got left behind on an island.    He would sit in the bar area with his feet up on a second chair, like he owned the joint!  I sort of felt sorry for his wife, but I got over it.

People just get more rude. Especially kids. They could care less that my wife uses a walker.  Or if you're trying to sleep @ 3:00am.   That's why we prefer HAL. Older passengers means less hassle.  Especially on the buffet lines

Contributor Level: Captain

I just do my best to be be courteous. If you know golf etiquette and apply the same on a cruise you will be just fine. Better than most probably. Some people are just rude and there is no getting around it. 

Contributor Level: Admiral

It is hard to make rules about proper behavior.  People feel that they can do what they want since the cruises cost them so much money.  I see guests showing up in the MDR wearing shorts on formal nights.  I still see passengers saving seats - some times several seats in the theater.  They still keep their lounges when they are away from the pool area for hours at a time. Although most passengers speak politely to crew members, not all do.  Sad Even at buffets they cut the line, etc...  The cruise lines do what they can but it is a losing battle. i think that the problem of proper behavior is getting worse. 

Contributor Level: Captain

The cruise ships are in the business of a good time so they do not crack down as much as they should.  Some ship captains include mention of appropriate behavior in their welcome aboard message, others do not.

I would like to think that most adults have a clue as to what is acceptable behavior, not only for themselves but also where their children are concerned.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  If parents behave poorly, that is the example the children follow.  This is one of the reasons we find ourselves staying away from the lower priced cruise lines which we have observed attracting more families. 

I am not sure what is going to change people's behavior aside from people becoming more considerate. Having a good time on vacation should not mean ruining another person's vacation.

Contributor Level: Captain

I think there is some mention in your cruise contract,  that box that we all check off and don't read when we do on line check in.

Contributor Level: Captain

You are right, JusMe, there is a mention but few read the contract fully before signing.  Once a few cocktails are consumed any recollection of the contract is out the window. I hate to say it but for as many lovely people we have met cruising, there are clueless idiots who think everyone's idea of having a good time involves consuming large quantities of alcohol, talking loud, and acting like a complete buffoon. Unfortunately, I just don't see the ships cracking down too harshly on poor behavior.


Contributor Level: Captain

I agree with about all the comment here, it is a US social problem for certain, not sure if it is getting better or worse though. I sympathize with the cruise lines, after all they are in the vacation travel business, not running a kindergarten. I does appear to me that on the cruises with older clientele the guests are more congenial. That is a surprise in a way, older folk are suppose to be more curmudgeonly. 

Sometimes obnoxious attitude problems appear to be deliberate. One of the worst experiences I had was with a guy who was always late getting back to the bus. We were on one of those smaller 18 passenger vans and at the first stop he and his wife were about 15 minutes late getting back which put us behind at the rest of the stops that day. However, he kept it up, his wife was so embarrassed she didn't even get off the bus after the first episode. Toward the end of the day it looked like we had to skip a sight because of this dude but the guide squeezed it in, gave us no more that 5 minutes, yep, the guy took almost 15, people were livid.  

That occurred on Regent. Where you have to have reservations for the specialty restaurants but no extra charge, so it is difficult to get a table, especially for two. One time we decided to go for a table for 6, random tablemates. We got there on time and so did another couple; for about the first 25 minutes into the dinner we had a nice visit over drinks, etc, then went ahead and ordered since the third couple hadn't shown. You guessed it, luck of the draw, here came the other couple, 30 minutes late and it was the same moron who was always late on the bus. He began complaining as soon as he sat down, like, "the last time I ate here my roast beef was cold". 

I was careful to eat and enjoy, not say much and tune him out. Just as we were getting ready to leave though he got into politics, I disagreed with him. He suggested that he and I get together and he would convince me otherwise. I said, buddy you don't really want to get around me, ever, got a kick in the shin from wife, thus we hastily departed. Looking back on it, I don't believe he would have been in the speciality restaurant at all if he had to pay, but was there simply because he believed it to be a perk or something.                   


Contributor Level: Captain

Mr. Kennicot, I consider myself a reasonably patient man. I must complement you on your above thread. I do not think I could have made it through the tour without saying something to him, let alone dinner. :-)

Contributor Level: Third Mate

Unfortunately this is becoming a more common problem on land also. I do not know what happened to manners. They were passed down from generation to generation, but somewhere along the line in some families there was a blip and things went wrong. One possibly explanation is the advent of 'boom times' where the average joe suddenly found themselves 'in the money' and able to afford luxuries and the like previously only the preserve of the upper middle class and higher. Thus their sense of entitlement and 'me me me' importance grew. Even though we have now gone down into the 'bust' these people still see themselves as new royalty and expect to be treated thus.

This 'me me me' has created an army of insolent, self-entitled, boorish pigs who want all and wish to give nothing. They grunt, point, boss, bully, demand, pout, curse, yell, destroy, don't say please and thank you, don't clean up after themselves, see restaurant servers and the like as their personal slaves, most likely tip peanuts if at all... I could go on but you get the jist.


I am ashamed to be part of a generation that has degenerated so much. I am afraid that people will see me and my age and assume I am like 'them'. I am most definitely not. My mother raised me up to be polite, caring, understanding and a decent human. I have manners, I clear up after myself, I treat people with respect. I wish I could say the same for people I know of my generation....


Don't get me started on the teenagers and children of today. No manners whatsoever. I cannot abide how rude they can be. I can safely say if and when I have children no child of mine would get on long if they copped that kind of attitude. If I didn't stamp it out quick smart their grandmother certainly would!

Contributor Level: Purser

LOL ..... I can agree with every post here and offer a little insight into when this absurd behavior began, being a retired LEO. We began seeing the parenting digress to "my Johnny can do NO wrong" in the late 70's, early 80's. I went down hill from there and today, we, the older generation, are reaping the benefits of what some of us sowed back then along with their children, that some of our generation produced. Most raised very decent and caring children, but the few who didn't seem to not understand that their shortcomings are to blame. I know my wife and I see it every day, but only with a few, not the majority.

For this reason, we are limiting our cruising to smaller, more expensive cruise ships, as this seems to not be the way these inconsiderate folks want to spend their time or money.

Sorry for the rant, but IMO, it needs to be said.


* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top