How to Be the Perfect Cruise Passenger

Posted by Fodor's Editors on October 13, 2009 at 6:03:43 PM EDT | Post a Comment

Most passengers want to have a satisfying vacation—to explore new places, relax, spend time with family and friends, and have some carefree fun. Unfortunately, some people can get carried away with the carefree part and forget to pack the good manners practiced every day at home...

Adhere to the dress code. The ship's daily program will indicate the appropriate attire for every evening of the cruise, generally beginning at 6 pm. It's inconsiderate to ignore the guidelines and do as you please.

Do not hog the lounge chairs. Every morning an invisible cadre of passengers piles towels and personal belongings on chaise lounges by the pool to save them for later. This is extremely selfish behavior.

Do not save seats. Do save a seat for your spouse or traveling companion, but do not try to save entire rows of seats in the show lounge or complete tables in the casual dining area.

Control your children. For their safety—and the safety of others—children shouldn't be allowed to roam freely around the ship, run around the swimming pool, splash water on other passengers, cavort in the hot tubs, or play in the elevators. Do not allow your children to intrude in adults-only spaces. Some parents are in total denial when it comes to the unruly actions of their children (the disruptive kids can't be theirs).

Be a considerate smoker. Those who smoke should light up their cigarettes, cigars, and pipes only in areas clearly approved for that purpose.

Do not jog before daybreak. It should be obvious that if there are cabins located below the deck where jogging is permitted, then passengers are probably still asleep in them. Run only during the hours indicated in the daily program.

Be mindful of others in the spa and gym. Wear appropriate workout attire and wipe down the equipment when you are finished using it. Take your turn in a reasonable amount of time.

Turn down the sound. Portable electronics are wonderful gadgets, but not everyone has the same musical taste as you. In public areas, music players should be used with headphones. When using two-way radios and cell phones, it's seldom necessary to shout.

Await your turn. Events and activities are scheduled in a certain way for a purpose, including the orderly filling of shore tenders and the disembarkation procedure at the end of the cruise. Do not be in such a hurry that you compromise safety.

Do not complain while you wait. No one cares to listen to grumbling and whining. It's a vacation, so lighten up and go with the flow.

Listen and follow instructions. This is never more important than during the muster drill! Listening can ensure your safety in case of an emergency.

Don't forget that the three Cs at sea—Consideration, Courtesy, and Civility—are your guideposts. And don't forget to bring along a pleasant attitude, your sunniest smile, and good manners.

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Posted in Travel Tips

Member Comments (6)  Post a Comment

  • travel4now on Oct 18, 09 at 08:45 PM

    Three things to avoid doing: Making assumptions about people you meet at your table or during activities, bringing your political opinions along, bragging about another cruise you took that was better than the one you're on.

  • Aristotle on Oct 17, 09 at 11:18 AM

    Maybe the big rule is: Don't behave as if you are the only person aboard that can afford the trip.

  • AK_49er on Oct 15, 09 at 03:13 PM

    Being courteous when in the buffet line would be one more item that should be added to the list. This year we seem to have many first time cruisers aboard the vessels and the rudeness level of many of them has made the voyages less enjoyable and in some cases quite unpleasant.
    I would like to thank Venessa from Holland Americas Veendam for being so thoughtful to step in when needed to assist my 17 year old son when the situation warranted. Our son is a special needs child with mild retardation and a troubling speech impediment but one giant heart of gold that loves Holland America more then imaginable. Venessa, if your out there, I know its been 5 months sense our Alaskan Cruise but Mike is still telling people about his favorite friend from that Dam Ship. A world of thanks and will be see you in Bermuda this spring.

    OMG: Ain't Retirement Great!

  • bombayteddy on Oct 15, 09 at 11:04 AM

    Indian families on the Supertar Virgo and Libra during South East Asian cruises are among the worst offenders. Potbellied businessmen shouting LOUDLY on their mobile-phones while their garishly-dressed wives scream at unruly children, who have the habit of running up and down corridors in the middle of the night....

  • ancient_mariner on Oct 15, 09 at 10:34 AM

    Here's one: Don't get drunk and holler in the hallways at 2:00 AM. Thanks!

  • scdreamer on Oct 15, 09 at 10:22 AM

    Thank you for the tip regarding electronic devices. We sat in a specialty restaurant one evening next to a man who put his cell phone on speaker mode to listen to all his voice mail messages. LOUD and beyond annoying!

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