Top tips on cruise ship etiquette

When it comes to cruise ship etiquette, some people may think it’s something from a bygone age. However etiquette on cruise ships is still very present on most cruise lines and by embracing these forms of tradition, it can help to enhance your holiday experience.

So, in order to sail in the most mannerly fashion, follow this guide as we take a look at some of the most important forms of etiquette whilst at sea.

1. Arrive on time

If you have booked a table at one of the dining areas on your ship, or you have chosen a particular excursion to take part in, make sure you are on time. This also applies to any onboard theatre shows, cinema viewings and kids clubs, too.

2. Abide by the dress code

If you are on a cruise ship that requires a particular dress code such as evening gowns, black tie etc - it’s in good taste to follow the rules. It isn’t considered appropriate to show up in a formal dining area wearing shorts and a T-Shirt. This isn’t for everyone though, so make sure you enquire about clothing attire before you book your cruise. It may seem strange to have a dress code; however it may surprise you to find how much it can contribute to creating a certain ambience onboard, particularly on gala evenings if your cruise line hosts them.

3. Respect other cultures

It’s key to remember that passengers onboard come from all over the world, so there’s a variety of cultures and languages onboard. Bear in mind that some cultures may have a different way of communicating and interacting with others. It might not be something you are used to but at the very least, it’s a great way to broaden your knowledge.

4. Be considerate in the evenings

If you’ve spent the evening at a bar or nightclub, be considerate when making your way back to your cabin as sound can pass quite easily through the cabin walls. Other passengers may be trying to relax or even be travelling with young children who are soundly sleeping. This also applies to when you are leaving your cabin in the morning, as other guests may want to take advantage of having a lie in. It’s worth considering the volume of your television whilst you’re in your cabin too, it may not seem loud to you but your neighbours might think differently!

5. Don’t overload the lifts

It’s never ideal to be stuck at the back of an overcrowded lift so if you think the lift looks a little full, wait for the next one to come. Alternatively if you think you can take the stairs, do so. You never know, you may get to your chosen location quicker than if you waited for the lift.

6. Pay attention to ‘Adults Only’ signs

Cruise ships welcome passengers of all ages, but if there are certain events that are for adults only, please respect the rules. If you do want to visit these areas of the ship, consider taking your children to the onboard kids clubs or nursery areas. This is a great opportunity for you to be able to spend time with your partner or friends and your children to have fun and play with other kids onboard.

7. Ensure your children are well behaved

As mentioned previously, cruise ships welcome passengers of all ages. However, to ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience, it’s important that children are aware of how they should behave onboard. A good tip is to sit them down prior to your voyage and talk them through the ‘dos and ‘don’ts’ to make sure they are fully aware of what is expected of them. Also, you can rest assured that there are plenty of activities to keep children entertained whilst on a cruise ship, which are sure to keep to keep them distracted and amused!

8. Don’t ‘claim’ sunbeds

This is probably one of the most common occurrences when on any holiday, not just a cruise. If you are planning a day by the pool or you are going to the theatre to watch one of the onboard shows, it’s advised that you and your party all show up at the same time. No seats should be covered with towels or belongings to reserve them unless you’re ready to use them. This is to ensure that seats and sun beds are available to those who currently want to use them.

9. Take the muster drill seriously

The health and safety of all passengers is an extremely important part of cruising and not something to be taken lightly. On every ship you will have to take part in a fire alarm test (sometimes more than one) to ensure all passengers are aware of what to do should a real fire alarm take place. The muster drill is usually carried out before departure and more often than not it will not start until every single passenger is present at their muster station. To avoid the entire ship having to wait for you to arrive at your muster station, make sure you are aware of the time the drill is taking place and the quickest route to your station. Whilst the drill is going on, pay attention to every word the crew members say and treat it as you would a real fire alarm.

10. Don’t ignore cruise ship rules

Wherever you go on deck you will come across various signs that give you certain orders to follow. These can include ‘no smoking’ signs for example. You should adhere to these rules, as they are not only good manners, but they safeguard everyone’s health and well being. One sign and facility you’ll see in several locations around the cruise ship is to sanitise your hands. Take advantage of these hand sanitizers to avoid spreading or picking up any germs.

When it comes to cruise ship etiquette, it’s important to note that by following these simple instructions, everyone will be able to have an enjoyable and memorable experience – for the right reasons!