When preparing to take a cruise, most of us have a check-list we run through. What to pack, places to eat on board, things to do. But perhaps we should also have a pre-cruise list explaining what not to do.
If you know someone who is preparing to head out to sea — especially if it happens to be their first cruise — this list might prove every bit as useful to them as will the more common To-Do Lists.
What Not To Do On Your Cruise
1. Do not bring your own plastic straws.
Can you bring your own plastic straws from home? Of course. No one is going to stop you. They won’t be confiscated by security. But there’s a reason the cruise lines are doing everything in their power to eliminate single-use plastics, and there are plenty of alternatives. No, you don’t have to drink your mudslide without a straw, but maybe use one that’s paper or steel? The wildlife living in the seas on which we sail will thank you.
2. Don’t remove the gratuities.
No matter what your excuse, we’ve heard it. “We like to tip individuals,” you say. Well, what about all the folks behind the scenes who you don’t interact with? “The cruise line should pay them, not me.” Then punish the cruise line (by choosing to instead go with a carrier that rolls the daily gratuity into the cost of your fare), not the hard-working members of the crew. “We’re cheap,” you say. Okay, that one we actually believe… and respond by suggesting you should save even more money by just staying home.
3. Don’t sneak booze on board.
Again, we’ve heard all the excuses. “We only want a few cocktails.” Great, then don’t buy the drink package. “But we like to have a drink in our room.” No problem, you can pre-purchase a bottle of your liquor of choice and have it waiting in your cabin. “But that’s so expensive!” This brings us right back to the same point we made regarding tips above… if you can’t afford to buy alcohol, whether at the bar or via a pre-ordered bottle, then you should just save your money by staying home.
4. Don’t be rude to the crew.
We shouldn’t even have to say this, but based on how often we’ve seen people treat crew members like crap, apparently, it actually does need said. (Of course, the people who really need to be told this probably wouldn’t read this article to begin with.) The crew does everything in their power to make your vacation as awesome as it can possibly be. They’re also doing the exact same thing for everyone else on the ship. So if something goes wrong, how about taking a deep breath and handling the situation as if you’re dealing with a fellow human being?
5. Don’t “abandon” your children.
Most cruise ships have daycare centers which will happily keep an eye on your child for most of the day. Lifeguards at the pool, however, are not there to babysit. Nor are your fellow passengers. You may think, “Hey, it’s not like they can go anywhere,” but a cruise ship is a very big place with a whole lot of potential dangers… including strangers. We’ve heard too many horror stories… mostly about oblivious parents looking for someone to blame when their child is injured. “Shouldn’t someone be watching them?” they will demand, apparently unaware that the answer is, “Yes… you!”
6. Don’t be a bad balcony neighbor.
For many cruisers, balconies are their respite from the world… and even from the rest of the ship. When things get a little too crazy down by the pool, or they simply want to sit and read a book (translation: nap) while looking out at the ocean, this is where they head. So try and be at least a little respectful when spending time on your own balcony. Remember that because of their design, the spaces can often be echo chambers. When moving furniture around on your balcony early in the morning or late at night, try to make as little noise as possible. And whatever you do, don’t smoke.
7. Don’t be a moron.
This is probably the most important item on the list, but it’s also the least likely to be adhered to. Why? Because generally speaking, people don’t realize they’re being morons until it’s too late. They think sitting atop the railing for a selfie is a great idea, or that throwing their significant other’s things overboard during a fight will teach them a lesson. Both are actually great ways to wind up off the ship, whether from having fallen over in the first case or being escorted off in the second.