10 Things Not To Do On A Cruise Ship Balcony

10 Things Not To Do On A Cruise Ship Balcony

10 Things Not To Do On A Cruise Ship Balcony

You’re about to discover the ten things you should never do on a cruise ship balcony.

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Balcony Railings

The first of these is really something very practical, and sensible, never sit on stand on or climb on the railing on a balcony. It is completely crazy and it’s completely mad.

Lots of people talk about people falling off cruise ships, but it’s pretty much impossible to fall off a cruise ship. Most of the people who’ve gone overboard have done it either because they want to do it, or they’ve fallen off by doing something crazy by sitting on a balcony railing or what’s also been known to happen is by standing up and trying to climb from one balcony on to the next. People have fallen off.

So, importantly never sit on a railing or put your kids on the railing even if you’re holding them. There have been some really tragic accidents. Never sit, stand or do anything on your balcony railing.


The second no-no for a cruise ship balcony is also a rule by the cruise line. Pretty much every single cruise line bans you from smoking or vaping in your cabin and on your balcony. Cruise lines are actually, under their rules, can ask you to leave the ship and disembark you at the next port. Smoking or vaping is definitely a no-no on your balcony.


The third one is also a really important rule, and that’s don’t throw things overboard from your balcony.

One of the most important of that is lighted matches or cigarette butts. The biggest risk on a cruise ship is fire. That’s the thing that cruise lines and captains fear more than anything else. One of the easiest ways for these to start is people throwing cigarette butts over the side of the ship, it gets sucked back in somewhere else and creates a fire without anyone knowing about it.

Don’t throw anything overboard. For environmental reasons and safety reasons, because of the way the wind works when the ship is cruising it’s very easy for things to get blown and sucked back onto the ship.

Nude Sunbathing

Think very carefully before you either sunbath or stand nude and naked on your balcony, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, many cruise ships have cameras trained on all sorts of parts of the ship and so it’s very possible that one of the external security cameras can actually catch you standing or sunbathing nude on the balcony.

It’s also possible that people from the port or other ships are going to see you. I have heard lots of stories of people who have seen people standing start bollock naked, or somebody naked, on ships as they see them in port or leaving port. Also, because of the way the ships are designed, it’s also often easy for people to see what’s going on other balconies either by leaning over or because of the shape of the ships which overlook other balconies. So, naked sunbathing and nudity on your balcony is riskier than you think it could be.

If you’re really into sunbathing nude, you could consider going on a nudist cruise or on some of the German lines, like a Hapag Lloyd and Aida which have naked sunbathing areas.


Linked to that is around having sex on your balcony. This is definitely something that you should think twice about, partly because (as I’ve already mentioned) around the fact that you may be recorded but also bear in mind that even if people can’t overlook your balcony, they are not that private.

If you take a look at your balcony, although there’s dividers, it’s easy for people if they hear noise to look around, look under or look over the divider. So, definitely it’s quite risky. If you are going to get up to that, you might want to check the balcony is not over looked and there’s no cameras on you. Also, check that there’s no on out on the balconies above, below or on either side of you.

Balcony Door

Another cabin no-no that the cruise lines really try and encourage people not to do, is to leave your balcony door open. A lot of people like to keep the balcony door open to get some fresh air in and hear the sound of the ocean as you’re cruising.

However, it’s not a great idea to do for a couple of reasons. First of all, if you leave the cabin door open it actually plays havoc with the air conditioning system on the cruise ship, because it’s not really sure what’s going on. It tends to go into overdrive and starts using up much more energy than it would normally do, which of course is not great for the environment. If someone opens your cabin door it creates this enormous wind tunnel and does create some havoc within your cabin

So, although it may be very tempting, the cruise lines strongly discourage people from leaving their balcony door open.


The next no-no is something that does drive me slightly crazy, and certainly it’s things that I’ve seen lots of people commenting on, and that’s about people who play loud music on their balcony or play it in their cabin and have the balcony door open.

Bear in mind that sound does actually travel quite far, and you’ll find if you’re on the balcony and playing  travels above, below and around you. Not everyone wants to listen to your style of music. Playing loud music is a definite no-no. It does drive other cruisers crazy.


Linked to that is, of course, making a lot of noise on your balcony partying or just being generally loud and noisy. It is going to disturb other people, so really out of consideration for other people is try and use your balcony for what a lot of people are trying to use their balcony for, which is a place to go and rest and relax.

For most people, the reason they choose a balcony is because they want to go out there have some quiet time, sunbathe and to rest and relax. Loud music and people talking really loudly and being boisterous interferes with other people’s idea of a great vacation. So, for me, I think it’s a real key no-no.


The next no- no for a balcony is something that a lot of people will think a little bit crazy, and that’s using your balcony to dry clothes. A couple of reasons for that. First of all, it looks a little bit unsightly however that’s not the key reason. If your clothes are left out there with the sea air and the salt, it’s often not necessarily going to dry them as much as you would think.

And of course, because of the way that wind blows particularly if you’re out sailing, it’s also possible that pieces of your clothes are going to be blown throwing things or chucking things into the ocean (even not deliberately) is something you want to avoid both for environment and also for safety reasons.

So, don’t dry your clothes on the balcony. In pretty much every bathroom in the shower or above the bath will normally be a clothesline, and that’s the place to hang your clothes. Many cruise ships also have a guest laundry and if your clothes are pretty wet you can go, and tumble dry them. Putting them out on the balcony is not necessarily going to dry them as much do think and there is a risk if you’re sailing that they blow off into the ocean.


Another no-no that winds a lot of people up is people who leave their balcony lights on. Often, you’ll find the cabin steward, when they set the room in the evening, will switch off the balcony light. The downside of leaving the balcony light on it is, first of all it’s using unnecessary energy and of course again that means the ship is having to generate more energy and that’s bad from an environmental perspective, but also if people want to use their balcony at night to go out and look at the stars and relax, people having their balcony lights on is actually ruining that experience.

There’s no need to leave your balcony light on unless you’re doing something where you need the light on. It means that if people around you want to use the balcony in the evenings and enjoy the night air and the darkness they can.

Final Thought

When I go cruising, I love to have a balcony cabin and these are 10 things that I try and not do on my balcony, and always hope the people around me aren’t doing as it makes my vacation even better.

I have lots of other videos packed full of cruising tips and advice, so why don’t you watch one of them right
now? http://www.youtube.com/tipsfortravellers

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Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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