Cruise blogs, message boards and discussion threads on social media often have lists of categories of annoying cruisers, bemoaning the fact that too many people become annoying, irresponsible and selfish on board. I wanted to share my thoughts on the things that drive me mad.
In my experience, most cruise passengers are courteous, well-behaved and considerate – but there some things that everyone should follow to make sure they are respectful, and make pleasant companions on every cruise. These are:
- Follow every precaution to avoid bringing or spreading norovirus. Cruise lines cannot prevent the virus being brought on board, and they rely on passengers to be honest. If there’s an outbreak on ship, it creates an enormous amount of extra duties for the crew, on top of their existing responsibilities, and it’s a highly disrespectful way to treat fellow cruisers. I’ve been on a ship where there was an outbreak. The key reason it spread was that passengers followed neither the advice on sanitization nor the quarantine requirements after contracting the virus. Wash your hands with soap and water regularly, and use the antibacterial gel placed around the ship. Follow the guidance and stay in your cabin if you contract a virus.
- Pay attention and stay focused in the safety drill. Although incidents at sea are rare, they are a real possibility. At every muster drill I see people chatting, checking their phones and not focusing on the message and instructions – and generally not taking the briefing seriously. It only takes up to 30 minutes of your vacation time and the rules and guidance does change. It could save you or your fellow passengers life.
- Do not be a chair hog. This topic seems to cause the most discussion, upset and complaints about fellow passengers. The three main areas it takes place is (1) around the pool or sun decks where guests place books, magazine and towels first thing in the morning on loungers and then head off to eat or do other things, (2) in the buffet restaurants where people book tables and then go off to fetch food and (3) in the theatres. Although all cruise lines have a policy on booking loungers and chairs, they are usually not very strong in enforcing it. The reason is that the crew tend to take the flack from irate passengers who are seat hogs. Some lines, like the Carnival Group ones, say they will remove items left unattended for 30 minutes and may do. However, if everyone just used loungers and chairs in the restaurant when they needed them the problem of finding a seat would be removed in most all cases.
- Do not be a secret balcony smoker. Smoking has, or is, being severely restricted on most cruise lines to designated areas on deck and many have stopped allowing smoking on balconies. However, in my experience, many smokers are still smoking on their balconies and drifting smoke remains an issue and, even worse, they are flushing the butts into the toilet system to hide the activity. The system is not geared to cope with them.
- Do not be a corridor noise nuisance. Although most cabins are fairly sound proof, the noise of children running and screaming up and down the corridor and noisy chatter in the hallways will be heard in cabins and can be very distracting and intrusive. Door slamming of the cabin and balcony doors also reverberates through to the next door cabin. Avoid it.
- Be on time for and during excursions. Excursions run by the cruise line work to a set and strict schedule. They rely on every guest following the requests of the guide on times to re-join the group and return to the meeting point or coach to keep the tour on track and on time. There are often stragglers who know that the tour and bus will wait for them if they run late, disrupting and delaying the experience for everyone.
Have you been cruising? What would you like to add about what drives you crazy about other guests?