The Most Annoying Things You Can Do on a Cruise

The Most Annoying Things You Can Do on a Cruise

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For many people nothing can be more exciting than a cruise vacation. You or your travel agent spend months looking for just the right offer.

These days there are so many options and price points to choose from - luxury, adventure, family-style, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaska. The choices are endless.

But before you walk the gangplank to board your ship, always remember: You can choose exactly the right cruise for you or your family, but you can’t choose your fellow travel campanions.

If you are new to cruising, here are some tips to help you stay clear of annoying habits.

Ignoring smoking rules

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Ignoring smoking rules

Most cruise lines are developing stricter smoking rules, but they try to accomodate smokers with designated areas of the ship. Often smoking is allowed on an outside deck, a special cigar lounge or in casinos. One of the most annoying thing you can do is to ignore these rules. Nothing will make you the most disliked passenger faster than blowing smoke in a sunbather’s face.

Being a chair hog

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Being a chair hog

Nothing will take you out of your vacation mood faster than a chair saver. These are the people who wake up at 6:30 a.m., run to the pool deck and put towels, shoes, shirts or books on a row of lounges, then go back to bed. Sometimes they wont show up to use the chair until after the lunch buffet.

Smoking on your balcony

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Smoking on your balcony

While it used to be acceptable for passengers to smoke on their own private balconies and even in their cabins, those rule are changing. But as always, there will be those who will be puffing away on a cigarette or cigar on the balcony next door while you are trying to drink your morning coffee.

Taking a vacation from your children

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Taking a vacation from your children

Thankfully, most parents are great about this, and realize that there is supervised child care and kid-friendly areas on most ships. But you will always run into a couple who let their children run wild. Nothing is more irratating than the elevator being over-run with children pusing every button to every floor while you are trying to get to dinner on time.

Hallway barricades

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Hallway barricades

Cruise ships are notorious for very long and narrow cabin deck hallways. Some pass-throughs can be as narrow as 3-4 feet. Inevitably, you will run into people blocking corridors or doorways to restaurants by visiting with friends or cabin neighbors. They seem unaware or don’t care if they are forcing everyone else to walk around them.

Not sanitizing your hands

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Not sanitizing your hands

Every ship will have a buffet offering self-serve options. And every buffet will have someone grabbing food with their bare hands. Norovirus and other illnesses are a real possibility on ships because of the number of people in such a closed environment. At the entrance to these eating venues are hand sanitizers in plain view. Please use them for the health of everyone.

The “all you can drink” passenger

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The “all you can drink” passenger

Most cruise lines offer a pre-paid all-you-can-drink beverage package. And some people will. Nothing will make you the most unpopular partier than being the one who won’t stop. Day after day, night after night. They become more obnoxious and louder and can eventually put themselves or others at risk.

Breaching balcony etiquette

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Breaching balcony etiquette

Going on vacation is just that: a vacation from your hectic life. Nothing can be better than relaxing, taking a nap or just watching the sea drift by on your private balcony. But nothing could be worse than the loud family on the next balcony. Most cabin balconies are divided by a thin glass or metal panel. Remember that the next time you let your kids play Jenga on your balcony coffee table.

Being late to your table

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Being late to your table

Dinner on cruises can be formal with set times and dinner companions or freestyle with who you want, when you want. If you have a set time to eat, make sure you show up on time. Nothing can be more rude to your fellow table mates or your waitstaff than showing up after everyone else has ordererd their first course. It will throw off the staff and meal timing.

Gym machine hogs

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Gym machine hogs

Etiquette in the gym at sea is different than on land. Cruise ships can carry in excess of 5,000 guests, and although the gyms are getting larger they still can’t accommodate everyone. With that said, lines for equipment can stack up. So be mindful and try to keep the workout to 15 or 30 minutes.

Food hoarders

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Food hoarders

On a cruse ship you can eat any time of the day or night, from prime steak and lobster to hamburgers and fries. So it is always confusing to see the number of people who pile heaps of food on their plates at the buffet, set it at their table, then go back to fill a second plate. Unless there’s an emergency, we have yet to hear of a ship running out of food. No need to stockpile.

Next floor please

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Next floor please

Ships will never have enough elevators for the number of passengers they carry. Some people will be taking the stairs during the cruise to try and work off the extra weight gained on the trip. But decks can reach 15 stories on some ships so for older passengers or people with cabins in the lowest decks, elevators become a necessity. Nothing makes a person more irritated than an elevator trip that takes 20 minutes because people will get on every floor and push the next floor’s button.

Being rude to the staff

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Being rude to the staff

Cruise staff -- waiters, busboys, bartenders and cabin stewards to name a few -- come from all over the world. They work for relativly low wages or gratuities and are at sea for months at a time, away from loved ones. They are trained to cater to all your needs and to make your trip as pleasent as possible. Nothing can be more unpleasant than watching a rude passenger belittle a cruise ship employee. Most people wouldn’t last two days doing their jobs.

Saving seats

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Saving seats

What’s more irritating than sitting down at a comedy show or other entertainment venue on board, only to be told by the person next to you that this seat is saved. Better yet, you move down a seat and they tell you the whole row is saved. A courteous passenger would wait for the whole group to arrive before entering the theater.

Letting your kids take over the hot tubs

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Letting your kids take over the hot tubs

One of the biggest complaints cruisers have is parents letting their kids take over the hot tubs. Parents have to remember that the hot tub is a place to relax and unwind, and there are other kid-friendly pools elsewhere. Most ships have rules and age limits, but that dosn’t mean they will be followed.

Eavesdropping on your neighbor

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Eavesdropping on your neighbor

Passenger ships have to accommodate as many people as they can in a confined and limited space. The result is small rooms with very thin walls. So thin infact, you can hear your neighbor ordering room sevice on the phone. This is one thing your neighbor will notice as well from their end. So always remember to use your indoor voice and hopefully they will follow suit. And try not to spy too much.

Throwing garbage overboard

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Throwing garbage overboard

It‘s hard to believe in this day and age that it is still going on. This behavior is ranked by many as the most annoying and unforgivable. Most of the time it will be by accident. Wind gust on the sea can be strong at times and blow items off balcony tables or al fresco restaurants. But you will, at sometime, run across someone doing it on purpose.

Don’t toss that butt

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Don’t toss that butt

Tossing cigarettes or cigars from upper decks is dangerous. They could blow into the passenger balconies and balcony doors below, causing fires. What could be more annoying than finding a cigarette burn in your clothing after waking up from a nap outside?

Full-on PDA

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Full-on PDA

Yes, it might be your honeymoon or anniversary, where a peck here and there or holding hands is appropriate. But not many cruisers want to watch other people repeatedly make out in public spaces. Not in the pool, not in the nightclub, and especially not in the hot tub. Take it back to the cabin and remember the thin walls.

Cheaters at trivia

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Cheaters at trivia

Most cruises will have one or two days at sea. During these days the cruise director will set up games and contests for passengers to particapate in. One annoying passenger to take part in these games is the trivia cheater. This is the person who uses their smartphone or has been on a back-to-back cruise and has memorized the answers. They take themselves way too seriously; it’s supposed to be fun.

The complaining passenger

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The complaining passenger

You will always run into one of these, it’s guaranteed. This will be the passenger who sits next to you by the pool or in the bar and starts complaining about everything from the food to their cabin being too warm. They have usually been on many cruises and will say this is their worst. Avoid these people at all costs. If you let them bend your ear, you are chained to them for the rest of the cruise.

Dressing inappropriately

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Dressing inappropriately

Cruise lines will have a large formal dining room and many casual, alternative places to dine. The dining room will have dress codes for all meals from casual to formal. If you want to avoid looks that can kill, do not be the one who shows up on the captain’s formal night in jeans.

Forget the flip flops and cap

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Forget the flip flops and cap

Nothing will take your appetite away quicker than sitting next to someone who is wearing a sleeveless tank top, flip flops, shorts and a baseball cap in any dining venue, whether formal or casual. Keep that ensemble for the pool-side grill.

The non-tipper brager

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The non-tipper brager

At the end of your cruise, it is customary to give gratuities. This is done automatically, person to person, and in some cases with envolopes provided in your cabin. One will never understand the individual who chooses not to do this and then boast about it. Why would anyone not tip the steward for seven days of cleaning your room because he forgot to fold you an animal towel? And then boast about it!

Don’t forget about customs

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Don’t forget about customs

On the last night of your trip you will have a customs form delivered to your cabin to be filled out. If you are a frequent cruiser, this no doubt has happened to you. As you disembark and line up for the custom agent, the person in front of you can’t find his form or decided not to fill it out until he got to the gate. Nothing is more annoying then needing to catch a flight when you are stuck waiting.

The Most Annoying Things You Can Do on a Cruise