Cruising Etiquette: No Belly-flops Into the Jacuzzi

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Even though your cruise ship may be bigger than your hometown, it’s still one place where many people must coexist harmoniously. Be courteous and respectful of others by following these cruising etiquette guidelines.

cruising etiquette

5 Key Cruising Etiquette Guidelines

  • Dress Properly – Even if you’re allergic to dress codes, do not show up to a formal dinner in worn out jeans and flip-flops. The ship will have a code for each day, so learn it.  While cruise lines are moving toward a less formal experience, many do still have nights designated as ‘formal’.  A tie is not required, but a jacket might be.  Save space, satisfy dress code police and get a travel jacket that doubles as your ticket into a formal setting and has an abundant amount of pockets.  Want to know exactly what the cruise line dress code translates to?  Follow your cruising friends on Instagram or Facebook and take a look at the images they capture in the dining room.
  • Keep Your Children Close – Kids, we all love them, except when they’re someone else’s. If you travel with children please keep them under control, especially around pools and while passing through more adult-centered areas such as the casino.  Better yet, stick them in the kids program where they will be out of the way of adults and might actually have a good time with other kids in a supervised, controlled environment.
  • Learn the Ship’s Language – Your vessel is a ship and never a boat, and the ship is always a she or her. Left is port, right is starboard. Aft means rear or stern, while the bow is the front of the ship. The bridge is where the Captain and his crew control the ship and only some ships have open bridge policies. Google ‘sailing lingo‘ for more.
  • Save One Seat, Not All – While it’s okay to save a seat for your companion, it’s poor form to save a row of seats for your entire table. The same goes for deck chairs. What was once reason to get junior up before the crack of dawn to claim chairs for sleeping adults has become less of an issue these days, mainly because cruise lines don’t put up with it anymore.  Now, they will take your 20 cent paperback bought at a garage sale for the specific purpose of holding chairs and (gasp) remove it, making way for people who are actually there on deck and need someplace to sit.
  • Follow Jogging Rules – Most ships post hours when running is allowed because passenger cabins are often located under the jogging deck. Some people prefer to sleep at 6 a.m. rather than listen to your footfalls.

None of the above falls outside of common sense one might adhere to in any public setting.  Still, for some reason these hot button cruising etiquette issues continue to come up and are the subject of discussion among frequent cruise travelers.