Cruises are many travelers’ preferred way to vacation. They often offer all-inclusive discount packages, and there’s certainly something appealing about getting to visit multiple destinations without having to repeatedly unpack and repack your suitcase.
But the lure of relaxing and letting loose on a mega-ship filled with endless buffets, pools, entertainment spaces and more is not an excuse to throw all sense of etiquette out the window (or overboard).
“You’re essentially sharing a huge house on water with a large number of people you’ve never seen and perhaps will never see again in your life,” Jackie Vernon-Thompson, the founder of From the Inside-Out School of Etiquette, told HuffPost. “But your attitude should not be, ‘Oh, I’ll never see them again so I can do whatever I choose.’ There are protocols to follow to ensure you do not cause another guest to have an unpleasant experience.”
With that in mind, we asked etiquette pros like Vernon-Thompson, as well as cruise experts, to share some common rude behaviors you should avoid as a cruise passenger, and what to do instead.
“Passengers known to cruisers as ‘chair hogs’ often leave personal items on chairs to claim them and then disappear for hours,” said Ashley Kosciolek, a senior cruise writer at The Points Guy. “Don’t be one of those people. This goes for anywhere on board, but it largely applies to sun loungers by the pool.”
If you want a prime location at the pool, commit to it. Don’t just wake up early, throw some stuff on your preferred chairs and then go back to bed or have a long, leisurely breakfast before actually using the seats. There are other passengers who would no doubt like to sit in those empty chairs.
“Additionally, don’t commandeer chairs for family and friends who will join you at an unspecified time in the future,” said Tami Claytor, the etiquette coach behind Always Appropriate Image and Etiquette Consulting.
Ignoring Health And Hygiene
“Don’t ever use your hands to touch food at the buffet,” Kosciolek said. “This is one of the biggest ways illnesses spread on ships. Use the tongs or other utensils provided.”
If you want to go back to the food stations for seconds, don’t bring your original plate or use your fingers or used table utensils to serve yourself.
“Use a new plate if you return to the buffet line for an additional serving,” Claytor said. “Step away from the table or buffet line to cough or sneeze….