10th Jul 2015
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Cruising etiquette
Author: Joanna Hall
Cruising etiquette

Cruising is a wonderful holiday. Besides the thrill of travelling, on the high seas, it is great value for money, where you get to explore many places on a single trip, having to only unpack once on a ‘floating resort’. However, a cruise holiday is a bit different from a stay at a land-based resort, so there are some ‘rules’ to keep in mind to ensure smooth sailing for you and your fellow cruise mates.

Using mobile phones
If you need to use your mobile phone, speak quietly, especially if you’re on your balcony, as anyone on balconies around you, including above and below, will be able to hear everything you say. The same etiquette applies to making calls in public areas – on deck, in lounges and dining areas; instead, try to find a quiet, private place.

Private balconies
There’s a divider between your balcony stateroom and your neighbours’ for privacy, so don’t peek over it to see who they are and what they’re doing. Also don’t leave things on your balcony while you’re away from your stateroom, as they may get wet if the area is being washed, and if you’re at sea, they might blow away. Noise travels too, so be mindful if you use your balcony early in the morning or late at night, and if you leave the doors open, be mindful if you are inside playing music or listening to the TV.

Dress appropriately
Although you’ll mostly wear casual clothing, on some evenings the dress code may become more formal, potentially requiring you wear a black-tie outfit, especially if you are planning to eat in the dining room. Other dress rules to be aware of include not wearing shorts or swimwear in the dining room.

The buffet
Norovirus outbreaks can happen on ships, so never pick up food with you hands, and always use the cutlery provided. Also wash your hands after using the toilet, especially public ones, and use hand sanitiser before entering the buffet and eating. And if the buffet is busy, choose your food quickly so as not to hold up the line and never cut in.

The pool
Pool loungers can’t be reserved, and if you leave your things unattended for more than 30 minutes, your lounger will likely be freed up by staff. If you sign out a towel from a poolside towel service, always return it before you leave to avoid getting charged for it. Public health restrictions forbid children in nappies, or who are not completely toilet-trained, to use the pools.

Smoking
Cruise lines have updated their smoking policies in recent years; smoking is forbidden in most public areas, including on your own balcony. Find out where you can smoke, and if it’s allowed on your balcony, don’t smoke out your neighbours, and dispose of cigarette butts properly, as they can be a fire hazard; never throw them (or matches) over the edge of the ship, as they can blow back onto decks or other balconies below.

Travelling with kids or grandkids
There are also some rules to observe for junior cruisers. Before you cruise, explain that running and not using the handrails on the stairs are against the rules. Teens usually have a curfew at night, and there may be areas where anyone under the age of 17 or 18 is not permitted. Overall, be considerate of your fellow cruise mates and keep a watchful eye on any children in your party at all times; letting them run wild whilst other guests are trying to relax isn’t encouraged.

To find out more about cruising or to find the cruise of your dreams within your budget, visit CruiseGuide.com.au





    COMMENTS

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    dougie
    11th Jul 2015
    8:30am
    What about coughing and sneezing and destroying tissues etc, not leaving on a table etc.
    What about not wearing depend items into the pool.
    What about electric wheelchair users operating with care for others and moving about at a reduced pace for safety. Not flat out and get out of my way.
    What about those who like to run on the promenade being thoughtful of others and not thumping around until a reasonable hour.
    What about Cruise Companies ensuring that pillows are changed at each cruise and laundered to kill any left behind germs.
    What about a change of entertainers and their act. Four cruises same ship same entertainers generally - same act generally.
    If you can get around all of this enjoy your cruise it is a great way to holiday.
    Marlin
    11th Jul 2015
    12:37pm
    Wow Dougie,
    Why in heaven's name did you go on FOUR cruises on the SAME ship, when you found so many faults in the first instance???????
    I'll give you my tips, for what they're worth....
    Choose your Cruise Line carefully and make sure that they are a good fit for you. The old adage - "You get what you pay for" - applies here too.
    Don't expect great entertainment - it is going to be AVERAGE, always.
    Choose your Deck and Cabin even more carefully.
    Never eat at the Buffet.
    There are things you can control and things that you can't.
    Some of the things you mention are not exclusive to Cruises.
    Hotels don't change over pillows after every guest!
    I don't see how you can police adults who may wear incontinence garments into the pool - that is something that the individual should think about and let's face it, how many people in a hotel or ship's pool, will still pee in it.... Do what I do and DON'T swim in pools.
    Don't use the public toilets, go to your cabin or hotel room.
    Rather than go to the entertainment shows, after dinner, go to one of the nicer bars and enjoy a drink and good conversation with your partner or befriend a stranger..... or go back to your lovely suite, [that's how I cruise], and relax with a book or TV or whatever you and your companion enjoy doing, whilst listening to the ship cutting through the waves, through the open doors of your balcony.
    No mosquitoes at sea or flies.
    dougie
    11th Jul 2015
    1:03pm
    Marlin,
    I went on four cruises on the same ship because I enjoyed it and the staff who we have got to know very well treat us nicely as we in turn treat them with respect. Of course you cannot control or police everything and all I was trying to say was these things you need to be aware of as do the cruise companies.
    As you will note most of the matters were things that can be looked into and in some way controlled. I also said to enjoy the cruise as it is a great way to travel and holiday.
    MargW
    11th Jul 2015
    11:46am
    Holland America, the last of the big cruise lines to allow smoking on cabin balconies. Not a healthy situation for non-smokers who would like to enjoy the fresh air on their private balcony only to have cigarette or cigar smoke waft around and spoil the trip. This has happened to two friends on separate Holland America cruises lately. With so many choices of cruise lines now, it is time Holland America put the health of their passengers first. There are smoking areas elsewhere on their ships which can be avoided by non-smokers. HA is an excellent cruise line otherwise - I have contacted them several times about their out dated smoking policy, responses are polite, but they really don't care..
    mark
    11th Jul 2015
    11:49am
    Do you have to pay tips when you cruising ??? You give them credit card and they will debit you account (12.50 US per day per person). We do not pay tips in Australia. So you can plus this to you expenses.
    Marlin
    11th Jul 2015
    12:41pm
    Mark,
    We don't give our credit card to the purser.
    We go and get our bill on the last night and check it over. Then we pay.
    Tipping is always explained in the details of the cruise. So read carefully and ask questions, BEFORE you part with your money.
    Bonny
    13th Jul 2015
    11:51am
    How do you get around those cruise ships that want your credit card up or cash up front when you board the ship? Also what to do about those cruise companies that reserve credit daily on your credit card?
    Marlin
    11th Jul 2015
    12:35pm
    Wow Dougie,
    Why in heaven's name did you go on FOUR cruises on the SAME ship, when you found so many faults in the first instance???????
    I'll give you my tips, for what they're worth....
    Choose your Cruise Line carefully and make sure that they are a good fit for you. The old adage - "You get what you pay for" - applies here too.
    Don't expect great entertainment - it is going to be AVERAGE, always.
    Choose your Deck and Cabin even more carefully.
    Never eat at the Buffet.
    There are things you can control and things that you can't.
    Some of the things you mention are not exclusive to Cruises.
    Hotels don't change over pillows after every guest!
    I don't see how you can police adults who may wear incontinence garments into the pool - that is something that the individual should think about and let's face it, how many people in a hotel or ship's pool, will still pee in it.... Do what I do and DON'T swim in pools.
    Don't use the public toilets, go to your cabin or hotel room.
    Rather than go to the entertainment shows, after dinner, go to one of the nicer bars and enjoy a drink and good conversation with your partner or befriend a stranger..... or go back to your lovely suite, [that's how I cruise], and relax with a book or TV or whatever you and your companion enjoy doing, whilst listening to the ship cutting through the waves, through the open doors of your balcony.
    No mosquitoes at sea or flies.
    Marlin
    11th Jul 2015
    12:44pm
    Does anyone know how to remove a post.
    I posted this in the wrong spot and now I can't delete it.
    Admin feel free to remove as I have reposted it in the right area.
    Thank you.
    GiGi
    12th Jul 2015
    2:49pm
    I agree with you, Marlin, about the first importance of choosing your cruise line carefully. For us, this is important mainly because cruise lines serve different demographics. Although we're in our sixties, we like a mix of ages. We like P&O for this reason (despite those who look down their long, aristocratic noses at P&O), and we dislike Holland America and Princess for the same reason (90% of passengers have walking frames). Nor do we have a problem with the buffets: great food and great variety. On the contrary, we find the restaurants generally quite boring (and if you happen to get seated with bores, as we have on occasion, the experience can be mind-bogglingly - now, there's a word! - boring).
    Bonny
    13th Jul 2015
    12:03pm
    What do your think of P and O's new pantry idea instead of a buffet?

    I've never been on a cruise but that will change later this year. I've already got the booking agent offside because I dared to ask for the extra benefits available at the time after paying a special deal price. Be interesting to see how it all plays out.
    Radish
    14th Jul 2015
    4:49pm
    If you are a returned serviceman or were a NASHO I have been told that you are entitled to a discount with Carnival Australia ships. Just ask. I dont know about any of the other cruise lines.

    A further tip on eating at the buffet Once you have selected all your food and returned to your table give your hands an extra dose of hand wash (I keep one in my pocket) once you have used the salt and pepper shakers and any other condiments you want.

    Everyone else has used the same utensils to select the food so your hands are again contaminated even though you cleaned your hands as your entered the buffet area.


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