How to avoid trashing a cruise

Several weeks ago, more than 1000 unruly employees from an Indian tobacco company boarded a cruise liner and proceeded to wreck the other passengers’ idyllic holiday.

The badly behaving staff of Kamla Pasand and their ‘Playboy bunny’ escorts boarded the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas in Sydney before fanning out across the decks and other communal areas to party loud and hard.

The apologetic liner took some responsibility for the disruptive behaviour and issued refunds to passengers affected by the cavorting guests.

However, claiming a refund from a cruise company because other guests are merely irritating is probably not going to get you very far.

Further, are you aware of the sorts of behaviour you should avoid in order not to upset other passengers? Here are some tips about the etiquette dos and don’ts, according to cruisepassenger.com.au:

  • Ensure you are on time for embarkation. Don’t risk the ire of other passengers, especially the captain, by being late. You will not only keep them waiting for their holiday to start, but because ocean liners are on a tight timetable, you also risk throwing out vital schedules
  • Share common property, such as sun loungers, vantage points or exercise equipment. If you see other passengers milling about and you have spent a reasonable time ‘hogging’ an amenity, move on and let someone else get their value for money
  • Most people do not smoke but if you are one of the few who must have a ciggie, respect the ‘no smoking’ signs and find a designated area to puff away in. Everybody is entitled to fresh air
  • Avoid being ridiculously noisy as you wander around the liner. Naturally, everyone should be able to have some fun, but if you are returning to your cabin late at night, turn the volume down so as not to wake up those who have already drifted off
  • Mind what you do or don’t wear, depending on which part of the ship you are on. Generally, swim suits are only acceptable around pool areas and formal evening events require you to dress it up a bit.

Some of your bad habits may seem innocuous to you but can be quite annoying to others. Oyster.com.au has compiled this list of quirks that will quickly have fellow guests frowning:

1. The traffic cone
That is the person or persons who will gather at an entrance or other walk-through, forcing other passengers to walk around them.

2. The deckchair hog
If you are going for a quick dip, it’s fine to ‘reserve’ your lounger with a towel. But if you intend to go AWOL for 30 minutes or more, you should totally vacate and allow other passengers to lounge.

3. The drunk
You never know how annoying you can become when you have had way too much to drink. You end up trying to strike up unwelcome conversations, or worse, become overly ‘touchy feely’. And you probably won’t remember in the morning.

4. The rude customer
Being rude to cruise staff is a definite no-no. These hard workers are there to make your trip more pleasant, but not to be ordered about like slaves.

5. The germ machine
If you use a bathroom, wash your hands and avoid spreading your lurgies around.

6. The whinger
No one wants to hear other guests ranting about poor service, facilities, how they hate cruising or their trivial on-land experiences when docking. Do everyone a favour and keep your inane gripes in a journal.

7. The yeller
Keep your voice to acceptable levels when out and about on deck. Some passengers want a little quiet to enjoy their passive activities. You’re not in your backyard, you are ‘in’ someone else’s vacation, so spare them the shouting.

8. The pasher
Sure, some couples may be on their honeymoons or enjoying the exciting beginnings of a new relationship, but being overly affectionate with your partner is probably best done in your cabin. Other passengers don’t want to feel they are walking around a soft-porn movie set.

Have you ever come across bad behaviour from other passengers while cruising, and if so, what was so irritating about it? What etiquette rules would you like to see liners introduce?

Written by Olga Galacho

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