Are You Ready for Cruise Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts?

Ah, the open sea, the refreshing ocean breeze, and days filled with relaxation and adventure. cruise etiquette are a fantastic way to explore the world while enjoying the luxurious amenities and entertainment that these floating cities have to offer. But before you set sail on your unforgettable journey, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the unwritten rules of cruise ship etiquette.

Not only will this ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for both you and your fellow passengers, but it will also help you make the most out of your vacation. So, if you’re ready to embark on an etiquette-filled adventure, let’s dive in!

Get on Board with Cruise Etiquette:

When it comes to cruise etiquette, there are certain do’s and don’ts that every passenger should abide by. These unwritten rules, although not enforced by any official authority, are followed by experienced cruisers who understand the importance of respect, consideration, and harmony amidst a diverse community onboard.

Do’s of Cruise Etiquette

  1. Do pack your patience: cruise etiquette can be crowded, and patience is key. Lines for boarding, dining, and activities are inevitable. Take a deep breath and embrace the opportunity to practice patience while making new friends.
  2. Do respect personal space: While cruise ships are designed to accommodate a large number of passengers, it’s essential to respect personal space. Avoid invading others’ personal bubbles and be mindful of your surroundings.
  3. Do dress appropriately: Many cruise lines have dress codes for certain occasions, such as formal nights or specialty restaurants. Familiarize yourself with the dress code and pack accordingly to ensure you’re ready to make a stylish impression.
  4. Do practice good hygiene: Cruise ships are known for their exceptional cleanliness, but maintaining personal hygiene is equally important. Wash your hands regularly and utilize hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of germs.

Don’ts of Cruise Etiquette

  1. Don’t save sunbeds: It’s tempting to reserve prime sunbed spots with towels early in the morning, but it’s considered bad etiquette. Be mindful of your fellow sunseekers and allow everyone to enjoy the sun.
  2. Don’t be a deck chair hog: Similar to saving sunbeds, leaving your belongings on deck chairs for an extended period without using them is discouraged. Share the limited deck space and be considerate of others.
  3. Don’t be loud in the corridors: Cabin doors in cruise ships are often close to each other, so being mindful of noise levels is essential. Avoid loud conversations and slamming doors in the wee hours of the morning or late at night.
  4. Don’t be late for excursions: When the ship docks at various destinations, it’s crucial to be punctual for excursions. Being late not only inconveniences your fellow passengers but also affects the schedule of the entire group.

Etiquette in Dining and Public Areas:

One of the highlights of a cruise vacation is indulging in delectable cuisine and enjoying the numerous public areas. To ensure a pleasant experience for all, adhering to proper cruise etiquette in dining and public areas is vital.

Dining Etiquette

When it comes to dining onboard a cruise ship, following these guidelines will elevate your experience:

  1. Respect reservation times: If you have a reserved table in the main dining room or a specialty restaurant, arrive on time. This courtesy allows the staff to manage their service efficiently.
  2. Be mindful of table manners: Utilize the utensils provided appropriately and chew with your mouth closed. Avoid speaking with food in your mouth and engage in pleasant conversations with your tablemates.
  3. Request special dietary needs in advance: If you have specific dietary requirements or allergies, inform the cruise line in advance. This allows them to accommodate your needs properly.

Etiquette in Public Areas

Whether you’re lounging by the pool, enjoying a show, or exploring the various recreational spaces, observing proper cruise ship etiquette is essential:

  1. Be mindful of noise levels: Public areas can get crowded, so it’s crucial to keep noise levels at an appropriate level. Avoid unnecessary yelling or disruptive behavior that may disturb others.
  2. Don’t block walkways: When navigating through public areas, be conscious of others. Avoid standing in the middle of walkways or blocking staircases, allowing the smooth flow of traffic.
  3. Don’t monopolize the elevators: Elevators can get busy, especially during peak times. If you’re only going up or down a deck or two, consider taking the stairs to free up space for those with greater mobility needs.
  4. Respect designated smoking areas: Many cruise ships have designated areas for smoking. Respect non-smoking areas and follow the guidelines provided by the cruise etiquette line.

Onboard Activities and Entertainment Etiquette:

Cruise ships offer a plethora of onboard activities and entertainment options to cater to various interests. Embracing proper etiquette ensures that everyone can enjoy these experiences to the fullest.

Pool and Spa Etiquette

The pool and spa areas are popular spots on cruise ships, offering relaxation and rejuvenation. Here’s how to make the most of these facilities with proper etiquette:

  1. Respect pool chair rules: Most cruise etiquette lines have rules regarding leaving personal belongings unattended on pool chairs for an extended period. Be considerate and adhere to these guidelines to allow others a chance to enjoy the sun.
  2. Limit spa time: When using spa facilities, be mindful of the time so that others can also have the opportunity to enjoy the amenities. Avoid occupying spaces for an excessive period.
  3. Follow clothing rules: Familiarize yourself with the dress code in pool and spa areas. Some cruise ships have restrictions on wearing proper swim attire in dining areas or walking through public spaces in wet clothing. Respect these guidelines to maintain a pleasant environment for all.

Entertainment Etiquette

From Broadway-style shows to live performances and game nights, cruise ship entertainment offers something for everyone. Here’s how to be etiquette-savvy during these experiences:

  1. Arrive on time: Show up promptly for scheduled performances, game nights, or other entertainment activities. Late arrivals can disrupt the experience for both performers and fellow passengers.
  2. Refrain from constant photo-taking: While it’s tempting to document every moment of your cruise etiquette, be mindful of others’ enjoyment. Avoid blocking views or distracting performers with excessive camera flashes.
  3. Practice courtesy during trivia or game nights: Friendly competition is part of the cruise experience, but remember to maintain a respectful and sportsmanlike attitude. Avoid heckling or taunting other participants.

Disembarkation and Gratuities:

As your cruise vacation draws to a close, it’s important to be cognizant of cruise ship etiquette during disembarkation and regarding gratuities.

Disembarkation Etiquette

When it’s time to say goodbye to the cruise ship, keep these tips in mind for a smooth and courteous disembarkation process:

  1. Follow the disembarkation instructions: Each cruise ship has specific disembarkation procedures that passengers must follow. Pay attention to announcements and follow the instructions provided to ensure an organized and efficient departure.
  2. Respect luggage storage areas: If you need to stow your luggage after disembarkation, be mindful of others. Avoid blocking pathways or taking up excessive space in storage areas.
  3. Be patient and orderly: Disembarkation can be a time-consuming process, so patience is key. Respect the order of disembarkation and avoid cutting in line or rushing ahead.

Gratuities Etiquette

Gratuities play a significant role in the cruise industry, and understanding the etiquette around tipping is crucial:

  1. Research the cruise line’s policy: Familiarize yourself with the cruise etiquette line’s recommended gratuity guidelines. Some cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your onboard account, while others allow you to adjust the amount or provide cash tips.
  2. Express appreciation to the crew: A simple thank you goes a long way in showing your gratitude to the hardworking crew members. Whether it’s the cabin steward, waitstaff, or entertainment team.


In conclusion, understanding and practicing cruise etiquette is essential for a harmonious and enjoyable voyage. Adhering to these unwritten rules ensures a respectful and considerate atmosphere for fellow passengers and crew members. From dining decorum to onboard behavior, observing cruise etiquette not only enhances your own experience but also contributes to the overall positive atmosphere on the ship.

So, whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or a first-timer, embracing cruise etiquette is a key aspect of a memorable and pleasant cruise journey. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, adhering to established norms of behavior and consideration for fellow passengers and crew members is key to creating a positive atmosphere onboard. For more, visit Journey Index.