Keep Your Cruise Ship Etiquette Topside
It’s a great time of year to take to the open seas! Before you step on board, here are a few cruise ship etiquette tips to help you and your fellow shipmates create an amazing cruise experience!
Courtesy is Key
Think of your ship like a floating hotel, except with thousands of other people! Every little courteous gesture goes a long way on board. If for example, there’s a line at the elevator, taking the stairs burns off some calories from the chocolate lava cake. If you are a slow walker, have mobility issues or your party has a stroller, move to the right side of the narrow hallway to let others pass by (midship cabins also offer the shortest walk to the elevators). Catching some downtime in your cabin after an excursion? Speak a little quieter than normal as your neighbours may have the same idea as you!
Formal Gives Way to Chic
Left your ball gown at the cleaners? Not to worry! The dress code on most nights nowadays is Smart Casual and Above. Many cruise ship lines have given Formal Night a modern luxury reboot with Evening Chic night. Men can wear dark jeans with a button-down shirt and blazer and women wear cocktail dresses. Dressier is perfectly fine, but more importantly, feel free to leave the tux and gown at home. Daily programs delivered to your stateroom identify the type of evening planned. You can always check out the dress code online before you embark for more details on cruise ship etiquette. Lastly, swap out your sand-covered flip flops for dress shoes when you head to the dining room.
It’s Food O’Clock
Cruises are known for outstanding buffets and restaurants. Most food, and occasionally alcohol, is already paid for so it’s easy to overindulge, especially since you’re in vacation mode! Remember that too much food or alcohol can enhance the effects of rocky seas and it would be no fun at all to spend your vacation recovering in your cabin. Go ahead and sample items you normally wouldn’t make at home, just remember they won’t run out of food so eat when you are hungry.
Do you enjoy getting laps in early before you head off for a couple of eggs bennie? Fantastic – you’ve got lots of pools to choose from! Just make sure you take your towel, flip flops and sunscreen with you afterwards rather leaving them on a chair to seat-save. The next person heading to the pool area will thank you.
Keep An eye on your children
Do you struggle to find activities for your children while on holidays? Most cruise lines have wonderful children's programs that allow the parents a few hours of fun in the sun while the kids are safe at play. For age appropriate activities, consult the Guest Conduct Policy to find interesting activities for them to do. When not under the supervision of the cruise crew, be sure to keep an eye on your kids so that they are safe and not disrupting other passengers. Cruises are not a vacation from parenting (no matter how good the spa is…)
Timing Is Everything
Cruising means disembarking at exotic ports of call, learning new cultures and treating yourself to new life experiences. You and the other 2,000 people. If you leave the ship when it’s at a port of call, think twice about indulging in another mai tai if you are cutting it close. The ship WILL leave port on time. You don’t want to be that couple that are running down the boardwalk as the ship is pulling away from the dock. Know the time zone you are in so others aren’t waiting for you.
The Tipping Point
Generally speaking, most cruise lines have a set tipping amount that gets automatically added to your account. The amount is a reasonable, per person, per cabin figure and covers the dining staff and cabin steward. Introduce yourself to your stateroom steward. They will help make your cruise memorable, keep your room clean and provide you with any information you require.
For off ship excursions, read what is customary for the countries you are visiting. In countries like Canada and the USA, leaving a tip is the norm. But you might be surprised to learn that in some countries, tipping is not customary, or it is built into the cost of the meal. If you are not sure, better to leave 10% at the minimum to be safe.
Take a photo of yourself and your group as your ship is leaving the embarkation port and share it on your social media profiles. Remember to hashtag the name of your ship so others on board can follow. Use this opportunity to ask cruise-related questions, meet new friends and learn about shore excursions. Cruise ships not only suggest it but welcome it!
No matter if this is your first cruise experience, or your 20th, cruising has become a way of life for the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Keeping cruise ship etiquette in mind will make your cruise memorable and fun!