It’s smooth sailing if you follow these cruise ship tips

Cruise ship etiquette is important and it enhances the experience.

Cruise ship etiquette is important and it enhances the experience.

Published Oct 24, 2022


Cruise season is in full swing. Whether you are a seasoned traveller or about to embark on your maiden sea cruise, here are a few guidelines – or a refresher for some – that will help you navigate your way through the experience successfully.

Help with capturing those special moments

Being able to move away from that hustle and bustle of daily life to a more leisurely pace is bliss. Of course, you also want to give your followers on social media a bit of travel envy.

As such, you should befriend the ship photographers. Now, you are not obligated to purchase those images – after all, everyone has a smartphone that does the job well - – but if you have dressed to the nines and couldn’t be bothered with doing the work yourself, these guys have you covered.

Familiarise yourself with your emergency-drill procedures

This is an important part of the experience. Once on-board, guests are required to report to their muster station for a roll call.

This is mandatory, so make sure you arrive on time for it. Should there ever be an emergency, your designated area is where you should congregate.

Lighting up

Smoking is allowed in designated areas only. That means, smoking, including e-cigarettes, isn’t allowed in your cabin, balconies and most public areas.

That said, there are areas on the open deck and in some areas of the ship, where you are allowed to light up.

Don’t be a hogger

While one favours a cruise holiday with family and friends, this doesn’t mean that you should extend that love by saving spots for them on the deckchairs.

If a towel is draped over a deckchair for longer than 30 minutes, a crew member will move it.

Give your cabin steward a helping hand

Although your cabin is cleaned twice daily, you can make the task a little easier on your cabin steward by placing dirty towels on the bathroom floor if you require fresh ones.

Also, place all your dirty dishes in one area. Try to keep your personal items organised neatly in the designated storage areas.

Noise levels

Cruise ship etiquette is important and it enhances the experience. Picture: Pexels/ Robert Linder

Not everyone is a late-night owl. If you are making your way to the cabin after a fun night out, be sure to keep your voice down, especially in the corridors.

If you are not ready to retire, make use of the public lounges that are ideal for those more raucous chats.

Don’t forget your table manners

If you have booked a specific dining slot, be sure to arrive on time. Always be courteous to the servers and wine stewards and don’t forget to say “please” and “thank you”.

Dress appropriately

While the atmosphere is relaxed in the day, evenings are geared more towards gala and smart attire. As such, make sure you dress appropriately for the evenings.

Settle your account early and don’t forget to tip

Some cruise lines charge a daily fee for tips. Others give you the option to do so at the end of the trip, by placing the tip in an envelope. The tips will then be distributed fairly among the crew.

Of course, if you have found someone who was exceptionally attentive during your travels, nothing prevents you from tipping the individual.

You are able to check your account throughout your travels and, as such, should avoid unnecessary delays. Settle your account at the service desk in advance rather than upon disembarkation.

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