Tom and I have been cruising for at least 25 years. One of things that you soon discover when you cruise is that the ship is a microcosm of the planet. You might have passengers speaking 60 different languages and the crew even more. If you like traveling this can be a real thrill as you meet people from other countries to which you have never traveled. You hear points of view about politics and world affairs that you never see or hear on the news. But it also can be a nightmare! Cultures can clash as people live out their own customs and idiosyncrasies on the ship. Sometimes it can be a real challenge to survive the bombardment of so many cultures and customs at one time. You can find people hovering in small private areas of the ship just to find their own private space.
The tongue in cheek observations below are a compilation of experiences we have had over the years. They can be identified with no particular ship but in reality they are true of every cruise ship. Throughout this piece, I am including the topics about which I lectured on our recent cruise to Alaska. They are only for visual effect.
What not to do on a cruise! Or, what to do on a cruise to make everyone’s vacation a little brighter.
- Don’t smoke marijuana in the casino and sneak and smoke it in the restrooms.
- Don’t brag about how much you paid for your suite while others may be languishing in an inside cabin without air.
- Don’t wear silver high heels and a mink coat to breakfast or to the pool.
- Don’t get a facelift during your cruise.
- Do get off the ship once in a while.
- Don’t reach over the top of someone who is serving himself. Don’t touch anyone at the buffet.
- Don’t hover over the dessert bar as if you are protecting your children.
- Don’t guard the hot tub or leave behind your stuff to stake out territory anywhere on the ship.
- Don’t allow your children to go wild in your cabin. Remember, you have neighbors.
- Don’t talk so loud that the captain twelve levels up can hear you.
- Don’t allow your children to sleep on deck or wander the ship alone or with gangs.
- Don’t place your child in the middle of the room of an adult event and ask the child to dance.
- Don’t steal towels.
- Don’t steal merchandise that is for sale on the ship.
- Don’t start drinking alcohol at 5:30 a.m. in the morning and begin partying your brains out while others are trying to have breakfast.
- Do wear clothing in the pool.
- Don’t imagine that everything will work our perfectly and the food will be scrumptious all of the time.
- Don’t treat your cabin steward with disdain. Give her/him a big tip!
- Don’t use the elevator as your own playground.
- Don’t follow band members back to their rooms.
- Don’t drink all the items in the mini-bar and then replace the cans as if you did not drink them.
- Don’t request several extra beds for your cabin.
- Don’t eat all of your meals in your room.
- Don’t sun yourself in a thong or bikini right in front of the children’s pool.
- Don’t play games on the ship that ask you to take off your pants.
- Don’t wear your wife’s bra–even if you think it is funny!
- Don’t listen to the announcements by the Cruise Director, he is usually high on something.
- Don’t worship the captain, remember your bill for alcohol and excursions is adding to his bonus!
- Don’t sit at someone’s table and talk so loud in another language that the current people at the table cannot hear each other.
- Don’t sit in a chair wearing a wet bathing suit and leave the cloth chair dripping wet.
- Don’t walk so fast behind someone that you step on their sandals and pull them off.
- Don’t spread your arms at the buffet in front of several dishes of food– as if you own them.
- Don’t pile enough food on your table for a family of four for a month.
- Don’t brag about the $2000 excursion you took in the morning.
- Do take a shower!
36. Don’t stay drunk during the entire cruise!
37. Do report employees of the cruise line fighting in the hallway.
38. Do understand that many of the employees only get a few hours of sleep every night and that they are not functioning at their best.
39. Don’t expect Guest Services to be helpful!
40. Do discover if the entire ship will be Spanish “only.”
As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge