Are you planning or going on a cruise soon and you need to know the best cruise do’s and dont’s?

Well, I’ve got you covered! 

Cruising is one of my favorite types of vacations. I’ve been on several and I always have a blast with my family when we go on a cruise! 

I’m super excited to share my top cruise do’s and don’ts to help you have an amazing vacation and so you can make the most of it!

Let me know which is your favorite or if I missed any in the comments below! 

Let’s get into it! 

DO bring a carry on bag when you board the ship. You typically don’t get your checked baggage until that evening, so I always recommend bringing a carry on bag with anything you will need the first few hours on the ship.

Things like a change of clothes, your swimsuit if you’re not wearing it under your clothes, sunblock, clothes to wear to dinner, medications, etc.

DON’T skip the muster drill. If you haven’t cruised before you may not know that it is required to attend the muster drill shortly after boarding the ship.

The muster drill is where you practice where to go in case of an emergency at sea.

I wouldn’t say it’s the most fun activity since you’re in a party mode and ready for vacation and you have to go sit in a room full of people quietly.

But, it’s super important that you know where to go in case of an emergency and they aren’t typically very long.

Also, they check if you go. If you don’t go to the drill they force you to make it up the next day when there are fun activities going on, so it’s best to go during the initial drill and then go party!

DO go to the sail away party! The sail away party is always such a blast!

They usually have it by the pool if the weather is nice, and they play fun music, and everyone drinks, dances, and hangs out!

I always have a blast and it’s a really fun way to kick off your vacation so I highly recommend going!

DON’T claim a chair with your towel when you aren’t using it. This one is a big pet peeve of mine that I see constantly when I’m cruising.

It may be tempting, especially since it seems like everyone else is doing it, but please don’t put your towel on a chair to claim it and then leave for hours to go eat or do something else on the ship for hours at a time.

Things like going to work out, go to a show, sitting down with your family, etc.

There are only so many chairs and it’s incredibly annoying to see people do this. It’s understandable if you leave your towel to run to the restroom, grab a snack, or go down the water slide!   

DO sign up for shows as soon as possible! The shows can fill up quickly and they’re always SO GOOD!

I’m not kidding, they bring in really amazing talent from all over the world and they’re always so fun to watch.

Cruises usually have comedy shows, singing shows, dance shows, cruise staff talent shows, musicals, and other variety acts!

I saw a hypnotist comedian on the last cruise I went on and it was so much fun!

So, I highly recommend trying to see them all if you can and booking them early.

Try to book them the first or second day onboard. You can always change your reservation later if you need to! 

DON’T stay in your cabin all day. Sometimes cruising can be tiring.

Especially with the time zone changes, and you’re probably doing a lot more activities than you would normally do, as well as eating and drinking things you won’t typically consume, and just spending a lot more time in the sun.

However, try and participate in activities around the ship, shows, or just chilling by the pool.

There’s always lots of things going on around the ship and they’re always really enjoyable.

So, even though it may seem tempting, try to spend as little time in your room as possible!

Plus you want to make the most of your cruise and have a bunch of fond memories to look back on! 

DO buy the drink package.

If you’re of age, enjoy adult beverages, and plan to drink on your cruise, you should get the drink package!

The drinks on cruises are on the pricier side, you’ll probably pay around $10 for a small cup of rum and coke.

And if you want a few drinks a day by the pool, at dinner, during a show, etc. it can add up pretty quickly.

Now, if you’re only planning to have around one drink a day then probably shouldn’t get the drink package, but I personally think it’s a good buy!

Plus, I love trying different drinks I wouldn’t have normally ordered because if I don’t like it I can get another and not feel bad I just wasted $10.

Also, when booking your trip, you might even be able to get a discount or a free drink package depending on any deals your cruise line might have going on at the time! 

DON’T be rude to the staff and fill out comment cards!

I’ve seen some people be extremely rude to the staff when cruising.

For example, at the pool bar, some guy was yelling at staff because they didn’t have straws outside to avoid straws being blown into the ocean. Just ridiculous. So basically don’t be rude to the staff.

I know you’re a nice person though so I don’t think you need to be told this!

They’re working super hard, spending months away from their families, and are helping make your vacation the best vacation ever!

So, I suggest going one step further and being extra polite to the cruise staff and filling out comment cards on their excellent service if they’re available! 

Depending on the cruise line, but usually, if they get enough comment cards they can get extra days off!

DO participate in games! Even if you’re not an outgoing person, it’s so fun to participate in the games they have around the ship.

I love watching them and I’ve even participated in a handful and I can be shy in front of people I don’t know.

So, my advice is to remind yourself you will never see these people again, maybe take a few shots at the bar, and volunteer to participate!

I promise you will have a ton of fun, and if you’re traveling with others, they will have a riot watching you.

Plus it will be a fun memory you will remember for the rest of your life!

You can even win some cool things, like a bottle of fancy champaign, some cruise swag, and other things! 

DON’T eat at the buffet for every meal.

I’m not going to lie, the buffet is pretty awesome. There are so many yummy options, ranging anywhere from unhealthy to healthy.

However, don’t eat there for every single meal.

Cruises have some incredible food you can find in the dining rooms as well.

I don’t typically eat out at fancy restaurants when I’m not cruising, but since the fancy restaurants are usually included in your cruise, I highly recommend making an effort to try and go to them frequently!

Some are even open for breakfast and lunch!

I think it’s super fun too to get dolled up to go have a nice dinner with my family and listen to the live music they usually have in the dining rooms which just sets a nice relaxing atmosphere. 

DO make friends!

You may notice after a few days the same groups of people are at most of the same events as you, almost every time.

Just about every time I’ve been on a cruise, my sister and I make friends with a group of people our age.

We usually see the same group at the same activities. Which for us is dancing and games or music by the pool.

So, we end up talking to and making friends with a group of people that seem like they’re always at these places. And it’s really fun!

Granted, you will probably never see them again unless you connect over social media, but it’s really fun to see people you know around the ship and at the various activities on board!

I think it just adds to it, so I encourage you to strike up a conversation with people near you and make a couple of friends! 

DON’T forget the essentials. Such as sunblock and Dramamine to seasickness.

If you forget these items, don’t worry, they sell them on the ship.

But they sell them at a much higher price than at your local Target.

So, make sure you bring enough, if not more, of your essentials! Better safe than sorry!

Not sure what you should all bring on a cruise? Read my post on what to pack for a cruise by clicking here!

DO have a blast! Cruising is super fun. It’s one of my favorite vacations because there’s always something fun to do, the food is amazing, the staff is incredible and kind, and you get to travel to really beautiful places.

I always feel refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated when I’m cruising and it’s just all-around a ton of fun, so make sure you make the most of it and get out of your comfort zone, let loose, and have fun! 

I hope you enjoyed this post on cruise do’s and dont’s!

Cruising is a fun all-inclusive vacation and if it’s your first time sailing, or you’ve done it a hundred times, make sure you follow these cruise do’s and dont’s to make the most of it!

Happy sailing! 

cruise dos and donts