Going on a cruise is seriously one of my favorite ways to take a vacation.
It’s great because you don’t have to plan much, it’s fun, and you don’t have to drive home after a night out!
Seriously, it’s a really great way to relax, have fun, and is pretty much all-inclusive.
As someone who has been on several cruises growing up (thanks mom and dad) and also seriously considered working on a cruise ship, I would classify myself as a bit of an expert.
Okay, maybe not an expert, but your girl knows a thing or two. So, today I’m going to share with you 14 things that you should NOT do on a cruise.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you choose to use our links we may receive a small commission.
🏨 Book your accommodations through Expedia. Click here!
🏝 Check out destination tours and excursions on Viator. Click here!
1. Don’t Stay in Your Room
Yes, hanging out in your room for a few hours during the day to take a break from all of the activity is a good thing.
I love recharging my batteries and having a little downtime, but that’s not what I mean when I say don’t stay in your room.
Hanging out in your room all day will ensure you miss out on what’s happening around the ship a.k.a. all the fun!
Even if you’re a homebody like me, I encourage you to get out of your room, walk around, grab some food or drinks, or watch an event happening.
There’s pretty much always something going on around the ship.
2. Don’t Stay on the Ship in Port
Even if you’re not interested in the port your ship is docked at you should still get off for at least an hour.
One thing I love about cruises is that you get to experience different places in the world and if you don’t love it, you can get right back on the ship.
Seriously, checking out a port and walking around, even if it’s for a short amount of time, is still a lot of fun and you won’t know if you like a place until you see it for yourself!
3. Don’t Not Participate
I mean two things when I say you should participate. I think everyone should enter a cruise contest at least once in their life.
You will have opportunities to join competitions on your cruise and it’s seriously SO FUN!
I usually enter one every cruise just because I think it’s a blast.
Plus, the best part, you will never see any of these people ever again!
So, even if you feel awkward or think you might embarrass yourself, who cares! If anything, putting yourself out there will make you friends because people will recognize you around the ship.
Also, if you enter a contest and win you could get free prizes. I entered a dance competition and won (you read that right) and my prize was a bottle of champagne!
The other way I think you should participate in is the activities they have for everyone, especially the dances. Most cruises will have a dance party most nights if not every night.
And they’re really fun! I encourage everyone to get out on the dance floor and let loose because, again, nobody knows you and you will never see anyone ever again.
Don’t be part of the group that sits around the dance floor and just watches everyone else having fun.
4. Don’t Keep To Yourself
One thing I enjoy doing is making friends on cruises. So, if you are observant you may notice throughout your cruise you will see the same people at most of the same events as you.
I usually notice the same groups of people at the pool and at the dance parties.
So, usually, I’ll talk to those people and we end up becoming friends. What’s awesome is that most people are really chill, nice and are happy to have a cruising friend too.
Now, you don’t have to do everything with your cruise friends, hell I don’t even make plans with them.
But it’s pretty fun to see the people you now know around the cruise and at different events!
So, I encourage everyone to try talking to the people around you and make some friends. You don’t even have to keep in touch after the cruise.
5. Don’t Skip Mustering
If you don’t know, every cruise you have to muster. Usually, it’s done right before you sail away.
Mustering is when everyone on the boat has to report to their muster station to practice in case of an emergency.
Basically so you know where to go and what to do in case of an actual emergency. It might be tempting to stay in your cabin during this drill, I get it.
You’ve been traveling all day, you’re tired, and you just don’t want to go do it. Well, you will regret not going.
Not because there might be an emergency, but because you get checked in at the drill and if you miss it, they make you do a make-up drill.
Which is usually during something fun on the cruise. So, I highly advise you to not skip the muster drill.
6. Don’t Go to Shows Late
Even if you have a reservation for the show, you still want to go a little bit early.
It’ll give you time to find a good seat, chill a bit before the show, maybe grab a drink. From my experience on cruises, you want to be early for shows.
Nothing sucks more than not getting a seat or getting a really crappy seat for a show you wanted to see all week.
Plus, the shows on cruises are usually so fricken cool. On my last cruise, I saw a hypnotist that hypnotized audience members.
7. Don’t Forget Snacks
Okay, this one is important. Snacks are important. But actually, I recommend packing a bag of snacks because sometimes you don’t want to leave your room, go up to the buffet, only to grab a small snack before dinner. And honestly, sometimes I’m super lazy. And I’m usually super lazy after having fun doing activities all day.
So, always bring a bag of snacks so you don’t have to leave your room to grab something small to hold you over before your next meal.
Also, a bag of snacks is something you should bring when getting off the ship! I love walking around the port, looking in the shops, and going to the beach. And I’m a hungry lady.
So, I always bring my snacks and that way I don’t have to waste time or money finding snacks on land.
8. Don’t Forget Laundry Detergent
Most cruise lines have laundry services for guests. Sometimes it’s free and sometimes it’s expensive. I always bring small packs of laundry detergent (you can find them in the travel section at the store) and I do laundry in my sink.
You wash your things in your sink and let them air dry! Seriously, this tip has saved me.
I’ll tell you my little story, so, one time I went to a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons show on a cruise (because I’m an old lady at heart).
Anyways, I was having a blast, living my best life at the dinner show. And I had this yummy blueberry dessert thing, I was dancing to the music, singing along, eating my dessert, I was having so much fun.
That night was also the big white out party that was the biggest dance party of the week and everyone is supposed to wear white.
So, I had a super cute white dress on I was excited to wear to the party later. Well, typical me was cutting my blueberry dessert and it flew off the plate and onto my white dress!
So, after dinner, I went to my room, washed my dress in the sink, got the stain out, and blew my dress dry with a hairdryer and wore my cute dress to the dance party like nothing happened.
Long story short, bring laundry detergent because you never know when disaster will strike.
9. Don’t Take the Elevators in the Morning of Port Days
So, I know this tip isn’t for everyone because sometimes you just can’t take the stairs, whether it’s because you’ve got kids, health issues, etc.
But, if you can, take the stairs on days the boat is in port. Usually, it takes a long time to get an elevator or one that’s not packed full of people, because everyone on the boat is getting off.
So, taking the stairs can be a much faster way to get off. Also, when you get back on the boat, again if you can, go up a couple of flights and then catch an elevator.
Often times it’s so packed on the floor you enter the boat on, and you can usually get an elevator because people are getting off before the elevator gets to you.
10. Don’t Leave Your Electronics Plugged In
If you aren’t using an electronic, unplug it. If you are someone who tends to leave their hot tools on, make an extra effort to remember to unplug them.
Fire is the biggest danger a cruise ship at sea, and you do not want to be the one responsible for that.
Sometimes your room steward will unplug them for you if they see they’re plugged in. But I wouldn’t rely on them, just make sure you have your stuff unplugged when you’re done!
Related Article: How to Go on a Cruise on a Budget like a Boss
11. Don’t Save Chairs by the Pool with Towels
Okay, this is legit my biggest pet peeve when cruising. Like most people, I loooooove laying out by the pool. But it sucks trying to find a few chairs open that don’t have towels on them!
What a lot of people do is go early, put pool towels on chairs they want to claim, and then leave to go do something else so they have those chairs later. I’m sorry, but that’s straight-up rude.
Do not be the person who is saving chairs with your towel so people can’t use them while you’re not even using them. Just don’t.
12. Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
A cruise is the best place to try something new! Even if you don’t think you’ll like something, you should try it! This can be for activities, food, drinks, shows, etc.
Since most things are included on a cruise, I highly recommend trying at least one thing you wouldn’t normally try or are too scared to! You never know, you might love it!
13. Don’t Buy the Cruise DVD
Now, I’m not trying to tell you how to live your best cruise life. But I am going to warn you you probably don’t want to buy the cruise DVD.
I get it, you had the best week of your life and you want to buy the cruise DVD of that fantastic week to look back and remember the good times.
Well, to be realistic, you probably will never watch the DVD. Trust me, I bought the DVD and have never watched it! Remember how I told you I won a dance competition on a cruise once?
Well, my family bought the DVD because how cool is it that I won a dance competition? Not that cool? Okay, haha anyways, we bought the DVD probably 5 years ago and guess what nobody has seen once? The cruise DVD! So, I recommend not buying it.
14. Don’t Forget Dramamine and Sunblock
So, two of the most important things you need to have enough of on a cruise are Dramamine and sunblock.
So you don’t get nauseous or burnt because those are both major bummers so make sure to add them to your packing list! Not sure what to pack? Read this post to find out what to pack for your cruise!
I have made the mistake of not bringing enough of these on a cruise in the past. On the bright side, the cruise ship sells them in case you need them, however, they are very expensive.
Why? Because you can’t buy them anywhere else since you’re on a boat at sea. So, save yourself some money and make sure you bring plenty on your next cruise vacation!
Alright, those are the 14 things you should not do on a cruise! Cruising is such a fun vacation, and these tips of what not to do on a cruise will save you on your next cruise!
Pin this post to come back to later and share it with your friends so they know what not to do! Also, have a fun and safe cruise if you’re headed on one soon!
Sunday 1st of January 2023
First time cruising.. loved it! But.. I have to say that the towel on the deck chair thing was soooo aggravating. We were a party of four that never once was able to relax together in those chairs. Yet, we weren't about to be the sort that staked a claim on deck territory ourselves. I wished that the cruise line had posted at least a friendly reminder that would get through to some of the people, some of the time
Monday 14th of October 2019
Also don't smuggle on booze. Not worth it if you get caught. Buy the drink package.
Wednesday 16th of October 2019
Monday 14th of October 2019
I like to dress for dinner. Will put on a dress shirt, nice slacks, and tie. My wife will pack a skirt and nice top. I do it to feel special. Every cruise we will have our picture taken once at dinner. We have a wall in our living room and hang the pictures there. I put my keycard under the glass with photo. That gives me the date, ship and destination.
Wednesday 16th of October 2019
I love dressing nice for dinner too! I don't get to do it enough at home so I love dressing up every night when cruising! Also, the pictures on your wall sound lovely, such a simple but special idea:)