11 Obnoxious Behaviors Cruise Ship Crew Members Are Secretly Judging You For

While some folks are avid fans of land-based vacations, others prefer setting sail on the high seas — alongside a dedicated staff of cruise ship crew, of course. And regardless of how different they may be, luxury resorts and cruise ships alike have one thing in common — you can always count on being judged for your faux pas behaviors.

From first-timer tips to cruise ship secrets you need to know about, the cruising world comes with a wealth of knowledge and advice worth heeding. And if you’re going on a cruise anytime soon, you’ll want to read this, first. Here are 11 things you definitely don’t want to do, because the cruise ship crew will judge you for it.

1. Hitting on the crew

Workers and crew members gather during the delivery ceremony of the MSC Meraviglia cruise ship
Don’t be afraid to speak up to the crew. | Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP/Getty Images

Cruisers are on vacation, and people have needs. We get it. But that’s no excuse to act inappropriately with the crew. Do some crew members see it as a compliment? Perhaps. In reality, though, it’s really quite irritating, because it’s the employee, not the passenger, who’d have to face the harsh consequences should either party act on their crush.   

Even though there’s plenty of romping around going on below deck, hooking up with passengers is strictly forbidden. And in most cases, the cruise line will fire the employee immediately.

Next: Know before you pay.

2. Stiffing your server on the tip

Man leaving tip on table at cafe
Check if you need to tip your server. | Jupiterimages/iStock/Getty Images

Before you tip, be sure to check on your ship’s policy. After all, some lines do charge an automatic gratuity in the price of your trip. However, if that’s not the case, then stiffing your servers on a tip is the quickest way to make some serious enemies on board.

Remember, cruise ship employees put up with a lot, so don’t be the person to make their life even more miserable.

Next: You’ll be sorry for this one.

3. Not locking yourself in your cabin when you’re sick

Royal Caribbean Ship Carrying Hundreds Of Sick Passengers Returns To Port Early
You may ruin the trip for everyone else. | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

You know all those stories about stomach bug outbreaks on cruise ships? Cruises where people have been forced to poop in buckets and ration their food supply? Well, there’s a reason you’re familiar with such horror stories, because they’re very real.

So, if you do happen to come down with a nasty bug, there’s no better way to tick off your fellow passengers and crew alike than by strutting around the ship like nothing’s wrong. Reality is, you will get other people sick, and you will feel bad about it.

Next: It’s their time off, too. 

4. Following crew around during port days

Cruise Ships in The Port of Miami, Florida, United States
They are off duty. | jirivondrous/iStock/Getty Images

When the ship is docked at a port, crew members do not want to be bothered. That time away from the ship is their time off, too, so leave them alone. Following them around or asking questions is a surefire way to aggravate them beyond belief.

Next: Don’t be that person.

5. Not making it back to the ship on time

Woman running with shopping bags
You’ll get left behind. | Hybrid Images/Getty Images

On the subject of port days, not making it back to the ship on time is a big no-no. In fact, it’s probably one of the worst mistakes you can make. Your inability to be where you’re supposed to be screams inconsiderate tourist who clearly cannot navigate the world on his own.

Furthermore, the ship will leave without you if you’re not back on time, so there’s that.

Next: Packing the right clothing is crucial. 

6. Not being dressed appropriately

Man on cruise ship
Don’t dress like this for dinner. | iStock/Getty Images

There’s a wide variety of cruising options out there. Seriously. If you’re on a party cruise, for instance, you’re probably not too worried about dressing to the nines. Luxury lines, on the other hand, cater to a more sophisticated clientele, and you don’t want to be the one wearing a beach cover-up in a sea of elegant evening dresses.

That said, it’s not just the upscale cruise that demands a certain look. Turns out, even party cruises tend to have some sort of dress code, at least for dinner. So make sure you’ve come prepared.

Next: Don’t spend dumb money.

7. Falling for every money-making ploy on board

Cruise Port in St. Maarten
Don’t fall for the ploys they use. | fallbrook/iStock/Getty Images

Stocking up on souvenirs. Booking loads of onshore excursions. Spending a fortune on every up-sell the ship has to offer. These are all things cruise ship crew members are judging you for. And rightfully so.

The next time you find yourself vacationing at sea, do yourself a favor and brush up on all the money-saving tips you need to know about. And don’t be a sucker.

Next: There’s a time and a place

8. Being obnoxiously loud at dinner

Waiter serving table of five in a cruise ship
Be respectful to those around you. | Creatas/iStock/Getty Images

You’re on vacation, we get it. But unless you’re on a party cruise that’s specifically geared toward 24/7 drinking, eating, and dancing, it’s best to mind your manners. During dinnertime, for instance, neither your fellow passengers nor your crew members want to be bombarded by your boisterous ways. So, do everyone a favor, and act as you would at any other restaurant.

Next: If you want a babysitter, bring one with you.

9. Letting your kids run amok

Mother and daughter traveling on cruise ship
Keep your eyes on your kids. | Paha_L/iStock/Getty Images

Not only will this tick off your fellow passengers, but it will inevitably annoy the crew members, as well. Are they there to keep watch over the pool? Yes, but they’re not your hired help. And furthermore, definitely don’t let your kids splash around in one of the quieter pools on the ship. Crew members depend on passenger tips or their positive reviews, and if your kids’ splashing around drives all their customers away, they’ll be irritated.

Next: Don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach.

10. Taking too much at the buffet

They get your leftovers. | iStock/Getty Images

Aside from the cruise-passengers-always-overeat stereotype, taking too much food at the buffet can actually annoy the crew, but not for the reason you might expect. No, they’re not simply disgusted by how big a plate you have. Rather, they’re kind of jealous.

You see, crew have their own food, and apparently, it’s pretty bad. In fact, cruise ship workers have admitted that, while their vacationing counterparts tend to gain weight on cruises, they tend to lose it. However, they are allowed to hit up the buffet once all the passengers have feasted. So, end up throwing out your uneaten buffet food, and that’s food your starving crew could have enjoyed.

Next: Get a room.

11. Being sloppy and getting busy in public areas

Couple taking photo of themselves on cruise
Just don’t get too frisky in public. | michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

Yes, crew members do catch passengers getting busy. And rather than getting frisky in the privacy of their own cabins, passengers have been caught doing it in lifeboats, under tables, and in pools. Strange, right? Absolutely.

Why is it that as soon as some people step on a cruise ship, they immediately toss all their manners overboard? The cruising world may never know.

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