20 Rules of Cruise Ship Etiquette: A Guide by Royal Caribbean Blog

In the video titled “20 Rules of Cruise Ship Etiquette: A Guide by Royal Caribbean Blog,” you will learn important tips to ensure a positive experience while onboard a cruise ship. These etiquette rules, created by Royal Caribbean Blog, are not always explicitly mentioned by the cruise line but are essential to follow. By being polite to crew members, avoiding the spread of germs, not reserving pool chairs for extended periods, and being patient in lines, you contribute to a positive atmosphere and make your vacation enjoyable for everyone. Other rules include waiting for people to exit elevators, being considerate in cabin hallways, listening to announcements, not sharing drink package benefits, arriving on time for excursions, practicing good hygiene, and keeping your cabin tidy. By following these rules, you can have a fantastic cruise experience and ensure everyone’s comfort and enjoyment.

20 Rules of Cruise Ship Etiquette: A Guide by Royal Caribbean Blog

Be polite to crew members

One of the most important aspects of cruise ship etiquette is to be polite and respectful to the crew members. They work tirelessly to ensure that you have a great vacation experience, so it’s only fair to show them gratitude and kindness in return. Take the time to engage in conversations with crew members whenever you can. If you pass your stateroom attendant in the hallway, smile and strike up a brief conversation. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way in brightening their day.

Additionally, it’s vital to follow any instructions given by the crew members. Whether it’s regarding safety protocols or procedural matters, they are there to ensure everyone’s well-being. By following their instructions, you contribute to a safe and organized environment on the ship. Remember, their instructions are not mere suggestions; they are rules that are in place for everyone’s benefit.

Lastly, always express gratitude for the service provided by the crew members. Whether it’s thanking your waiter after a delicious meal or expressing appreciation to your stateroom attendant for their hard work, a simple “thank you” goes a long way. Showing gratitude creates a friendly and respectful atmosphere on the ship and makes the crew members feel appreciated.

Buffet etiquette

When dining at the buffet onboard the cruise ship, it’s important to follow proper etiquette to maintain hygiene and respect for others. One essential rule is to use a new plate each time you go to the buffet. While it might seem more convenient to reuse your plate, it can lead to the spread of germs. By using a fresh plate each time, you help ensure the cleanliness of the buffet area.

Additionally, avoid touching food with your hands. Use the provided serving utensils to take the food you want. This helps prevent cross-contamination and maintains the hygiene standards of the buffet.

Furthermore, always remember to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing near the buffet area. Respiratory etiquette is crucial in shared spaces, and by being mindful of others, you create a considerate and pleasant dining experience for everyone.

Pool chair reservation

Reserving pool chairs for an extended period of time is not considered proper etiquette on a cruise ship. It’s important to be considerate of other passengers who may want to enjoy the pool deck. If you’re not using all of the chairs you’ve claimed, consider sharing them with others.

Avoid reserving chairs in the early morning and leaving them unattended for hours. By doing so, you prevent other guests from enjoying the pool deck. While it’s understandable that you may want to secure a spot, it’s essential to be mindful and give others a chance to enjoy the amenities as well.

Cruise lines have taken measures to combat chair hogging, and some staff members may remove belongings left unattended for an extended period. To avoid any issues, it’s best to use pool chairs responsibly and be considerate of others’ needs.

Queue etiquette

With thousands of people on board a cruise ship, waiting in lines is inevitable. It’s essential to practice patience and avoid pushing or shoving while waiting in queues. Everyone is on vacation and trying to enjoy themselves, so maintaining order and respect in lines is crucial for a positive atmosphere.

Additionally, when waiting for elevators, it’s courteous to let people exit before entering. Squeezing onto a crowded elevator without allowing others to disembark can be uncomfortable and impolite. Being mindful of others in these situations helps ensure a smooth flow of movement throughout the ship.

By practicing queue etiquette, you contribute to a respectful and considerate environment for all passengers.

Cabin hallway behavior

Being considerate of others in the cabin hallways is an important aspect of cruise ship etiquette. It’s crucial to avoid being disruptive and keep noise levels to a minimum, especially during nighttime hours. By refraining from loud conversations or blasting music in the hallways, you show respect for your fellow passengers’ need for relaxation and uninterrupted sleep.

It’s also important to remember that some guests may return to their cabins for an afternoon nap or retire early in the evening. Avoid lingering in the hallways for too long and be mindful of noise levels to ensure a peaceful environment.

By being considerate and respectful in the cabin hallways, you contribute to a pleasant and harmonious atmosphere on the ship.

Listen to announcements

Paying attention to announcements made by the captain or other crew members is essential for a smooth and enjoyable cruise experience. These announcements may contain important information about safety procedures, changes in itinerary, or onboard activities. By listening attentively, you stay informed and can make the most of your cruise vacation.

When announcements are made, it’s polite to pause and listen, rather than continuing to chat amongst yourselves. The information provided is usually meant to enhance your cruise experience, so taking a moment to be attentive is beneficial to everyone on board.

By listening to announcements, following instructions, and staying informed, you can ensure a seamless and enjoyable cruise vacation.

Drink package benefits

If you have purchased a drink package, it’s important to respect the rules and limits associated with it. Sharing your drink package benefits with others is strictly prohibited. While it may be tempting to share with friends or family members who don’t have a package, doing so can result in the revocation of your package without a refund.

The drink packages are designed to be purchased per person, not per room. If one person in your stateroom has purchased an unlimited alcohol package, it is necessary for every other guest of legal drinking age in the room to have their own package. This system ensures fairness and compliance with the cruise line’s policies.

Additionally, it’s important to avoid excessive consumption or wastage of drinks. While the drink package allows for a variety of beverages, it’s essential to drink responsibly and know your limits. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to disruptive or inappropriate behavior, which can negatively impact your cruise experience.

By respecting the rules and limits of the drink package, you contribute to a responsible and enjoyable onboard atmosphere.


Punctuality is a crucial aspect of cruise ship etiquette, especially when it comes to shore excursions and onboard reservations. It’s important to arrive on time for any reservations you make, including tours or activities. Being late can inconvenience other passengers and disrupt the planned schedule.

When participating in shore excursions, being punctual is essential to ensure that the group can depart on time. Tour operators often have tight schedules to follow, and delays can have a ripple effect on the entire itinerary. By arriving on time, you show respect for your fellow passengers and the tour operators.

Similarly, being prompt for onboard reservations, such as dinner reservations or shows, is considerate of other passengers who may have reservations after yours. It allows the staff to efficiently seat everyone and ensures a smooth flow of activities.

By respecting others’ time and schedules, you contribute to a well-organized and enjoyable cruise experience for everyone.

Responsible drinking

Drinking responsibly is an important aspect of cruise ship etiquette. Knowing your limits and consuming alcohol in moderation is crucial to avoid any issues or disruptions during your cruise. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to disruptive or inappropriate behavior, negatively impacting your experience and that of others.

It’s essential to consider your own safety and well-being, as well as the safety and comfort of your fellow passengers. By being mindful of your alcohol intake and drinking responsibly, you can ensure a pleasant and enjoyable cruise for yourself and those around you.

Stay hydrated throughout your cruise, especially when consuming alcohol. Drinking plenty of water helps minimize the effects of alcohol and prevents dehydration.

By practicing responsible drinking, you contribute to a safe and harmonious onboard environment.


Proper cruise ship etiquette is an integral part of ensuring a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone on board. By following these etiquette guidelines, you contribute to a friendly and respectful atmosphere on the ship.

From being polite to crew members and engaging in conversations with them, to practicing buffet etiquette and respecting others in line, each aspect of cruise ship etiquette plays a role in creating a harmonious environment.

Listening to announcements, adhering to drink package rules, being punctual, and practicing responsible drinking are all essential elements of proper etiquette on a cruise ship.

By embracing these etiquette rules, you not only enhance your own cruise experience but also contribute to a positive atmosphere where all passengers can enjoy a memorable and enjoyable vacation.

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