13 Things Cruise Crew Members Hate Passengers Doing

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If you’re going on a cruise, there might be something you haven’t thought of, at least when it comes to the crew. There’s an unwritten code of conduct that crew members wish all cruise passengers were aware of.

Hate may be a strong word, but these are things cruise lines and crew wish cruise passengers would stop doing on a cruise ship! This includes things that are inappropriate as well as things that can cause a problem for both guests and crew!

From rude behaviors and actions that are off-limits, to those that make their jobs more challenging, here’s a glimpse into the things cruise crew members wish passengers wouldn’t do.

With that being said, here are 13 things cruise crew members hate passengers doing. This knowledge can help us all to be more mindful and considerate during our cruise.

Things Cruise Crew Members Wish Passengers Wouldn’t Do

1. Not Respect Cabin Preparation Time


On embarkation day, it’s common for cruise passengers to want to drop off their carry-on bags in their cabins before they are officially open. While there is nothing wrong with quickly dropping off your bags in your cabin if allowed, it’s important to remember that staying in your stateroom and unpacking can significantly increase your room attendant’s workload.

Furthermore, some guests may have the privilege of early access due to loyalty perks or programs like ‘Faster to the Fun.’ However, if your stateroom is not ready, it’s best to drop off your bags and leave quickly so your cabin attendant can finish cleaning the room.

2. Avoid Bringing Personal Toilet Paper

freedom of the seas older cruise ship bathroom

Cruise ship toilet paper is notoriously thin, but there’s a reason for that. The ship’s plumbing system is designed to handle only the provided toilet paper.

Bringing your own thicker toilet paper can cause blockages, leading to overflows in your cabin and potentially in hallways and other cabins. Similarly, avoid flushing wet wipes or anything other than the ship-provided toilet paper.

By using your toilet paper and flooding the toilets, you are making the lives of the crew members much harder. 

3. Be Mindful of Complaints

stormy weather ahead

Complaining to Guest Services is perfectly fine when there’s a real issue. However, complaints about uncontrollable factors, like the weather, are unproductive. 

Crew members do many things. However, one thing they can’t change is the weather, so save your energy and let them focus on issues they can resolve.

4. Respect Safety Drills

Muster Station cruise ship changes

During port days, crew members often conduct safety drills. You may see your favorite waiter, bartender, or performer at these drills.

However, these drills are crucial for ensuring everyone’s safety, so avoid interrupting crew members during these times. Their full attention must be on the drill and distracting them can get them in trouble.

5. Don’t Ask Crew to Break Rules

Corporate offices set policies on a cruise ship, such as age restrictions on drink packages. Crew members don’t have the authority to make exceptions, and asking them to do so can jeopardize their jobs.

Asking the crew or even offering them money to break the rules can put them in an uncomfortable position. So, it’s best to respect the rules and understand they are in place for a reason.

Related: 63 Things Not to Do on a Cruise (rules, guidelines & cruise etiquette)

6. Manage Destination Expectations

Grand Turk Cruise Port

Going on a cruise for a specific destination can lead to disappointment if the itinerary changes due to weather or other factors. Keep in mind that an itinerary is never guaranteed, and flexibility is key to enjoying your cruise experience.

If you happen to be on a cruise with an itinerary change, don’t let it ruin your vacation. Whether the cruise visits a different port of call or you get a sea day, there are no bad days on a cruise ship!

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7. Avoid Inappropriate Questions

Asking crew members about their personal lives, such as where they sleep or who they might be in a relationship with, is inappropriate. Similarly, inquiring about their pay is off-limits.

It’s important to respect their privacy just as you would want yours respected. Asking a crew member these types of questions can make them feel very uncomfortable. Even questions about crew gratuities can put them in an awkward position, so use your best judgement and discretion.

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8. Voice Genuine Issues


Crew members appreciate when guests bring up genuine problems. For example, if there’s an issue with water pressure in the shower or a balcony door, let your cabin attendant know as quickly as possible. They’ll alert the right department so this can be resolved.

In our experience, engineers and plumbers on board can often fix these problems, often within a few hours.

Not mentioning these issues can lead to unresolved complaints and unnecessary dissatisfaction. So, next time you have a genuine problem on a cruise, feel free to bring it up to a crew member in a nice way.

Related: 7 Gifts Cruise Crew Members Really Want & Need

9. Maintain Politeness

crew on cruise serving drink

It should go without saying, but always be polite to crew members. Yelling or being rude doesn’t solve problems and can make the crew’s day significantly harder. 

Being polite will go a long way if you have an issue at guest services or in the main dining room. Even when things go wrong, a kind approach is more likely to lead to a positive outcome.

Furthermore, being kind to the crew members by saying “please” and “thank you” is appreciated by the crew.

10. Respect a Crew Member’s Off Duty Time

It’s not uncommon to encounter a crew member enjoying some personal time in a cruise port of call. While it’s nice to say hello or to smile, refrain from talking to them about their job or the ship during their personal time.

Cruise ship crew work a lot, so when they have off duty time, it’s unlikely they want to chat with guests.

Here’s More on What Crew Members Wish Cruise Passengers Would Stop

11. Don’t Hit on Crew Members

You may get along with some crew members, but stay away from any romantic overtures. Cruise ship crew have strict rules they need to follow, which include not having romantic relationships with guests.

Don’t put cruise ship staff in a difficult position by making advances. This something that can actually get your favorite crew members in trouble.

12. Don’t Go Into Crew Only Areas

Guests aren’t allowed in areas marked for crew only. Keep in mind that cruise ship crew can get into trouble for fraternizing with guests, so don’t try to go into the crew cabin or other areas.

It’s also against the passenger code of conduct, and you’ll want to make sure you’re following the cruise line rules and policies as well.

13. Never Make Fun of Crew Members

While cruise passengers may not intend to be rude, making fun of where a crew member comes from or their accent isn’t nice or appropriate. When you go on a cruise, you’ll notice that the crew is very international.

Given that crew members come from many different countries, it’s normal that English is often not their first language. Making fun of how they sound of pronounce words is definitely a rude passenger behavior that no crew member likes.

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Final Thoughts On Things Crew Members Wish Passengers Would Not Do

These are just a few things that can improve the cruise experience for both passengers and crew members.

Whether you’re a guest or crew member, if you’ve seen any of these behaviors or have additional tips, please share them in the comments below. 

Happy Cruising!


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