21 Things to Never Do in Your Cruise Cabin (safety, rules, etiquette)

things to never do in cruise cabin

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Whether you have an inside cabin, oceanview or balcony cabin, there are some things you should not do in your cabin. Doing some of these things can cause problems, be dangerous & in some cases even get you kicked off the ship!

Whether you’re in an inside cabin, ocean view, or balcony cabin, there are certain things you should never do in your cruise ship stateroom. Some actions can cause problems, be dangerous, and in some cases, even lead to being kicked off the cruise.

In this post, we’ll explore the things you should avoid in your cruise cabin, covering safety, cruise ship etiquette, and tips to enhance your cruise experience.

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Things Not to Do in Your Cruise Ship Cabin

thingsnot to do in cruise cabin

1. Don’t Take Drinks or Food from the In-Cabin Mini-Bar

Even though it might seem obvious, some people with a cruise line drink package assume everything in the mini-fridge is covered. However, items like large water bottle or cans of soda are often not included in your package. You will be charged for mini-bar items if you take them.

Communicate with your cabin attendant and ask them to remove items to avoid any unexpected charges.

2. No Smoking Inside the Cabin

Smoking cigarettes, or any other substances, is prohibited inside cruise ship cabins. Since smoking is a potential fire hazard, cruise lines take this seriously.

If you’re a smoker, there are designated smoking areas, usually on are on the outer decks of the ship.

Breaking no in cabin smoking rules can result in serious consequences, including fines and removal from the cruise.

3. No Smoking on a Cruise Ship Balcony

In general, smoking is not permitted on cruise ship balconies primarily due to safety concerns. Smoking poses a significant fire hazard, as fires could spread quickly in the confined spaces of a ship.

Restricting smoking to designated areas helps maintain a safe environment and ensures the comfort of all passengers. While there are exceptions among certain European cruise lines, most North American cruise lines don’t allow smoking anything on passenger verandas and balconies.

Cruise Lines Where Smoking on Balconies Is Permitted

  • AIDA Cruises
  • Costa Cruises
  • Fred Olsen
  • TUI Cruises 

Can You Vape in a Cruise Cabin?

Vaping is not allowed in cruise ship cabins. The rules for vaping and e-cigarettes are the same as the smoking rules.

4. Avoid Damaging Your Cruise Ship Cabin

Be cautious with items that could damage your cabin. Of course, cruise travelers shouldn’t do anything that could ruin or damage the furniture or wall art.

However, something less obvious to watch for is if you’re putting anything on the walls. This includes cruise cabin door decorations. Avoid using tape on walls and instead use sticky tack or magnetic hooks to prevent potential damage.

Over the Door Organizers

Most cruise lines allow cruise passengers to use over-the-door-organizers, which is a popular cruise cabin hack. However, one cruise line does not allow it!

According to Disney Cruise Line’s website, “You may not affix items to your stateroom doors using tape or any adhesive, including removable gel adhesives, as this can damage the doors’ finish. Also, using over-the-door hanging organizers is prohibited, as they can scratch and/or disfigure stateroom doors and trim.”

Related: 17 Cruise Cabin Essentials Every Cruiser Needs

5. Don’t Take Items Meant for Cabin Use Home

Resist the temptation to take home items like bathrobes, pool towels, binoculars and large umbrellas that are meant to be used only during your cruise. These items are not complimentary takeaways and could result in charges.

If the cruise line has gifted you specific items like a tote bag or slippers, feel free to bring those home as souvenirs. However, always communicate with your cabin attendant and inquire about items before assuming they are part of the complimentary offerings to avoid any unexpected charges.

6. Don’t Open Your Balcony & Front Door Simultaneously

Never open balcony door and front cabin door at the same time. Doing so creates a wind tunnel effect that can cause havoc in your stateroom. Although unlikely, it can also cause a potential injury if the cabin door slams.

7. Never Sit or Stand on Balcony Railings

Never sit, stand or climb on cruise ship balcony railings. Not only is this against the rules on a cruise ship, but it’s very dangerous.

If you’re traveling with kids or teens, it’s important to let them know about the potential dangers of this risky behavior. Cruising is a great vacation for families, with so much to see and do! By chatting with them ahead of time about this, you’ll ensure it’s a safe one for all.

8. Put Valuables Away

Use the cabin safe for valuables like jewelry, money, and passports. Consider placing important prescription medications in the safe as well to prevent loss.

9. Never Use Open Flames in Your Cabin

Safety is a top priority aboard cruise ships, and one essential rule to remember is to steer clear of open flames in your cabin. This includes candles and incense, as they are a potential fire hazard.

While candles are not permitted, you can use flameless alternatives such as battery-operated candles or LED lights. Always prioritize safety to make your cruise experience enjoyable and secure.

10. Avoid Bringing Prohibited Items

things not to do in cruise cabin - prohibited items

Don’t pack prohibited items in your cruise luggage. Items like irons, steamers, and even CBD gummies are on the banned items list. Attempting to sneak these prohibited items on board can result in their confiscation, and, more importantly, may lead to potential consequences such as fines or other disciplinary actions.

Save yourself the trouble and adhere to the cruise line’s guidelines to ensure a smooth and trouble-free journey.

Related: 33 Prohibited Items You Can’t Bring on a Cruise

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11. Never Leave Young Children Unattended in the Cabin or Balcony

For safety reasons, young children shouldn’t be left alone in the stateroom, even if they are sleeping. If you’re craving a night out, there is a late night kid’s club available with great staff who can supervise the kiddos.

Never leave young children alone and unsupervised on your cruise ship balcony. In addition, never allow your kids to climb on chairs near the railings.

Tip: There is usually a safety lock at the top on cruise cabin balcony doors. Locking this will give you peace of mind and prevent any potential accidents or mishaps.

14. Don’t Remove Life Jackets or Touch Safety Equipment

Don’t tamper with safety equipment on a cruise. This includes not removing or playing with the life jackets that are left in all staterooms.

Keeping these items in their designated spots ensures that they are readily available in case of emergencies, contributing to the overall safety of the cruise for yourself and fellow passengers.

15. Cabin Attendant Watch Outs

  • Avoid Leaving a Huge Mess: Leaving a huge mess in your cabin can create extra work for the attendants, and make it difficult for them to clean your cabin effectively.
  • Don’t Be Rude: A little politeness goes a long way. Treat your cabin attendant with respect and kindness, making for a more enjoyable experience for both parties.
  • Utilize “Do Not Disturb” Properly: Forgetting to use the “Do Not Disturb” sign when needed might result in attendants knocking or entering your cabin. Using this sign helps establish clear communication about your privacy preferences.
  • Be Mindful of Gratuities: Crew on cruise ships work hard, and a large part of their income comes from tips from passengers. Removing gratuities and not tipping is generally not advised.

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16. Bathroom Watch-Outs

  • Don’t flush anything but toilet paper down the cabin toilets. This includes flushable wipes and even toilet paper people may bring from home. Toilets on a cruise ship and the entire system is different than on land or at home.
  • Don’t plug hairdryer or other items into the electric shaver outlet
  • Don’t forget to ask for a sharps container if you need it
  • Don’t forget to use Poupourri, or another bathroom spray. Cruise ship cabin bathrooms are small and the ventilation isn’t always as you might like.

Related: 12 Genius Cruise Ship Bathroom Hacks and Organization Tips

17. Fellow Passengers Cabin Etiquette

  • Don’t Slam the Cabin Door: Be mindful of door closures as they may slam. This is especially important in the early morning or late night.
  • Volume Control: Avoid playing music loudly, especially during nighttime or on the balcony.
  • Don’t Yell: Refrain from yelling, screaming, or arguing loudly in the cabin or on the balcony. Cruise cabin walls aren’t completely soundproof.
  • Balcony Lights: Turn off balcony lights overnight to respect others’ sleep and maintain a tranquil atmosphere.

18. Never Throw Anything Overboard

Never dispose of anything by throwing it overboard while on a cruise. This includes trash, personal items, or anything else. Not only is it environmentally irresponsible, but it’s also strictly prohibited on a cruise.

Items tossed overboard can pose risks to marine life. Dispose of your waste properly in designated bins to contribute to a clean and safe cruise environment.

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

19. Don’t Walk Around Naked with Your Curtains Open (on a port day)

On port days, when you’re enjoying the views from your cabin, be mindful of your attire (or lack of it). When in port, it’s not uncommon for a cruise ship to be docked quite close to yours. This means that passengers on the neighbouring cruise ship and portside observers might be more than they bargained for.

Keep the curtains drawn when getting changed and don’t go out on the balcony naked, for obvious reasons.

20. Don’t Fish or Hang a Clothesline

You might think that no one would fish on their cruise ship balcony or hang a clothesline, but it has happened! Yes, some cruise passengers have done some ridiculous things on cruise ships!

Related: 20 Rookie Cruise Questions that You Were to Embarrassed to Ask

21. Don’t Forget to Check Your Cabin Safe on Disembarkation Day

Before leaving your cabin on the last day of your cruise, check your cabin safe for any valuables like car keys, passports, or money. Unfortunately, forgetting important items at the end of your cruise can lead to significant problems.

Have a disembarkation morning routine that includes doing a cabin check, to ensure that you don’t make any debarkation day mistakes.

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Final Thoughts on Things Not to Do in Your Cruise Cabin

Cruising is an awesome and fun vacation. By avoiding doing some of these things in your cabin, you’ll ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable cruise vacation!

Have you done or seen any of these things while cruising? Please let me know your tips and experiences in the comments below.

Happy Cruising!


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