Letters, we get letters. We recently received a missive from B. Potter, which was addressed to Miss Cruise Manners but intercepted by our other Guru of Good Taste, Cruise Critic Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Spencer Brown, who’ll be handling the mail-opening duties henceforth.
So what did B. request? I’D LIKE YOU TO ADDRESS PROPER “BALCONY MANNERS. “NO FOUL LANGUAGE, NO “LOUD” VOICES AND DEFINITELY NO PERSONAL MUSIC. . . . THERE ARE DEFINITELY SOME VERY ANNOYING PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO HAVE NO REGARD FOR THE PLEASURE OF OTHERS.
It’s interesting that a complaint about manners – balcony or any other kind – comes via an all-caps email, an egregious breach in itself of netiquette. I GET IT — you’ve got a problem with balcony boors. I’ll offer this first piece of advice on your behalf to all and sundry who book a cabin with what cruise lines euphemistically call a “private verandah.” They are not private. Nor are they soundproof. Consider yourself warned.
Who are the worst offenders? Smokers top mine; on a recent cruise on Disney Magic, our next-door neighbors (who I could identify by their hacking, phlegmy coughs more than their faces) were chain smokers, and I was right in the line of their fire. The idea of going out on the balcony to get fresh air was laughable. The post-smoke hacking was even more disgusting. (Update: Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Holland America all announced changes to their smoking policies today. Princess is banning smoking in all cabins/balconies fleetwide on January 15, 2012. Carnival will ban smoking in all cabins effective December 1, and HAL will do likewise January 15 — though smokers on both lines can still light up on balconies).
Also annoying: If you like to sleep with a view of the stars, better hope that the folks on each side of you haven’t forgotten to turn out their outdoor lights; they’ll wash out the night sky. I’m not terribly fond of noisy eaters (that’s rare though) either.
Is it considered proper etiquette on embarkation day to peer into your neighbor’s balcony to say hello? No. But if you’re both hanging off the rail watching the ship depart, go ahead and say “Hey.”
Not so much an experience of mine, this may nevertheless resonate: A colleague tells me that his biggest beefs are “loudmouth drinkers and early-morning yappers. Don’t be surprised if they wake you up in the morning while they’re gabbing over coffee, slam the doors shut when you least expect it or sing along with their iPod while nursing a late-night cocktail and scraping chairs on the faux teak.” Well said.
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Looking for solace on your next cruise? Check out our guide to finding peace and quiet on the high seas.
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