“I have always wondered how common courtesy goes out the window when it comes to elevator etiquette,” begins a missive to the Sea-Mail inbox from Ria Maratheftis. “If I am waiting for an elevator & a few people come along & press the button, then why do they think they should be the first ones to jump on?”
Indeed, as ‘tis the season to be cranky as well as jolly, we decided this week to wade into the morass of cruise manners. “Are manners at sea getting better these days,” we posted over on Cruise Critic’s Facebook yesterday. “Or worse?”
Let’s put it this way: In the more than 70 comments received, two people, count ‘em, a deuce, preferred to take a glass half full approach to the issue. (Love this one from Richard Durham: “Just got off of the Carnival Magic Sunday, and it’s still about the same. Some of us are just happy to be on a cruise ship, and others wouldn’t be happy if they won Powerball.”) The rest of the responses laid into fellow cruise passengers for boorish behavior onboard — and elevators easily topped the list of the most likely places to run into rudeness.
Manners are “WORSE!” shrieks Mary Lou Snyder. “One can rarely try to get off an elevator onboard without people trying to force their way in before letting the disembarkers out!” Or how about this one, as told by LouAnn Ferrari-Jacobs: “Got in the elevator one morning and one guy said to one of the Carnival crewmembers ‘what are you doing in here?’ We were dumbfounded at such a rude remark. Who raised these people?”
But is it just passengers who are to blame? When designing new ships or refurbishing old ones, do cruise lines include enough elevators, and make them more efficient in the process? On Grand Princess a few months ago, the ancient and creaky mid-ship bank of elevators, which inexplicably weren’t included in the ship’s massive, multi-million dollar refurbishment in May were ridiculously slow moving and, as a result, were usually packed. To make matters worse, Grand Princess’ odd design does not include midship staircases that go beyond the three atrium decks. If you don’t ride the elevator you have to walk forward or aft if you want to climb to cabin decks and above.
And how about debarkation day, when all the carry-your-own passengers, who are told they should leave simultaneously, are trying to stuff so many huge suitcases into elevators that you actually have to commandeer an empty one going up to come down?
Actually, lines and passengers share the blame for that part of the equation.
Consider our buttons pushed, so now it’s your turn: when it comes to elevator etiquette, what’s the one rule you would enforce?
What should we talk about next in Sea-Mail? Tell us what’s on your mind at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read other Sea-Mail columns on camera hogs, credit card horror stories, kids in hot tubs, the death of cruise traditions and bad balcony behavior.
Where do you stand in the elevator vs. stairs debate?
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