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How Not to Be Rude on a Cruise: 10 Ways to Make the Crew Love You
How Not to Be Rude on a Cruise: 10 Ways to Make the Crew Love You
10 Things Not to Do in Your Cruise Room
12 Things Not to Do in Your Cruise Room (Photo: Royal Caribbean International)

10 Things Not to Do in Your Cruise Room

10 Things Not to Do in Your Cruise Room
12 Things Not to Do in Your Cruise Room (Photo: Royal Caribbean International)
Erica Silverstein
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Your cruise ship room -- or cabin -- is your personal haven at sea. You can go there to escape the pool deck and buffet crowds, or invite friends over for a couple drinks. But there are some things you just shouldn't do in your cruise room.

From safety issues to privacy and just plain old consideration for your neighbors, you'll want to curtail certain activities in your cabin -- or the crew may kindly, but sternly, ask that you do so. In case you're tempted, or simply don't know, here are 10 things we ask that you please not do in your cruise cabin.

1. Never, Ever Smoke in Your Cruise Room

Sorry, smokers, but smoking in bed or anywhere else in your cruise room is forbidden. All cruise lines have banned smoking in cabins, and many have even banned smoking on private balconies. Cigarettes are a fire hazard -- ships have caught fire due to wayward ash -- and many people also consider them a public nuisance. Understandably, the cruise lines want to limit cigarette use onboard, while still offering smokers a few places to light up. So you'll need to head to a designated area of an upper deck or specific lounge when you need a smoke break.

Related: Smoking on Cruise Ships: What to Expect

2. Lighting a Candle or Incense Can Land You in Trouble

Anything that involves fire or high heat is a hazard and a no-no on a cruise. That's why you won't find irons in any cabins on a cruise ship. Much like cigarettes, these items are a fire hazard of the first order. If you're looking to whip up some ambience, try packing some battery-powered tea lights that you can arrange around the room. And if you want to indulge in a little aromatherapy, a diffuser that doesn't use a flame is perfectly fine (if a little strange to bring with you).

Related: Bathroom Hacks to Make Your Cruise Ship Cabin More Livable

3. Plugging a Hairdryer Into the Shaving Outlet Can Blow a Fuse

Seasoned cruise travelers know that the hairdryers on cruises are a bit weak. With that in mind and in the name of convenience, some choose to bring their own. However, plugging your hairdryer into what is often the only outlet in the bathroom is a mistake. That outlet is generally for shaving only, and it does not have the correct voltage for a hair dryer. Try it out, and you could blow a fuse, shorting out the electricity and making you persona non grata with your onboard neighbors.

Related: What Not to Pack for a Cruise

4. Loud Conversations in Your Cabin Might Be Audible to Others

There are plenty of quiet spots on most cruise ships and most rooms are located away from the noisiest parts of any deck. However, that separation doesn't mean that you're in complete and total privacy. The small size and close proximity of rooms on cruises only exacerbates the way sound travels. Any loud argument, music, sex or anything will likely be heard by your neighbors. And your balcony isn't any better -- in fact, even normal volume conversations are likely audible by your immediate neighbors.

Related: Etiquette Tips for Sharing a Cruise Ship Cabin

5. Getting Naked With Abandon Could Be a Quite Revealing

Along the lines of "your cabin isn't as private as you think" comes our next cabin don't. Plenty of cruisers have gotten the shock of their life when they have stepped out of the bathroom, naked as a jaybird, to discover they were looking out at a crewmember, portside dock worker or even other cruisers (especially likely on river cruises where boats dock side by side). And if you can see them, they can see you, too.

Even if your curtains are closed, it's wise to throw on a towel or at least peek out the bathroom door since your cabin steward has a key to your room and you're not going to hear him knocking if you've got the shower running.

Related: Nude Cruises: Questions We All Have

6. Leaving Your Balcony Door Open Can Make a Mess

You might want to prop open your balcony door as you sail, but cruise lines aren't so keen on the idea. For starters, the warm air coming in will cause your cabin's air-conditioning to work harder (unless you turn it down), wasting energy on the ship. But you can also make a big mess by forgetting to close (and seal) your balcony door before opening the main door to your cabin. You'll likely know the balcony door is open, as trying to open the main door will require a Herculean effort. If you do manage to open it, expect tornado like wins to rush through your room, scattering anything that isn't weighted down.

Related: 10 Things Not to Do on a Cruise Ship Balcony

7. Drying Your Clothes on Your Balcony Is a No-No

There are a couple of reasons why you shouldn't dry your wet clothes on your cruise balcony. Forget those articles of clothing when the ship sets sail, and they could sail away themselves (an environmental faux pas) or end up in a puddle on your balcony floor. An unexpected rain shower or a scheduled balcony cleaning could result in your clothes getting wetter than they started. Plus, cruise lines don't like anything flammable left on balconies -- especially on lines where balcony smoking is A-OK. It's best to dry your items on the retractable clothes line that's usually in your shower (a few portable laundry hooks help here too).

Related: What You Need to Know About Laundry on a Cruise

8. Stealing Towels or Robes Mean Extra Fees

Cruise ship cabin amenities are not ripe for the picking. Even if that bathrobe is just your size or the towels are super soft, or if you must have that coffee table book about the ship to add to your collection, think twice about slipping the item into your suitcase. You will be charged an inflated price for items that go missing. If you want a souvenir from your trip, your money is better spent buying something new in the gift shop, rather than some used linens touched by hundreds of passengers before you. If you must have a freebie, take home the travel bottle of shampoo or the in-cabin pen.

Related: Onboard Credit: How to Get It and Where to Spend It

9. Don't Forget What You Stored in the Safe

By all means, use your cabin's safe to store your passport, extra cash, credit cards and other valuables. But don't forget them when you disembark the ship. Whether you forget to check or simply missed something stuck in a corner or the back of the safe, you will be cursing at the airport when you realize your photo ID has just departed for its second Mediterranean vacation. To help the forgetful (or last-minute, frantic packers), keep your cell phone with you and set an alarm reminder or two to double check the safe before you depart your ship.

Related: Theft on Cruise Ships: How to Keep Your Belongings Safe

10. Taping Things up in Your Cabin Can Damage It

Tape can leave marks or peel off paint, so please be respectful of the interior decor. If you must leave a note or decorate the cabin, no problem! Cabin walls and doors are metal, so throw some cute magnetic clips into your suitcase, and you can hang notes, daily newsletters, signs, streamers and the like throughout your room without damaging the paint job.

Related: How to Celebrate New Year's on a Cruise

Updated September 27, 2022

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