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Cruise Etiquette - Dos and Don'ts

Aug 6, 2008
A cruise can be the perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily living and just enjoy a week or two without responsibilities. Many people are a bit nervous about how they should act on a cruise ship though and are not sure exactly what is acceptable behavior. With that in mind, here are a few dos and don`ts to help you out.

Do

Tip your steward. This is only fair, considering that he or she will be working hard during the voyage to keep your cabin neat and clean. Stewards also honor special requests and can help you find items or places you need. The tip should be given at the end of the cruise and should amount to about $3.50 a day.

Tip the wait staff. When you eat in the main dining hall every evening, you will likely be assigned a waiter who will be with you for the duration of the cruise. Nightly tipping isn`t expected, but you most certainly will want to give a tip at the end of the cruise, usually on the final night. How much is up to you, depending on the service of the waiter, but the norm is around $3-4 per day.

Be courteous. When you are polite and friendly with the crew, you`ll find that they are far more willing to help you out than if you are always snapping orders at them. Be nice and they`ll be nice right back.
Take the time to thank people. While on a cruise, you should still keep your manners about you and thank everyone who does something for you . . . even if they are being paid to do so. A simple thanks can go a long way.

Don`t

Criticize everything. Yes, you paid good money to go on this cruise, but hopefully you did enough research to know what to expect. Relax and enjoy the cruise, rather than looking at the bad side of things.

Become a cruise stalker. While you are bound to make new friends on the cruise, it`s one thing to get together for bingo and drinks, quite another to follow them around the ship all day! It`s a good idea to befriend several people so you have a variety of friends to hang out with, even if you aren`t with a partner.

Complain to random crew members. Cruise ships are usually big and if you have a complaint, you should go through the proper channels and not just pick someone at random who probably has no idea what you are talking about and can`t possibly help you. Instead, speak to the manager of the area you are having issues with. For example, if your problem is with the waiter, speak to the head waiter.

Slam your cabin door. Taking a moment to close it quietly, particularly at night, will help keep the peace among your neighbors! The same goes for talking loudly in the corridor . . . it can really be obnoxious to fellow passengers.

Cruise ship etiquette is really like any other etiquette. Unfortunately, many people use this time to gripe about the service and weather and just be rude in general. Just because you are outside your normal environment, doesn`t mean you should be able to act any way you please and it`s a good idea to remember this when you choose to go on a cruise. You`ll enjoy it a lot more, too, when the staff responds to you nicely because you`ve treated them well.
About the Author
Take a Toronto Harbour cruise on board the fabulous Klancy ll - the epitome of elegance and opulence. Toronto Harbour cruises operate from April to December.
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