Cruise holidays are rising in popularity with 28.5 million people choosing it as their holiday of choice in 2017. Cruises are becoming bigger and better offering many routes and destination drop off to luxury liners incorporating numerous swimming pools, night clubs and even fun fairs.


If you are new to cruising, you may be worrying about your cruise etiquette, including how to dress and how to act in certain situations. Knowing the right from the wrong can help you make the most of your holiday, enjoying it to its full potential and helping you to fit in with the your fellow passengers. Here are 4 top tips for achieving the ultimate cruise etiquette.

Be the best dressed you

Whilst being aboard the cruise ship it is important to be dressed appropriately. The way you dress and your style can be your way of showing off your unique personality so on holiday is somewhere you would want to come away relax and be yourself. We aren’t advising you go against this, buying a whole new wardrobe and dressing in black tie and ball gowns for your whole holiday but to think about what you would like to do on your holiday, the types of evenings/events you would like to partake in so you can dress appropriately. Making sure you have packed some formal wear with you for these more special occasions where you would like to eat in the more formal restaurant or you can go more smart casual with summer dresses, shirts and trousers for a buffet evening and a night of cabaret. If you have any tattoos if would be more advisable to keep these slightly covered in an evening.

What’s on the menu?

Depending on your cruise ship or package you may have a variety of restaurants you can choose from ranging from fine dining to a large scale buffet. It is important as with how you choose to dress to act appropriately to the restaurant of choice. For example, if you are giving a bit of fine dining a try in the restaurant and you aren’t quite accustomed to the more formal dining experience maybe follow the waiters directions and don’t be afraid to quietly ask their advice.

Whilst visiting the buffet, it can all start out well with polite queues forming but with the numbers of people visiting it can soon get out of hand if simple day to day rules and manners are not followed. Make sure you are following any queues in an orderly manner to prevent any adverse reactions. There will always be more food on its way so there is not rush and try to avoid picking on your way in the queue – again it won’t be long before you are seated and you can always go up for seconds. Refrain from touching food with bare hands – there will be tongs in places for this is it is self service . Try not to over plate your food, you will most likely have unlimited servings and this way can limit food waste.

Though you might think you are doing the staff a favour it is best to use a clean plate for each visit making this system run more hygienically, And don’t be tempted to bag up a plate for later! This will not be allowed and there will be plenty of other occasions you can get food if you are still hungry.

To tip or not to tip?

This is something a lot of people can find awkward whether you are on a cruise or a destination holiday. That moment when you don’t know whether to tip or how much is a suitable amount. When working on a cruise ship the staff are generally putting in very long hours as well as being away from family, friends and their homes for months at a time. For most, the tips they receive will make up their income.

In the first instance make sure you give a tip maybe try and relate it to the service they have gave you for example if they have carried bags on board and to your room might be worth a fair amount saving you the inconvenience. You might be able to gage from their reaction whether this has been a disappointing, satisfactory or overwhelming amount.


Take note on all future experiences which involving tipping maybe try to take note of what others are tipping on certain occasions or try fit the question into conversations with other guests.


Do not in any way try to give a false tip – this can include filling envelope money with paper, keep making excuses/ forgetting to tip or blaming a lack of knowledge on the tipping etiquette for your small tip.


Always try to make sure it is as fair as possible as you will be seeing these people a lot on your holiday. As well as the guests you might come across lots of regulars and you might soon earn yourself a reputation

Stay safe on the ship

As with any holiday establishment all rules and restrictions will be in place for a reason and is very important to follow these as you could cause harm to yourself, other guests or members of staff, just as you would expect staff to follow their own protocol.


Having restricted areas on the decks or not being allowed too close to the edge might be something guests will be eager to ignore to get better views or once in a lifetime experience but these are here for your own safety as might be areas at high risk of falling overboard.


Restrictions on pool opening times as well as restaurants and other amusements are also there to protect guests as if facilities aren’t manned with the correct amount of attendants or staff are still making amendments to faulty equipment or facilities preparing food you might cause harm.


Many steps are taken to help alert you to the potential safety risks on a cruise ship, but there are also likely to be some cases where accident claims are unavoidable, such as slipping on a wet deck. If you are from the UK suffer an injury that you feel is the fault of the cruise company, it is worth speaking to a lawyer who can advise you further about making an accident claim.


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