Opinion10 Ways to be the Most Disliked Passenger at Sea

10 Ways to be the Most Disliked Passenger at Sea

There is nothing in the world like embarking on a cruise ship for a week long vacation.  However, some passengers seem to forget that they are sharing the ship for the week with several thousand fellow cruisers.  Here are 10 ways to be the most disliked passenger on a cruise.

Our free cruise newsletter offers the latest cruise news and deals: Sign Up

1. Grabbing food from the buffet with your bare hands – No matter how much you are tempted, you should NEVER grab food with your bare hands from the buffet. Norovirus and other illnesses are real threats not only on cruise ships, but anywhere a large amount of people are confined in a small area. Our advice? Wash your hands and always use the tongs.

2. Line cutters – You’re on vacation, no one wants to “waste” time waiting in lines.  However, waiting in lines is part of life.  If you want to be first in line, get there early.  If you do decide to cut in line, be prepared to be called out by other passengers.

3. Chair hogs – There is nothing more annoying than walking around the lido deck and seeing tons of empty loungers, only to have them “saved” with a towel.  I’ve witnessed passengers coming by at 6:30 a.m., save loungers by the pool with towels, and then disappear for several hours.

4. Loyalty snobs – Cruising many times with the same cruise line offers great perks as you move up to Elite, Platinum, or Diamond. However, using your loyalty status to brag, cut in line (unless it’s a benefit), or demand special attention will make you disliked rather quickly from your fellow passengers.  Having the top loyalty status on a cruise line does not make you special, but it does mean you are fortunate enough to cruise a lot.

5. Trivia cheats – Playing trivia on cruises is a great way to spend part of a sea day and interact with other passengers.  It is usually a lot of fun and not taken too seriously. Using the newer unlimited and faster internet plans to look up the answers on your phone steals a lot of the fun away from other passengers.  Also, if you are on back to back to back cruises, memorizing the answers so you can score a 100 on the following cruise is super annoying.  To the lady (she had been on the ship for 3 straight weeks) who completely aced the nearly impossible trivia on my last Carnival Liberty cruise, this one’s for you.

6. Being tardy for dinner – When you have traditional dining, being on time for dinner is important to your tablemates.  If you arrive 30 minutes late, your tablemates’ dinner will come to a halt until you catch up to the same course that they are on. They won’t be very happy when they miss they show that they were hoping to see right after the meal because your tardiness made for an extra long dinner.

7. Ignoring smoking rules – As cruise lines develop stricter smoking rules on cruise ships, smokers have fewer places to light up than just a few years ago.  However, ignoring these rules will make you disliked by other passengers.  Yes, I’m talking about you in balcony 10284 who smoked me off my balcony during my recent Norwegian Breakaway cruise.

8. Unsupervised children – Letting your children run wild on a cruise is a great way to annoy your fellow passengers.  Thankfully, most parents are great about this and making sure that their kids behave.

9. Complainers – Nothing will ruin a good time like having someone complain about little everything that goes wrong.  Things happen, don’t sweat the small stuff.  A few things going wrong on a cruise is better than any day at work.

10. Bragging about removing gratuities – I’m not talking about those who remove gratuities and choose to tip in person, I’m talking about those who decided they weren’t going to tip before the cruise even started. To the travel agents who tell their clients to remove the services charges so their cruise will be cheaper to the lady who recently told us that she wasn’t going to tip on her upcoming cruise because she wasn’t happy with the stateroom that was assigned to her, bragging about not tipping is a great way to be disliked by other passengers and the hard working crew members who serve you.

Learn the cruise secrets most people don't know and cruise like a boss. Check out Intelligent Cruiser here for a better cruise vacation. (Sponsored)

Looking for the Best Cruise Deals?
Search Multiple Sites at Once
Instant Real Time Pricing
Search Now

Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Opinion10 Ways to be the Most Disliked Passenger at Sea


  1. First off why not just set this up where I can log into my Facebook without having to type in a hundred things just to make a comment. I was in agreement with you on everything until I got to the smoking one. It’s like you people lavish in the fact that you’re taking rights away from other Americans. What I thought ironic in the situation is this has nothing to do with health because the Canadian government just exposed the fraud behind the second hand smoke myth and a lot of American universities have been doing similar studies that corroborate that the anti-smoking lobbyists of the nineties lied about secondhand smoke. I hope every single smoker smokes on the balcony and smokes you off of the ship. I think we’ve had enough of being treated like second-class citizens. The other day I was outside of Publix smoking a cigarette and got a dirty look from an old woman. As a Southern Man I politely tried to say sweetheart it’s not a crack pipe it’s just a cigarette calm down.

    • First, I would question the “southern gentleman” description.

      But, on to the smoking issue. It seems to me your take on people’s reaction to you blowing smoke is about the health ramifications of second hand smoke. I think if you asked a sampling of your non- smoking friends what really bothers them about walking through your exhaled smoke cloud, the answer would most likely be, “it STINKS!”
      Women (not just old ones as you implied) especially are offended because the stink clings to hair & clothing. They walk inside & the stink rides with them. And consider this; when people exhale, other than on cold days, we don’t see other’s exhaled air. But here we are approaching a smoker(s) and we see them exhale a big cloud of cigarette smoke. Personally, I hold my breath because the thought of rebreathing the smoke filled air that came out your lungs nauseates me! And you wishing smokers would force non-smokers to leave the ship would be like someone hoping you end up with COPD or worse. Yes, you have rights, but be considerate other’s rights.

    • How about I get a big pile of cow dung and put it on my balcony next to your so you can smell it? It’s amazing how a smoker can rationalize their odor invading my personal space.

    • What about the child who has asthma and proceeds to have an attack from breathing in all that nasty smoke? I’ll let you hold and console mine as she sucks in steroids and tries to re-open the passages so she can BREATHE again. You can explain to her that what she is feeling is a myth studied by universities and tell her that you plan to “smoke” her out while she tries to enjoy her first cruise with her family. Oh, and tell her that she’s a second class citizen and that’s why she doesn’t deserve to get to breathe.

  2. May I add an 11th disliked cruiser?? The Bluetooth guy. The guy who blasts his bluetooth speaker everywhere all day. We had a guy last year at the bars, at Spice H2O, around the pool, late night in the Atrium DURING THE MOVIE…..everywhere he went he had his Bluetooth blasting. PAIN IN THE NECK. He had classic rock on, my type of music, but annoying and distracting none the less.

  3. I was on the Breakaway when the Dawn hit the reef in Bermuda, they went back to the dock and were still there when we arrived the next morning. They were being inspected and were tied up at the dock so the Breakaway pulled in, dropped anchor, we gathered in the theater, and they tendered us in. Not entirely horrible. Yes its easier to walk off the boat but come on people, 3 days in Bermuda. So the Dawn was cleared, pulled out by noon and the Breakaway tied up. When we all arrived back we walked on. I went to Guest Services for some reason……and the lady ahead of me, mind you on the Breakaway, was yelling about how inconvenienced she was, how she would never sail NCL again, how her years of Platinum should get her special consideration. What was she mad about?? She was ripped the Dawn was at the dock when we arrived and now she, the lady on the Breakaway, deserved a free cruise for the stress of tendering in and how she is Platinum and has spent 1000’s of dollars over the years and its time for NCL to make it up to her. So she was 3 of the things in this article- a complainer, a loyalty snob and because she did not get special consideration for tendering a line snob. Insane. And no they did not give in to her.

    • Glad they didn’t give into her! Some people just find any excuse to blow up something out of proportion to get something for free or a discount. I bet she does this anytime she can.

  4. I agree with all except the one about repeat cruisers. If I choose to cruise one cruise line and am now in an upper tier with that cruise line, I should be special to them. I have been loyal to them while others are choosing to shop around and cruise other lines. Sorry but I should have perks others don’t have.

  5. I couldn’t understand the parents who allowed their children to run wild on the cruise I took last year. Not only did they run up and down our hallway, knocking on doors, they also played hide and seek on the grand staircase, insisted upon sitting at the piano bar, and crowded the ice cream machines and the pizza parlor. At one time, I watched an adolescent girl slinging her bag, backpack – I’m not sure what it was – around her shoulders while playing keep-away with another girl. I’m not a grouch – I love children and love working with them but, come on parents – even a ship in the middle of the ocean is no place for a child to be unsupervised!!

  6. You missed out those who think they don’t have to follow rules at boat drill. I don’t care how many times you’ve cruised before or how many years you served in the navy. Leave your drink, stand still, shut up and let the other passengers listen. And just because you listened to the English instructions, you don’t get to chat during the other languages.

  7. You forgot to mention the people that storm the elevators so that when you want to get off the elevator they are blocking the doorway so you cant get out.

  8. All are great points but two things stand out that need to be addressed by the offenders and ships crew.
    Parents, just because you’re on a cruise ship doesn’t mean your parental responsibilities default to the crew of the ship. Your wonderful little ones become a major pain to everyone else when you allow them to run feral on board.
    Crew, nobody likes to upset a passenger but empty lounge chairs upset other passengers who can not sit because a towel needs to sun itself for an hour or more.

    • I so love your comment!! On my last cruise aboard the Carnival Liberty; I wasn’t feeling well; so I decided to go back to my cabin and lay down. All of a sudden; there were kids running up and down the hallway. So I peek out of my cabin door and there were the parents; just watching their kids running back and forth! A lot of parents let their children run wild on a cruise. Running around the dining room; sitting in the adults only hot tub etc. It is NOT the crew’s responsibility to watch or look after your kids!!! I also agree that if your SAVED seat has been empty at least an hour; it is ok for the staff to remove your stuff! It is not fair to hog the best seats.

  9. My family had a similar experience with a couple who smoked on their balcony next to ours. It was impossible to sit out there. We could also smell the smoke in our room. On Carnival cruise after 40 minutes if you have not used your chairs the staff can remove the items and let others use your chairs. Which in my opinion only fair.

Comments are closed.

Recent Popular Posts