Cruise Facts10 Things That Will Get You Banned From a Cruise Ship

10 Things That Will Get You Banned From a Cruise Ship

No one books a cruise hoping to get kicked off the ship.  And despite some of the things on this list being common sense, passengers are still banned from ships for participating in the behavior listed below.

Sky Princess cruise ship in Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Going on a cruise can be a fantastic way to unwind, relax, and explore new places, but it’s important to remember that a cruise ship is still a community with its own rules and regulations.

While most cruise-goers behave themselves and enjoy their vacation responsibly, there are some things that can get you banned from a cruise ship. Here are ten things to avoid doing on a cruise ship if you want to stay out of trouble and avoid getting kicked off.


1. Bringing illegal substances onboard

It should come as no surprise that bringing illegal drugs or other substances onto a cruise ship is strictly prohibited. Not only is it against the law, but it’s also a violation of the cruise line’s rules and can result in immediate ejection from the ship.

Cruise lines are required to comply with international laws and can face serious legal consequences if they are found to be allowing illegal substances onboard.

Related:  18 worst things to pack on a cruise


2. Fighting or engaging in other disruptive behavior

Just like on land, fighting or engaging in other disruptive behavior onboard a cruise ship is not tolerated. Cruise lines take the safety and comfort of their passengers seriously and will not hesitate to remove anyone who is causing a disturbance. If you find yourself in an altercation, it’s best to walk away and report the incident to security.

Besides being removed from the cruise ship you may also face a fine of $500 or more for this kind of behavior.


3. Skipping the Muster Drill

cruise tips safety drill

Cruise ships have safety protocols in place for a reason. They are designed to keep passengers safe in the event of an emergency. Refusing to follow safety procedures, such as participating in emergency drills, is not only dangerous but can also result in your removal from the ship.

If you think you’re the exception and that this won’t happen to you, think again.   This might be your 20th cruise but you could be removed from the ship at the first port if you just want to play “muster-drill dodge ball”.

A few years ago, a couple on a Seabourn cruise had to be removed after refusing to participate in the muster drill.

With today’s simple e-muster drills making the process easy and quick as ever I don’t see why anyone would skip this in the first place.  Besides, the cruise line will give you multiple opportunities to take care of this aspect of the safety protocol, because they really do want you to enjoy your cruise vacation.


4. Stealing or damaging property

Stealing or damaging property is a criminal offense and will not be tolerated onboard a cruise ship. Cruise lines take theft and vandalism seriously and will work with authorities to investigate and prosecute any offenders. If you’re caught stealing or damaging property, you will likely be removed from the ship and may face legal consequences.

However, if you really like the towels or bathrobes offered in your cabin you can buy them from most cruise lines.   For instance, Carnival will sell you their towels for about $25.

Related:  15 things most people forget to bring on a cruise


5. Harassing or assaulting other passengers or crew members

Harassment or assault of any kind is not tolerated onboard a cruise ship. Cruise lines have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to this type of behavior and will take swift action to remove anyone who is engaging in it. If you’re the victim of harassment or assault, report it to ship security immediately.


6. Smoking in non-designated areas

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Smoking is not allowed in many areas of cruise ships, including cabins, restaurants, and public spaces. If you’re caught smoking in a non-designated area, you could find yourself in some hot water.

Remember, risk of fire is the biggest concern for cruise ships as far as safety is concerned, so cruise lines will take this very seriously.

Additionally, many cruise lines have started implementing stricter smoking policies due to health concerns and increased awareness of the dangers of secondhand smoke.


7. Climbing on or sitting on railings


midship balcony staterooms cabins

Those railings on a cruise ship are there for your safety.  They are not chairs, nor do they allow you the opportunity to test out your climbing skills.

Cruisers have been banned for life for trying to get selfies by sitting on or climbing over the railing.  Even worse, some have been banned for life for purposely jumping over the railing and into the ocean.  Besides being dangerous, this is very unwise behavior that will get you swiftly removed from the ship, and possibly for a very long time.

If you want that epic picture from your stateroom balcony just use a selfie stick.


8. Using drones or other unauthorized devices on the ship

Some cruise lines now allow you to bring drones with you.  You just can’t use them on the ship.

Some lines will hold the drones for you until you get to a port, where you will then be granted access by the chief security officer to use the drone away from the port area.  And others will allow you to keep your drone in your cabin.  You just can’t use it until you’re off the ship.

Remember, you still have to abide by any local regulations and laws, so be sure to know about each port before you decide to tote your drone with you.

Always refer to the cruise line’s website if you have questions about their drone policy as this is always changing and nuances may be added.

In most cases the consequences for flying a drone from the ship may be drone confiscation and a fine, but depending on the offense you may be escorted off the ship as well.


9.  Throwing things overboard into the ocean

Cruise lines have strict policies against throwing items overboard into the ocean.  You might think you’re just feeding the fish, but don’t throw something over the railing, big or small.

This includes everything from cigarette butts and food scraps to larger items like plastic bottles and cans. The reasons for these policies are numerous, but they all revolve around the goal of protecting the environment and preserving the beauty of the world’s oceans.

Additionally, throwing items overboard can also violate international laws and regulations. Many countries have established regulations governing the discharge of waste materials into the ocean, and cruise ships are required to comply with these regulations. Failure to do so can result in fines and legal consequences.


10.  Medical emergency

So this one isn’t really a “ban” but it’s definitely something that will require you to leave the ship.  If you have a medical emergency while on a cruise you may need to be airlifted by helicopter and taken to the nearest hospital.

Cruise ship’s do have medical facilities and doctors, but they aren’t made to handle more serious medical and life-threatening conditions.

The cost of being airlifted from a cruise ship can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000, so it’s another reason I recommend having cruise travel insurance before your trip.

Related: Cruise travel insurance: Why you need it more than you think


Cruise ships provide an excellent opportunity for travelers to explore the world and enjoy a relaxing vacation. However, it is important to follow the rules and regulations to ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone on board. Violating these rules can result in being banned from the ship, which can ruin your vacation and result in costly expenses.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the ship’s rules and regulations before embarking on your journey.

Read more:  Cruise cabin check:  11 things to do before you unpack your suitcase

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on dozens of cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 9 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
Cruise Facts10 Things That Will Get You Banned From a Cruise Ship

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