As an experienced cruiser, I've got tons of tips to make your next cruise vacation a breeze.
When you're on a cruise ship your cabin can really be your island of solitude. Where you not only go when you need sleep but when you just want a little bit of space away from others, especially after we are so rusty being in groups since the pandemic. I'm an introverted soul by nature so me, I always find being surrounded by a group of people ends with me needing time alone for a much-needed recharge to my social battery. My stateroom is the how and where that lets me do that.
Most people, especially those with balcony staterooms find escape from the often-crowded pool deck and hordes of people around the buffets by chilling out on their own balconies in the warm sun with an enjoyable book, or just lounging and watching the waves go by endlessly. If you are on a long enough cruise, you will find that you will have moved in completely to the room and have packed your empty cases under your bed and will just make the space your own, so that you can feel completely comfortable. Whilst you are nesting in your cabin and partying the nights away on your journey there are a few things that you shouldn't do in your cruise ship cabin.
Some unruly types go on cruises and figure that anything goes, but sorry to say that really isn't the case, especially if you don't want to make enemies on your cruise. It is best that you note that whilst your cabin is your personal space you must be aware that the walls just aren't thick enough to absorb your favorite rock song at 2:30am.
So, for those worried about what not to do in your cabin this is my list of things that you should consider ensuring happy cruisers and even happy cruises.
Where there is smoke, there could very well be fire
Smoking on a ship is a genuine fire hazard, especially outside of designated smoking areas. There have been ships that have caught fire just because of some ash that has sparked a fire in certain locations.
Not to overlook that at this point in our overall cultural evolution, a heap of people find cigarette smoke to be a real annoyance and feel that they shouldn't have to put up with someone else's dirty habit. Given the risk of fire on board ships, smokers will still find a couple of locations on the ship to spark up. So, if you are one of those people that still like a smoke on occasion you will have to head up to one of the allocated spaces to get your fix.
All cruise lines have put a blanket ban on having a cigarette in cabins, and Australian sailings have banned smoking on private balconies or outside of the designated spaces. Some cruise lines are even moving to stopping smoking in the casinos which is refreshing as that stink can really settle in after a while.
If you have ever copped a face full of smoke whilst enjoying the view from your balcony you will clearly know the reasoning as to why it is not allowed beside the obvious fire risk.
Light your way with a candle
Or anything to do with an open flame or flames in general is frowned upon on ships so keep that in mind... fire hazards are not cool. Don't panic though because most cruise lines are fine with your hair dryers and straighteners.
Scream at the top of your lungs
You can scream or party as much as you like in your cabin if you want to gain the anger and judging looks of the people in the surrounding cabins and even a stern talking to by your room steward. Cruise ship cabins have very very thin and metal-based walls, and any loud noises and even some average ones are going to make the distance through the walls to your fellow cruisers. especially if you happen to be in a connecting room or even just sound leaking through the hallway doors. The right way to go about it is to just general keep things at a basic volume, and don't crank up the tunes too loud, especially if it is in the middle of the night or if it is mid-morning and the party never stopped. The same theory should be applied when it comes to balconies, just make sure that you are being respectful of those around you.
Run around with the tackle out!
Unless you are actually out on the open seas deep-sea fishing, then your tackle should be properly stored. Your cabin might feel like it is the greatest of private spaces, but it isn't always. I'm quite sure there have been a few unlucky cruisers that have made their way out of the bathroom to be surprised by their cabin steward cleaning the room and being naked around them is just a little bit too friendly, to be honest.
The other thing to look out for is the cleaning crew that cares for the outside of the ship, they tend to wash down the side of the ship and will quite often pass through all the balconies as they ensure that all the spaces are clean as possible.
There is also the slight chance of being surprised by dockworkers if your ship is docked at a port for any amount of time, and even cruisers on other ships if they dock close together. Bear in mind that if you can see them, they can see you. Even if you keep curtains closed during your less adorned times, your best bet is to put on at least a towel before you venture outside of your bathroom after a long relaxing shower and even put your do not disturb sign up just in case.
Let the outside in, leaving the balcony door open
When you are in the airconditioned space that is your cabin and you spot the pristine locations out of your cabin window it is always very tempting to leave your balcony door ajar and let in the beautiful clean air of the locations that you are visiting, not to forget that amazing sound of the sea that just enlivens your soul.
Unfortunately doing that is a frowned upon by cruise lines for several reasons, mostly because it will throw out the air-conditioning in your room and end up making it overcompensate. So, it is very much not environmentally friendly because you will end up waste a heap of electrical power which the ship will have to burn fuel to replenish.
Another reason for leaving it closed is the fact that if you have it open and someone opens the main cabin door you will likely end up losing everything that isn't stapled down because your cabin will become a wind tunnel that will draw all your paperwork and anything light enough out the balcony doorway.
Hang items to dry on the balcony rail
Getting your swim gear to dry on that string in your cabins shower can be a bit of a pain with the steam and humidity that can remain in that space, so it can be tempting to just hang your stuff on the back of a chair on the balcony or over the rail to catch those rays from the warm sun.
Slinging a few items of clothing on the rails might seem like a clever idea but all it takes is for the ship to pull out of port or the wind to pick up and your fineries will be spread across the ocean. This is not cool, as it is also considered littering the oceans with is very much frowned upon.
Not only that but scheduled balcony cleaning will mean that your stuff is washed away, or it is going to be coated in God knows what. There is also that ever-present chance that leaving something that could catch alight on the balcony could end very badly.
Make a mess, and letting your hair down just a little too much
You are on holiday and yes, of course, you just want to enjoy yourself don't want to clean up after yourself all the time. But you don't want your cabin to look like a really bad episode of Hoarders after the first couple of seas days.
Your cabin has sufficient storage to make life more bearable, especially if you make sure to unpack your luggage and put it away properly. Cabins have limited walk space, so leaving stuff spread out on the floor really is not an option and you are liable to do yourself a midnight injury if you aren't careful.
Get your spray on - with perfume
If you start spraying perfume and antiperspirants around the aircon and vents are going to be your doom, especially in windowless staterooms, where even just a little spray over the average is likely to send you running for the nearest opening window.
What are your stateroom and cruise ship rules that shall not be broken? Let me know in the comments below.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Paddy Michelson
Carolyn Fields from South Dakota, USA on September 18, 2019:
I've only been on one river cruise, so my experience is limited. I was surprised that our state room was "invaded" on a regular basis - whether or not we wanted it cleaned or serviced. So my tip is to not leave anything "out" where it can be seen that might embarrass you. Use your imagination as to what that might be, from "reading materials" to undergarments. If it's left out, it will be seen by others.
Lorna Lamon on September 07, 2019:
Great advice Paddy, I imagine it's also a good idea to retain a sense of humour in some of these situations.
Paddy Michelson (author) from Australia on September 06, 2019:
I've had a few of them happen around and to me. But in case your wondering I haven't suffered the embarrassment of the tackle one, though I do have a friend who has.
Tess from Hawaii on September 06, 2019:
I feel like a lot of these points hit close to home for you lol. They seem like common sense but common sense isn't the same for everyone. Nice article.
Liz Westwood from UK on September 06, 2019:
Some of these made me laugh, but all of them are valid points. You have used your cruise experience to good effect in this article, a must-read for anyone new to cruising.