Cruise rules and things to NOT do on a cruise

19 Cruise Rules and Things to NOT do on a Cruise

While a cruise is a great choice for a vacation, there are important cruise rules and things NOT to do on a cruise that you should be aware of.

Some of the following are important cruise rules to follow.  These cruise rules are in place for the safety and courtesy of other passengers.  While others are cruise etiquette and things to avoid doing on a cruise to make your vacation more enjoyable. Here are just some of the cruise rules and things NOT to do on a cruise.

Important cruise rules to follow as well as things not to do on a cruise to make it more enjoyable for yourself and for others.  Cruise etiquette to be aware of before you cruise.  Great cruise tips for first time cruisers.

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Important Cruise Rules

Here are some important cruise rules to follow.

1. No smoking on your balcony

While your cruise ship balcony might feel like your own private space to do what you like, smoking on your balcony is NOT allowed. 

2. Don’t play loud music on your balcony

Sound can carry, be respectful of your neighbors and keep your music turned down.  Better yet, just enjoy the sound of the ocean.

3. Don’t skip the handwashing hygiene

Whether we are still in Covid times or not, this will remain important. 

4. Don’t miss the ship

This cruise rule might be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people almost miss the ship and that there are people who do miss the ship after a little too much fun in port.

Be aware of the all aboard time and whether that is “ship time” or local time – this isn’t always the same thing.

Related cruise posts:

5. Don’t pack a surge protected power strip

Surge protected power strips and extension cords are NOT allowed on a cruise ship.  Don’t pack these as they will be confiscated. 

If you were wanting to bring a power bar or power strip for extra outlets in your stateroom, get yourself one of these.

Cruise Power Strip No Surge Protector with USB Outlets - Ship Approved (Non Surge Protection) Cruise Essentials in 2023, 2024 & 2025

This type is NON surge protected and cruise ship approved.  This is the one we have.  I like it because it has USB charging ports as well as the extra electrical outlets.

6. Don’t bring a clothes iron

Irons are another prohibited item.  Clothes steamers are also not allowed on a cruise ship.  They are considered too much of a fire risk.

7. Don’t pack other prohibited items

Be sure to check your cruise line’s website for a complete list of prohibited items.  This is an important cruise rule.

Here are links to some of the major cruise line’s banned items.

Carnival Cruise Lines

Celebrity Cruise Lines

Disney Cruise Lines

Holland America Cruise Line

MSC Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line

Princess Cruises

8. Follow posted signs

Always follow posted signs and rules.  This is common cruise etiquette. 

Important Things to NOT do on a Cruise

While these things aren’t actual cruise rules, they are things you shouldn’t do on a cruise.  Your cruise vacation will be more enjoyable if you avoid these things.

Things to NOT do on a cruise ship

Important cruise rules to follow as well as things not to do on a cruise to make it more enjoyable for yourself and for others.  Cruise etiquette to be aware of before you cruise.  Great cruise tips for first time cruisers.

9. Don’t remove cruise gratuities unnecessarily

The cruise ship staff go out of their way and work incredibly hard to make your cruise vacation amazing. 

Don’t remove cruise service gratuities (tips) as a way of saving money.  That just isn’t fair.

In the very unlikely event that you have an issue with service, talk to guest services to find a solution before demanding tips be removed from your account.

10. Don’t get too much sun

When the ship is moving there is a breeze.  This breeze can be deceiving as to how much sun you are getting. 

Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and aloe vera or after sun. 

11. Don’t lose your cruise card

Your cruise card is your room key, your boarding pass, and your ship charge card.  Your onboard purchases are charged to this card. 

If you happen to misplace it, go to Guest Services right away.

An important thing not to do on a cruise is to lose your crusie card.

12. Don’t overpack

I know this can be easier said than done, but try not to overpack.  If you are looking for cruise packing tips these articles might be of interest.

13. Careful not to consume too much alcohol

Enjoying a few beverages on vacation is on the to do list of many people, just keep in mind you are walking around on a moving ship.  Your stagger can be amplified.

14.  Try not to use the cruise ship ATM

The fees to use the cruise ship ATM can be high.  Plan ahead and avoid using them if possible, or at least be aware of the cost and try not to use them multiple times.

15. Don’t buy the drink packages onboard

Buy it ahead of time, it is usually cheaper.  Watch online for sales by signing into your cruise account and checking often. 

If you don’t buy it ahead of time and think it’s still worth it, then buy all means buy it.  But in the future do yourself a favor and buy it ahead of time.

16. Don’t lose your cruise towel

Save yourself some money as you will be charged a fee for lost towels.

17. Don’t hang your towels on the ship railings

This goes for your balcony as well as any of the outside decks.  They too easily can fly off and into the ocean.

18. Don’t save pool lounge chairs

Saving pool lounge chairs or the nicer loungers in the adult only areas is against cruise ship policy and is poor cruise etiquette.  Don’t throw a towel on it and then leave it unattended for hours.   

19. Don’t call the ship a boat

Calling a cruise ship a boat will have every experienced cruiser and crew member cringing.

Following these cruise rules and avoiding doing these things on a cruise will keep you out of trouble and have you loving your vacation even more.

Good cruise etiquette makes a cruise more enjoyable for everyone on board.