The U.S. Coast Guard ship “Paul Clark” sits dockside at port in Nassau, The Bahamas, as the stern of the Disney Dream passenger cruise ship. ( iStock)
With the flick of a wrist, one couples dream vacation came to an abrupt end.
And it could happen to you.
In June, a husband and wife were booted from their Bali cruise after he fell his cigarette butt overboard. The wife was allowed to finish the trip– only alone and in tears.
Even if you havent touched a cigarette in ages, cruise ship come with plenty of breakable, but surprising, rules. The repercussion of breaking these rules is often an immediate swift kick in the rear right down the gangway.
Here are a handful of donts is maintaining mind next time youre on deck.
1. Miss the muster drill.
Muster Drills are mandatory. Dont think that because youre on a giant barge, instead of a tiny aircraft, you can skip the safety spiel. In 2012, an elderly couple was kicked off a ship in Portugal when the wife refused to attend the in-case-of-an-emergency meeting every cruise requires passengers to take part in prior to embarking. Carol Margolis, founder of SmartWomenTravelers.com, frequently cruises with her husband. His attitude toward muster drills is been there, said and done. It would be great if you could have a free pass if youve traveled on the line before, says Margolis who however constructs sure to drag her husband to every muster drill. It beats the alternative: being kicked off the ship before it even defines sail.
2. Exchange blows.
Three years ago, Ben Gritzewsky received an urgent message from Uniworld River Cruises. The company was telling the Frosch travel advisor they were planning to expel his client at the next port along the Danube. After an alcohol-infused dinner dialogue about politics, my client wound up in a fist fight with another passenger, recollects Gritzewsky who says his client preserves the other passenger deserved to be punched. And simply because you didnt throw the first punch doesnt mean youre off the hook. David Yeskel, the Cruise Guru, says most cruise lines have a zero-tolerance policy leading to all involved parties, even those who werent the aggressors, being summarily booted off the ship in the next port of call.
3. Exchange Words
Even swapping verbal insults can get you kicked off a cruise. In 2010, an 82 -year-old passenger and her 91 -year-old spouse were kicked off the Queen Mary 2 after swearing at a fellow passenger who apparently made a Jewish slur. The Jewish couple, who admit to using profanities but not getting physical, was confined to their cabin for six days until the ship stopped in New York and forced them to disembark.
4. Impersonate the staff.
When a passenger dresses in a Halloween costume and builds demands because hes the captain, it never aims well, says Mars Incrucio, a cruise ship employee who witnessed such an incident that he found to be rather endearing. His supervisors didnt find it funny. It actually happens so often the cruise companies have a policy for it, says Incrucio, Maybe its a complex some people have. I dont know. A German man posing as a ship physician on several different cruises
was actually able to treat hundreds of patients over the course of five years before he was busted in December 2015.
5. Sneak( too much) liquor on a cruise.
While there are no confirmed cases of passengers being booted from a ship for smuggling alcohol on board, that could soon change. Cruise lines are cracking down on the BYOBers and tightening up their policies prohibiting alcohol bought on shore from being consumed on ship. In 2015, Carnival announced its new no-bottle policybanning all shore-bought bottled liquors including water and soda. Attempting to committee the vessel with bottled liquors will result in the confiscation of your booty. Norwegian recently implemented a strict no-outside liquor policy( save for restriction wine and medically necessary liquids ).
6. Failing a cabin inspection.
The number one style to fail cabin inspection is to alert the medication puppies. In January 2016, seven American men were arrested for cocaine possession on a cruise in Puerto Rico when a drug puppy attaining routine checks of the Royal Caribbean ships cabins detected drugs with his carefully trained nose. If youre busted with an illegal substance in between ports, you can expect to be escorted to the ships brigbasically a jail cell or, if youre really bad, a padded room.
7. Playing pranks.
One of the quickest ways to get booted by MSC Cruises is to cry wolf. The cruise line considers playing prankssuch as screaming human overboard when there isnt oneis grounds for expulsion. You can also get booted for being the target of a prank. In 2012, it happened to this Nashville neurosurgeon who was kicked off of a Carnival cruise when someone pretending to be him took to Twitter claiming the doctor was scheming a terror attack. The cruise ship also received an anonymous telephone call. Officials ultimately cleared the doctor of the accusations, but the captain still refused to let him back on board. Maintain your friends close– and dont let your adversaries know when youre going on a cruise.
8. Show up late.
While this wont get you kicked off the vessel, per say, it can be even more upsetting. And embarrassing. YouTube is full of videos of wharf runners, says Thomas Faddegon of Cruiseline.com which has compiled its own highlight reel. Cruise ships always leave on time, so if passengers are on island time, theyll be left behind. Yeskel says he was on a cruise in Jamaica where a group was doing the run of shame and guests on board were taunting them for being late. The runners stimulated it onto the ship in the nick of time and then consequently got into a physical altercation with their taunters. All were subsequently escorted off the ship.
9. Drop Things Overboard
Throwing anything overboard is grounds for forced dismissal. It doesnt matter if its a cigarette, candy wrapper, fellow passenger or even the anchor. Yes, in 2010 a drunk passenger actually dropped a Holland America cruise ship anchor. He was subsequently interrogated by the FBI and faced federal charges.
Katie Jackson is a travelling writer. When she’s not working, she’s chasing after a Leonberger named Zeus.