Cruise ship workers reveal the 7 most annoying things you can do as a passenger

Carlos Barria/ReutersSome cruise ship passengers have annoying tendencies.

  • Business Insider spoke with 39 current and former cruise ship employees, many of whom said nearly all passengers are pleasant.
  • But that’s not always the case. Some passengers have irritating tendencies, like practicing bad hygiene or failing to listen to safety drills.
  • Seven current or former cruise ship workers described to us the most annoying things passengers do.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

For some cruise ship workers, interacting with passengers can be a blessing and a curse.

Business Insider spoke with 39 current and former cruise ship employees, many of whom said most passengers are actually quite pleasant. But some passengers have irritating tendencies, they told us, like practicing bad hygiene or failing to listen to safety drills.

Seven current or former cruise ship workers described the most annoying things passengers do. (Five requested anonymity due to a fear of reprisal from their current or former employer.)

Here’s what they said.


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Spending too much time at ports

Jan Schneckenhaus/Shutterstock

“What’s the most annoying thing passengers do? Not paying attention to the time they had to be back to the ship when in port,” said Chad Stone, a former production manager for Seabourn Cruise Line.

“This was a massive deal because we would end up paying more in port fees if we stayed too long, or we would end up having to wait for larger ships to leave, putting us in a large queue of departing ships. The captain would have to make up for it en route, making for a bit rougher of a ride to the next port.”


Read more:
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Bad hygiene

Richard Drew/Associated Press

“When they don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet, or grabbing food directly from the buffet with their hands,” a former Royal Caribbean Cruises employee said.


Read more:
Cruise-ship workers reveal the most disappointing things about their job


Not listening to safety drills

Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

A former chef for Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean said failing to listen during safety drills was the most annoying thing passengers did.


Messy eating

Don Ryan/Associated Press

“Younger [passengers] usually take food and beverages to their cabins, leaving a trail of crumbs and debris along the way,” said Aida Carvahlo, a former human-resources manager for MSC Cruises, Viking Cruises, and Holland America Line. “After eating, they leave plates and glasses through the hallways of cabins. Housekeeping staff sometimes find rotten food under beds.”

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Acting in a way they wouldn’t at home

mariakraynova/ShutterstockA belly-flop competition underway aboard a cruise ship.

“They behave in a way they would never do at home,” said a former Royal Caribbean first officer who now works for The World, a residential cruise ship. “Like would you ever call 911 if the internet does not work or your toilet does not flush?”


Going to the dining room right before it closes

Nora Tam/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

Going to the dining room right before it closes is the most annoying passenger behaviour, said a former hostess for Carnival.


Asking annoying questions

Carlos Barria/Reuters

A former waitress for Carnival said she was annoyed when passengers asked her questions they could easily find the answer to somewhere else, like guest services or an app on their phone.

“I lost valuable time and money, since my income was based on my sales,” she said.

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