Yesterday’s USA Today had a great article by Fran Golden suggesting ten ways to be a polite traveler while cruising.  Being a considerate ship-mate is a great way to pay it forward!  Below is the article in full.  

There is no Miss Manners for cruise passengers, but there are rules of etiquette that veteran cruisers should know and first-time cruisers should be aware of before stepping onboard a cruise ship.

Here are 10 ways to show you know proper cruise-ship etiquette.

1. Pay attention at the safety drill. Don’t talk. Don’t drink. Don’t take photos. If there’s a time to be serious on your cruise vacation, this is it.

2. Be spatially aware. You aren’t the only one on the ship. If there is a line at the elevators and you can take the stairs, take them. If you’re a slow walker, let the person behind you pass in the narrow cabin hallways. At the buffet, if you’re alone at a table for six, consider sharing.

3. Avoid being a deck-chair hog. Reserving a deck chair for the whole day at the pool by leaving your stuff, even when you won’t be there the whole time, is not considered courteous. Spend your time in the sun and then clear the space for someone else.

4. Don’t save seats for your band of eight in the theater. Show up together to claim them en masse, or sit separately.

5. Make choices quickly at the buffet (it helps to take a look before you get in line). The buffet line is also not the time to lecture your child or quiz a chef about every ingredient in every dish. (If you have food allergies, you may be better off eating in the dining room where the crew can help track what you’re served).

6. Check promptly that the luggage delivered to your room (or outside your door) is your own. You don’t want to leave a fellow passenger panicking when you have their bag.

7. Keep your kids under control. Just because you are on a cruise ship doesn’t mean you can stop parenting. The kids should not be running wild. Also, don’t try to sneak youngsters into adults-only areas of the ship – such as the quiet pool, gym, hot tubs, or spa. Follow the age rules.

8. Talk quietly (no shouting) on cabin balconies and in cabin hallways. Your neighbors can hear you, including when you let your cabin door slam.

9. Arrive on time. When you are at an assigned table at a set time, it’s uncool to keep your tablemates waiting. Even when you have your own reservation, being late throws the crew off their game. Arrive on time for shows, too.

10. Follow the dress code. Nothing gets the ire of fellow passengers more then when they follow the dress code – putting on a jacket or tie, for instance – and you blow it off, showing up in the dining room carefree in a Hawaiian shirt. If you want to go casual on a more formal night, head to the Lido buffet.