What not to do on a cruise

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - LINER NOTES - AN­DREA BLACK

Sure, any ac­tiv­ity deemed il­le­gal on land will swiftly get you es­corted off a ship but as ships are pri­vately owned there are cer­tain rules that ap­ply on top of that. In fact, it’s eas­ier to get kicked off a ship than you may imag­ine.

Late to your port sail­away? Seeya later! Well, at least see you for now, you’ll have to make your own way to the next port. De­cided to stay a night in a port and meet up with the ship else­where but failed to tell the crew? It could set into place a ma­jor op­er­a­tion for the ship, whose crew think you’ve gone over­board.

Here are some more sur­pris­ing ways your cruise could be cut short. The moral of the story? Know the rules be­fore you em­bark on your much-an­tic­i­pated dream hol­i­day.


You’ve boarded the ship, given the ves­sel the once over to find out which restau­rants you’ll try and which pool­side lounger has your name on it, you’ve un­packed, and now you’re cel­e­brat­ing with a sparkling wine in the cabin … then over the loud­speaker comes the an­nounce­ment that all must gather at their as­signed sta­tions for the muster drill.

Damn, can’t you sit it out and hide in the cabin just this once? The an­swer is no. At­ten­dance is manda­tory. There have been re­ports of ships order­ing pas­sen­gers to dis­em­bark for fail­ing to at­tend the drill. It makes sense that there are no ifs or buts, these drills are un­der­taken to en­sure the safety of all on-board.


It’s a given if you’re fly­ing over­seas, you’re go­ing to have your pass­port on you. But if you’re on a cruise and set­tled in it can be easy to for­get the pass­port tucked away in the safe. This is where you can run into trou­ble.

When you’re in dif­fer­ent ports, where the coun­try can change daily – say in the Baltics where one day it’s St Peters­burg in Rus­sia (here there’s the added red tape of need­ing a visa if not on a ship-or­gan­ised ex­cur­sion) and the next in Helsinki, Fin­land – and you don’t have your pass­port on you when dis­em­bark­ing it’s pos­si­ble you could be de­nied en­try back onto the ship. De­pend­ing on the port you might not need it, but it def­i­nitely pays to have it on you, just in case.


We’re talk­ing any­thing, from a cig­a­rette butt to the ship’s equip­ment.

A few years ago, an Aus­tralian pas­sen­ger was ejected from a cruise when they flicked a cig­a­rette butt over­board. The pas­sen­ger was left to find their own way home from Bali.

And on an­other cruise, a drunk pas­sen­ger went to the trou­ble of re­leas­ing the ship’s an­chor and a lifebuoy. It could have ended in dis­as­ter, not least per­ma­nent dam­age to the ship. His penalty? He was made to walk the plank – that is, he was es­corted off the ship and ar­rested.


Have you al­ways dreamed of be­ing a cruise di­rec­tor like Julie McCoy from The Love Boat? Or maybe steer­ing the ship af­ter vis­it­ing the bridge? You’ll need years of train­ing to do that!

Any­one dress­ing up in sailor whites to im­per­son­ate crew can be asked to dis­em­bark im­me­di­ately, no mat­ter how in­no­cent your in­ten­tions.

On the scarier side, in Ger­many, a man was found to be im­per­son­at­ing a doc­tor, treat­ing pa­tients on cruise ships for more than five years. He claimed to be a spe­cial­ist in anaes­the­sia and in­ten­sive care.


Don’t for­get pass­ports for ex­cur­sions. In the Baltics a stop might be Rus­sia one day, Fin­land the next; re­turn to the ship on time.


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