There’s little that beats the freedom and luxury of a cruise. There is no finer way to see the world than aboard a cruise liner, which is why the number of Brits who’ve chosen to take a cruise has shot up two-thirds in the past year alone. Although you’re on holiday, it helps to remember that you’re sharing the ship with 2,000 other passengers, so certain standards of behaviour are expected.

For those who are newcomers to cruise life, or veterans who want to increase their chances at being invited to the Captain’s Table, here are some helpful tips to help you stay ahead when it comes to cruise etiquette.

Clothes maketh the man

This is one of the most common gripes about those uninitiated in proper cruise conduct. Yes, it’s your holiday and yes, you are meant to be relaxing. That doesn’t mean that you can stroll around the dining room in jeans and a T-shirt. Up on the lido deck or on shore leave, casual shirts and shorts/skirts are fine, but unless you want to incur the ire of the maître d’ and your fellow passengers, always dress up for dinner (this is usually any time after 6pm). The specific dress codes for different occasions will vary between cruise liners, so check with them beforehand what is expected of you. It’s very hard to be overdressed on a cruise, but very easy to be underdressed.

Don’t be afraid of tipping

It’s one of those things that can get us flustered at the best of times, but tipping on cruise ships is expected and has become part of the norm. Luckily, cruise liners have come to the rescue of flummoxed holidaymakers and most have a solid system of tipping in place.

Some cruise operators will add a tipping levy to your on-board account, usually between £3 and £4 per person per day. Others may include individual tips in the price of each service you have such as a massage or each time you dine. Otherwise, the cruise operator can advise as to what counts as a recommended tip before you set out.

Remember that tipping is an appreciation of good service, so technically it’s not obligatory. However, keep in mind that a large part of the earnings of cruise staff is reliant on tips. If you’re not comfortable tipping individually, stick to the automatic tipping services to give you peace of mind.

Joggers on deck

It’s good that you still want to do some jogging, even on a cruise holiday. Scratch that, it’s great; go for it. Bear in mind, though, that most ships have strict hours where jogging and running are permitted. This is because the running deck is often above a deck of passenger cabins. Imagine being woken up at 5 in the morning by someone running on your ceiling repeatedly. That’s what’ll happen if you go for an early morning jog on deck, so be mindful of other passengers before you don the tracksuit.

Keep a stiff upper lip

Bad moods are contagious, so what do you think would be the likely outcome if you were to start grumbling and complaining in a contained space with several thousand other people? You’re not going to be doing anyone any favours, and you’ll carve out a reputation for yourself as being the one person who wants to bring down the mood for everyone else. If you’ve a problem, the best way to deal with it is to speak to the manager and ask for a solution. Be polite, be discreet, and things will be easier.

Leave your sense of entitlement at the door

You’re all on the ship together, and so there should be a sense of equality on a cruise. Sadly, some people think that they are more equal than others and try to use their wealth, status, and general extravagance to be better than everyone else. No one likes these people, least of all the cruise staff, who will ensure that those with an inflated sense of self-worth won’t be invited to the Captain’s Table.

Thanks Emma