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Cruise Etiquette 101: What to Know Before You Go

You did it! You really did it! You’ve booked your first Norwegian Cruise Line vacation. Whether it’s a romantic cruise to the Mexican Riviera, a family-themed Caribbean adventure, or a European empty-nest celebration, we all remember our first cruise.

Vacationers who come together for Norwegian cruises (that range anywhere from three to 21-days) form a fun community with a shared bond. It won’t be long before you learn the ship lingo and can easily tell your “bow” from “stern.” But also, there’s an insider’s etiquette to cruising, and it always helps to brush up beforehand.  

Not only will your fellow cruisers appreciate the gestures, but it will help you feel like a seasoned sailor from the get-go. Here are some simple cruise do’s and don’ts to learn before you set sail and throw caution to the wind:

Norwegian Getaway Water Slide

Don’t: Dawdle when it comes to group activities and disembarkations! Norwegian offers diverse excursions at every port of call, and you’ll also have ample time to explore on your own, should you choose. If you plan on going solo, be sure you don’t miss the boat – literally! Arrive 15 minutes ahead of time for transportation to and from the ship.

Do: Be sure to sample all of Norwegian’s water amusements that are tailored to every age group and vacation attitude. For families, you’ll most likely be spending all your time at one of Norwegian’s amazing water parks. And for adults seeking a quiet spot with an intimate attitude, Spice H2O, with waterfalls and luxurious lounge chairs, is the perfect spot to escape for endless hours.

Book Shore Excursions with Norwegian Cruise Line

Don’t: Use your cell phone in gathering places, such as while lounging poolside, chair to chair, with your fellow cruisers. In fact, you may want to consider a digital detox for your entire vacation, if you can. That little device in the palm of your hand – the one that’s so helpful for everything under the sun in our everyday life – has the potential to destruct your vacation serenity. What seems like a little moment here and there to check this or that, is, in actuality, instantly zapping you out of the moment and back into the crazy world from which you came.

Do: If you absolutely need to stay connected to the mainland, take advantage of Norwegian’s Freestyle Cellular Service. And for everything happening on board and at port, take advantage of cruise mobile apps. Download the Cruise Norwegian app if you’re sailing on Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Bliss, or Norwegian’s iConcierge app on all other ships. With a simple touch, you can make reservations for your shore excursions, fulfill your vacation fantasies – and while you’re at it – book your next Norwegian cruise.

Snorkel in Great Stirrup Cay

Do: Take full advantage of Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising, which is designed for passengers to have complete autonomy in selecting when you want to eat and where. Norwegian understands that with so many activities to explore onboard and excursions to sample at every port of call, a little flexibility makes your Norwegian experience maximally enjoyable. With Freestyle cruising, you can eat in the main dining room, or at one of the many specialty restaurants, and at the times that are most convenient for you.

Don’t be surprised when many of your fellow passengers tell you just how many times they’ve returned.