Talk to Your Teen About Cruise Etiquette

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My family recently returned from our second cruise with Royal Caribbean, our first cruise was on the Liberty of the Seas, which was absolutely amazing and our second cruise was on the Navigator of the Seas. Both of these cruises were, unfortunately, scheduled during the month of March which is Spring Break for a lot of schools. During our cruise on the Liberty of the Seas, there were a lot of kids but 99.9% of them were polite and respectful. Unfortunately, our time on the Navigator of the Seas was a much different experience that led me to write this post, Talk To Your Teens About Cruise Etiquette.

What You Need to Know Before Boarding the Navigator of the Seas

Cruises are great vacations that are meant for relaxing so make sure that you talk to your teens about always being respectful.

I am not sure why the experience with the younger kids was better on the Liberty of the Seas. I sometimes wonder if it is because the Liberty of the Seas departed from Texas and since I am from Texas I know how Texans raise their kids. Yes, I am kind of being sarcastic but for whatever reason, it’s important that as parents we talk to our teens about cruise etiquette.

Talk to Your Teens About Cruise Etiquette

Respect the Elevator

  • After the 4th day on the Navigator of the Seas, the elevators became increasingly slow. At first, everyone thought that they were broken or that the ship was overly crowded, but after another day passed everyone realized exactly what was happening. There were groups of unsupervised pre-teens and teens that were pressing every single button on each elevator. As a healthy adult that has kids that are old enough and healthy enough to walk, I had the option to use the staircase, but sadly there were quite a few cruisers that didn’t have that option. Parents with very small children, parents with a baby stroller, the elderly and disabled kids and adults had to wait for long periods of time because groups of teens were overly bored and thought that it was fun to delay the elevator.
  • It’s also important for teens to understand that you need to stand and not sit down in the elevator.
  • Throughout my time on the Navigator of the Seas, I never saw little kids acting inappropriately on the elevator. I only saw groups of preteens and teens doing this.

Cover Up 

  • It’s important for teens to wear a t-shirt, shoes, and/or a swimsuit cover up when they are walking outside of the pool area. One day a group of teens entered the Windjammer during lunch and one of the teenage girls was barefoot and in her bikini. Quickly after she entered, a Royal Caribbean employee quietly went up to her and reminded her of the dress code. Teens should not need to be reminded of the dress code by the staff of the ship but by their parents before they board the ship.

Respect the Crew

  • Anyone that has been on a cruise knows that the cruise staff works extremely hard. Just as adults need to be reminded, it’s important that we remind our teens to respect the crew. They can simply do this by using their manners (please, thank you, and excuse me), cleaning up their messes, following the rules, and more.


  • Kids of all ages need to be reminded to respect the arcade machines, give others a turn to play and allow people to pass them in the aisle.

Be Observant

  • The ship, especially on sea days, can become crowded, so it’s important that teens are observant of who is around them and not congregate in large groups.

Lend a Hand

  • When it was time to leave the ship to go home, I was walking from Deck 4 to 5. The halls were crowded and the elevators were packed. As I was waiting to climb the stairs, I saw 2 teenage boys sitting on the staircase as people were trying to go around them with their heavy suitcases. As I waited for a young girl to drag her big suitcase down the stairs, I looked at one of the boys and suggested that he help her. He mumbled to me that she was fine. I then reiterated that he should help her and he pretty much said the same thing. The young lady turned to me and politely said that she was fine. I looked at the boys and told them to get up and move!
  • Teach your kids to help others. There was no reason why one of these able-bodied boys could not have helped this young lady with her suitcase.

With all of this said, I know that no one is perfect and most teens on board were polite and acting appropriately. Sadly the handful of teens that acted inappropriacy was noticed and talked about a lot among many of the cruisers. My advice to parents is to not only talk to your teens but also don’t be an absent parent while on board. You need to set boundaries for your teen, check up on them at random times, correct them when necessary and constantly remind them of how to act and how to treat others.

What to Pack When You Go On a Cruise

What to Teach Your Kids Before Going on a Cruise

What tips can you give teens while they are onboard?

Cruises are great vacations that are meant for relaxing so make sure that you talk to your teens about always being respectful.


  1. My family and I are going on a cruise trip this summer and we have never been on a cruise before, thus we don’t really know what to expect. Therefore, thanks for your blog post, it is really helpful 🙂

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