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Tell Me Something That Would Ruin A Cruise

If all goes well, a ship cruise can be one of the most rewarding and exciting vacations of your life. With unlimited food, a wide range of entertainment and recreational options, and hundreds of potential new friends to be made, you are almost guaranteed to have a great time onboard a cruise ship.

Of course, no situation is perfect 100% of the time. And there are skeptics out there who may be thinking “tell me something that would ruin a cruise.” Unfortunately, there are indeed several occurrences that could potentially ruin your experience on a cruise. The sink shipping is obviously the worst. But there are other potentially ruinous factors such as storms and bad weather, being forgotten, seasickness, lost luggage, food poisoning, and noisy cabins.

While any of these experiences could potentially ruin your cruise, some of these are completely outside your control, but some are not. While there is a low likelihood of most of these events actually occurring, it’s always good to plan ahead and be prepared. Remember that most situations can be managed so as to minimize the negative experience as far as possible for everybody involved.

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Tell Me Something That Would Ruin A Cruise (Outside Your Control)

Tell Me Something That Would Ruin A Cruise | photo of emergency helicopter landing on cruise ship

While some cruise ship patrons climb aboard their ship without a worry in the world, blissfully unaware that anything could possibly go awry, other guests worry themselves over every possible negative experience that could occur while on the ship, however unlikely it may be.

Despite the fact that the chances are low that anything could completely ruin your cruise without the potential to be rectified, it’s always good to be aware of what could possibly go wrong so that you are somewhat prepared and not taken completely by surprise if something happens.

Note that if you want to avoid, or at least mitigate, the consequences of some of these cruise mishaps, consider getting travel insurance.

Sinking Ships Can Ruin A Cuise

Many people are terrified of boarding a cruise ship for fear of the cruise ending the same way the Titanic did. This is, however, an extremely unlikely occurrence, especially with modern cruise ships.

Today’s ships are extremely well-equipped to save the lives of all souls on board in the unlikely event of the ship capsizing, and the staff on the ship have been extremely well-trained to assist passengers in the event of a sinking ship that will require everybody to evacuate.

Rules and regulations ensure that there are sufficient lifeboats for all passengers, as well as extra lifeboat capacity to cater for any mishaps with the lifeboats themselves. 

If there is ever a need for the ship to be evacuated, there is almost always sufficient time to assist everybody in leaving the ship before it sinks completely. The cruise ship captain and crew are well trained in a range of safety matters.

Again, the Titanic is not a good example to go by, as this was an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence that happened at a time before stringent safety regulations were put into place.

Storms Can Ruin A Cruise

Stormy weather can potentially make a cruise somewhat unpleasant, but technology allows ships to know when storms are near, and the speed at which ships travel allows them to move quickly out of storms in most circumstances.

Contemporary ships are well-equipped to be able to move through storms with relative ease, and the captain and crew are extremely well-trained to be able to handle such circumstances. Indeed, even sailing during hurricane season can be both safe and fun.

While storms might limit what you might be able to do on a cruise in terms of outdoor activities and port stopovers, there are always plenty of activities on board the ship that will ensure that you are sufficiently entertained while waiting for the storm to pass.

Pirates Can Ruin A Cruise

Pirates can be a major concern when traveling across the ocean, especially in certain areas like the infamous Somali coast. It’s interesting to note, however, that pirate attacks are extremely rare on cruise ships (around 6 attacks over the last 10 years), and there has, in fact, never been a successful pirate hijacking on a cruise ship to date.

Most cruise ships are able to travel far faster than any pirate ships when the need arises, and today’s cruise ships are well-equipped with the necessary weaponry to repel any potential attackers.

This weaponry often includes high-pressure sprayers, an exceptionally powerful sonic boom, and a highly effective detergent spray, all of which are brilliant deterrents against potential attackers.

Cruise ships have numerous safety protocols in place to ensure that guests are not at risk while traveling through areas that are known for having pirates. This includes keeping everybody off the outer decks, enforcing pirate drills, moving parties indoors, employing military support, and switching off all lights on the ship at night.

Somalia, Red Sea: Security officers performing a Pirate attack drill onboard a cruise ship.

Tell Me Something That Would Ruin A Cruise (Somewhat Within Your Control)

Sometimes passengers are in the best position to avoid or limit disasters or other cruise mistakes.

Missing The Boat, Literally, Can Ruin A Cruise

There is the possibility that while exploring one of the port stops during your cruise, you are late in returning to the ship, with the result that the boat leaves without you. While this definitely seems like something that could ruin your cruise, it may not mean the end of the cruise.

While some ships will wait for missing guests – depending on how many guests are late and whether the activity holding everybody up is one that was organized by the ship – don’t plan on being lucky even if part of your travel party is already on board. Unless the ship or its contractors are responsible for the tardiness, most ships will simply remove the most important belongings of the missing guests and leave them with the ship’s agents on land.

It is then your responsibility to find either the ship’s agents or the embassy of your home country. You can request their assistance in contacting the ship to make arrangements to meet them at their next port of call. Alternatively, you can arrange to give up on the cruise and fly home. Either way, you will need to arrange to have your luggage returned to you.

Seasickness Can Ruin A Cruise

While seasickness is certainly not fun, this is something that can be prevented. Remember that it is much easier to prevent seasickness than it is to relieve it, so you should take the necessary precautions beforehand if you are expecting bad weather or if you know that you are prone to motion sickness.

Acupressure wristbands, antihistamines, and Dramamine can all assist with seasickness.

Lost, Stolen, or Missing Luggage Can Ruin A Cruise

Being stuck without your luggage on a cruise is no laughing matter, particularly when you have gone the extra step of getting the best cruise luggage available. Nevertheless, in most cases, the luggage has simply been misplaced in a different part of the ship, or it has been sent to a specific room due to containing contraband.

Guest services will be able to assist you in the event of missing luggage, and if it is significantly delayed or declared missing, most cruise lines will offer compensation. See this as an opportunity to shop for a new wardrobe, especially if you have taken out decent travel insurance before the cruise.

Food Poisoning & Norovirus Can Ruin A Cruise

Food poisoning and the Norovirus can spread exceptionally quickly on a ship. Often, all it takes is one bad meal to cause hundreds of guests to become ill. While some cruises have been halted completely as a result of such outbreaks, this is a rare occurrence.

The best thing to do is remain in your cabin, rest as much as possible, drink sufficient fluids, and eat plain foods while avoiding the ship’s buffet.

Uncomfortable & Noisy Sleeping Quarters Can Ruin A Cruise

There are certain areas of the ship that can be extremely noisy, such as cabins situated near elevators, stairwells, restaurants, or below the pool deck. If you are sensitive to noise, it’ll be best for you to avoid such cabins when making your stateroom selection.

The walls between cabins are thin, meaning sound can travel easily through them. This is made worse when staying in an inter-connecting cabin where the thin doors between cabins allow high levels of sound transmission.

It’s always best to try and meet your cabin neighbors on a cruise ship, as this will help them to “humanize” you, meaning that they will see you as actual people, which will hopefully force them to be more respectful.


There are many things that could potentially ruin your cruise holiday, but the majority of these are either highly unlikely or mostly avoidable. With the right attitude, any negative experiences on a cruise ship will not outweigh the positives, and so you can still ensure you have an extremely enjoyable holiday.

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