There are a few things you should avoid doing if you plan to enjoy the lido deck of a cruise ship — and who doesn’t?

A little lido deck etiquette goes a long way. Image of Sky Princess. (Photo Credit: Cruise Fever)

Check-in was a breeze. Your room was ready, your carry-on bags have been dropped off and you’ve made your way to the Lido Deck. Guy’s Burgers prepared the perfect burger (extra Donkey Sauce, please!), you finished the Muster Drill, and smooth sailing is ahead of you.

Naturally, you’ll want to make your way to the Pool Deck at some point on your cruise. Many cruisers enjoy spending a majority of their time on this popular deck, soaking up some rays and enjoying the breeze. The hot tubs are nearby, music sets the vibe, and drinks are flowing.

Even though you are on vacation, etiquette and proper behavior still apply. We’ve researched high and low to bring you a comprehensive list of “Don’ts” and all things considered “Faux Pas”.

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1. Don’t Be a Chair Hog

Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Possibly the most famous subject on this list –Do not be a chair hog!

After you’ve visited the buffet and had a few cups of coffee, it’s time to hit the deck and find your lounge chair for the day. It’s not the other way around–Find your lounge chair, put personal items in the chair, go eat at the buffet, then return to the chair. Umm no.

Everyone deserves equal opportunity to score a lounge chair of their choosing. If everyone tries to “save” their chair before they actually need it, no one wins. Also, don’t reserve an entire row for your friends. When they get ready to sunbathe, they can be adults and get their own chair.

Read more: Cabin rules: 10 things you should never do in your cruise cabin

2. Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen

Almost as important as packing your toothbrush, sunscreen is vital to surviving the pool deck while on vacation. No one wants to turn into a bright red lobster the first day and have to deal with being uncomfortable for the rest of the week. It’s also a great idea to bring some after-sun lotion or aloe.

If your cruise takes you to the Caribbean, keep in mind that the sun is much stronger there. It won’t take nearly as long to tan (or burn!) while laying in the sun.

Pack plenty of sunscreen for your cruise. You’ll need it on the pool deck and on any excursions you may choose to take, while onshore. If you cannot pack an adequate amount due to airline restrictions, consider purchasing some onboard or before arriving at port. This is one item you do not want to skimp on.

3. Don’t Forget Your Children

This definitely sounds like a “no-brainer” but unfortunately, it needs to be said. Please remember that if you are traveling with children and they are at the pool with you, they are still your responsibility. Your fellow cruisers are not built-in babysitters.

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Be sure to keep an eye on them at all times. Little Johnny doesn’t need to terrorize everyone while you are relaxing by the pool. And remember –lifeguards are not the norm on cruise ships and no one wants to see anyone get hurt.

4. Don’t Skip Drinking Water

Remember to stay hydrated while at the pool. The hot rays of sun will zap your energy and hydration before you know it. Be prepared and take water bottles with you to the pool. When you need to rehydrate, you’ll have water and won’t have to skip any of your sun session.

If you plan to drink alcoholic beverages by the pool, consider supplementing with ice, cold water to stay out of danger. Dehydration usually happens much quicker if you are only drinking alcohol.

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Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that you need to drink plenty while by the pool. Splashing around in the cool water can make you feel cooler, but won’t quench your thirst.

5. Don’t Wear the Bathrobes from Your Cabin

This will likely be an unpopular opinion for some, but please leave your bathrobes in the cabin. “Why”, you ask? Well, it just looks ridiculous and frankly, it’s too hot outside for those thick, fluffy bathrobes.

The bathrobes are perfect for lounging in your cabin or on your balcony. They are also great for making the trek to the spa. That is exactly what the bathrobes are provided for.

Consider packing a swimsuit cover-up or just a t-shirt and shorts to wear for the journey to the pool deck. You’ll stay cooler and you don’t look like you are lost.

Read more: 10 worst violations of cruise ship etiquette

6. Don’t Forget a Bathroom is Nearby

Sometimes, vacationers will drink a little too much and forget that they need to relieve themselves in the restroom before it’s too late. This is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, grown adults have skipped the restroom and opted for the pool.

Before entering the pool or laying in the sun, make a plan and locate the nearest restroom. When it’s time to “go”, you’ll know where to go.

AKA – Not in the pool.

7. Don’t Forget Your Swimsuit

Unless you’ve booked one of “those” types of cruises, do not forget your swimsuit. Gone are the days of the topless sunbathing deck and pool areas are family-friendly. Remember that children are around and bathing au naturel is not the norm.

Bring several swimsuits or board shorts. You’ll want several options while gone for several days on a ship. While we’re on the subject, consider wearing something with a bit more fabric than a speedo, too.

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8. Don’t Bring a Jumbo Pool Float

What could be more fun than a giant, lake-sized inflatable to take to the pool? A lot of things!Remember your fellow cruise passengers when packing for your trip. There will likely be thousands of people using the pools throughout your vacation. Many of the pools are not huge and you’ll be sharing space with many.

Of course, be sure to pack the floaties for the kids, but don’t try to utilize a float the size of Texas on a cruise ship.

9. Don’t Run

Especially for kids, running can be tempting in all areas of the ship. The pool deck is not the place to do this. Puddles of water will be everywhere and slipping can easily happen just while walking.

Use caution when walking from the pool deck to the Lido Buffet. You may inadvertently track in water and others could slip and fall. Try to towel off most of your excess water before walking around.

Please take your time when walking from the lounge chair to the pool and back. Remind your little ones that running by the pool is not a good idea. Broken bones on vacation are never fun.

10. Don’t Engage in Behavior Meant for the Bedroom

What better way to end a list than mentioning the most taboo of all things one could do on a ship. Please keep “bedroom behavior” in the bedroom ( and not on the balcony!).

Don’t try to join the Nautical Mile Club in the pool or near the pool. Just don’t. No one’s child needs a public peek at sex education while on vacation.

The next time you board a ship, please consider this list of “don’ts”. While some may sound far-fetched, rest assured that it’s all been done before.

With a little bit of common sense and smart packing, your cruise will be one you’ll remember for years to come.

Read more: 10 things that will get you banned from a cruise ship

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