Cruise secrets: Never make this one mistake onboard ship or risk being barred entry

Cruise ship holidays are a time for globetrotters to settle into vacation mode and enjoy what the vessel has to offer. There’s plenty for cruise passengers to occupy themselves with both on the ship and on land during stops. Holidays can often see travellers throwing caution to the wind and letting their hair down. While holidaymakers should undeniably make the most of their trip, they still need to obey certain rules.

There are many rules in place on cruise ships which passengers should be careful not to flout.

Cruise expert Adam Coulter, UK managing editor of Cruise Critic, has revealed one to watch out for.

Holidays may be a time to relax and wear whatever you like – but there’s a time and a place on cruise ships.

It’s important to obey the dress code onboard. While swimwear and flips flops are fine by the pool or in your room, for instance, they may not be acceptable at mealtimes.

Travellers should be sure to check with their cruise line to see how strict they are when it comes to clothing. 

For instance, Azamara Cruises encourage guests to stick to a laid back ‘Resort Casual’ dress code when on and about the cruise ship.

However, other cruise lines such as Cunard cruises have much more formal dress code policies, implementing an ‘informal’ policy for daytime while ‘formal’ wear is required for evening time.

“A few ships have strict dress codes for its onboard dining halls, so it’s always important to check these before you sail,” Coulter told

“Usually bare feet, tank tops, baseball caps, bathing suits, shorts, and jeans are not allowed in the main dining room on any ship – except a few US ones.”

If cruise ship passengers refuse to obey dress code rules they may find themselves barred from entering.

“If you don’t comply, you simply won’t be able to enter,” Coulter explained.

Cruisers hoping to look their best during their cruise holiday should be aware than one item that many Britons may put to use before heading out is forbidden onboard.

Cruise ship companies all ban irons from being brought on board. So if you like to travel with one – leave it at home before a cruise or risk it being taken off you. 

This may seem like a nuisance if you’re worried about clothes wrinkling but it’s for a key safety reason.

Fire is one of the greatest risks there is on cruise ships – and an iron could spark one.

According to cruise ship worker Jay Herring’s book The Truth About Cruise Ships: “The most dangerous and likely thing to go wrong is an onboard fire.”