10 Things Travel

Seven rights you don’t have when you take a cruise

What You Need to Know About Your First Cruise - Cruise Like a Pro Your First Time
What You Need to Know About Your First Cruise – Cruise Like a Pro Your First Time

Have you ever taken a cruise before?

Well, they’re a lot of fun.  And not filled with old people playing shuffleboard.  Of course, it helps if you’re able to take a cruise with a large group of people, so you always have someone fun to hang out with besides your Significant Other.

But let’s keep in mind that a cruise ship is its own entity – especially when it gets out into International Waters, where almost anything can happen when you’re outside of a specific country’s jurisdiction.

So in order to keep order, cruise lines have tiny fine print on the back of their tickets (maybe not literally, but at least figuratively) that you have to sign away on when you agree to board the boat.

Some of these sticking points are just legalese that any similar establishment may have (such as theme parks or football games).  Others are a bit more exclusive to the cruising travel industry.


  • The ship’s staff can go through your room, luggage, and personal belongings at any time.  Yes, it’s to ensure that there isn’t any smuggling going on.  But it’s also their way to say that the room steward has permission to go into your room and straighten it up at any time.  When Web Watch goes on a cruise, the first thing we do is give our room steward $20.  Sure, we won’t tip them at the end of the cruise like everyone is asked to do – but we do know that our room needs were always taken care of immediately.
  • The ship owns all pictures that they take of you, even if you buy their reprints on board  Copyright is copyright, but at least cruise ships make it easy to obtain a “reprinting” release from them off their website.  Makes it easier to go to Costco or your favorite reprint location later.
  • There’s a liability limit if anything is stolen from you.  This is why we don’t take nice things with us on a ship, and when we do, we use the in-room safe.  Mrs Howell wouldn’t be happy with this rule at all.
  • Cruises can be cancelled at any time.  Oh well.

And three more legal-related items that you may want to click through the main article to see.  Especially if something happens on-board and you’re thinking of suing the cruise line.  Might be worth while to read up on those things, dontcha think?