People humiliate themselves all the time, and it’s no different on a cruise ship. Well, only that it’s easier to witness since the space is limited and the crazy amount of people on a cruise ship. No one is safe from embarrassment. These cruise ship passengers share the most awkward thing they’ve witnessed to happen on a cruise ship. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
A Senior Moment?
“My wife and I were on a Royal Caribbean cruise out of Boston in October 2005. It was a 10-day cruise to the Southern Caribbean. My wife and I, in our 20s and 30s respectively, were among the youngest passengers on the ship.
On our last day before returning to Boston, we were on the pool deck in the late afternoon for a last bit of sun. An older man (must have been in his late 70s, maybe older) decided he didn’t need to go to his room to change, so he removed his bathing suit in front of us and the (somewhat sparse) crowd at the pool. He then got dressed in shorts and a shirt.
He just ignored everyone around him, and they (we) diligently ignored him. I don’t think he was drinking either, the guy was either having a senior moment or just didn’t care what anyone else thought.
It still makes my wife laugh embarrassedly when I remind her of it.”
A Prank On His Wife
“While on cruises, I love to sit by the pool and do a little people watching. One time, I saw this older couple relaxing in some lounge chairs. The wife soon fell asleep while reading her book. She fell asleep with her mouth gaping wide open. Her husband got up and left. He came back with a pile of salt packets. I couldn’t figure out what in the world he was up to.
Well, he began opening them up one by one and pouring them ever so gently into her mouth. Soon, she had a pile of salt right in the middle of her mouth. You should have seen her when she woke up. She sat up real quick and had this really bitter expression on her face.
Anyway, she started smacking him on the head with the book she was reading. Before you know it, she was chasing him all over the deck trying to hit him. The cruisers that didn’t know what he did probably thought she was nuts or something.”
“Regular cruisers will know that even on the largest cruise ships of 5,000 odd passengers (more than enough to be called a city in most countries), you still tend to run into/notice a few people quite repeatedly. I guess that comes down to when and where you eat and what activities you have in common. A few years ago on a South Pacific cruise, we kept coming across a family of three regularly (late 20’s husband and wife, and a son of around 8–10 years). They’d always end up eating breakfast near us, or lunch, or something within eye and earshot. Actually, it was our ears that alerted us to this family and their particular predicament.
Now the son was a bit of a chubby kid. Okay, he was way chubby, and it seemed like the well-meaning parents were sensibly trying to put the kid on a diet before he earned his own postcode. That’s when we became alerted to them. In this first introduction, the chubby kid was wailing and complaining about what looked like a lettuce leaf or two on his plate at mealtime. So much so, he caused a lot of attention to the family, which obviously caused them much embarrassment.
If I were his father I would have taken him aside and given him a stern talking to. If that failed, a whack or two across the bottom would have been the next step. But both parents looked like very gentle souls.
The kid loudly shouted, ‘I want bacon!’ repeatedly.
His parents tried everything to placate him. That was how the kid got the name that we referred to him by, ‘Bacon Boy.’
Over the ensuing days of the cruise, we would see Bacon Boy at mealtimes, and we’d hear his cry. It wasn’t only at mealtime, but also in the pool, the spa, rock climbing, mini-golf, etc. Always loudly proclaiming, ‘I want bacon.’
It all came to a head one day at a port stop. My wife and I had just been snorkeling at a quiet island beach, and I was sitting down under the shade of a palm tree knocking back a few cans of the local fine brew. Not a word was heard, just the lapping of the waves. Then what could be then heard to disturb this tranquility?
He appeared just opposite us in the shallows with his family. His parents were whispering to him, while Bacon Boy was replying loudly with his usual bacon-seeking cry. We gave up on the tranquility and began to discreetly monitor.
Then came the moment dad was heard to break and said, ‘Okay If you promise to behave, we will give you some bacon.’
From that moment on, it was as if church bells were peeling and choirs began to sing in the kid’s head.
‘Bacon!’ he joyfully shouted, ‘BACON!’
Over and over. He didn’t stop, causing a scene at subsequent sightings.
“Did You Forget Something?”
“This was about five years ago. I was getting ready to go to the pool. I stepped out of my cabin. About ten cabins down, a door opened and a young woman stepped into the hallway wearing only a bikini top, no bottoms and holding a towel. She started walking toward me.
I said, ‘Did you forget something?’
She stopped, unsure what I meant. So I sort of nodded to below. She looked down, then looked mortified, and quickly wrapped the towel around her and went back to her room.
I guess when a bikini is so small, you can forget you didn’t put half of it on.
Only saw her once on the rest of the cruise and she pretended not to see me.”
Just Two Men Trying To Tie A Bow Tie, Nothing Weird Here
“In 1966, my parents and I took a cruise on the North German Lloyd Lines, ‘Europa’. That ship was appointed in the grand style; brass, and polished teak. Cruising in those days was done in style and elegance; none of the glitz found on the ships of this day.
Thus it was that every night, gentlemen wore a coat and tie and ladies wore a dress. And on two nights of the week, dinner was upgraded to formal; the gents were in tuxedos and ladies were in evening gowns.
On the first formal night, there stood I, outside the dining room entrance, awaiting admission. And behind me was a gigantic man, who had just tapped me on the shoulder. I turned, and looked up. Perspiration beaded his brow, his cheeks were red, a certain shadow of consternation moved across his face. And his bow tie was not tied in a bow.
‘Can you help me?’ he whispered in a choked voice, pointing at my perfectly knotted tie. ‘I don’t know how to tie a bow tie. It’s my first time wearing formal.’
‘I think so,’ I said, staring up at him. ‘Let’s step into the men’s room so I can watch in the mirror when stand behind you.’
There we stood, before the mirror when I realized he was so tall I could not see the mirror when I stood behind him. The only solution was for me to climb on his back, piggy-back fashion. And so as to keep my hands and arms free, he put his fists on his hips, so I could pass my feet through these improvised stirrups.
But that’s when two or three other men entered the restroom and gazed upon us as if we were the feature of a freak show. Which I suppose we were. In haste, they took their leave immediately. And in haste, I had the knot made and tie properly centered.
We made our exit and took our places back in line.
Not a word was said. And those other men had evaporated into the crowd, somewhere. I later learned that my new acquaintance was second string for a pro football team. I think I would have been safe, with him.”
The Marriage Proposal
“Three years ago, I was on a cruise in the winter. There was a guy on the cruise who wanted to propose to his girlfriend. Everyone on the ship, apart from the girlfriend, knew he was going to do a flash mob as word had gotten around. Note: People on the ship had been feeling ill but we thought it was just seasickness.
On the day of the proposal, he was really happy. He organized all the dances and costumes and at exactly 2:30 pm, everybody burst into song and dance. However, suddenly lots of people started looking queasy.
At first, I thought it was just seasickness until he knelt down to his girlfriend. As the dancers surrounded them in a heart formation, they all started projectile vomiting all over the guy. It was like a horror movie.
His girlfriend ran away in horror.
We later found out a disease outbreak had come into the ship through someone and we had to isolate for the rest of the cruise to stop it from spreading more. It was a disaster and I feel so sorry for the guy.”
Man In The Hallway
“It was about six am in the morning, and since my sister and I enjoy getting up early to see the sunrise over the water, we were up and dressed and about to go get some coffee.
As we were walking down the long hallway, we noticed a man standing in the hallway in just his underwear. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his underwear was the skimpy speedo kind with little hearts all over them, and the words, ‘Hot Stuff,’ prominently displayed on his rather fleshy buttocks.
He certainly seemed embarrassed when he saw us approaching, which certainly seemed reasonable considering his situation.
He told us he locked himself out of his room, and if we would kindly inform his wife, who was walking on the promenade deck, that he required her assistance.
I could see my sister reaching for her camera, but I gave her a slight movement of my head that told her I didn’t think the man would appreciate being photographed at this particular moment. My sister seemed disappointed but acquiesced to my suggestion.
So, we headed for the promenade deck and told his wife how her beloved hubby was locked out of the room, and standing in the hallway in his ‘Hot Stuff’ underwear.
She just gave a sigh and headed in the direction of the room. While we went and got some coffee. My sister and I were dying to ask them exactly what he was doing out in the hallway in his ‘Hot Stuff’ underwear, but decided to be polite little elves and acted like this was something we see everyday.”
“Freakin’ Hurry Up”
“My friend and I were on our first cruise. Little did we know that cruises seem to attract the trashiest of patrons.
One night we were waiting patiently in line at a pop-up sushi stand, our stomachs churned in anticipation of the delights to come. We ate sushi regularly at lunchtime back home, so the longish wait would be worth it. We were sick of the all-you-can-eat buffet. We wanted something different.
As we watched and admired the Chef demonstrating his amazing knife skills, we lusted over the smells. Then finally we were next in line to eat.
But our joy was to be short-lived.
Sounds of stomping stilettos on the slate, interlaced with a stream of colorful obscenities filled the room. Louder and louder. Closer and closer until bam! Out from behind some palm fronds burst a 50-something-year-old lady.
I’ll call her ‘Foghorn’.
Foghorn had clearly been overindulging in the happy hour by the pool. No doubt with, some duty-free chasers straight from her Sprite bottle. She wore a white tube dress. She rocked a tan that screamed Melanoma. Her disheveled blonde bob stuck to her poorly secured eyelashes each time she swung back and forth and blurted out a swear.
On a roll, she bee-lined straight for the top of the queue, towering over the poor shrinking sushi chef.
She barked loudly, ‘I’m freakin’ starving! Freakin’ hurry up!’
The chef, visibly shaken at Foghorn’s brazen demands, started to speed up his prep. His knife chopping and slicing was so fast that it was just a frenzied metallic blur.
My friend and I exchanged nervous glances, as did our queue mates. Our collective consciousness thought, ‘She’s not going to cut the line is she? Surely no-‘
But she did.
In a whirl, the chef plated the food up and set it down. And like a seagull on a chip, Ol’ Foghorn swooped in for the kill. Plate in one hand and swaying in her 6” heels, she plucked up a glistening morsel of salmony goodness and jammed it into her mouth with a big grin. We looked at the chef in shock. Did that just happen?
Suddenly, her eyes become round, really round, and her face contorted. She didn’t look so good. Then she spit and proceeded to eject all the non-masticated contents over the clean polished floor. The chef was now smiling broadly.
I observed the scene and processed it. Then like a tidal wave, it hit us. All of us. Laughter rippled down the queue.
Foghorn had instead devoured a plate of plastic display sushi. Oops.
“We were in an obstructed cabin where there was a lifeboat outside your window. You had to look through the lifeboat to see outside. So I just came in from the pool, stripped off my wet suit, and laid on the bed without any clothes on.
As I eventually looked out the window, I discovered a maintenance worker in the lifeboat looking right at me. I screamed and grabbed the bedspread to cover me.
My husband jokingly said, ‘Next time I will sell tickets for the show!’
Another time, we were on a cruise, and they had ‘White Night’ where people could wear all white. Many people were all dressed in white, but we did not participate. Anyway, we went to the theater to see a comedian/magician. My husband ordered a glass of red Moscato after we were seated.
As he was drinking his glass, the comedian made a joke that made him laugh so hard that it made him spew his red Moscato all over the back of a very well-dressed older woman in front of us. Unfortunately, she was wearing a beautiful white lace outfit.
She turned around and looked at him. He apologized profusely. She sat there for a little longer and I was horrified to see all the red spots all over the back of her beautiful dress. I don’t think she had any idea how bad it was. She eventually got up and left the theater. My husband felt so bad but we never saw her again. After that, no more drinking at comedy shows.”
Something Looked Off With This Bathroom
“While I was out on the lido deck, I had to pee really bad. The bathroom was through a door in the hall not too far away. As usual, the lido deck on a sunny day was packed with people swimming, sunning, and drinking. This was at least the second sea day and my drinking started about 45 seconds after I put my bag down and had not stopped. Needless to say, I had to drain some fluids pretty bad. Well, I made a mad rush for the door and thank goodness it was a clear path.
Once I pushed open the hallway door, I saw restrooms and walked through the door that was closest. In my defense, I had sunglasses on and my eyes were adjusted to being outside.
I looked in the bathroom and the layout just looked strange. There were no urinals on the walls and all of the men had long hair. I just could not figure out what planet I had just stepped into until one of the men leaving the bathroom going back outside just happen to mention in a feminine voice.
‘This is the ladies’ room,’ she said.
I was caught so off guard and embarrassed that my urge to pee just disappeared. Even after she said it, I think it took a second to process what she said. I looked over the bathroom again and suddenly it made sense, so I apologized to the room and turned and left feeling pretty stupid.”
Daddy-O Needed To Parent Better
“My mom and I took a Princess cruise to the Panama Canal. One morning we went up topside for breakfast. As I was waiting for my omelet to finish up, a girl of about 17 or 18 years old was standing behind me eating grapes and throwing the seeds on the floor instead of putting them on her plate or in the trash.
I told her what she did was extremely rude, and unsanitary. Also how it created a safety hazard for some elderly person who might possibly slip on wet seeds tossed onto the marble floor. I also said it was really scummy how she would expect a cruise line employee to clean up after her because she was too dang lazy to clean up after herself.
She looked at me, mouth agape, apparently shocked a stranger would speak to her in such a manner.I got my food and went to sit down to eat it. On the way to my table, I pointed out the seeds to one of the dining stewards and told him what happened.
A few minutes later, I saw the brat again, daddy in tow. She pointed me out to him. So he approached me and proceeded to chide me for attacking his baby girl.
I was ticked off and told him about his kid’s deplorable behavior and the gall she had to think she could spit stuff on the floor with the expectation that someone would clean up her mess. I also told him it was too bad he didn’t teach her better manners and consideration for others.
About this time employees heard the raised voices and came to see what was going on. One of whom was the person to whom I had pointed out the slimy seeds.
Daddy-O departed with his little heifer in tow.”
“Avoid Cabin 237”
“I was unpacking in our cabin on a five master schooner. I had been cooking in the week before we boarded and I managed to spill a box of curry powder over the carpet. I tried to get it all back but it was a deep pile.
After a lovely afternoon out, we returned to find the cabin filled with the rich aromas of India’s spices. The staff vacuumed the carpet and made it far worse. I was horrified, thinking of the next guests and maybe for the next few years.
Perhaps advice websites started saying, ‘Avoid cabin 237 unless you love curry.'”
Adult Temper Tantrum
“In 2008, my narcissistic, perfectionist sister turned 60 years old. She wanted to celebrate her birthday by inviting the entire family on a nine-day cruise in the Greek Sea. We had all agreed to only stick together at evening meals, thus having our own time the rest of the day. This was proposed due to the fact my nephew and his wife were quarreling a lot, and their two kids were spoiled, annoying brats, complaining all the time. My niece had her kid along as well, and he wasn’t behaving better, to be honest.
But my sister’s birthday arrived, and the pinnacle of that day was the dinner in the evening. The waiters sang a bday song, and everything was supposed to be perfect. Which it was if anyone asked me, but when the dinner was served, it was a female head waiter and a trainee who was assigned to our table. The trainee spilled a drop of red Moscato on the tablecloth, and my sister became grumpy and released a loud groan to show her dissatisfaction.
The trainee was in tears, and the head waiter didn’t fuzz about it. Things happen, right? But the whole rest of the meal, a dark cloud was hanging over our table, simply because the trainee had spilled a drop of liquid. In fact, the rest of the evening was like this. In my stupid sister’s imagination, when everything didn’t go down exactly how she planned, she would become a nightmare. That’s how she is.
The next morning, I was eating my breakfast alone, and I spotted Maria, the head waiter nearby, and called her to my table. I explained to her how I’d like her to relay the message to the trainee, that whatever she had done was alright, and it was only my sister who was behaving like a spoiled brat like she always did. I felt sorry for the young trainee and wanted to let her know I had her back. The head waiter promised to relay this to the trainee and thanked me warmly for my apology on my sister’s behalf. A thing my sister is incapable of doing.”