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Weirdest things our readers have seen other people do on a cruise ship

24 Aug 2023
Calista Kiper

Have you ever witnessed a stranger doing something weird, even unexplainable?

Weird things on a cruise

People-watching is popular because it can be so rewarding: folks do the strangest things in public! Witnessing these moments reminds us of the unique unpredictability of human beings—and often leaves us feeling a little superior. 

Cruising is no different; cruisers often feel that a cruise brings out the most bizarre human behavior. And on a cruise, you’ll have the most downtime and proximity to observe all the activities around you.

We asked our readers on the Royal Caribbean Blog forum the weirdest thing they’ve seen another cruiser do. Based on the responses we received, they’ve witnessed it all— from family feuds to a ship captain turned biker.

Get ready for a good laugh as we introduce the top 10 weirdest things readers saw other cruisers do.


“Strangest thing I've seen on a Royal ship was a college-aged adult wearing a wild and elaborate Halloween costume walking around the ship normally but completely outside of the Halloween season. Must have lost a bet with his buddies. It was a double-take moment. Did I just see that?”

- Twangster

Royal Caribbean does not have a strict dress code, other than prohibiting bare feet in venues and tank tops from the main dining room or specialty dining venues. It’s always possible that you’ll see some strange costumes or attire!

If you do want to wear a costume without sticking out, Royal Caribbean holds various Halloween events on cruises that sail over the October 31st date, including Halloween decorations, photo opportunities, and a large costume parade. You can expect costumes to be worn everywhere on Halloween Day.

Centrum from Rhapsody of the Seas

“There was a couple on board with us a few years ago that danced in the Centrum every night. She was always in sparkly/sequined boots, either bunny or cat ears, and hot pants/short shorts with fish nets. He was always in cargo shorts or Demin shorts with a Hawaiian shirt, sometimes the sleeves were missing. Didn't matter the song, they were dancing and had some signature moves."

"They were definitely the stars of the show, whether they knew it or not."

"As we were waiting for our departure group to be called, two ladies were sitting behind us talking about "Sparkly Boots" and wondering if they had participated in 70's night. I turned around and said yes, they did. The lady asked me how I knew who she was talking about and I said the whole ship knew…”

- Kadmgs

If you’re wondering where you can see dancing stars like this fun couple, the Centrum is the large, open area spanning several decks that replaces the Royal Promenade or Esplanade on both Vision Class and Radiance Class ships. 

In addition to being the center of special events, the Centrum includes a main elevator, with bars, dining venues, and lounges overlooking its edge.

captain johnny's book the captain

“Another strange occurrence is seeing your cruise ship Captain riding a Harley around Labadee. Captain Johnny keeps his personal Harley on board the ship. I was on this sailing when he tweeted this. Saw him riding it around.”

- Twangster

Captain Johnny Faevelen is a well-known character to many Royal Caribbean cruisers, but did you know he brings his personal Harley-Davidson motorcycle on board? For those who witness him riding it, this is definitely an unusual sight. 

For more about Captain Johnny, check out his book, The Captain, which details how he went from a fisherman to captain of one of the world’s largest cruise ships.  

Read more: 5 Royal Caribbean inspirations to prepare for your cruise

Family at Windjammer

“If you were on an Alaskan cruise back in May 2016, and saw a tall, skinny teenage boy eat three plates heaped full of donuts for breakfast in the Windjammer (27 by his count)....yes, we did teach him to eat a decent meal. And no, we weren't eating with him. He finally fessed up long after the cruise.”

- barbeyg

Was this young man acting greedy, or just making the most of his paid fare? The Windjammer Cafe is the all-you-can-eat buffet included with your base fare, the complimentary dining venue with the widest variety of options. 

Your base fare also includes access to the main dining room, a grab-and-go coffee shop, and several quick food venues by the pool.

You will also have access to complimentary food at various venues on Perfect Day at Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas. 

“A guest busted for shoplifting.  Security searched the cabin, recovered the goods, and put them off at the next port to find their own way home.”  

- Twangster

Shoplifting is certainly included on the list of things that can get you kicked off a cruise ship immediately. And considering the ship is a confined space with security on board, it’s best to keep the law for at least the length of your vacation.  

Suite Sun Deck render on Icon of the Seas

“We were sitting in the hot tub around sundown and a gentleman proceeded to get in with a full plate of Windjammer food. Mostly I remember him trying to eat what I think was chicken wings and watching pieces of the food falling into the water around him. Needless to say, it was a clear sign that it was time for us to exit and go get ready for dinner. (I can promise you him eating in the hot tub did not trigger a hunger response!)”

- CruizIan

In addition to hot tubs onboard, Royal Caribbean ships also have a main pool and an adults-only, indoor Solarium pool. There are also several kid pools, splash pads, waterslides, and a 40-foot-long surf simulator, the FlowRider.

The pools are open most of the day, with many activities nearby, including live music!

“We had this one gentleman [who would] always wear different color pastel suits with a top hat EVERYDAY. We were doing a Med cruise and it was hot, yet I would see him in France with a baby pink suit and a matching top hat.”

- ClockingOut

You’re never required to dress up, especially in pastel-colored suits. Royal Caribbean’s dress code is mainly casual beach style, smart casual, and formal wear. You can wear beach or casual clothes for most of the day, and switch to a smarter casual in the evening. 

One formal (or dress your best) night will also be on the schedule during your vacation. On this night, you can expect for everyone to dress their best in elegant dresses and collared shirts and dress pants.

“An entire family had too many wines & decided to start fighting each other. Punches were thrown & security broke it up & sent them packing. The Chef felt so bad for the remaining few people that he sent servers to give us 3 free rounds of drinks. This was an epic chefs table experience.”

- Tonyfsu21

The Chef’s Table is an exclusive, private dining experience offered on Royal Caribbean ships to a limited number of guests, usually around 12. 

This experience includes a 5-course meal and wine tasting, with a personal waiter and chef decided to your table. Each serving of food also comes with a carefully selected wine pairing.

The Chef’s Table is an excellent and private experience, so remember not to start any fights if you try it out.

“It was a Christmas cruise and there was a couple in their late 30's to early 40's who wore Christmas pajama onesies all cruise long, day and night. They also had their own "custom" metal "Yeti" style cups and straws that they drank from. Rarely did we go to/through the Centrum and not see them there in their pajamas and drinking from their Yeti's. Needless to say, the Centrum was THE place to people-watch that cruise.”

- Kadmgs

We always recommend bringing a reusable water bottle for your time on board. In addition to a YETI cup, here are some other things worth bringing on a cruise: liquid soap, laundry hamper, luggage tag holders, shampoo and body wash, aspirin, chapstick, AirTags, noise-canceling headphones, air freshener, magnetic hooks, an e-reader, and a nightlight. 

It’s important to remember to bring the essentials because anything you purchase onboard will come at a much steeper price.

Read more: 100 item Ultimate Cruise Packing List

snow on board cruise ship

“We were on a Christmas and New Years cruise a few years ago out of Baltimore.....and on boarding day it was snowing.... This was the Grandeur of the Seas.”

- Rob&Ana

Yes, it does snow on cruise ships! While a strange sight, it wouldn’t be impossible to see snow onboard if you’re sailing through a cold, wintery area.

Royal Caribbean ships that sail from the Northeast of the United States, such as in Bayonne, New Jeresy and Baltimore, Maryland, may see snow as they board or disembark at these ports. But this sight is unlikely, and the snow will melt soon as the ship moves quickly south.

Calista Kiper graduated from Wheaton College, IL, with a B.A. in English Writing. 

Growing up traveling around the world, she developed a passion for diversity and cross-cultural communication. From her first cruise on Wonder of the Seas, she has delighted in the intersection between travel, diversity, and writing in the cruising world.

Calista spends her free time reading, cooking, and researching the latest human-interest stories. 

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