Bizarre Stuff We Can't Believe Used To Be Common On Cruise Ships

Cruising is an industry that has changed over the years, so much so that it is hard to believe what used to happen on these ships. First-time cruisers will be surprised to find out about a few things that were once commonplace on leisure liners, especially as there are now so many rules to protect passengers, staff, and the vessel itself. There are myriad reasons why certain activities are no longer the norm on cruise ships, including environmental laws and security concerns.

One bizarre activity that used to take place was golfing off the deck into the ocean, where the balls couldn't be retrieved. Thankfully, this is no longer allowed because littering in the sea is now illegal. Some ships have adapted this pursuit by providing a cage to catch the balls and prevent them from going overboard. There are other activities that are now banned which cannot be replicated, although this may be a good thing for safety reasons.

Things that are now security issues

Unbelievably, another activity that used to be allowed on cruises is skeet shooting, whereby passengers would shoot clay discs off the stern of the boat to pass the time. Naturally, these competitions have come to an end due to safety concerns as well as stricter environmental regulations. Tours of the "bridge" — where the captain and other crew navigate the boat also used to be much more commonplace. However, since 9/11, these are more restricted to certain times and prohibited altogether when the ship is being maneuvered.

According to Cruise Line, streamers used to be thrown off the boat to family or friends as it sailed away, and they would try to catch and hold onto them. This has stopped now because visitors are not allowed into port due to the security risk as well as changing attitudes and laws around oceanic littering. Alongside the usual things that would be banned from a cruise, there are some more everyday things too.

Things that are banned on cruise ships

Naturally, most of the items that are banned on a plane are also prohibited on a ship. These are things like explosives, weapons like guns or large knives, dangerous chemicals, and illegal drugs. As cruise ships travel through international waters, fresh food like fish or fruit is a no-no, and only packaged foods are allowed. While drones are not banned as such, cruise ships may want them locked away because some countries have very strict rules about using them.

Electrical items are also heavily restricted because untested products can cause fires aboard the ship as well as insurance issues for your operator. Royal Caribbean cruises have fully banned extension cords and power strips, even if they are surge protected. Before packing any electrical items for your cruise, first check with your liner to make sure they are allowed. For the same reason, candles and incense are also banned. Even though this may seem like a lot of rules, it does mean that cruises are much safer than they have been in the past.