Ever wonder how much your fellow passengers are paying for their cruise? Or just how many people are sneaking alcohol in their luggage? Or even how many people are getting busy on the cruise ship… but outside of their cabin?

By nature, we are all curious about the habits of our fellow cruise passengers. Until now, however, there was no way of knowing the answers to some of the most interesting questions about how other people cruise.

That’s all changed thanks to Cruzely.com’s 2018 Cruiser’s Survey. This survey — taken by hundreds of cruise passengers — gives us a chance to “pull back the curtain” and get answers to questions about everything from the biggest gripe about cruising to how many people have been seasick on a cruise.

Among the most interesting questions answered in this survey:

  • How much do you spend in total on your average cruise, per person?
  • Have you ever snuck alcohol onto a cruise ship?
  • What’s your biggest frustration with cruising?
  • Have you ever been seasick on a cruise?
  • Have you ever had sex (outside of your cabin) on a cruise?

Thanks to the 500 respondents of our survey, we now have definitive answers to these — and more — questions. See more about our results below.

The truth about how much people spend on cruises

For years, cruise lines have enticed customers by offering cheap headline fares for their trips, often boasting prices of less than $50 per night. But anyone who has taken a cruise knows that the price can quickly rise.

From paying for port taxes and fees to excursions to alcohol to airfare, cruises can end up costing a pretty penny. Still, it seems many people are able to find great deals. According to our survey, 17.5% of people reported spending under $1,000 per person on their cruise, even when factoring in all of these extra expenses. The greatest number of people said that they spend between $1,000 and $2,000 (32.4%).

And if you want to be a big spender? Cruises are happy to cater to you. Nearly 10% of respondents said that they spend more than $5,000 per person on their average cruise vacation.

Alcohol is big business on cruises

It’s not a news flash that cruise lines sell a lot of alcohol on their cruises. However, you may not realize how much passengers are buying.

The results of our polling show that 85.1% of respondents say they buy at least some booze during their trip. Less than 15% buy no alcohol at all.

The largest group said they spend less than $50 on drinks during their cruise (25.5%), but that’s followed closely by those who said they spend more than $200 per person (22.2%).

Don’t think buying drinks is an “all or nothing” affair, either. Groups that spend between $50 and $200 were also well represented.

People regularly sneak alcohol onto the cruise ship

Search on Amazon, and you’ll find lots of containers to help you sneak booze onto a cruise. From fake shampoo bottles to plastic pouches than can be concealed, there is an entire industry around concealing alcohol to get on the ship.

Of course, the cruise lines know this and take a lot of effort into detecting smuggled alcohol. Still, many people are able to get things past security. About one in eight people (13.1%) who took our survey admitted to sneaking on booze to a cruise ship.

Considering that the price of a cocktail can run $8-12 on a cruise, that number represents a significant chunk of lost revenue to the cruise line.

The biggest frustration about cruising

Given the rising number of people taking cruises, it’s obvious that taking a cruise is an enjoyable vacation. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s perfect.

Our survey asked people their biggest frustration with cruising. The clear winner was the limited time spent in each port (25.2%). That’s understandable. While a ship might sail for a day or two to get to a port, the actual time spent docked can be eight hours or less.

Other major complaints among survey respondents included that there are too many people on the ship (19.6%) and hidden fees or extra charges while taking a cruise (18.7%). If you share these complaints, then you might be interested in smaller cruise ships. These trips not only have fewer people on the ship, but many smaller ships offer all-inclusive options that have no extra charges for things like specialty restaurants or alcohol.

Other passengers can cause frustration, too

Travel long enough and you know that sometimes other passengers can be tough to get along with. We asked in our survey about the biggest frustrations that respondents had with other cruise passengers.

The runaway “winner” was when parents who let their kids run around the ship unsupervised (33.6%). Following that frustration were “chair hogs” — those who reserve chairs on the deck, but don’t actually sit in them (29.1%). Rounding out the top three responses were passengers who are rude to other passengers or staff (19.3%).

If you are about to head out on a cruise, it’s a good idea to keep these complaints in mind so that you can avoid them and be conscientious of your fellow passengers.

Seasickness happens regularly, so be prepared

If you learn one thing from our survey, it should be to pack the seasickness pills. We asked respondents if they had ever been seasick on a cruise. Nearly 25% admitted that they had. We are happy to say this doesn’t mean that the quarter of the ship is seasick at any one time. Instead, it just means that even given the stability of today’s cruise ships, you can’t completely escape the movement of the ocean.

The good news is that seasickness doesn’t have to ruin your cruise vacation. Pills and patches that help you cope with the movement of the ship are cheap, and the cruise ships often put them out for free if the ship is in rough waters. The key is to take the medicine early and not try to “tough it out.”

Yes, people are getting busy in public places (but not too often)

Something about a cruise seems to put people in the mood. Maybe it’s the warm air, or the skimpy clothing, or just the being on vacation gets people out of their routine. According to our survey, people are definitely getting frisky in places other than their cabin bed.

About one in ten passengers admitted in our survey to being naughty outside of the cabin. The question specifically mentioned the balcony is considered outside the cabin and in our opinion, is the most likely place for couples to do the deed outside. One word of warning — keep in mind that there are cameras everywhere on the ship and even on your balcony it is easy for prying eyes to catch a peek.


Our survey comprised of 11 questions about different aspects of cruising. In total, we received 500 responses from visitors to Cruzely.com and our Facebook page. Respondents were assured that all answers to the survey would be anonymous. No compensation was provided to survey participants.


Results of this survey are free to be shared. We only ask for attribution and a link to Cruzely.com.

About Cruzely.com

Cruzely is dedicated to everything cruising. We offer tips and advice on everything from packing to cruise buying. Each month Cruzely helps more than 200,000 visitors cruise smarter (enough to fill the world’s largest cruise ship 36 times). Meanwhile, we have been quoted on numerous news websites, including The Washington Post, USA Today, CBS News, and more.

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