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These People Were Banned From Cruise Lines For Life – What Went Wrong?

It’s not easy to get banned from a cruise line, but it happens a lot more than you’d think.

The question is are the people who got lifetime bands being reckless and they deserved it – or did they make an honest mistake, the consequences of which they’ll have to live with forever? 

In this post, we will look at real examples of people who received lifetime bans from cruise lines and you can decide if you think it was deserved.

One of these people, when asked if they thought about the consequences of their actions before doing the thing they did said 

banned from cruise line

How do You Get Banned From a Cruise Line?

You might think that to be banned from a cruise line you’d have to do something big, maybe hit somebody or flip a table upside down but that isn’t always the case.

In 2019 a woman was banned from a cruise line for standing. Of course, there is more to the story than that though – it was where she was standing that was the issue.

The main focus of a cruise line is to keep its guests and crew safe. Safety is more important than the guests being entertained, fed or anything else really. Safety is always number one. 

cruise ship medical evacuation

A Lady Was Banned For Life After an Event on Allure of The Seas

The lady in question was cruising onboard the Allure of The Seas in 2019. She was spotted by a fellow passenger who described her as an ‘absolute idiot’ for what she did. 

She climbed up onto the balcony railing and put her hand on the balcony above to support herself for a photo.

The fact that she needed her hand up to support herself shows just how tricky it is to stand on a balcony railing.

Balcony railings are usually chest height, or above waist height even if you’re tall.

Balcony railings are designed specifically to be as difficult to climb on as possible.

They are usually sloped and slippery and designed to be as unappealing to somebody looking to climb as possible. 

emma cruises celebrity silhouette balcony
Typical balcony railings – onboard the Celebrity Silhouette

On average 25 people fall off cruise ships per year. This might sound like a lot but it’s not when you realize that around 30 million people take a cruise each year.

The majority of people who ‘fall’ off cruise ships are doing something silly like this lady – or they wanted to jump off. 

In total 26 people went overboard from cruise ships in 2019.

6 people were found alive meaning the success rate for recovery was roughly 25%.

Of course, cruise lines want to minimise the chance of people going overboard. Anybody putting themselves or others in danger will be instantly banned from that cruise line – and possibly even other cruise lines too. 

To learn more about what happens when somebody falls overboard on a cruise, check out this post: Cruise Ships Stop if You Fall Overboard – Here’s What Happens

A passenger who saw the lady took a photo and reported her to guest services. He said he wondered at first if she was going to commit suicide.

Thankfully though, she was just trying to take a photo and didn’t fall off. She was found by the staff and was taken off the ship in Jamaica which was the next stop on the cruise. 

I know some people will say that she shouldn’t have been banned because she was only risking her own life – but I really don’t think that’s the case.

If she had fallen overboard the cruise line would have had to try to find her and that isn’t an easy thing to do in the middle of the ocean.

Royal Caribbean banned her for life.

A Group Were Banned For Life After an Event on Symphony of The Seas

Another person who was banned from a cruise line took this even further. It wasn’t just the person who performed the act that was banned, but everybody involved. 

The event happened on one of the world’s largest cruise ships, Symphony of the Seas.

Symphony of the Seas is 18 decks high, she has huge internal neighbourhoods and can hold almost 7000 passengers at full capacity. 

Symphony of the Seas Flag Nassau Bahamas

A group of men were staying in a cabin on deck 11, the ship was docked in Nassau in the Bahamas and they decided they wanted to film something cool for Instagram.

They were on one of the world’s largest cruise ships so you’d think they could find something cool to film onboard – like the Ultimate Abyss 10 story slide, or maybe they could try the FlowRider – but nope – they decided to do something very stupid instead. 

Like the lady we talked about earlier, the man in this situation stood up onto his balcony rail , while his friend was filming the whole thing. 

He jumped off the ship into the water below. They were on deck 11 so the drop would have been at least 120 feet. Landing wrong from this height definitely could kill you. 

In the Olympics they dive from around 30 feet, with a LOT of training, so a 120-foot dive isn’t a good idea. Especially when you don’t know what’s under the water.

He said:

“I did not think this through before I jumped. My idea was this would be a good laugh for my friends and I would just swim back to shore and continue my vacation and never thought this would be this serious”

Cruise Ship Passenger who jumped

The man said that the jump hurt ‘very badly’ and that he could barely walk for 3 days and could barely sleep from the pain. 

He was picked up by a boat and had to gather his things. He was then left in Nassau and had to make his own way home to Miami. 

It wasn’t just him who was banned but all of his friends cruising with him.

I’m not sure that all of his friends should have been banned . After watching their friend jump I doubt any of them would ever try the same stunt but I guess it’s a better safe than sorry approach from the cruise lines.

I took a cruise on Symphony of the Seas ( and of course was never tempted to jump off of the balcony!) Find out more about that ship in the video below:

A Group Were Arrested on a P&O Cruise

This next one caused a LOT of media attention when it happened – and it doesn’t involve anybody standing on, or jumping off of a balcony. 

All parties involved in this incident were definitely on the ship at the time but there are a few questions about what happened.

p&o britannia kids
Me with P&Os Britannia in the Norwegian Fjords.

The event happened on board P&O’s Britannia and if you’re from the UK you’ll probably remember this story.

If you’re from outside of the UK you might never have heard about it, and it’s one of the weirdest and funniest cruise news stories so I’m excited to get to break this news to you. 

Britannia was sailing on a 7-night Norwegian Fjords cruise and was on her way back to Southampton at the time. Officers on board made an emergency tannoy announcement at 2 AM for security to head to deck 16. 

It sounds like when people heard this announcement if they were nearby, and weren’t security but were just passengers, they headed to have a look.

Witnesses said that they were ‘so frightened they had to hide’ as ‘family groups fought’. 

The incident was described as a violent late-night brawl with ‘blood everywhere’ but this isn’t the interesting part of the story.  A witness who was part of the group involved said to staff that things kicked off when another passenger appeared dressed as a clown!

P&O have a strict no-costume/ fancy dress policy -and they had booked this cruise because of the policy. A confrontation occurred that got violent. 

I’m not 100% sure if the people involved in this incident were banned from cruising with P&O again but they were arrested, and usually, if you do something on board that gets you arrested, the cruise line won’t want you back.

Interestingly cruise ships do have jails onboard which they can use in case of an emergency.

Find out more about that here:

Cruise Ship Jails and Security (A Security Officer Reveals All) – What Are They Like?

The police said that 6 people were assaulted in the fight – and a man aged 43 and a woman aged 41 were arrested.

There is no information to suggest that a clown was involved in this incident.

UK Police

There are a lot of accounts online from people who said that they did see a clown.

I guess it’s up to you if you think that the clown was there, but I do think it’s a funny idea so I’m going to carry on believing that. 

Dressed as Velma from
Me dressed as Velma from “Scooby Doo” on a Marella 90s-themed cruise.

Not every mistake made on a cruise results in a lifetime ban, some can just be embarrassing.

Watch this video next to find out about the most embarrassing mistakes I’ve seen other people make on a cruise, including the man who lost his swim shorts at an inconvenient time: 

Before You Go

Not all cruise lines ban costume/fancy dress. I went on a 90s-themed cruise with the British cruise line Marella, dressing up was encouraged! Find out all about that here:

Theme Cruise Review – 90s Theme (Ship, Entertainment, Food & More)

Find out more about themed nights on cruise ships, many cruiselines hold them:

Theme Nights On Cruise Ships (Everything You Need to Know) – Examples

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

Ever wondered how the mainstream cruise lines compare? Cruise lines won’t tell you this, but I will.

This FREE guide shows you everything you need to know to find your perfect cruise line.