Banned For LIFE! Real Stories Of Cruise Guests Who Are No Longer Welcome

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There aren’t too many strict rules you need to follow when you’re cruising, but it’s important that you do stick to the ones that are in place.

Banned from cruise ships

Cruise lines have rules to help keep all guests safe, and to make sure the cruise is enjoyable for everyone. If you flaunt these rules, then there’s a good chance you’ll be kicked off the ship, so that you don’t spoil the cruise for others.

Do something really bad, and the cruise line will ban you for life – and that’s exactly what happened with these people…

1. Banned from P&O for criticising Maleth Aero

You might assume that everyone banned from a cruise line has misbehaved onboard, but that’s not true.

A British man was banned for life from P&O Cruises after he began a social media campaign to raise issues surrounding Maleth Aero, one of the airlines that the cruise line used for Caribbean cruises.

Steve Kidd, 66, joined several Facebook groups to discuss his concerns over the safety of the airline and contacted the cruise line several times to discuss his concerns.

In response, P&O Cruises claimed that Kidd had threatened a “mass deputation” at the company’s head office to protest against Maleth, and that it was unfair for the staff working for the cruise line to have to deal with him. They also accused him of spreading false information and making threats over cruise bookings.

As a result, they cancelled Kidd’s planned Caribbean cruise, refunded him, and told him that he wouldn’t be allowed to sail with them in future.

P&O Flight

Kidd claims that he never acted maliciously and that he shouldn’t have been banned. The cruise line has specified that the ban only applies to Steve – his wife, whose cruise was also cancelled as part of the back-and-forth, is still permitted to sail in future if she wishes.

Interestingly, P&O has since cut ties with Maleth Aero – was Steve right all along?

2. Banned for tampering with drinking water

There are loads of hacks that you can use to save money on a cruise, but some of them risk getting you banned from cruising – as one passenger found out.

She shared a video on TikTok showing how to drink the bottled water in a Carnival cabin for free, by drinking the water, refilling it with water from the tap/faucet, and then using glue to re-seal the cap so that it didn’t appear to have been used.

@krissy.kross I ain paying allat 😭😭 #foryoupage #viral #fypシ #cruise #hotel #jamaica #miami #carnivalcruise #xyzbca #tiktok #carnival ♬ how would they know bad girls club – Sara Speax

Of course, this is dangerous, as it showed people how easy it was to not just steal water, but potentially tamper with the bottles. Anyone could follow the steps in the video to add anything to those bottles.

As a result, Carnival quickly banned the passenger for life, as confirmed by Brand Ambassador, John Heald.

Upon hearing of her ban, the passenger tried to pass the stunt off as a joke. But it was too late, and the cruise line has stood firm on her ban.

3. Banned for attempting to bring CBD gummies onboard

Drugs aren’t allowed on cruise ships – that is an extremely hard line that all cruise lines stick to, with no flexibility.

This rule covers all kinds of CBD products or medicinal cannabis. If you use the drugs for medicinal reasons, the cruise line’s advice is to seek an alternative for your cruise because you aren’t bringing it onboard.

A bottle of CBD oil with a dropper cap is placed on a wooden surface surrounded by dried cannabis buds, leaves, and empty capsules. An open glass jar lies in the background, emphasizing the natural and holistic presentation of CBD products.

Cruise lines even use drug dogs to sniff out products in port, and sometimes on a ship – they take it very seriously!

And Melinda Va Veldhuizen found this out the hard way when trying to board a Carnival cruise in 2023. She was carrying CBD gummies, which are legal in Florida, as she used them as a sleep aid.

However she was refused boarding, and the cruise line then wrote to her to confirm she was banned for life for trying to bring banned substances onboard.

CBD products aren’t like booze, where if you try to sneak extra alcohol through your luggage and you’re caught you’ll likely be given a slap on the wrist. Instead, a lifetime ban is likely – so it’s not worth the risk.

Suggested read: 17 Things You Should Never Bring On A Cruise

4. Banned due to a head injury

A man was apparently banned from Holland America Line for “excessive bleeding” – at least, that’s how he explained it.

The Holland America Veendam cruise ship, featuring its dark hull and white superstructure, glides by a coastline bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun.

According to a Reddit post, the man had suffered a head injury prior to cruising, and on either the first or second port of call he was removed from the ship in Aruba, flown home (at his own expense), and told he couldn’t sail again.

Now in reality, it sounds from the updates and comments that it wasn’t excessive bleeding that was the cause, but actually heavy drinking – which either caused more injuries, or just general behaviour issues.

If you’re viewed as a safety risk by a cruise line, then you can be banned – they won’t take any risks when there’s a chance they could be sued.

5. Banned due to wandering off

In reply to the story above, another Redditor shared their story of their grandmother who was banned from a cruise line for wandering off and nearly getting left behind.

byu/TripleL2022 from discussion

This one’s sad, because it’s not like the passenger was misbehaving – they were just struggling with confusion, and therefore became a risk to themselves and to the cruise line, because they couldn’t stick with their excursion group.

cruise excursion coach

I’m sure these decisions are hard for cruise lines to take, but at the same time they have a duty of care to passengers. If you were confused and it caused you to be left behind in a port, you’d be in a lot of trouble (and you’d have to pay a hefty sum to get home, too).

Suggested read: 14 Best Walkable Cruise Ports You Don’t Need Excursions For

6. Banned for fishing from the balcony

If you look at Carnival’s list of permitted items, you’ll see that you are allowed to bring fishing gear with you.

But to be clear (in case you were in any way confused about this), it’s only to be used ashore.

These guests thought otherwise:

@lovepeacecruise Carnival Passengers Captured Fishing From Cruise Ship Balcony Banned For Life From Cruising with Carnival. 🫢 #CruiseNews #cruisetok #CruiseTikTok #CruiseLife #CruiseFun #CarnivalCruise #Carnival #travel #vacation #cruisevacation #letscruise #SeaDay #CruiseNoNo #cruiseship #cruisehive article provided by @cruisehive ♬ original sound – Dina L❤️VE ☮️🛳️

You can’t fish off a cruise ship balcony, or anywhere on a ship. It’s really unsafe – anything could happen with the line, and there are laws around fishing too. In fact, there are loads of reasons why it’s just a bad idea.

So once these guests were identified, Carnival wrote to them and let them know they were banned from cruising. No second chances here – proof that if you break a serious rule (or just show a lack of common sense), you won’t be sailing again.

Read more: Man Caught Fishing From Cruise Ship Balcony

7. Banned for climbing over a balcony

You know your stateroom balcony, and how it has a railing? That railing is there to serve as a barrier, to protect you and keep you safe.

So, climbing over it for any reason is generally viewed in a negative light by cruise lines, and they will take your lack of responsibility very, very seriously.

A woman was banned from a Royal Caribbean cruise for climbing over her balcony for an extreme selfie. This image was shared on social media by Peter Blosic who witnessed it:

woman climbing over cruise ship balcony

Another woman onboard Carnival Jubilee also climbed over her balcony, and stood on a roof area for a lower deck – it’s not clear why she did it, but she was also banned for life.

It doesn’t matter if you drop something over the edge, or you want a cool photo – don’t climb the balcony. It’s so, so dangerous and you deserve to be banned for it.

8. Banned for biting crew as a child

A woman wanted to get married on a cruise ship, but discovered she was banned from taking her 13-year-old son on the cruise to walk her down the aisle, due to an incident four years earlier.

P&O Australia Pacific Explorer

Nathaniel, when aged 9, bit a member of the crew in the kids’ club, causing quite a significant injury.

Nathaniel is autistic, and his disability was registered with P&O Australia, the cruise line he was sailing with. His grandparents who were cruising with him had explained that being touched could trigger him, which is what the family claimed happened.

Nathaniel, when interviewed since, has expressed his sympathy for the crew member, but the cruise line hasn’t changed its position.

We are sympathetic to the family’s position but we also remain concerned that a crew member on a previous cruise suffered a significant injury and, with the safety of guests and crew in mind, we do not wish to see such an incident repeated. While we believe it is too soon to accept a further booking, we do not rule out the possibility of a review of this position in the future when the passage of time and maturity might have improved the situation.

Carnival Australia statement

So while the lifetime ban still exists, there is hope for Nathaniel yet. Plus, with P&O Australia due to be closed down, it may be that Nathaniel is accepted onto sailings on Carnival ships once more.

9. Banned for diving from the ship

Sadly there are some extremely rare occasions when someone jumps from a cruise ship because they are looking to end their life. It’s horrible to hear about when it happens, and usually ends up in tragic circumstances.

Then you have these idiots:

This apparently happened when a group of friends decided to film an Instagram stunt by jumping from a Royal Caribbean ship. According to reports, the guy who jumped was egged on by his friends, and so they all got a ban – not just him.

He admitted he was drunk, and that he caused a lot of pain to his neck and tailbone.

He’s very lucky to have survived such a jump. And he won’t be cruising again.

Suggested read: What Happens If You Jump Off A Cruise Ship?

10. Banned for general misbehaving

One cruise passenger got banned from their Carnival cruise for general obnoxious behaviour – and didn’t seem to care.

Indeed, they posted about it on Reddit in a boastful way, asking which cruise line they should aim to get banned from next.

In his comments after sharing the letter, he claimed he was staying in a Presidential Suite and causing lots of problems with drinking, trashing the room, and “tomfoolery” which resulted in daily visits from the security staff.

He claims that he was fined for his actions, and that they had their drinks package cancelled before the end of the cruise – so they weren’t kicked off early.

In a fun little twist, his obnoxious replies to his own Reddit post saw him banned from the Carnival Cruise Fans subreddit as well.

11. Banned for the famous ‘clown’ brawl

This story has become a bit of a legend in British cruise circles (and not in a good way).

On a 2019 cruise onboard P&O Britannia, a mass brawl broke out following an onboard party which caused several injuries, including for staff members who tried to break up the incident.

The legend comes from the story that a guest sparked the brawl by turning up dressed as a clown, despite there being rules about fancy dress onboard.

That’s been debunked – apparently, there was no clown involved – but it was still widely reported in the news at the time. And yes, the families involved in the brawl were obviously banned for life.


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Final word

What do you think about these stories? Are any of them a little harsh, and should the guests be allowed to cruise again? Or are you happy that the cruise lines kept a tough stance for them all?

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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