Jump to content

Group Travel - What annoying group behavior have you seen on a River Cruise?


Recommended Posts

In 2022 I will be part of a 4 couple (8 adult) group on a River Cruise.  We definitely want to interact with other Travelers, and will not always be together in our large group.  Having heard some horror stories of group travel behavior, I am eager to avoid being one of "those" people.  Of course I understand the obvious irritants of noise, hogging prime space, and dominating gatherings.  But I'm anxious to hear your stories of bad group behavior you have seen on River Cruises.  I know bad behavior abounds on some Ocean Cruises, but with River Cruises having fewer passengers and perhaps a more mature demographic, look forward to a cruise full of fun for everyone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that really sticks out in these horror stories is the group of 8 that hogs the only table for 8 in the dining room.  Be willing to split into two groups of 4.

 

Also, and this might be liberating:  if there is a choice of shore excursions, give each member of your group permission to make their own choice.  That will help all of you to interact more openly with others on the excursions.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

One thing that really sticks out in these horror stories is the group of 8 that hogs the only table for 8 in the dining room.  Be willing to split into two groups of 4.

 

Also, and this might be liberating:  if there is a choice of shore excursions, give each member of your group permission to make their own choice.  That will help all of you to interact more openly with others on the excursions.

 

Our cruise had a group of 10 from Indonesia.  They were friendly and mingled well with other travellers, but always ate together.  This was probably best for the kitchen, as it was preparing special dishes for them that they could serve "family" style.  Since there were several other tables that could be grouped together, it didn't bother anyone as we could still make up larger groups when we wished.  Our last nigh, we had 2 tables (divided by the aisle), 1 of 4, the other of 10.  We had all met up through tours and general socialising, and had a great last night dinner.  Since they knew ahead of time we wished to do this, we had our own dedicated server.

 

Great idea for choice of excursions, even the main tours of the ports will see different things,  We had 1 couple we ate lunch with and although we were both on the same "tour", our slow walker one seemed to see a lot more than their "normal" one.  Same with other couples we met up with for dinner.  It's a great way to share info about the ports.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My experiences aren't exactly comparable, but I bring them out for consideration.

 

On a land trip in Andalusia Spain we were a group of 20, including the guide, me (the only single) and a gay couple. The others were all couples, but 2 groups of 2 couples each were travelling together (i.e. 2 groups of 4). We generally ate at long tables, and they thought nothing of asking any of the four of us (they didn't seem to consider the gays a couple, although they didn't always sit together) to move because they absolutely HAD to sit together. I was quite irritated that the guide did nothing about it.

 

My other experience was on the Mekong with Ama. We had started the precruise as a group of 20 or so, and picked up another 2 couples in Siem Reap. When we boarded the ship there was one group of 47 that constantly kept together. In addition, there was another group of 17 traveling together. Neither of those groups seemed to have any interest in mingling with anyone else, whether in the lounge or the dining room. I had the advantage that demographically I belonged to both groups and attempted to mingle but ultimately gave up, and the group of us that had started together basically stayed together the whole trip. It left us a fairly small group.

 

Don't feel the need to always be together. If you have been together all day touring consider finding out what experiences others have had by dining with different people, Also, be open to people joining you in the lounge for example.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

One thing that really sticks out in these horror stories is the group of 8 that hogs the only table for 8 in the dining room.  Be willing to split into two groups of 4.

Along that line - our last river cruise there were two groups (one group of 12 and a group of 15) they would only sit with "their group" at meals, in the lounges, on tours.  So we never really got to talk to them.  Actually, no one else not in their group got to mingle with them.

 

Riving cruises having such a smaller passenger load, I really like meeting everyone, even if it's only for one meal.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We often travel with 4 or 5 other couples but much of the time are in different tour groups or excursions.  Some like pre-dinner cocktails others are usually rushing to make the daily talk.  We do generally sit together for dinner but Viking always set up a table for us so we didn't monopolize  what was available.  One time we were 10 and the table was for 12 often another couple would join us and we made sure to them in the middle so they were not left out of conversation!

 

I have never been on cruise that I saw people saving bus seats for others!  That is RUDE!

Link to post
Share on other sites

have been giving some thought to this question.  Several of the above posters covered most all of my thoughts.  One that I do not think was mentioned is that a large group will sometimes forget others not in their group are present and will get overly bosterious and loud.  Of course, this can happen in any gathering.  It does not have to be a group traveling together.  (river or ocean)large groups tend to think they are "special" and almost demand special arrangements in various circumstances.  I believe what I and others have mentioned are the exceptions and most groups are aware thay are a small number compared to the number of non-group people on a ship (river or ocean) and might just asked to be sat together for meals.

I wish you luck on your trip and hope you enjoy it.  Last thing i would say is the same I would say to anyone asking a similar question whether as an indiviual or a group.

Treat others as you would like to be treated.

 

Stan

Link to post
Share on other sites

This wasn't on a river cruise, but on a land tour of Iceland there was a guy and his pal (their wives were OK) who carried a bottle of whiskey and 2 glasses on all excursions and loudly and conspicuously and boisterously toasted themselves whenever possible.   Just obnoxious, seemed like they loved calling attention to themselves. 

 

So my suggestion is, as was mentioned above, remember that there are others on the cruise and don't be a dink.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wholeheartedly agree with the above poster!!!!!!  We were on a Christmas Market cruise with another couple.  Their was a very large (40) from a very large state. They tried to dominate everything that went on in the lounge to the point of loud talking over the entertainment.  Many of the rest of us would just leave.  We SHOULD treat others as we would like to be treated--a smile and a hello are so nice.

When we travel with friends we say see you for dinner definitely and if we cross paths during the day so be it.  We have been friends for more than fifty years, so it must be working.

Stay safe and well.  Get that vaccine as soon as you can.  Pat

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, deec said:

I have never been on cruise that I saw people saving bus seats for others!  That is RUDE!

How about people who sit in seats that obviously have other people's belongings in them?  Even though it was explained at the start of the tour that "your seat will remain the same" for the duration of the tour so that you can leave items on the bus when you're off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For the tours we took by bus, we never had a full bus.  We always sat at the back, so we could see out of both sides.  Had a great time one trip, with some of the staff hitching a ride to the town with us.  I never noticed if those in the front had problems getting seats.

 

I guess if you have groups - 4 or larger - you will get your good ones like we did (we also had a family of 4 that were great as well) or those who make others life miserable.  Could work out just pairing up with another couple for dinner as well.  People are all different, and not everyone gets along.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Only one river cruise to reference, but we didn't have any of these observations.  We met for dinner the first night with a group of strangers, sat in a table for 6, and ate together every night.

 

Maybe one nitpik:  on guided tours, some folks lingered behind taking pictures and slowed down the group progress.  No mention if one of those someones was my DH

Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, RNCheryl said:

Only one river cruise to reference, but we didn't have any of these observations.  We met for dinner the first night with a group of strangers, sat in a table for 6, and ate together every night.

 

Maybe one nitpik:  on guided tours, some folks lingered behind taking pictures and slowed down the group progress.  No mention if one of those someones was my DH

Lol... we did that, we had a group of photographers and the spouses had to space themselves out along the route to keep in touch with the group while we snapped pics.  It was much easier when we got into a gentle walkers group, as we had time to take pics.  The few times we didn't, it was rush past interesting areas to stand in a square while they pointed out the highlights, then back on marching.  Our gentle walker guides knew how to walk & talk at the same time, so we could ask about things en route as well as in the main areas.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You’ve guessed my strategy for years I took the gentle walking group so that I could click away to my hearts content DH didn’t mind as he could then chat away as much as he wanted to. Now with age and new knees I tend to need the gentle walking group but still click away. CA

Link to post
Share on other sites

This only happened once on our first river cruise on the Danube in 2016.  We had some scenic cruising so passengers were up on the upper deck to watch.  There was a large boisterous group that wanted to sit together so they moved all the loungers & chairs around in order to sit together, crowding me in order to squeeze into a space that was not big enough.  In fact, one person was bumping my lounger with the way he was positioned but finally someone in his group suggested that he move his lounger.   Needless to say it was annoying. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Canal archive said:

You’ve guessed my strategy for years I took the gentle walking group so that I could click away to my hearts content DH didn’t mind as he could then chat away as much as he wanted to. Now with age and new knees I tend to need the gentle walking group but still click away. CA

@Canal archive, it was someone on here who slipped the secret to me.  Sorry, not sure if it was you or not, but best thing ever.  Our guides even managed to get us to locations to see things as they happened (like the Augenroller in Koblenz) that other tours were just told about.  Once word got out that I had an actual video of him, I had a lot of people coming over to see it.  Also, you get to see a lot when you wander with a slow walking group, not racing around to stand and listen in a corner.  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting what's been said about slower walkers or photographers slowing down the group.  On our Viking cruise, I tended to wander nearby taking photos, since I could hear the tour guide in the earphone.  A couple of times I lagged behind and nobody waited for me!!  Luckily I kept the group in sight so I could catch up with them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have enjoyed three river cruises, all in Europe in the past five years.  Our fellow travelers were interesting, so pleasant to speak with and awesome dinner companions.  A great group of people.  Only one little annoyance that I recall: during one cruise when the sun deck was closed a lot of us would hang out in the lounge to read or check emails etc.  So, a group of eight travelers decided to hold a bridge afternoons, two tables and sadly they all thought we needed to hear every word of every play of every game. I know the lounge is large and there are lots of places to sit but I believe they could have been a bit more aware. Oh well, I would rather be cruising with bridge players than sitting here in Stay at Home mode!! 😀

Link to post
Share on other sites

I avoid bringing up politics while on tours or vacations---if someone needs to pontificate on political matter, I simply try to avoid being near them---helps my blood pressure for sure.

 

On a land tour, we had spent most of the 10 days with a very  nice couple from the Rocky Mountain states.  At breakfast on the LAST day, the wife decided that she had to go on and on and on and on about her political views, which were 180 degrees from ours, really crazy crazy stuff, REALLY out there.

 

So glad that didn't happen on the first day!  We only had to avoid them on the shuttle to the airport.

Edited by sharkster77
Link to post
Share on other sites

We generally have not had any issues with groups on any of our river cruises.  On one trip - there was a large group (think 30+ people) - and their tour escort asked if they could have a dedicated bus, designated tables in the dining room and a space in the lounge.  The cruise director shut that down immediately...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, franski said:

We generally have not had any issues with groups on any of our river cruises.  On one trip - there was a large group (think 30+ people) - and their tour escort asked if they could have a dedicated bus, designated tables in the dining room and a space in the lounge.  The cruise director shut that down immediately...

 

That was a good move.  We took a Trafalgar land trip to Spain a few years ago and we hade a group of people from the South together. The head of the group thought the program director was here own tour director.  Also the head of the group would not move bus seats and was late .  She also got into it with a woman charging racial discrimination.  The rest of us had to listen to all of this.  Quite a few people of that group were nice, but I hate being on a land tour with another group.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is difficult when anything objectionable happens, in Switzerland on a walking tour from the boat one lady was particularly so, made worse as she was English who had emigrated to Canada, so two nationalities made to feel decidedly uncomfortable, when in steps one of our redoubtable Australians and with a few words put her in her place so we all applauded. Our poor Swiss tour guide was completely out of the loop and hadn’t realised she had been targeting him, thank goodness. 
It often is a single person eg the American on his phone in the lounge at high volume during a heritage presentation, he was sorted by the joint effort of an Aussie and an Englishman, he didn’t seem to understand what he had done.

I’m sure we all at some time cause raised eyebrows, (I do it really well! Raise an eyebrow I mean) but we can usually work it out. CA

Edited by Canal archive
Context
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...