Picture the scene. You are relaxing on the sun deck of a luxury cruise ship when one of your fellow passengers appears with a blow-up sex doll, fully inflated and wearing the briefest of polkadot bikinis. Deciding to have a bit of fun, in his own inimitable style, the man sits said doll on the sun lounger between him his wife next to the pool, summons a waiter and proceeds to order three cocktails; one for himself, one for his wife, and the third for his “girlfriend”.

After doing this several days in a row, some of the ship’s well heeled and somewhat conservative passengers complain … which is fair enough. The doll is a ridiculous sight; it has a startled look on its face, gigantic breasts, and one of those rather scary o-shaped mouths. As one highly offended female passenger commented: “It’s bad enough we have to look at it, but how do we know he hasn’t actually used it?”

You see a lot of funny things when you are on the high seas, and if you put enough people into a relatively confined space for a long enough period of time, the behaviour of some is bound appear amusing or eccentric in the eyes of others. But as a recent Facebook community discussion has revealed, some of the things people do while on cruise ships can go beyond a bit of laugh, and in fact can range from annoying to downright offensive.

Our survey has shown that the way people behave in stateroom corridors is a big irritation, from kids running and yelling with abandon, to adults coming “home” late at night drunkenly, and generally people banging doors.

The stairwells are also a bone of contention, especially when youths crowd and sit on them, blocking the way in particular for anyone who isn’t steady on their feet and needs to hold the handrail.

Other major gripes include people hogging sun loungers with towels all day even though they don’t use them, not being able to get reservations in specialty restaurants because some guests have booked them more than once in a trip, people occupying the jacuzzis all week, people who don’t dress up for formal nights or ignore the dress code altogether, and people who smoke incessantly on balconies polluting the air around them.

Cruise ships might be floating resorts, but when you are on the high seas you tend to be up-close-and-personal with your fellow guests in a way which doesn’t exist in a land-based property. As a result, it is perhaps a good idea to be aware of other people, and mindful of your own behaviour, when you are cruising. What might pass for okay in your world may not in someone else’s, including socialising with inflatable sex dolls! Happy cruising!