As someone who's been on nine cruises in the past ten years, I have begun to recognize personality patterns amongst the people I meet at sea. If you've ever been on a cruise and made friends, a good number of items on this list will appear familiar to you. If you're preparing to go on a cruise, this list shall serve as informative preparation for your trip. If you've never been on a cruise and don't plan on it... go on a cruise dammit.
1. The Tribe Leader
A take-charge nature
The alpha of the group is responsible for the group’s coming together, as well as the planning all of the cruise friend activities. Almost everyone boarded the ship with no specific plans about what the downtime of their vacation would entail. But the tribe leader, however, is not your average cruiser: he or she stepped onto the runway with not only ideas, but with an agenda. The alpha knows what he or she wants and will stop at nothing to create the (almost) perfect group of friends.
2. The F***boi
Slick, charming, and full of lies
You know who he is. Pretty boy, well dressed, only talking to girls, and perhaps the only person on the ship besides the Tribe Leader who has some sort of a plan. He's not really part of the group because he only sticks around if he sees "potential" in one of the girls. Other than that, you'll really only see him on the ship lurking at the night club or playing BINGO with his parents.
3. The Couple
Clingy and rash
Technically they’re two people, but they become one on the cruise. These two people are complete strangers when you first board, but it only takes about two days for them to become completely attached at the hip. Everyone wonders what’s going to happen to their “relationship” after the cruise is over, but no one brings it up in fear of bursting their Titanic-esque bubble. They'll also probably break up and make up at least once over the course of the week, so it's really not a big deal.
4. The Giraffe
The Giraffe is not a complex person. They're simply an unwanted member of the group who manages to weasel their way into every gathering and is incapable of taking a hint. You have permanent proof that the Giraffe always managed to find the rest of the group on this ship because they're in every single picture, with a long, satisfied neck sticking out of some opening they somehow found. But by the end of the week, the Giraffe becomes a weirdly lovable creature, and you find yourselves including them in the jokes rather than making them at their expense. And in the years to come, you can't help but remember the Giraffe and their perseverance as you recall the best memories of the cruise.
5. The Foreign Kid
Significantly more fun than anyone else on the ship
There’s always one. Usually with an accent and hailing from somewhere in Canada, South America, or the UK, they’re the exotic spice of the group. And if there isn’t an immediate foreign kid presented to the group, there’s usually someone hanging around who’s from Toronto or Bermuda and is a decent second choice. The Foreign Kid tells stories of his or her homeland, shows cool pictures, and makes everyone feel like American trash.
6. The Magician
The name “the Magician” speaks for itself. This cruisegoer is capable of supernatural feats – specifically: of disappearing into thin air. The Magician was a part of the group for the first day or so, and everything was normal and fine. But he or she now avoids all contact with the group and is nowhere to be seen on the ship. The Giraffe often tells late-night campfire tales of spotting the Magician in places such as the dining room, the casino, or even on land, but no one is about to believe that crap. Everyone is officially convinced – based off the person’s disappearance and eyewitness accounts from only the Giraffe – that the Magician either jumped ship or is in the brig.
…But alas, right at the end of the cruise, the Magician reappears. Truly like magic, he or she is once again onboard and has made a point to attend the last get-together of the group. When everyone goes around sharing their best memories of the week, the Magician keeps it quiet.
7. The Mom or Dad
Super cool; viewed by "children" as remotely responsible
There is always either a mom or dad of the group, but there will never be both. The Couple will try to tell you they’re the mom and dad of the friend group, but don’t buy into their BS. They’re just as unreliable as the Magician, and their minimal supervision over the others is miniscule in comparison to that of Mom or Dad.
Mom/Dad is always there. Mom/Dad is super nice, super fun, and keeps everyone in check without being a real parental figure. They're not going to stop you from eating dessert before dinner or from sneaking into the nightclub, but they will step in if you stand too close to the railing or start associating with the F***boi.
They’re not putting a damper on the fun, because they are the fun.
8. The Phone Addict
For those of you out there who aren’t aware: Internet service is not included in the average cruise package. It’s something you have to pay extra for, and most don’t bother and instead choose to suck it up as though it’s a week-long luxury camping trip. But there’s always that one jerk whose Mom and Dad (their real Mom and Dad), buy him or her a wifi package and mess up the camping mojo for the rest of the group. This person taunts the others with the reminder of social media by being the first to post photos and stories.
And to add insult to injury, this person is constantly on their phone. One can only hope that Phone Addict is also conveniently the Giraffe, because if not, you’re missing out on a pretty cool person.
9. The One Who Wasn't Even There
Perhaps even more talented than the Magician is the One Who Wasn't Even There. He or she is a part of the group, but isn’t even on the ship. No magic involved here though – just modern technology. The One Who Wasn't Even There is a hometown friend of the Phone Addict, and everyone knows their name and has Facetimed with them on the ship using that one damn phone that has Wifi. At the end of the cruise, everyone connects with this person via social media, and there’s a solid chance one of the members of the group – maybe a broken up member of the Couple – will wind up having some sort of strange relationship with this person within the next year or so.
Well that’s the lowdown, folks. Whether or not you’ll be cruising anytime soon, this breakdown of cruise ship friend groups is key for a solid understanding of cruise culture, and maybe even of life. Chances are, you can probably find these personality patterns on land too.
Now you know: most weeklong cruises are much longer than a week.