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Couples cooped up in cabins, multiple generations on family holidays, crazy friends on booze cruises…suddenly unleashed on the seas, with no escape for hours at a time – it’s a recipe for pent-up frustrations to explode. Or if you’re lacking inspiration for your next argument afloat, try these out!

1. Money
Cash and credit cards aren’t used on cruises – you use your door swipe card to purchase drinks, casino chips etc… then get the bill at the end of the trip. This means you (and your partner) can spend money like it’s not your own, and without the other knowing what you’re spending. But watch out – on some ships, you can access your up-to-date account via the TV in your cabin. I once took a new boyfriend (now ex) on Radiance of the Seas and he would disappear for half an hour, returning to say he had just had a cigarette on the smoking deck and got chatting to other smokers. Ohhhhh reeeeeaaaaalllly???!!! What he didn’t know was that I had checked our account – 3 beers and $100 at the casino. Nice try, buddy.

2. Casino
Talking of gambling problems, one cruise line has introduced gaming for smartphones, which means you can play casino-style games anywhere on the ship – by the pool, sitting on the toilet, while your partner is in the shower… You just download an app onto your iPhone or Android, then set up an account and connect via the ship’s wi-fi (also not cheap) to play. Nooooooooo, I can’t see that leading to arguments at all!!!

3. Flirting with crew
Has anyone noticed there are usually only male waiters in cruise ships’ restaurants? My theory is this stops husbands flirting with waitresses, which would piss off wives, while husbands will more likely tolerate a waiter complimenting his wife. Crew are under strict instructions not to fraternise with passengers, but this doesn’t stop some passengers (male and female) having a go.

4. Flirting with passengers
I had a weird experience on a cruise where a gay man was flirting with me in front of his boyfriend, arranging to meet up with me on land. I laughed along with it – after all, I’m a straight female, so it was just a bit of fun, right? Wrong. Of all the cabins in that ship, I happened to be staying next door to them, so I overhead their massive fight about it. Awwwwwkward.

5. Deciding what to do
With all the activities to choose from, people can be overwhelmed by choice. And overruled by their companions. I’ve seen people absolutely bored on shore excursions or doing things they hate onboard the ship. Come on, you co-dependents: you do your thing and I’ll do mine. Meet you back at the cabin.

What have you argued about on cruises? Have you witnessed a feisty fight at sea?

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Louise Goldsbury

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In 2013 I was named Best Travel Writer at the National Travel Industry Awards. And until someone corrects me, I'm claiming to be the youngest cruise editor in the Southern Hemisphere. Editor of Cruise Weekly since 2009, I also contribute to Sydney's Sun Herald newspaper and various travel magazines and websites.

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