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Old January 26th, 2010, 01:36 PM
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Default Common Cruise Ship Courtesy

Let's compile a list of common courtesy practices for cruisers:

I want to ask everyone to please list as many common courtesy practices as you want but to do each one at a time and please explain why it is important. Eventually we will distill this list into an article.

I will start with one I haven't heard before but which I personally think is important.
  • Remember that people may be sleeping at any given time so be quiet in the hallways. Do not shout out to your spouse at the other end of the ship when in passenger cabin areas. Do not leave your cabin door open while having guests over for parties. Do not talk loudly late at night when walking back to your stateroom.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 02:09 PM
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Regarding your suggestion of being noisy in the hall, I would add, don't slam your cabin door shut, especially late in the evening or early in the morning.


When you are done eating in the buffet area (during peak breakfast/lunch/dinner times), kindly leave the table when you are finished. During the peak times tables could be hard to find and there are plenty of other places on the ship for you to go and just sit down and relax.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 02:11 PM
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Follow the ships "no seat reservation" policy in the theaters and the loungers by the pool. The theaters can fill up very fast and its not fair to others to reserve several seats for a long period of time when someone else would like to sit there. Its also frustrating sometimes when you want to sit by the pool but can't because someone leaves items on the chairs all day only to go back and pick it up when they are done swimming and never even sit in the chair.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 02:28 PM
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Its also frustrating sometimes when you want to sit by the pool but can't because someone leaves items on the chairs all day only to go back and pick it up when they are done swimming and never even sit in the chair.
And many of these chairs are no longer in use anyhow. People are just too lazy to remove their towels. C'mon folks-I'm sure you walk right by a towel return station when you leave the pool area.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:45 PM
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I would like to add "Please", "thank You," and "Excuse Me" as a rule for people to follow as you see too many passengers being rude to the staff and fellow passengers.

One annoying thing I came across on the Glory, which I got off of on Sunday, was I left my shoes and drinks on a table so I could go get a bingo card without losing my seat. I came back to find two women literally took over most of the space I had and they had plenty of room on the other side of them to scoot down, but no, they opted to squeeze me in. I purposely left my sandals so they would know someone was there, but no, they rudely sprawled themselves out......
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:13 PM
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This is why I asked people to go into detail - it makes each suggestion much more useful.

For example - it isn't just reserving pool loungers - it is forgetting to pick up your used towel. As stated by jacdenv, i am sure half the time it was just someone leaving their wet towel behind.

The same with "slamming the door" (which can happen very easily when the balcony door is left open).

In the buffett - how about when there are no tables - Isn't it common courtesy to invite someone to sit down with you? especially if you are alone. Should a person really have to ask, "do you mind if i join you?"

The question is - is there a way to ask where they won't feel obligated if they don't feel like eating at your table (for whatever reason)?

What is the proper way to ask someone in the buffet if they would care to join you?

Like you could say, "you are welcome to sit here if you'd like." It kind of takes the obligatory edge off, better than, "would you like to sit with me?" if you get my drift.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:19 PM
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How about this one...

How many times have you been in a tour group and someone who speaks a foreign language is right next to you talking to someone in their own group in their loudest voice?

it is like they think you can't hear them if they aren't speaking English.

I admit we have done this myself to other tour groups speaking other languages. My wife was on the other side yelling at me like they were just a machine making noise to talk over, and I answered the same way (and got a lot of dirty looks). It's too easy to forget they are people trying to listen when you don't understand what they are saying.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:47 PM
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Elevator Etiquette

Entering and exiting the elevators..one would think it's such a simple thing..but....Let the people coming out, get out, BEFORE you try and get on.

If someone has special needs, or in an wheelchair, let them take that ride, and wait for the next one. We have all the time in the world, not a problem.

If you see kids pressing all the buttons, let them know this is not acceptable, people are waiting for the car.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:10 PM
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Entering and exiting the elevators..one would think it's such a simple thing..but....Let the people coming out, get out, BEFORE you try and get on.

Entering and exiting the elevators..one would think it's such a simple thing..but....Let the people coming out, get out, BEFORE you try and get on.

Entering and exiting the elevators..one would think it's such a simple thing..but....Let the people coming out, get out, BEFORE you try and get on.

And one more thing:

Entering and exiting the elevators..one would think it's such a simple thing..but....Let the people coming out, get out, BEFORE you try and get on.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
This is why I asked people to go into detail - it makes each suggestion much more useful.

For example - it isn't just reserving pool loungers - it is forgetting to pick up your used towel. As stated by jacdenv, i am sure half the time it was just someone leaving their wet towel behind.

The same with "slamming the door" (which can happen very easily when the balcony door is left open).

In the buffett - how about when there are no tables - Isn't it common courtesy to invite someone to sit down with you? especially if you are alone. Should a person really have to ask, "do you mind if i join you?"

The question is - is there a way to ask where they won't feel obligated if they don't feel like eating at your table (for whatever reason)?

What is the proper way to ask someone in the buffet if they would care to join you?

Like you could say, "you are welcome to sit here if you'd like." It kind of takes the obligatory edge off, better than, "would you like to sit with me?" if you get my drift.
I really don't feel comfortable verbally inviting someone I don't know to share a table. We simply make sure we're not hogging the whole thing and smile pleasantly at folks who are obviously looking for a table. That, to us anyhow, is an invitation to join us.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 12:33 AM
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I recall on tours there were times when everyone wanted to see one small room so they were crowding to get in. I said "you have to let us out to make room" somfone said "well that makes sense. " same with elevators.

With buffet tables a smile is good. But I feel a real invitation to sit
down is the proper ettiquette. If you don't want to share that is different but if you really want to be helpful invite themm to sit down IMHO.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Elevator Etiquette

Entering and exiting the elevators..one would think it's such a simple thing..but....Let the people coming out, get out, BEFORE you try and get on.

If someone has special needs, or in an wheelchair, let them take that ride, and wait for the next one. We have all the time in the world, not a problem.

If you see kids pressing all the buttons, let them know this is not acceptable, people are waiting for the car.
Just a note on this. On my Elation cruise after the people got off the elevator, this lady and your husband went to get on. We let them go ahead of us. She slipped and almost fell in a big pile of vomit. I felt bad for her she had someone's puke on her shoes. From then on I always let some else get on the elevator before me.

Two things
1. Please don't get so drunk you are puking in the elevator.
2. If you do puke in the elevator let someone know.


I shouldn't just think the person was drunk; maybe that person got seasick. If so they or someone in thier group should have let us know and/or a carnival staff person and/or just cleaned it up themselves.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 01:36 AM
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I'm not sure this counts. But I will throw it in away. Understand and respect the culture of the country you are visiting. Don't just assume they should do it the American/Canadian way.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 02:09 AM
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If you are sharing a table with someone at dinner you should tell them or the wait staff if you ever plan on not being there one night. This won't hold them up and potentially cause them to miss a show or have to change their plans because they were waiting for you too long.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 11:07 AM
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How about this one, "If there is a line for something, wait in that line like everyone else". For example, at the buffet if there is a line for the carving station or omelette station, if a line has formed wait your turn! I constantly see people trying to cut the line at the shore excursion or pursers desk as well, "we just have one short question" they will say to the long line as they walk right up to the counter. Well, there are many of us in this line with just "one short question", but we are waiting our turn!
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Old January 27th, 2010, 02:15 PM
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Default Hogging Table

In the same vein nothing drives me crazier than to see people sitting and reading all day long at a table in the buffet area where there is usually a shortage of tables or playing cards. Saw one woman put things at the other seats so nobody could sit there. Another gripe.. those parents with strollers who are clueless and walk into people with their kid in it..
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Old January 27th, 2010, 04:03 PM
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Mine is similar to Katlady's, but more specific. If you are in a port and go into a house of worship, show respect. I have seen fellow tourists go into a church where people were praying and start talking loudly, taking flash photographs, etc. I almost lost a friend by suggesting that she not act that way when we were on a tour in Mexico, but I felt it was important.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorcrazie View Post
Mine is similar to Katlady's, but more specific. If you are in a port and go into a house of worship, show respect. I have seen fellow tourists go into a church where people were praying and start talking loudly, taking flash photographs, etc. I almost lost a friend by suggesting that she not act that way when we were on a tour in Mexico, but I felt it was important.
Marty
Also when visiting a church please have the proper standard of dress. shirts with sleeves and pants that cover the knee. The Pisa people were given blue depositable sheets to cover thier arms. The explaination below is from the website linked. This is for Italian churches, but I believe it's a good policy for any church.

Vesta Italian Villas - Useful Info - useful information to travel to Italy - Good to Know
Dress code for churches: When visiting churches or other religious sites, no tank tops are allowed, shoulders and belly should be covered. Skirts and shorts must be below the knee. This is considered a sign of respect for all sacred places. At some major cathedrals security guards will enforce this dress code strictly.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 08:45 PM
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If you're using the ship's self serve laundry, please get your clothes out of the washer and the dryer when they're done. The times for washing and drying are listed either on the machines or on a sign. Come back a few minutes early. Also, please clean out the dryer filter when you're done.

I don't like to move someone else's laundry, but after waiting about 10 minutes, I'll do it .
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Old January 28th, 2010, 11:20 AM
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Waiting in line is big one, but it IS frustrating when you just have one short question like "where does group tour A-24 meet?" You don't want to wait in a line with someone choosing tours for the entire cruise.

I wish they would have a person for "expeditied answers" - she just stands there. If someone has a "long reply" answer then she asks them to get in line - otherwise, she answers them.

Royal Caribbean on Oasis had a great solution (once again, contradiciting the notion that it is a ship of long lines). At the pursers desk they have people walking the line and asking people what their questions are. That way people with short questions are answered right away.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:12 PM
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Our last cruise we were having credit card problems due to an internet kiosk at our hotel. I went down the the pursers desk and they did have somebody walking along the line asking what people needed. I think she was able to help some folks with "little questions"
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Old January 28th, 2010, 04:38 PM
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Here is another one - if you are in line in a buffet waiting for an omelette to cook or something - stand aside and let people through, better yet, figure out a way to start a separate line just for omelettes.

I cannot tell you how many times I ave seen entire breakfast buffets backed up because one person was waiting for eggs to cook.

This is really bad design by the cruise ship, but we can do a little to compensate.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 08:34 PM
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Buffets! Before you go through the buffet do a walk-through to see what you might want. Know whether it's a "get in line" buffet, or a "stations" buffet.

I've had people glare at me because I moved from one station to another on Princess ! They were treating it as a "line" buffet. If it's a "line" buffet and someone just wants to get one thing, let them break in line for a second (especially if they say, "excuse me"). Why should anyone have to stand in the whole line again just to grab one roll !

Paul, I agree about the omlette station (or any cooked to order items). It should be at the beginning or the end of the buffet area, NOT in the middle!
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Old January 30th, 2010, 12:31 AM
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I've always been a believer in having a moving conveyor type buffet line--- you step on it--it moves you along at a decent speed and if you don't get what you want---tough-- get off, go to the back and ride down the line again.
Problem solved--no sampling this, that, agonizing over whether to try this or that--get it or miss out!! Or have a retired Drill Sgt.walking up an down the line--guarantee the line would move smoothly with no complaining and no jam ups. Oh well, we can dream can't we??
Seriously, the cruise lines could do better in many cases when it comes to having omelet stations set in a certain area that does not back up the line but folks could help out too by being more aware that they are holding up the line by nit-picking through everything and acting like it's a million dollar decision on what to eat.
Re / elevators, I don't think some people can help but stand with their nose nearly touching the elevator doors when they are waiting--like they just don't expect that it's just maybe, remotely, possible that someone might be wanting to get off when the door opens. But you see the same thing at elevators ashore as you do on ships so it's not something unique to cruise ships.
I think too that if the buffet's crowded and when you eat, you should move on--you don't have to gobble down your food but should be aware there are others wanting to sit and eat too. I have no problem telling someone that they're welcome to sit with me/us when they are obviously walking around looking for somewhere to sit. You can meet some interesting folks that way.
And I have to agree with Katlady that respecting the culture and people of other countries is very important. To you, it may just be a speck of an island in an ocean but to the people who live there, it's their home and you're a visitor--conduct your self as such.;-) ;-)
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Old January 30th, 2010, 02:29 AM
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Soon to be a first-timer here (in about 3 weeks). What caught by attention was the discussion about sharing tables. When we lived for some years in Vienna, an early lesson on restaurant etiquette in general involved this practice.

Many restaurant venues are cramped, particularly in the older parts of a city (older, as in 1000 years old). Small cafes are crammed into the coziest places, and they are often packed. Consequently, there is no "waiting for a table" in the sense of waiting for a table all to yourself. Indeed, the waiter will seat a couple at a table where there are two empty chairs, even if it's already being used by another couple. Or with two single people who do not know one another.

The only exception to this was the type of restaurant that could cater to a large family or gang of diners. Those tables were set aside in another part of the restaurant and were never "invaded" by strangers.

At any rate, inviting folks to sit with you was expected. And, many times, you were given no choice, as the waiter made the choice for you!

In this respect, I think cruising will remind me of dining out in those years in Vienna.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 01:11 PM
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Welcome to CruiseMate Rivilian!

I just want to say how much I enjoy hearing the input and stories of people such as yourself. One of the reasons I love cruising so much is that it gives me the opportunity to experience different cultures.

Call me strange, but I found your story about the Vienna cafes fascinating (I know that is odd, but I really mean it). It just goes to show that what we consider "common courtesy," because we grew up with it, is not necessarily common in other cultures.

I recall being on a bus in a Greek Isle where there was very limited seating. The lady I was traveling with asked a young man if he minded if she sat on the tiny cushion over the engine block that was right behind the drivers seat. He replied with something like, "It would be my honor," in a thick British accent. It sounded so classy and courteous, especially from a younger man.

So I started using the same approach when people ask me if they can sit with me "Yes, please do, I would love some company". I noticed that after I got married this one little thing must have impressed my wife (who was not as well traveled) because even though I never said anything, she started doing the same thing when people asked her.

Rivilian, just so you know, not too many years ago it was common for every cruiser to be assigned a dining table with people they did not know and you would dine with them every night of the cruise. It was considered a big part of the cruising experience.

Today, with open seating, you will be asked "would you like a table for yourself or would you like to share a table?" If you say "share a table" you will be seated with others. So, it is still common to dine with "strangers" on cruise ships and I am sure most people find that to be one of the more interesting aspects of cruising. Most ships still offer the pre-assigned tables, but open seating is now actually more popular than traditional dining. On my last Princess cruise, for example, out of five (!) dining rooms only one was pre-assigned seating all night, and one other was from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Three and a half dining rooms were open seating every night. That is a big change.

Most cruise ships still do "Vienna-style" seating for breakfast and lunch in the dining rooms - filling up table after table with everyone who comes in. I admit, this is a bit awkward and many people eat in silence. When you have one table with 10 people (five couples) it is a little difficult to start conversations. But I usually try.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 01:39 PM
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getting back to common courtesy...

I am going to drop the rule of one per message because I think we are getting a little bogged down..

Please list as many as you can think of now - and thank you!

1. Do not 'reserve' deck chairs, especially unintentionally. Only leave a towel on a deck chair if you plan to occupy it within the next 15-minutes (as long as it takes to go to your cabin and back). I think that any deck chaor with a towel on it that remains unused for 15 minutes should be fair game. Let's call it the CruiseMates rule of deck chairs.

2. Don't cut in lines, wait your turn. Personally, I think this especially applies when you have a long line of people and you have a long question. Once again, I want comments on a "CruiseMates rule" - if your question is urgent and requires no more than a 5-second answer, or if you are in the buffet and just need a pat of butter, you should be allowed to ask someone if they mind if you cut in.

3. If you are in a line and you are waiting for something to be done (cooking an omelette or an aid making copies of your statement) stand aside so other people can proceed.

4. Be quiet in the hallways - no exceptions

5. Notify your tablemates if you will not be coming to dinner. Realistically, this is not always possible, so the CruiseMates rule is that if you are at dinner and you have been waiting more than 10 minutes you should go ahead and order. I am sure the late party would have wanted you to do so anyway.

6. No children in the hot tubs. They may not be a clean as they should be and hot tubs can breed bacteria. Personally, I tend to avoid them and definitely keep the water below my neck when I do use them.

7. Respect local cultures - dress properly for their houses of worship. Hint: in Jewish temples the head is covered, in Christian churches the hat is always off. No shoulders or thighs should be showing.

8. Let people off of elevators before you try to get on. Another point of elevator courtesy not mentioned; fill the levator when you get in, don't stand in the middle - go to the back or sides, make room for people.

9. Show compassion for the disabled or elderly; allow them to get on the elevator if you can walk. Hold the door open for them. Don't hold elevators while your spouse goes back to get her purse. Don't let kids hit all the buttons.

10 - keep your voice down if you are in proximity of a lecture or tour guide. People may be straining to hear the speaker anyway. They don't need you adding to the din of noise.

Any More Common Courtesy Tips???????
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Old January 31st, 2010, 01:03 PM
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When the omelet station is holding up the line, and I am trying to get some food in me before a tour or something, I will ask the people waiting if they are getting omelettes. If they say yes, I keep moving down the line and usually end up skipping ahead. But, the key, I think, is doing it with courtesy. Asking if it is okay usually gets me there. The same if I forgot to get something. A polite request always works....well, almost always, there is the occasional grump.
I did cut in line once. It was on NCL and I was out on deck and noticed dense smoke coming out of one of the ship's metal ashtrays. I went inside and went to the purser, where there was a long line. I went to the desk and tried to discreetly inform them of the situation. The purser I was dealing with told me I had to get in line. I replied that if she did not consider what might turn out to be a fire as high priority, she should find another occupation. She then said she had misunderstood me and took care of it. I apologized to the man who had been talking to her and he was very polite and said he appreciated my doing what needed to be done. As it turns out, the NCL "butt bins" cannot spread fire even if flaming, but I didn't know. I only knew that fire at sea is a big problem.
The point of all of this is just that sometimes taking a moment to explain ourselves and/or apologize even when our actions are justified can go a long way toward developing civility.
Marty
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Old January 31st, 2010, 01:29 PM
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How about parents sitting kids down before a Cruise and explain one does not SHOVE past passangers in the walkways and that EXCUSE ME is still very acceptable to use.

Also if there is no emergency in progress why not slow down and stand back and let another pass ahead and do it with a smile!

As you pass staff in the walkways who are servicing a cabin smile and say Hello. After all paid or not they still are picking up after you for how many days?
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Old January 31st, 2010, 08:08 PM
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When the announcer says "no flash photography" at an entertainment venue they have reasons for saying it and for insisting the guests comply. Many shows involve an element of risk for the performers, such as the divers in the Oasis Of Dreams show, the aerial acts, and the ice skaters. A flash can momentarily blind them or disrupt their concentration and cause them to fall or worse.
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