I've seen too many examples of bad manners by many of my fellow Americans and I must put my two cents in. Both on and off the ships I have seen U.S. citizens treat the locals and crew like garbage. Taking down to them and making certin that they are masters of the universe. When we traveled on the EOS and were traveling back from Megans Bay this past May we had the unfortunate experience of sitting with three young women (20s-30s) who thought it was funny t treating the driver of the van like trash. He was rather nice and patient with the rude lot and never gave any hint of anger. This type of display is becoming wide spread among new travelers who truly believe their money can buy people's respect.
I don't just think its Americans....our cruise last March had 25 Spanish students and their escorts on board...and they ruined alot of the cruise by the way they treated the passengers on board...especially the american girls..they went out of their way to push and shove into them on purpose and one was my daughter..it took all she had to not retaliate back to them...so lets not just say its the Americans!
I guess we've been lucky. In our ten cruises so far on diverse lines and ships, I have not been forced to witness this kind of rude and arrogant behavior by any of the guests regarding the crew, service personnel, or local people in port. But, so many reports of it have appeared on the cruise boards, it must be happening. I join MickeySr. in wishing that those who travel internationally for seemingly the sole purpose of hacking off people from as many countries as possible would just stay home. It's cheaper for them, and there are plenty of people they can hack off right here in the USA! Kind of makes it difficult for those of us who travel, in part, for the educational value of meeting people from different places, and learning about them and these places.
We were in Denmark a few years ago and made a point to be as gracious as possible. In everything we did we realized we were speaking, by their account, for all Americans. If we were rude that reflected on all U.S. citizens. That's a huge responsibility.
I have always tried to AT LEAST memorize a few basic words and phrases, and smile!
I always want to say 'we're not with them' when this happens in another country- sometimes meeting the eyes of the person treated poorly, smiling sympathetically, and making that 'some people!' face can work wonders to undo some of the damage our international image has suffered.
In an experience below, there is one last desperate way to deal with them and distance yourself from their attitudes towards locals:
I was really worried that my 14 y-o (mouthy, assertive, impatient) would end up with an adversarial trip to Europe, but she weathered it better than I could have hoped- said everyone was so helpful and nice even though she never remembered to try her phrase book!
She really liked it over there... the only bad experience was the last night in Italy at a lake resort, with a large group of overbearing, obnoxious, loud, rude, condescending, and inconsiderate guests distrupted the entire lobby and restaurant area:
You guessed it, AMERICANS, from Cleveland, as they made very clear!!! (no insult to Cleveland, just where they claimed home- sorry!)
I had just called my daughter long distance and the lobby just couldn't get the phone to go through, so they WENT all the way up to her room at 11:30 at night their time just so she could talk to me in the lobby (VERY nice staff! )
I could hear these people practically tearing the place apart while I waited, and the panicked tone at the desk.
I couln't help but grin as I finally heard my daughter's voice as she picked up the phone, says "Gra...zee? Yeah, thanks", and LOUDLY (nearly shouting actually) "God, you'd think they'd never left the trailer park in Cleveland! Glad I haven't had to deal with any other A@@@@s from home during my trip."
And back to normal tone: "Hi Mom, I guess the phone isn't working- I couldn't call out either."
It seems only one person behind the desk understood what she had said, and rapidly translated it for the other staff- all were grinning behind their hands or while looking down at the counter, and those UGLY AMERICANS were shamed into silence and quickly left towards the room elevators.
OK, so it was bad form, and I should have reprimanded her for the swearing, but MAN, it was SO needed at that moment- the rest of our conversation was accompanied by nothing more than piano music and the occaisional soft Italian in the background. ))
I asked about it when she got home, and she was still really ticked off at those people- seems they had been obnoxious earlier in the day too, thinking she was Italian and referring to her as a whore and easy and egging each other on to try and pick her up... and slowly trapping her at the end of a balcony area.
I pity the guy that oversteps the line with her, they'll be lucky to walk away with only a few broken bones!
She says a few Ukranian boys that spoke English ran interference so she could leave, so she just glared at the Americans and left the area, and avoided them for the rest of the day.
So, that Lobby scene was the last straw for her- since she was alone late at night and wanted to make sure none of them approached her, she figured the best way was to make it clear she was an American too, and not easily intimidated.
She said that the same lady that came and got her insisted on walking her back up to her room, rolled her eyes, and said something like "bad Americans, angry, mean boys".
Just that final touch of class to highlight the difference for my daughter
The one good that came out of this is she has developed a much higher tolerance level in general, and is determined to make a good impression of Americans everywhere the next time she travels
what we really need to do is bring our kids up like we were brought up. To respect people even if they are different or goofy! Not to make fun of someone who speaks or acks different due to culture or plain looks. Kids today have no manners.
I get quite upset when I hear statements that seem to be absolutes. We just got off the Infinity's Panama Canal cruise where Americans were probably only 30-40% of the passenger makeup. There were many Europeans, Canadians, South Americans, etc. Many different languages were spoken. We encountered just as many rude non-Americans as Americans. But the majority of the passengers were quite delightful. We should not make apologies for the crass among us because we are not the standard bearer for boors. Every population has that bell-shaped curve distribution of people of varying manners. I'll get off my soap box now. Sorry.
Some of the most polite people I know are under 25! All of the most rude people I have ever encountered were middle-aged or elderly. Many of my teen-age son's friends could give lessons in politeness to their elders. Please don't blame young people for the "Ugly American" label. After all, that label has been used for several generations now. Sorry, I just had to say that!
We experience a couple of ugly Americans in Rome in the Sistine Chapel. No photographs are allowed (to preserve the paintings). This couple loudly announced "Bullsh_t! We're Americans and we can do what we want! They then proceeded to snap flash after flash picture. It was embarassing to be there. However we were on another tour in France and witnessed a group of ugly Germans making a spectacle of themselves, so I guess every country has its share of ugly ambassadors.
I've said it before and I'll say it again... rude and inconsiderate behavior is not just limited to young people.
Lene, I think people who are rude on vacation tend to be rude everywhere. They simply think the world revolves around them, and they should be allowed act however they want and do whatever they want. They cannot grasp the idea that other people have rights and feelings too.
Now posting as MichelleP.
I have traveled extensively and never cease to shake my head in wonder at the sheer ignorance and arrogance of a minority of my fellow Americans. A couple of years ago in Madrid Spain I was traveling on a hosted (not escorted) tour. I was making the rounds of tapas bars when I ran into two couples in thier 50s who were on my tour. One of the women was obviously not happy with Spanish dining hours (dinner after 9 pm) and obviously resented having to hop from tapas bar to tapas bar to get a meal. Fortified by the wine and beer at several previous stops, she loudly proclaimed ".....what do you expect from such a backward and lazy people!!" I turned bright red looked at the guy serving us (this was my second stop and I knew he spoke perfect English) and muttered "Lo siento" he smiled and made a drinking motion. However according to the Spainiards and Catalonians I conversed with, you have to go a long way to top the Brits as ugly tourists. As a group, they refuse to speak a word of the langauge, dress appropriately , or learn local customs and heritage. I am sure the ugly Brits and Americans are a vast minority, but they stick out unfortunately.
Explorer of the Seas October 2013
Caribbean Princess July 2006, May 2010 & November 2012
Monarch of the Seas November 2008
Crown Princess November 2007
Celebrity Zenith November 2005
Enchantment of the Seas August 2004
Padme, actually IMHO........one of the reasons SOME of the worlds people hate us is because they are resentful for what we have. We give so much to some countries that we make them feel like beggars and that will always lead to resentment of us. I agree with another poster here....RUDE and ARROGANT crosses all nationalities. Being rude or arrogant has nothing to do with nationality......these are human traits that some develope regardless of where they are from. I get a little sick of hearing the phrase "Ugly American". But being American and being able to be so judgemental, in our society, is one of many reasons why 100's of thousands flock to the USA every year . When one nationality visits anothers country, it's easy for the host nation to think them rude because the visitor comes from a society of different rules and mannerisms. Who here has'nt been rude or arrogant at one time or another? Okay, enough....time for another JB and coke . Happy Holidays to all our family and their families here at cruise mates!
We've taken several trips to the Dom. Republic, where the majority of guests were European, particularly German. Not to pick on any one country, but these folks just don't understand the concept of waiting in line! You could be standing there patiently waiting your turn to order drinks, be served at the buffet, or speak with a desk clerk, and they just walk right up to the front as if you are invisible. People say "that's their custom and don't take it personally", but after several episodes this generates an attitude of 'dog-eat-dog', something I go on vacation to get away from! How can they not realize they are blatently putting their own needs above those waiting their turn?
I've seen American kids on a cruise thrust their soda cards at bartenders and say "gimme a Sprite", oblivious (or just not caring) that others were there before them, not to mention their rude tone. So, maybe being inconsiderate of others is becoming more common in our culture too. How sad.
I thinks it's really the way people are brought up. I am only 20 and i've seen some 5 years old that is much more polite then 30 years old. If the parents are rude and obnoxious, then the likely hood, that their kids are too. It's alot of ignorance and arrogance. I've seen people from other countries who come to a place with different cultures and expect it to be "home". I think those are the people that tend to find all the negatives as wel. For the majority of travelers, people are very well behaved and are open to new things. It's a few crass people who makes the rest of us look bad.
The problem is that most Americans do not have any sense of culture and do not care to learn about other countries or their language. I cringe when I see fat touristy women and men in polyester pants suits asking and talking loudly to the natives..like they are talking to a handcapped child, etc. It disgusts me.
I agree that we as Americans should represent the US in the best possible way when out ouf the Country, and also at home. I don't agree with blaming certain age groups.
I have 3 kids all under the age of 12, and they are very polite. My kids have been saying please & thank you ever since they started talking, to family members and out in public. All kids are not rude..................
We have been on 4 cruises and luckily have not seen any rude behavior.