Excerpt from “Don’t Do That! 9 Crazy Laws You Don’t Want to Break on Your Next Cruise” by Chris Gray Faust, Managing Editor, Cruise Critic (www.cruisecritic.com)
1. Wear Camouflage
Where You Can’t Do It: Several countries in the Caribbean, including Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. Also forbidden in Oman and illegal to wear camouflage clothing in countries like Zimbabwe.
Why: Laws ban civilians from donning outfits that could lead to others thinking they are with the military or law enforcement.
2. Engage in Public Displays of Affection
Where You Can’t Do It: United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi); Egypt; India; Indonesia
Why: Countries with a strong state religion, such as Islam or Hinduism, often see kissing as a violation of their decency or obscenity codes… save it for the ship.
3. Forget to Flush the Toilet
Where You Can’t Do It: Singapore
Why: Singapore has a host of laws intended to keep its busy city-state clean. Littering is also against the law.
4. Ride Bikes Unsafely
Where You Can’t Do It: Mexico; Austria
Why: In Mexico, keep both feet on the pedals or else; one-footed bike riding is illegal. In Austria, it’s both hands that have to be touching the bike.
5. Post a Photo of Your Beer
Where You Can’t Do It: Thailand
Why: With a strong Buddhist culture, Thailand is extremely strict on drinking. Laws prohibit drinking in the daytime, outside of lunch areas and there are many places you can’t drink including public parks and places of worship. The weirdest law of all prohibits the advertisement of drinks and alcoholic brands – including on social media.
6. Snack While on Church Steps or Monuments
Where You Can’t Do It: Florence and Rome, Italy
Why: Litter from tourists have made city officials so angry that they’ve taken to dousing church steps with water to deter them from sitting there. In Rome, the ban goes further: No eating on fountains or historic monuments, such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum and even the Spanish Steps.
7. Feed the Pigeons
Where You Can’t Do It: Venice, Italy; San Francisco
Why: For many years, it’s been illegal to feed pigeons in St. Mark’s Square, as the city tries to rid itself of the “flying vermin.” San Francisco has a similar ordinance.
8. Wear Stilettos
Where You Can’t Do It: Greece
Why: Pointy-heeled shoes are forbidden at ancient monuments and sites in Athens and elsewhere in Greece as the tips can dig into the fragile marble. Trust us: You really don’t want to wear heels on your trek up to the Parthenon anyway.
9. Use Facebook
Where You Can’t Do It: China
Why: China has iron-clad control over the internet, and popular sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and You Tube, among others are verboten (although you can still access it in Hong Kong…)