Upside Down Pineapple Meaning on Cruise Ships

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Have you ever seen an upside-down pineapple and wondered what it means? If so, you are not alone. While you may assume an upside-down pineapple is simply a funny little bit of décor or just a mistake, it is a secret symbol used to indicate something very specific.

If you are unsure what it means and want to get to the bottom of its hidden meaning, you have come to the right place!

In This Article…

So, What Does An Upside Down Pineapple Mean?

On a cruise ship, the secret symbol of an upside-down pineapple is regularly used as a code for swinging or “wife-swapping”. In most cases, an illustrated and upside-down pineapple is fixed to the cabin door of a guest interested in swinging and partner swapping.

Attaching an upside-down pineapple to the cabin door is the most obvious way people advertise their openness to swinging, but some cruise and resort guests use the upside-down pineapple symbol more subtly.

Upside Down Pineapple

Instead of attaching an upside-down pineapple to their cabin door, they might wear an upside-down pineapple pin or simply wear a Hawaiian shirt with a pineapple print.

Essentially, there is a chance that any cruise guest with an obvious upside-down pineapple anywhere on them is probably using it to advertise their openness to trading sexual partners.

Read Also: How Much Does a Cruise Ship Weigh?

You may even notice some partners have matching upside-down pineapple tattoos, which is about as obvious of an advertisement as you could ever expect to see.

What is the Origin of the Upside Down Pineapple & Why is it Associated with Swinging?

While the exact origin of the upside-down pineapple symbol is unclear, it has been used for many decades across a wide range of vacation destinations, not just on cruise ships.

Pineapple decor is common on cruise ships, as they are associated with the tropics and a fun lifestyle. Given that swingers needed a way to secretly identify themselves to other swingers while in public and on vacation, it only makes sense that they chose a pineapple as the unofficial symbol.

Upside Down Pineapple

An upside-down pineapple motif is subtle enough that it would not offend anyone who did not know what it meant, but to those in the know, it is an announcement of one’s intentions and sexual preferences.

While the upside-down illustrated pineapple motif on the cabin door is the most common way to identify a swinger on a cruise ship, the pineapple is also used on land. On land-based resorts, you may even notice real pineapples placed outside of a room.

Is the Upside Down Pineapple Symbol a Common Sight on a Cruise Ship?

While you may notice the upside-down pineapple on any cruise ship, there are now cruises tailored towards swinging and other types of “adult fun”. 

With the rising popularity of these cruise vacations, the need for placing an upside-down pineapple on one’s door has become less important. Simply put, adults can now choose cruise vacations where they do not need to be so subtle.

With that said, do not be surprised if you see the odd reference to an upside-down pineapple, such as a pin, badge, or tattoo, as it still has its place in cruise culture.

If this is something you want to avoid, you should not have to worry if you book a family-friendly cruise rather than one that is adults only. The swinging community prefers adults-only cruises to those where children are present.

Does Clothing with Pineapples on it Automatically Identify Someone as a Swinger?

Swingers have certainly used clothing with pineapples to identify each other, but many people wear pineapple prints and don’t realize its association with the swinging community.

With that said, a shirt, hat, bikini, or pair of swim trunks printed with one or more upside-down pineapples is usually a fairly strong sign that someone is involved in the swinging community.

Other articles of clothing are a little bit more on the nose…

Should You Avoid Wearing Clothes That Have Pineapples Printed on Them?

If you want to play it safe, it might be best to leave your favorite upside-down pineapple shirt at home the next time you pack for a cruise vacation, as it can help you avoid any confusion and awkward interactions.

Upside Down Pineapple T-Shirt
Upside Down Pineapple T-Shirt (Photo Credit: Maria Markevich / Shutterstock)

However, if you feel you cannot go without your trusty upside-down pineapple shirt, you should not have to worry about any overly awkward encounters. The truth is, most swingers are very subtle, as they know every person wearing pineapples doesn’t realize the symbol has a hidden meaning. 

If approached, the encounter usually involves someone or a couple introducing themselves and being overly friendly.

Worth Reading: What You Need to Know on Decorating Your Stateroom Door

Once they understand that you are just wearing a piece of clothing with a pineapple print and it has a different meaning for you, rather than advertising your intention to participate in any adult activity, the situation will resolve itself quickly and without any significant awkwardness.

Are There Other Symbols Used to Identify Swingers?

While the upside-down pineapple has a go-to secret meaning on cruise ships, it is not the only symbol swingers use to identify one another.

Women will often wear anklets, toe rings, and thumb rings, especially while on vacation. Both men and women will also wear their wedding rings on the right hand rather than the left.

Feet Holding Up Pineapple
Photo Credit: Balasioiu Sorin Ionut / Shutterstock

One of the most common accessories for swingers, especially while on vacation, is a black ring. If you notice someone has a black ring on one of their fingers and they have a pineapple anywhere on their clothing, there is a good chance they are looking for a good time.

Final Words

The upside-down pineapple is a commonly used secret code for swinging, a swinger party, and wife-swapping, but don’t feel uncomfortable every time you see a pineapple while you are on a cruise vacation!

In most cases, a pineapple is just a tropical fruit; however, if all signs point to the presence of swingers, you should keep your distance unless, of course, you are open to the idea of a swinger party!

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