All Aboard: 40+ Cruise Ship Facts That Might Keep Us On Dry Land
Working on a cruise ship is a great adventure. The crew travels the world to give passengers a dream vacation. These ships are floating cities; full of life, music, activities, and happy people. All the tourists who embark are ready to have fun and live the trip of their lives. The guests want everything to be perfect, and those in charge of making everything fall into place are the crew members who leave nothing to chance. However, not everything is a fairy tale; as in any city, cruise ships face serious challenges. In this article, we will discover all the curiosities about life onboard and a few incredible experiences that might influence all of us to stay dry. So, let’s put on our life jackets and start this journey!
Call The Firefighter!
Fires onboard are more common than people think. Putting out a fire on a cruise ship is not easy, and prevention, as well as a quick and adequate reaction, is essential. A boat is considered a confined space, so a fire in there is a significant risk.
Maritime laws are stringent on this issue, and there are lots of fire-controlling protocols to be followed. The crew must receive training, and there must be a team of firefighters on board. As soon as a fire is detected, the crew must act quickly to extinguish it.
The Dangerous Engine Room
The lower decks of the ships are almost entirely dedicated to machinery. It is the area in charge of generating all the energy necessary for the ship to work. It could be said that it is the soul of a boat.
One of the biggest things to avoid on a cruise is engine room problems. Everything has to work perfectly down there, and it is necessary to prevent fires and avoid having to abandon ship whenever it is possible. This is the kind of disaster that would make passengers get very nervous.
Making mistakes is human, and everyone knows that they are unavoidable. But in some specific places or jobs, it is best not to screw up. A requisite to be able to work onboard a cruise should be the ability to stay focused at all times.
Here’s another potential fired to add to the list. Onboard, the crew must be attentive to many things, and everything must be neat and tidy so that things work well and dangerous situations like this do not occur. It is time to pay attention to avoid more accidents!
At a party, good music is the key. That is why there are live bands constantly playing in the middle of the ocean on a cruise ship. Surely now we are all thinking about the musicians of the Titanic. But, let’s not beat around the bush.
This man said that he had to replace a musician who had recently passed away and was extremely loved by all his colleagues. Sometimes these difficult situations arise, even in the middle of the ocean. But luckily, this man was able to enjoy the rest of his contract.
Sailing To Paradise
The duration of cruise itineraries is very diverse. Some tours last four days, and others last more than one hundred days. These are called “World Cruises” because literally, they navigate all around the world. Who dares to sail for so long?
Those who do dare are the elderly. This person was surprised when she saw so many people with oxygen tanks embarking, but she was more surprised by another piece of information. It seems that many older adults decide to spend the last days of their lives sailing on a cruise ship.
The Circle Of Life
As we have already been reading, sadly, people die every day, and the same thing happens on vacations and cruise ships. The cruise ships travel with a morgue, and most of them have room for one to three bodies, and the largest ships have room for six to ten bodies.
This is not a very well-known fact to most people, and it is not something that cruise companies want to talk about, but it is real. Having morgues on board is mandatory, and ships must be prepared to face any situation, including death.
Remove The Ice Cream
In situations like these, in which the most important thing is that everything is organized and has enough space for any problem that arises, it would be ideal to have the help of Marie Kondo. But since that is not possible, the only solution is the creativity of the crew.
As this person says, if there are many deaths on a trip and the places in the morgue are not enough, there is no other option than to look for other places to put the bodies. And, of course, the freezer is the ideal place.
In the same way that crimes are committed on land, they are also committed in the ocean. This is why the cruise ships have security personnel and safe places to send offenders until they can be handed over to the authorities at the next port.
On all ships, there are security cabins, and if the ship’s commander considers that a certain person is guilty, he will decide to imprison him there. This space is not in view of the passengers, so most of them never find out about its existence or do not even find out if someone was arrested during the trip.
The Itinerary Must Wait
Cruises have scheduled itineraries that they must comply with to stay on course, but this is not always possible. Many factors can cause a cruise ship to deviate from its planned route or be delayed, such as weather changes to technical problems.
Commonly, delays are generated in the ports where tourists descend to stroll since many of them do not comply with the established time of return. Another thing that can change the travel schedule is the immediate repairs that must be made to keep everything running smoothly.
If something breaks on a cruise ship, the problem should be fixed as soon as possible. And things that are above the water, as well as those that are below, can get damaged. But how is that repaired? Keep reading to learn more!
The anecdote shared by this person helps us understand a little more about how these types of problems are solved. Although it is hard to believe, a team of divers often repairs parts of the boat without the passengers knowing.
Canceling the stops in the different ports is neither fun for the passengers nor the crew. It is something that usually generates displeasure and sometimes even arguments and complaints. This is why if a port is canceled, it is almost always for an important reason.
Nobody wants to listen to passenger complaints, but sometimes, it is unavoidable. No one can fight against the force of nature or tremendous technical problems. If an itinerary must be modified, it is for security reasons. So patience is a quality that both passengers and crew must have.
The crew often hides certain things from passengers, such as a technical problem, an injured passenger, and other things. This is usually done for security reasons so that there is no panic among the guests. If people get nervous, things could get worse.
In this situation, the vessel hit a huge rock, and the crew decided not to report it. So while the officers made difficult decisions, the passengers continued to enjoy their peaceful and beautiful vacations. They basically had a mindset like, “Nothing has happened here. Let’s continue enjoying!”
Different Points Of View
The diving teams are something to marvel at; they are curious and attract many people’s attention. A diver can do countless things underwater. But sometimes, it is better not to know what tasks are being done down there, just like in this case.
While a happy family thought that the ship’s company had a team of divers as an eccentricity, the truth was that this team of divers was looking for bombs. As the phrase goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” It is best to leave the divers doing their job and not ask too many questions.
Pipes Are The Enemy
If there is one thing that no one needs when navigating the ocean, it is more water than there already is. Pipes appear to be a time bomb, and they can fail at the worst possible moment, such as what happened in the following situation.
If we are going to list everything that went wrong there, the list would be endless. Worst of all, a pipe broke in the kitchen, the worst possible place. And not only that, it was a waste pipe. Everything went wrong. The only good thing was that, luckily, the cruise was not very far from the port.
Everything Must Be Perfectly Calculated
One of the most important jobs within cruise ships is those in which people must be in charge of controlling and organizing all the merchandise and food necessary to have onboard to live in the middle of the ocean for a few days.
Doing this job well is essential since nothing can be missing on board once the cruise sets sail. One small stock error and thousands of passengers can run out of toilet paper! This work is arduous since the pressure to have all the necessary products to live onboard, knowing you’re not going to see the mainland for a few days, is massive.
That Was Close
As we already said, nothing can be missing in the middle of the ocean, much less toilet paper. The supermarkets are far on the mainland, and no one will be able to buy merchandise until the ship reaches a port. There is no room for mistakes here.
But sometimes, the lack of merchandise is not due to an error in the inventory. Many things can happen, and one of them is water damage to inventory. For this crew member, a pipe broke and soaked all the toilet paper. What a disaster! But luckily, they knew how to control the situation.
Smile, Here’s A Camera
Another security element that should be onboard a cruise ship is surveillance cameras. Each corner of the vessel should have cameras that record 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is done for everyone’s safety, both the crew and the passengers.
So as this person says, once people leave their cabin, they can be photographed or recorded for security reasons. So the best advice here is not to do embarrassing things outside of private spaces. Just in case! And do not forget to smile all the time.
We all get impatient when things take a long time to update. We love technology, but sometimes, when we need it most is when it suddenly shuts down. But this next case is extremely desperate and can drive anyone crazy. Luckily, we were not there.
The people were surely impatient for the Windows 7 update to finish and nervous since without being able to use the computer systems, it was like practically sailing blindly. Everything was out of service, like the fire detection system, the security system, and anything that needed a computer. A horror movie is less scary.
Many elements are prohibited on a cruise ship, both for passengers and crew. Firearms, sharp objects, illegal substances, among others, cannot be transported. These rules are to protect the safety of everyone on board, including the safety of the ship.
Kettles are not allowed as they are part of the small appliances prohibited on board. The prohibition is related to the dangers that some of these devices could cause if they are left on without supervision, as what happened in this scary situation.
Love At First Sight?
Cruises are the ideal place to fall in love. They have everything you need to create a unique environment. The sea, the sun, and the waves create a perfectly romantic and charming scenery. Many romances begin aboard a ship, but the happy ending is not for everyone.
Another one of the strict rules on board for every one of the crew members is not to have any relationship beyond the professional one with the passengers. The crew must be super charismatic and friendly with the guests, but they must know how to limit them. Love, at first sight, should be removed from the map because otherwise, it can cost them their job.
Speaking about love and heartbreak, now it is time to talk about divorce. This image is contraindicated for those people who are very romantic and believe in everlasting love. Prepare the tissues to dry the tears because this next scenario is not going to be pretty!
It is better not to mix love with work. Sometimes, it is challenging to work with a co-worker who is also your boyfriend, but it is even more challenging to work with your partner on a cruise ship because if something goes wrong, you will have to continue seeing each other until the end of the contract.
Crewmembers often have to deal with eccentric passengers. Many things can be done on board for fun, but sometimes not all passengers are satisfied with the entertainment activities that are offered. That is why some decide to break the rules and do things that can endanger their own lives, such as jumping off the boat.
This is extremely dangerous, not only because of the great height of cruise ships, but it is also not an easy task to rescue a person from the water and put them back on board. In these situations, they usually decide to disembark all those who break the rules immediately.
This anecdote proves what was said previously; some passengers can cause a lot of trouble. It often happens that there is always a family member who is not satisfied with anything, neither with the destination nor with the activities they decide to do on family trips.
And the truth is that adolescents tend to be the most unhappy with family trips. But this may be an extreme case, isn’t it? Jumping from a high balcony like this is very dangerous. But at least this teenager got what he wanted; the trip ended before it even started.
It seems as though teenagers need to have security personnel watching them 24 hours a day. They can be very spontaneous, and you can find many of them onboard a cruise ship. It takes an entire army to control them, so they don’t cause disasters.
This sister does have a strong character, but she literally went “overboard” in this situation. She put her brother’s life at risk and even her own life. Fortunately, the ship’s security personnel arrived in time to prevent a tragedy. This is another case of a canceled family trip.
Missing Dry Land
While it may seem very pleasant to work onboard, sometimes, it is not so lovely to the crew’s stomachs. It is widespread that during the first days on board, the crew members feel dizzy due to the constant movement of the boat.
But luckily, some medications usually help in these situations, and of course, the doctors onboard are equipped with several of them. With a simple pill, the crew members are ready to get back to their duties. There is no time to feel bad!
Although the cruise ships are huge and thousands of people can fit, they are a tiny place when it comes to illness. Specialists often say that on ships, there is an increased risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases since everyone is in a confined space.
The situation they experienced on that cruise was terrible, but it is not strange. The close and constant contact between passengers and crew makes illnesses like the flu spread easily. But luckily, it seems that the situation did not get worse and could be controlled.
The Rules Are The Rules
When a cruise ship docks in a port, it cannot be left without crew on board, so the passports and IDs of a certain number of crew members are confiscated. So nobody breaks the rules, and everything is calm and controlled.
Other measures are taken when the passengers and the crew want to go down to the port to walk around and get to know the place. When people return from their tours, they must show the identification the cruise company gave them when they first embarked and must turn in their belongings for inspection.
The Forbidden Paradise
There are various activities that a majestic cruise can offer, but unfortunately, these are only for the blessed passengers. Most of the crew members do not have access to many of the enjoyable activities on the ship. Depending on the job position that a worker has, they may or may not access specific spaces exclusively for passengers.
While some are lucky enough to enjoy certain leisure activities, the truth is that most employees are not allowed to do certain things. For example, they cannot take a dip in the pool, train in the gym, or eat in the beautiful restaurants.
Up To Scratch
Cruise ship employees must be highly trained and 100% professional. There are many documents, certificates, and tests that they must pass to obtain a job onboard. What’s surprising is what can happen if a crew member does not meet the standards required by the company.
The rules are straightforward. Any crew member who breaks the rules or is not up to the job position will be fired. Sometimes, crew members who are fired are just left at the next port with their things and their passport, and they are the ones who have to pay for the airfare to return to their homes.
Onboard, many protocols and procedures must be learned and perfectly executed by all employees. From security protocols, technical words to learning more than one language! Being a seafarer is not easy and requires a lot of effort and dedication, although the only thing that passengers can see are friendly smiles and spectacular service.
Speaking English fluently and confidently is one of the skills required to be able to work onboard. This is usually the official language on ships, so it is essential to study this language if it is not your mother tongue.
Another Thing To Memorize
Another thing that crew members have to learn is the meanings of the different alarms and safety protocols so they can quickly execute them during emergencies. They often use codes to communicate with each other without alerting passengers. So, here’s another thing to add to the to-do list!
This example shows that the communication codes have little to do with what they mean. The code “MR. MOB” is one of the most popular and easy to recognize; it means man overboard. “CODE BLUE” is usually used for a severe medical emergency. Who wants to keep learning these important codes?
For some cruise ship workers, their relationship with passengers can be a blessing and a tragedy at the same time. There are many situations in which misunderstandings can arise between crew members and passengers since both come from different parts of the world and have different cultures and traditions.
One of the situations that can cause problems is the security drill. This drill should be done on the first day of the passengers on board, but it is not as easy as it sounds. Passengers often show disinterest in this procedure, and all they want is to feel free of these protocols.
Living All Together
While passengers enjoy spacious and cozy cabins, crew members must share small cabins with strangers. Their cabins do not have a single window. It is a small space that should accommodate two or more crew members and each one’s suitcases.
It is a small place where disagreements often arise between the crew members since they come from different parts of the world and their cultures are not very compatible. So dialogue and respect are essential to be able to carry out coexistence.
Bad Food Bad Mood
The restaurants and buffets available to passengers are usually luxurious. They offer a wide variety of foods for most of the day. But, the crew members do not have the same options. The menu for them is much more limited, and they are not usually very delicious.
The crew members often classify it as “almost inedible” and “very bad.” Since the workers come from all over the world, it is very typical that not all share the same culinary tastes, and most of the food is extremely bland.
Little Free Time
Something that excites those who think about working onboard is the idea of traveling around the world, and although there is some of that, it is not all true. The crew members have to comply with long working hours and busy schedules, making it difficult for them to visit the ports that the cruise ship passes through.
They usually have between three and five hours free to tour the ports and cannot be delayed for a minute when returning to work. In addition, many say that working hours are “exhausting.” Cruise ship employees often work seven days a week for the duration of their contracts, which can range from roughly two to nine months, averaging 12 hours a day.
The Same Landscape Over And Over Again
During the months that a crew member’s contract lasts, they will visit the same ports on the assigned route repeatedly. This means that for approximately seven months, the crew member will see only the ports included in the cruise route and end up knowing them by heart.
A cruise ship can, for example, make the following route: the embarkation port is in Barcelona, Spain, the trip begins, and the next port is Genoa, then it goes to the port of Civitavecchia and then continues to Valencia, and from there it returns to Barcelona to finish the tour. And there, the circuit begins again, and it is done repeatedly for seven months.
The cruise company must ensure the safety of passengers and crew throughout the entire voyage. Related to this, some have more or fewer responsibilities if an emergency occurs. That is why all the details must be precise, and everything must be documented so that each crew member knows what their responsibilities are and which ones are not.
Usually, in emergencies where people must leave the ship, the captain must get off last. He must remain calm and must help all the passengers to disembark. Once there is no one left on board, it is the captain’s turn.
As noted above, everyone must follow their respective employment contracts and responsibilities. All jobs are important, and every detail is essential for everything to work as planned. All must work perfectly in harmony to give passengers the best trip of their lives.
It seems this guy’s calculations went wrong, and he ruined the Jacuzzi’s water. But he was new in that job, so we are going to forgive him. We all make mistakes in new jobs, especially when it comes to calculating chemical formulas.
As we’ve read throughout this article, keeping problems hidden is just as important as solving them on cruise ships; passengers should only see the pretty things. Calmness and discretion are the keys to success. And this case is not an exception.
In this particular case, everything was fine until the captain decided to tell everyone over the loudspeaker that a crew member had thrown himself overboard. The ideal situation would have been to keep it a secret, but luckily everything went well, and no one suffered injuries.
Another thing that can be found in the ocean, believe it or not, is traffic. Sailing in the water is a task full of details, just like flying in the air, so the crew must be very attentive. Traffic accidents happen there, too, and they can be catastrophic.
It is incredible how in this case, things turned out well. It could have been an absolute disaster, but these ships didn’t collide because of only a few feet. The fact that the crew of the fishing boat did not even realize what was happening is inexplicable.