Provided everything went off without a hitch, your last cruise experience was probably one filled with great fun and tremendous relaxation. As you were enjoying the finer things in life, though, there was a essentially a whole town’s worth of people working behind the scenes, doing everything from preparing the food to cleaning the pools.
As you might expect, the behind-the-scenes life of a cruise ship is much different than what the ordinary passenger sees while out on an excursion. For this reason, we thought it might be fun to take a look at 14 things you probably never knew about cruise ships. Even for the most experienced cruiser, we’re willing to bet there might be a few surprises on here!
1. Pirate Preparedness
It might seem silly in the 21st century, but cruise ship workers are trained to deal with pirates! (This comes in handy sometimes, too, as it did when a liner was attacked off the coast of Africa in 2005.)
2. Cameras Everywhere
Think you live in a culture of observation already? You’d be shocked to discover just how many cameras there are aboard a cruise ship. Virtually every inch of the vessel is covered.
3. Don’t Look for Romance
Got your eye on the cute bartender? Don’t expect a love connection, because cruise ships have strict rules about their workers canoodling with passengers.
4. The Morgue
You might not have ever thought about what would happen if someone dies on the ship. Well, now you know. They go to the cruise ship morgue. Seriously.
5. Practical Jokesters
The routine of working a cruise ship can get tired, so it should come as no surprise that cruise ship workers are quite fond of playing practical jokes on unsuspecting passengers. Watch out!
6. A Floating Island
When a cruise worker is out with the ship, the outside world pretty much disappears. Ask a cruise worker about some recent news event, and they’re likely not to know what you’re talking about!
7. Prison Rules
Often, the crewmembers of a ship split up along ethnic lines, and each group finds itself responsible for different ‘grey-market’ trades aboard the ship.
8. Reviews Are Read… And Important!
Before you get glib on your comment card, consider this: most worker’s bonuses are tied to the results of these comment cards. So, be more inclined to be ‘generous’ in your appraisals.
9. Don’t Dilly Dally
Hopefully you’re the punctual sort, but if you’re not know this: If you’re not back by the ship’s scheduled departure time, you will get left on shore.
10. Speaking in Code
Ever hear phrases over the intercom like “Code Adam” or “Code Bravo”? Those are code words used to keep you from becoming alarmed, in this case about missing children and an onboard fire, respectively.
11. Americans Need Not Apply
For the vast majority of cruise ship positions, lines will stay away from higher Americans. Why? They balk at the long hours and expect higher wages.
12. A Weight Loss Remedy
If you’re fine with long hours and bad wages, then by all means work on a cruise ship! One of the fringe benefits is that it’s a hell of a workout and weight-loss regimen.
13. If You Don’t Drink Too Much
Passengers love to party on cruise ships, and so too do crew members. In fact, most ships offer incredibly cheap booze to their workers, who are all too happy to indulge!
14. What Happens on the Ship
Given the situation of the workers, it should probably come as no shock that cruise ship workers often lead vastly different lives at sea than they do on land…