The Secret Lives Of Cruise Ship Workers

Want to travel the world without having to pay for housing or food? Of course you do! This is why the idea of being a cruise ship worker is so enticing, but there’s a side to cruise ships none of us see. While you’re relaxing by the pool or shoving your face full of all-you-can-eat pizza, there’s someone stuck catering to your every need. Those hand towel animals don’t just appear on your bed out of nowhere!

The Things The Crew Don’t Want You To Know

The Things The Crew Don’t Want You To Know

A cruise ship is essentially a floating hotel, and working in the service and hospitality industry is never easy. Before you decide to fill out a job application and set sail, read on for some behind-the-scenes secrets coming from former cruise workers themselves!

You’re Constantly Being Watched

You’re Constantly Being Watched

Gavin, a waiter who worked for a major cruise line told Mental Floss that Big Brother is super real. In other words: there are cameras literally everywhere. This is mostly for safety as you’re literally on a giant boat in the middle of the ocean. Though the next Titanic is unlikely, crew members may have to review security footage in the event of an emergency.

“It is safe to assume if you are outside of your cabin you are probably on camera,” Gavin said. “In the event of any kind of emergency, they could pull security footage at any time.”

Some Cruise Workers Have Double Lives

Some Cruise Workers Have Double Lives

When you’re away for most of the year and cut off from the rest of the world, it’s way easier to get away with hiding some major secrets. This is why so many cruise workers lead double lives when they’re on the ship. It’s not uncommon for certain couples to have wives at home and a whole different relationship as soon as they set sail. Apparently, marriage vows may not really hold up in international waters.

There have also been reports of gay men who are closeted on land but very open and out-of-the-closet on the ship. Being cut off from the world gives you a chance to be who you want to be, not who you feel you have to be on land.

Disconnected From The World

Disconnected From The World

Forget keeping up with Game of Thrones or your favorite TV programs. If you work on a cruise ship, you’re lucky to keep up with the news in general. As much as it may pain you to not see your favorite team smash next season out of the park, sometimes it’s impossible to tune in. Internet connections at sea are notoriously expensive and unreliable. Often times, you have to catch up when you dock, leaving days between when you get your news and not. For this reason, many cruise workers tend to stop following news, sports, and pop culture altogether.

Crew Workers Speak in Code

Crew Workers Speak in Code

Crew members don’t want to alarm passengers. Guests are on vacation and don’t need to know about every little emergency – especially if it doesn’t have to do with them. What sort of mass panic would it cause if every passenger suddenly knew there was a small fire on the ship? It’d be hectic! Because of this, crew workers use certain codes that they can announce on a loudspeaker without alarming passengers.

For example: “Code Adam” means a child is missing, “Code Alpha” means there’s a medical emergency, “Code Oscar” means someone fell overboard, and “Code Bravo” means there’s a fire on the ship. Pictured above is a case of a “Code Bravo” when the Star Princess cruise ship caught on fire in the middle of the night in 2006. The fire is thought to have been started with a discarded smoldering cigarette.

The Crew Parties Harder than the Guests

The Crew Parties Harder than the Guests

Work hard, party hard – this motto holds true for cruise ship workers. When workers aren’t working, they’re probably drinking and partying. In fact, the crew has a special “crew only” bar with insanely cheap liquor. For example, many cruises charge about $15 a drink for guests, but at the crew bar, you can get a cocktail for less than $1.50. The crew definitely party hard, but they’ve got to be careful. Ships sometimes subject employees to random breathalyzer and drug tests, though it’s not always enforced. A former cruise ship worker who spoke to Trend-Chaser let us know just how lax the rules often are.

“The crew isn’t supposed to get drunk pretty much ever,” he said. “Everyone is told they’re not allowed to actually get drunk, but then you go drinking with your HR person and she has four or five drinks.” Apparently, people drink on the job all the time and just fly under-the-radar. As long as you’re not making a spectacle of yourself, you’re probably good to go.

You Can’t Hook Up With The Guests

You Can’t Hook Up With The Guests

If you’re looking to find a fun fling while you’re on contract at sea, look away from anyone who may be on vacation. Cruise workers are strictly forbidden to hook up with guests, and it’s one of the easiest ways to get booted from your job. In fact, according to an anonymous cruise worker who spoke to Trend-Chaser, the crew is actually discouraged from interacting with guests one-on-one. This helps protect the cruise line from any sort of accusations that may hurt the ship’s reputation. If you’re caught breaking the rules, you’ll be kicked off at the next port.

But Hook-ups Happen

But Hook-ups Happen

Just because crew members can’t hookup with guests doesn’t mean they’re celibate at sea. In fact, it’s sort of the opposite. Crew members frequently get down and dirty with each other. Think about it: you’re around the same people for nearly a year at a time, isolated on this ship. You’re in romantic, exotic locations with tons of alcohol on hand. Hook ups are bound to happen, and according to an anonymous cruise worker who spoke to Trend-Chaser, they happen a lot.

“People hook up all the time. There are a ton of crew parties,” he said. Hooking up is so prevalent that the crew areas on ships often have posters about STD prevention.

Crew Members Pull Pranks on Passengers

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It can get pretty boring at sea. To break the monotony, cruise members pull pranks on passengers. The pranks are pretty innocuous, as messing with passengers too hard is a great way to get fired.

According to one anonymous cruise worker who spoke to Mental Floss, “A favorite was while in a passenger area say to another crew member, loud enough to be heard by passengers, ‘Meet you in the bowling alley tonight!’” Of course, there wasn’t actually a bowling alley on board. “Then we’d wait for the comment cards to come in: ‘Why do crew get a bowling alley when we don’t?’” Hysterical!

How Cruise Ships Fill Their Unsold Cabins

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Cruise ships are staffed and prepared to leave port with a ship at full capacity. Any unsold cabins onboard mean that the cruise liner is losing money. Passengers can take advantage of this by shopping a cruiseline experience at a lower rate.

If you’re willing and able to book only 1-2 months notice and okay with a cabin without a balcony it’s a great deal for passengers. Find out about these marked down cabins by subscribing to cruise liners’ mailing lists. Another tip, go online one week after the final payment is due for the cruise you want to go on. Perform a ‘mock booking,’ where you’ll be able to see which cabins are available at a lower rate. This is when discounted cabins will pop up.

Crew Members Are Super Cliquey

Crew Members Are Super Cliquey

A cruise ship can be pretty similar to high school. Not everyone hangs out in one big group and each ship tends to have different cliques. Often times, these cliques have to do with countries workers are from, since cruise ships often have a diverse array of workers from all over the world. Cruise workers call their groups “mafias” and each is known for a specific thing.

For example, one former cruise ship worker told Mental Floss that the Filipino mafia on their cruise ship was known for getting booze after hours (crew bars close around one or two). Of course, they’d sell it to you at a huge markup.

Emergencies Can Be Pretty Darn Gross

Emergencies Can Be Pretty Darn Gross

Everyone has heard of the urban legend of a cruise ship serving some bad shrimp and the entire ship getting food poisoning so severe it almost couldn’t hold all the vomit. This is a wildly rare event but it can happen. In fact, it has happened.

In 2013, a Carnival cruise ship lost power after a fire in the engine room. Passengers were stranded in the Gulf of Mexico long enough for the sewage to get backed up. Raw sewage began bubbling up all over the boat, and it smelled so bad that people created a tent city away from toxic-smelling areas. Whoops.

All Crew Cabins Are Not Created Equal

All Crew Cabins Are Not Created Equal

You’re not going to get your own luxury cabin if you’re a cruise ship worker, but the role you have does affect the accommodations you get. Staff members and officers have private rooms on the A-Deck, just above water (hello, sunlight). According to Anthony Andrieux who worked aboard the Royal Caribbean Line though, the living situation wasn’t nearly as nice for most workers.

“The living situation was ‘tight.’ You stay on the lower deck so you are always under water. There are no windows in the room… You have a very small bunk bed that you literally can not fit someone else into (trust me I have tried). You can touch all four walls if you were to stand in the center of the room to give you an idea. I believe it is a total of about 10 square feet.”

The Crew Is Trained to Handle Pirate Attacks

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We often don’t think of pirates existing in the year 2017, but they definitely still do. It’s incredibly rare for a pirate to take over a gigantic cruise ship (seriously, you’ve got strength in numbers). In the event that it does happen, cruise workers are trained to fight back.

Cruises like Princess Cruises and Oceania Cruises train their crew to get guests away from the windows and spray intruders with giant water cannons. Because cruise ships are so big, the sheer amount of water used could overpower a tiny pirate ship. Some ships can even deter attacks with Long Range Acoustic Devices that emit loud, painful noises. In fact, in 2005, a luxury cruise liner used a Long Range Acoustic Device to escape a pirate attack off the coast of Africa.

The Cruise Line Basically Owns You

The Cruise Line Basically Owns You

Former cruise worker Brian David Bruns wrote a tell-all book in 2015 titled Cruise Confidential after becoming the first American working for the Carnival Cruise Line to not quit before his contract expired. Brain detailed how the worst part of his experience was the feeling of being property of the cruise line, saying, “The worst part of the job is being ‘owned’ by the corporation…They control what you eat, when you eat, when you can go use the toilet, how cold it is in your cabin, everything.” Yikes!

The Crew Eats Your Leftovers

The Crew Eats Your Leftovers

Crew members are the lowest on the food chain, meaning they get the scraps. It’s like high school cafeteria food, but sometimes worse. The kitchen staff does get creative considering they don’t have a whole lot to work with, but it’s not necessarily something you’d want to eat all the time. Imagine having to eat weird offerings like goat foot stew on the regular!

Lucky cruise members get to eat passenger leftovers. At the end of a shift, they’re allowed to eat what’s left of a passenger buffet, though it’s so good, it doesn’t really last very long.

Crew Members Get Weird Requests

Crew Members Get Weird Requests

The service and hospitality industry is a goldmine for weird stories. You never really know what you’re going to get, so you have to be ready for anything. Cruise ship employees are pretty used to getting bizarre requests from guests when they’re at sea. According to USA Today, one cruise ship worker repeatedly gets strange requests from young couples on the ship. At this point, it’s more common than it is surprising.

“Some young couples ask, ‘Could you make some towel animals for adults?’ They want naughty animals,” she said. “I say, ‘Sorry, I cannot give you that.'”

You Get Amazing Tips

You Get Amazing Tips

Much like being a bartender, the majority of a cruise ship worker’s cash comes from tips. If you’re not someone who has a bubbly, outgoing personality, it may be hard to rake in tips, but don’t fret. Most cruise lines have a mandatory gratuity which is split among all the employees.

The pay is actually pretty good when it comes down to it. Many workers send money home to their families and save a lot of money. There are almost no expenses on board the ship, so living cheaply is quite easy. A little goes a long way.

You Don’t Get Days Off

You Don’t Get Days Off

If you’re the kind of person who savors your weekends, avoid working on a cruise ship at all costs. Most cruise ship workers don’t get a single day off. Typically, they’re contracted for nine months at a time and work straight through.

It’s not absolutely terrible, though. The crew works every day but on a rotational basis. Instead of having full days off, workers get hours of downtime every day that they can spend on themselves. When their contract is up, they get a nice two-month long vacation. Think of all the stuff you’d do if you had two months off.

You Will Get Left Behind

You Will Get Left Behind

The land excursions are the best part of a cruise. Who doesn’t want to see all the gorgeous cities you port in? Guests (and crew members who have a couple of hours off) are free to explore as they please, but they better make sure to return on time. Cruise ships will leave without you.

Cruises are subject to massive fines if they stay longer than their allotted port time. For this reason, they won’t wait if you’re running late. If you happen to miss the departure time, you’re totally on your own. Yikes!

Perfect Job For Dieting!

Perfect Job For Dieting!

Often, cruise lines are known for their delectable food offering a variety of fancy desserts, seafood, and other delicacies. However, for employees they get the short end of the stick so to speak. One cruise worker wrote on Reddit that it was akin to a school lunch saying, “Imagine eating at your high-school cafeteria three meals a day, seven days a week for a year.” Another employee said they were fed strange cuisine like “goat foot stew”. Yikes! Former cruise ship employee Kat told Mental Floss, that the food choices were a sure-fire way to lose weight. She said, “I would lose about 10 to 12 pounds per contract.”

Passenger Employee Relationships Forbidden

Passenger Employee Relationships Forbidden

While relationships between employees are definitely discouraged. They absolutely do happen. Although, the opposite is true for passenger and employee relationship. These relationships are strictly forbidden by cruise lines around the world. If they do occur and the cruise line finds out about it, the employee is almost immediately fired. Of course, this rule is in order to protect the company from facing any kind of lawsuits or general bad press. So, if you’re looking for love on a cruise, it’s best not to start with the crew! Or at least wait until everyone is land bound before you contact them!

Heavy Drinking

Heavy Drinking

Cruises are known for places to let loose, well for the passengers anyway, but did you know the same holds true for the employees? Cruise ship employees are notorious for heavy partying and heavy drinking. Typically, staff has their own designated drinking area, where they can partake out of sight from passengers. While cruise ship drinks are notoriously expensive, at the crew bar they are much cheaper where you can buy a mixed drink for as low as a $1.25. We can certainly see why partying with the crew might be more desirable than partying above deck! Plus, alcohol would certainly be a way to distract from the cramped living quarters.

Big Brother Is Watching

Big Brother Is Watching

At this point in time, cruise ships have to take precautions in order to protect themselves from being sued by passengers and crew members alike. A way for the cruise ship lines to protect themselves is to have A LOT of security cameras on board. Actually, any time you are outside of your room it’s more than likely that you are on candid camera! While, this might freak some people out, rest assured that it is a good thing to have for your safety. A comparable practice is in the UK where CCTV is used across the board and has been instrumental in low crime rates.

There’s a Morgue on Board

There’s a Morgue on Board

No one wants to think about someone dying on a cruise ship, but it happens. About 200 people die on cruise ships every year, and there has to be somewhere to store the bodies until the ship can dock. This is why many ships have small morgues on board that can hold around five bodies.

Morgues are even more common on cruise ships that cater to senior citizens. According to a ship employee, the line they worked on definitely had a morgue. “Because the line was for older demographics, we had people die on the ship pretty regularly.”

Comment Cards Are Important

Comment Cards Are Important

If you have ever been on a cruise you know that at the end you are typically asked to fill out a comment card. There you are free to share your wonderful experience or any complaints that you might’ve had. While comment cards are standard throughout the service industry, some jobs don’t take them nearly as seriously as cruise lines. On a cruise, the reviews are taken super seriously. Good or bad reviews can even account for an employee’s compensations, bonus, or in some cases their firing! So, if you take a cruise and have a good time, be sure to leave some positive feedback!

Americans Don’t Typically Make Good Crew Members

Americans Don’t Typically Make Good Crew Members

The workday for crew members on a cruise is grueling. Employees work extremely long days and can often end up working 300 hours a month. This does not fit into the American idea of 40-hour work weeks and relaxing weekends, which is why cruise ships often employ the majority of their workers from other countries.

According to Kat, a cruise worker who spoke to Mental Floss, many cruise liners won’t even hire American workers because the rate of people quitting is too high. Americans are also more expensive to employ because one American dollar is worth more to a person from a developing country that has a different system of currency. It still doesn’t make it right.

There Are Still Laws To Follow

There Are Still Laws To Follow

This one might seem obvious to most people, but just because you aren’t on solid land doesn’t mean there aren’t any laws to adhere to while on a cruise. This is when something called “maritime law” comes into play. Unfortunately Isabelle Lagacé and Melina Roberge (seen above) a couple of Canadian citizens on a cruise to Australia, apparently didn’t get this memo when they attempted to smuggle 200 pounds of cocaine worth approximately $23 million to sell down under. The two are now set to face trial and face a 20-year maximum prison sentence. Yikes!

Passengers Witness Horror Scene

Passengers Witness Horror Scene

Passengers and crew members alike were witnesses to a horrific death aboard the cruise ship Carnival Ecstasy back in December of 2015. One passenger named Matt Davis and his wife stumbled upon the scene that looked like it was straight out of a horror film. He said, “To look and see the elevator with just blood coming down like a sheet, and not stopping … it was a real life scene of ‘The Shining’.” The horrified couple was quite descriptive saying that the blood was flowing so strongly that “it sounded like a rainstorm”. Another crew member, meanwhile, attempted to get other passengers inside the nearby onboard restaurant.

Electrician’s Grisly Death

Electrician’s Grisly Death

While the passenger Matt Davis and his wife filmed what they saw, unfortunately a real-life crew members lost his life in the accident. At the time, Matt and other passengers couldn’t believe their eyes at the absolutely horrifying accident. The elevator was eventually sealed off for the remainder of the trip. It was later revealed that an electrician had been working on the elevator. The crew member was later identified as 66-year-old Jose Sandoval Opazo, who was an electrician. Mr. Opazo had apparently disable the elevator safety in order to work on it, and when it descended it ended up crushing him leading to his early demise.

Cruise Ship “War Room”?!

Cruise Ship “War Room”?!

Apparently, most cruise ships have their own “war room” on board. Of course, the war rooms are meant to be used only for emergencies. And just like for the United States government, the war room on board of the cruise ship is meant for planning, particularly in emergency situations. For instance, the aforementioned pirate attack would most definitely warrant the use of the war room. On some cruises, the room is referred to as a “safety center”. Whatever the terminology used, the room is absolutely imperative during critical times in which the safety of passengers and crew might be at risk.

Costa Concordia: Crew’s Worst Nightmare

Costa Concordia: Crew’s Worst Nightmare

In 2012, the worst fear of crew and passengers alike happened to the ship Costa Concordia. The ship was based in Italy and capsized and sank after hitting a rock off the coast of Tuscany. Thirty three people were killed, the majority being passengers and one crew member. An additional 64 people were injured in the subsequent on board chaos. The captain and crew had engaged in a series of errors including not holding a lifeboat evacuation drill, as is accustomed aboard all cruise liners. It was later revealed that the captain, Francesco Schettino, had engaged in conduct unbecoming of a captain. He also claimed to have slipped off the ship and “fallen” into a lifeboat when it turned over.

Captain Schettino’s Trial

Captain Schettino’s Trial

Captain Francesco Schettino was later tried for manslaughter for the deaths of the passengers aboard his ship. It turns out that the Captain was engaging in one of those forbidden on board relationships. This time it turns out he was in a relationship with on board entertainment, a dancer named Domnica Cemortan. Some said that it was her that distracted him the fateful night of the accident. She later revealed that the captain had apparently planned to flee the ship abandoning both the passengers and crew behind him by arranging for a helicopter to pick him up. In 2015, Captain Schettino was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Rogue Wave Fears

Rogue Wave Fears

A rogue wave is a massive wave that comes out of nowhere and can often cause massive damage to various seacraft. They are also often referred to as “monster waves” or “freak waves”. The waves are considered rogue waves if they do not match the surrounding water patterns. They are often considered to be accountable for some of the ships that have gone missing throughout the many years that ships have sailed the seas. Of course, for any crew member or passenger for that matter, rogue waves are a terrifying thought. Unfortunately, the ocean is an uncontrollable thing and many at sea have experienced the horrifying power.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Faces 30 Ft Waves

Royal Caribbean Cruise Faces 30 Ft Waves

Last year, a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship was forced to run back to New Jersey as it head down to Port Canaveral, Florida. It faced a storm, with waves that reached as high as 30 feet. Some have categorized the waves as being rogue waves. One crew member, a musician onboard the ship, took video of the incident and how the water was even reaching up to the window of the cabin he was in. Four people ended up with injuries during the storm and quite a bit of damage on the ship also happened. Others posted photographs of broken plant pots, toppled chairs and tables, and even a caved in ceiling. Yikes!

Sharing A Dorm Like Cabin

Sharing A Dorm Like Cabin

Depending on the cruise, some crew members are forced to bunk in super tiny living quarters, while others have more spacious accommodations. However, for those with a larger living space also comes more people. Sometimes, cruise ships provide their crew with “dorm like” accommodations where 11 people will stay together in one room. While some former crew have said such arrangements get old really quick, others say that it’s a small price to pay for a job where you get to travel and have fun much of the time you are on board. We think it might sound better to stay on the passenger side of the experience!

Disney Cruise Employee Disappearance

Disney Cruise Employee Disappearance

While crimes aboard cruise ships are rare, anytime you get a huge number of people together something is bound to happen. Especially when you combine alcohol in the mix. One such incident, was the disappearance of cruise member aboard a Disney cruise ship. A 24-year-old woman named Rebecca Coriam from England went missing while working aboard the Disney Wonder off the coast of Mexico back in 2011. Rebecca was last seen in the crew lounge area where she was recorded on the CCTV system. She was speaking to someone on the phone and seemed to be in distress.

Rebecca’s Mystery

Rebecca’s Mystery

Rebecca Coriam’s disappearance was the first of its kind in the history of Disney cruise ocean liners. Rebecca was originally from England, and was happy to get a job aboard the ship as a youth worker. She was often in contact with her family through Facebook and Skype. After her mother failed to get a response on Facebook after 12 hours, she began to grow concerned. That evening, a representative from Disney called saying that Rebecca had gone missing. Investigations were launched including the Mexican Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. However, no trace of Rebecca has ever been seen since.

Theories About The Disappearance

Theories About The Disappearance

Rebecca’s parents were not happy with Disney’s handling of the case, and actually said they were determined to prevent any bad publicity. They later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. However, Rebecca remains missing. Her parents later learned that Bahamian officials who had investigated only interviewed a few crew members and no passengers, spending only one day aboard before disembarking. The ship’s captain told the parents that he believed she was accidentally washed overboard due to a rogue wave while at the crew pool, a theory her parents have dismissed. Others have though she was a victim of another kind of crime. One year after her disappearance, Rebecca’s father received an email that she had been spotted in Italy. Her father said that the claim seemed to be legitimate but she has still never been found.

Disney Cruise Rape

Disney Cruise Rape

Unfortunately for Disney, the disappearance of Rebecca Coriam is not the only bad thing to happen to a crew member aboard a Disney cruise. In 2016 a crew member was arrested on suspicion of raping a fellow crew member. The incident supposedly occurred while the ship was docked in Cadiz, Spain. The two crew members were staying on a smaller boat called the Rhapsody because the main ship was being worked on. The two had apparently already engaged in consensual sex, however the victim refused further contact and was said to have been forced. The incident was later reported to the police and the suspect, a 28-year-old man was arrested. Certainly, just more bad news for Disney cruise liners!

Falling Off Ship?

Falling Off Ship?

In 2015, a man fell off a Royal Caribbean cruise ship while in the waters off of Cozumel, Mexico. The man was a 22-year old American and spent five hours in the water. Amazingly, another cruise ship was traveling through the area, the Disney Magic. The young man definitely had luck on his side as passengers on the Disney ship spotted him. A passenger threw him several lifesavers in an attempt to save him and crew members were able to get him aboard. The man needed some medical attention but was, miraculously, in good condition. Authorities said the rescue was certainly magical, ” Most people that experience that kind of fall break their neck. It’s like hitting concrete.”

A Recorded Rescue

A Recorded Rescue

While someone falling off a ship accidentally is extremely rare, it obviously does happen. In the case of the 22-year-old, his rescue was even caught on film. How the man was able to stay afloat in the rough ocean waters is truly a miracle. Apparently, the passenger who originally spotted the man was sitting on his balcony with his daughter when they heard the man screaming for help. They immediately alerted guest services, and the captain brought the ship to a stop. Later, it was revealed that the man went overboard the Royal Caribbean early in the morning when no other guests or crew were around. The Royal Caribbean cruise ship itself is equipped numerous safety procedures including rails that measure 42 inches tall and over 1,200 security cameras. Some people have said such features are not enough and have even called for ships to be equipped with man overboard sensory technology.

Onboard Suicides?

Onboard Suicides?

According to crew members, there have even been incidents where people purposely book a cruise in order to commit suicide. However, they say it is usually easy to tell if someone purposely went overboard or if it was an accident. Crew members say that passengers who want to commit suicide often engage in strange behavior for instance boarding with no luggage. One such instance also happened on a Royal Caribbean when a man was filmed throwing himself from the ship. Thirty-five-year-old Bernardo Elbaz intentionally went over the side of the ship however he then was seen clinging to the side before falling into the water below. Sadly, he did not survive. Family representatives, however, said he did not mean to kill himself but was rather being dramatic to protest how he felt he was being treated.

Bernardo was on the cruise with his husband and was apparently being taunted with anti- gay language at the bar before the incident. He was also highly intoxicated at the time. However, man overboard occurrences aren’t so common after all. Cruisejunkie.com is a website that tracks man overboard incidents, from 1995 to 2015 there were 243 cases which is pretty small considering thousands of people that set sail around the year.

Cruise Ship Worker Goes Missing On Bonaire

Cruise Ship Worker Goes Missing On Bonaire

On April 20th, 2017, The Royal Caribbean cruise line was set to leave port on the island of Bonaire. One crew member, Adriana Morales de Florencio of Mexico, did not make it back to the ship before it left. It was her second contract with the cruise line and she had last been seen walking off the ship to explore the island. Local police posted missing signs and questioned people in the area, but neither the crew members or the public had any answers. The 24-year-old’s family took to social media to spread the word, hoping for her safe return. A week went by, and still no word. Then, a discovery was made.

Found Buried On The Beach

Found Buried On The Beach

A security camera with footage of Adriana walking with a man on Bonaire was brought to the attention of detectives. They identified the man, who wasn’t on the ship, and authorities questioned him. That’s when he led them to the scene of the crime. 10 days after she went missing, Adriana’s body was found buried on the beach on April 30th. Police haven’t shared a motive, or what happened that day that led the man with the initials R.S. to kill the woman, but her death shook the crew of the Royal Carribean, as the cruise liner warns its workers to always travel in pairs when exploring during port calls.

A Terrible Pollution Problem

A Terrible Pollution Problem

What many vacationers on cruise ships don’t realize is that the ships are a terrible source of pollution. One cruise ship can produce as much air pollution in a day equivalent to one million cars on the road. Studies have been conducted for measuring their pollution, but the cruise ship lines have done nothing to reduce their impact. Nabu, a German environmental group, conducted an annual survey that included 63 ships said that they haven’t been following through on cutting pollution. One researcher, Dietmar Oeliger said, “Last year the sector claimed 23 ships would be operating with soot filters. The truth is not a single filter is working at present.”

20,000 People Stranded During Hurricane Harvey

20,000 People Stranded During Hurricane Harvey

Although meterologists warned news media of the impending hurricane, cruise liners still deployed from Galveston, Texas. This led to 20,000 people being stuck at sea when Hurricane Harvey hit. Four cruise ships that left from Texas were stranded at sea, without clearance to get back to their original port. Cruise liners are trying to redirect them to Flordia, as police in Galveston are asking that they not return to Texas yet, as the port where they left from is closed due to flooding, including the passengers’ cars. Instead of fiive days, passengers were stuck on board for eleven.

Four Norovirus Breakouts On The Same Ship In One Year

Four Norovirus Breakouts On The Same Ship In One Year

Around 100 passengers onboard a Carnival Cruise ship fell sick with norovirus, a foodborne virus, on their first day on the ship before a 10-day cruise. In August of 2017, passengers aboard the Sun Princess cruise ship showed symptoms of the virus, which quickly spread during their trip to Australia. This was the fourth outbreak of norovirus on board the Sun Princess in the last year. This time, 91 of the 2,000 passengers were infected, with symptoms that included diarrhea, fever, chills, muscle aches, and stomach cramps. These passengers had a terrible time on board, as they were told the virus was prevalent in the places they were stopping at for excursions, including Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.

17 Cruise Passengers Killed In Tunisia

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On March 18, 2015, passengers of cruise ships in Tunisia, North Africa were killed in a terrorist attack, led by Islamic State extremists. The passengers were from two ships, the MSC Spendida and the Costa Frascinosa which both arrived at port that day. As the tourists were getting off the bus near the museum, terrorists fired weapons, and many of the visitors ran into the Bardo National Museum to escape. That’s where they were held hostage for three hours. Pressure is being put on the cruise lines to take greater precaution and not travel to cities where there is possible terrorism.

Greedy Cruiselines Won’t Refund People Diagnosed with Cancer

Greedy Cruiselines Won’t Refund People Diagnosed with Cancer

While there is the option to purchase insurance when booking your cruise, many people don’t. This leads to losing the entire booking cost if passengers can no longer make their trip. Cruise lines will most likely assign new passengers to that cabin, and make double the profit. However, passengers find it extremely unreasonable that the cruiseline will not refund their money due to cancellation for reasons of death or illness. One Canadian couple booked a cruise with Oceania Cruises aboard the Oceania Marina in the South Pacific and were extremely upset when they weren’t refunded any of their $43,000 when the wife was diagnosed with lung cancer. Instead, the cruise ship filled the room and made double the profit.

Forget Something? Just Ask?

Forget Something? Just Ask?

One Reddit user commented on a cruise ship worker discussion to say that they have plenty of everything on board, so if you lose or forget something, just ask a crew worker. “I currently work as a housekeeper [on the ship]. People leave anything and everything behind. Forget your curling iron? We probably have one. Need a charger? Yep. Toys for your child? You got it.”

It’s nice to know that although the cruise lines might do anything for a buck, the crew workers are still there to help, and save you the cost of having to buy it from the expensive ship store.