Going on a cruise is an ideal vacation because you can travel, meet new people, and enjoy some beautiful scenery on your way to an exotic destination. But while you might think it’s all fun and games, there are some things about cruising that cruise ship employees don’t want you to know about. A lot of these secrets involve how they operate, the conditions on the ship during a crisis, and the rules and restrictions each staff member must follow. So, we’ve done some digging and have uncovered some top secrets that cruise ship staff would prefer to keep to themselves.General crew members refer to cooks, waiters, busboys, housekeeping, bartenders, cabin stewards, and maintenance, but staff members refer to guest relations, entertainers, computer technicians, sports and fitness staff, and videographers. So, in essence, crew members are at the bottom of the food chain but would prefer it if no one found out.
Since ship workers can’t exactly clock out and drive home, the cruise ship provides them with their very own private pool and sunbathing area so they can get away from all the mayhem and foolishness. Some cruise ships provide their employees with gyms and hot tubs.
Aside from taking in the scenic view, employees get to enjoy the private parties that are arranged in their honor. But they keep this hush-hush so passengers won’t think they’re not being professional.
Employees who rely on tips to get by don’t usually have the best salary in the world. So, if an employee goes the extra mile to please passengers, it’s because they’re banking on a big tip to boost their wages.
Employees can talk freely amongst themselves without coming off as unprofessional in front of passengers. They have a secret language. For example, “I-95” refers to the main crew hallway. “The Shirts” refers to the ship’s officers, and “cones” or “coneheads” are used to describe guests. “Troso” is a term used for crew/guests that lack common sense.
A lot of cruise ships encourage their employees to take naps here and there in order to recharge and remain energetic throughout their shifts. So, they literally get paid to sleep, just not all the time.
One of the best perks of working on a cruise ship is that employees get to eat whatever food doesn’t leave the galley. But they can only eat it at the end of their shift or while they’re taking a lunch break.
You might see employees like busboys running around like chickens with their heads cut off while trying to please the needs of the passengers, but they enjoy the same amenities and activities for free.
Employees spend a lot of time together, and some even engage in romantic relationships. But they don’t tell passengers they’re dating or married to other employees out of fear they’ll get fewer tips for their services.
Most crew cabins don’t have a porthole. The staff also spend a lot of time in dining rooms and kitchens without a window in sight. So, many of them have no idea when the sun is up or down or whether it’s Monday or Tuesday.
The crew bar is very affordable. You can get a wine bottle for $3 or a beer for $1. So, employees get wasted all the time. The only thing they can’t have (but probably smuggle in) are spirits like Vodka.
The staff onboard a luxury cruise ship are required to learn the names of all the passengers, even if that’s 800 names. And if they forget the name of a passenger, they’ll probably offend someone and that will for sure affect their tips. Ouch!
Okay, so maybe there’s one or two employees that do reciprocate a passenger’s affection, but if they’re caught, they get fired and kicked out at the next island or port. So, they can literally get stranded in a foreign country, and lose a pretty incredible job.
Passengers get drunk on cruise ships all the time. Sometimes, they’ll do silly things to like handstands on the railing. Next thing you know, someone’s fallen overboard and sadly, not everyone is found alive.
Wi-Fi isn’t cheap on the high seas and the staff doesn’t get a discount. So, hard drives preloaded with music, movies and other things are like cash on a ship and get traded among the staff all the time.
Cruise ship employees can work 14-hour shifts and up to six or seven days a week. So instead of talking about what they’ll do on their days off, they talk about what they’ll do on their hours off, cause that’s all they get.
When something goes wrong on a ship, it’s the employees who become the proverbial punching bag. Passengers throw a temper tantrum and yell, throw things at the staff and in some cases even threaten them.
Passengers have complained about why there’s no window in their cabin or why the ocean is too loud. Some people have even told the staff that they’d sue because there’s too much food and they’ll put on weight.
Stomach illnesses tend to spread very quickly on a cruise ship. When that happens, the ship turns into a zombie apocalypse. There’s chaos, anger, anxiety, and a lot of passengers with stuff coming out of both ends.
The staff often finds themselves all alone and away from their families, so they turn to their workmates, who are like their second family, for company when they’re drinking, eating or need a shoulder to cry on.
With so many passengers on a cruise ship and not a whole lot of room, an illness can spread throughout the ship in the blink of an eye. When that happens, infected passengers are quarantined to protect everyone else.
If you thought you could do whatever you wanted on a ship, guess again. There are cameras placed throughout the ship, except for cabins. But the security footage is used only for emergencies.
It sounds so “Pirates of the Caribbean,” but even a luxurious cruise ship can get attacked by pirates. Don’t worry. Ships are equipped with water cannons to deter pirates from boarding the vessel.
Some employees play practical jokes on passengers by telling another co-worker they’ll meet them in the bowling alley. The passenger will hear this and want to go, but there’s no bowling alley on the ship.
Think of a cruise ship as a floating community. There are good people and then there are a few bad apples. So, unfortunately, there are reports of theft and other crime-related problems, even on luxurious cruises. Thankfully, when a thief gets caught, they get thrown in a holding cell.