Last updated: 12:30 PM ET, Wed August 12 2015

6 Shocking Things We Learned About Cruises From Reddit

Entertainment | Gabe Zaldivar | August 12, 2015

6 Shocking Things We Learned About Cruises From Reddit

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

The Internet is a bastion of memes, viral videos and, when one is shrouded in anonymity, juicy tidbits on what goes on behind the scenes of cruise ships.

We happened upon a wonderfully insightful Ask Reddit post from user AIJOS who served up a nice little query to those in the industry: “Cruise Ship/Hotel workers of Reddit. What is something you aren't allowed to tell us?” 

What follows are some revelations from that post, and others we happened to mine for, that shed a great deal more light on the inner workings of cruise ships. And, if the following is to be believed, crewmembers are having a better time than you are.

That brings us to one big disclaimer. We are taking much of what is posted with a grain of incredulity. We are merely passing on anecdotes from Reddit users who claim to have working knowledge of various ships, so take from these quotes what you may.

With that, let’s pack our bags while also contemplating our own mortality.

The Sea As Final Resting Place

We all understand that at some point it’s human to shuffle off the mortal coil and into the great unknown. Only you don’t actually consider it when you are deciding how to smuggle alcohol in your shampoo bottle for your next cruise.

This particular Ask Reddit post was replete with commenters proclaiming that death was a common enough occurrence that a morgue is necessary on the ship.

Antium_ states: “Odds are, someone died on your cruise. Think about all the old folks you see get on to the boat - for a lot of them this is their retirement home (and cheaper than a lot of other retirement homes). They are literally taking cruises until they die and we eventually find them in their cabins.”

User Snickobro follows: “I was on a cruise late last year, and we had two deaths. One was an older lady who had a heart attack in the casino, and the other was a positively ancient man who fell asleep in one of the lounges and never woke up.”

Snickobro follows that pall on the posting with, “So yeah, definitely a possibility.”

This particular user later responds to a question stating that they believe there is a morgue on the ship. And, when an untimely passing occurs, “a call/code went over the speakers” that alerted staff to the situation.

Some of the more horrifying entries suggest people being lost at sea. One poster went so far as to link to a Daily Mail article that purports over hundred people have gone missing in recent years.

User Pixielix answered a similar query a year ago: “There are morgues below deck and a jail cell. We get at least 3 deaths onboard a month. Some people go on a cruise to die.”

Crew Bars Are Popping

Let’s move on to something a little more lighthearted, such as the idea of crew and staff getting nice and inebriated after hours.

Pixielix, who claims to be a cruise ship worker, continues, “Sure we'll work the big white hot party that your (sic) all going to, but once we finish our shift all hell is breaking loose in the crew bar. Just below and to the sides of where you are sleeping there are crewmembers having sex, smoking and drinking. Our beers are $1. No drugs or spirits though.”

Zakalwe_666 states in the more recent post: “My sister was a dancer with Carnival and I went on 5 cruises as crew-family. Stayed in a crew cabin, but only paid about $50 per cruise. Also had a pass to get into crew areas. Went to the crew bar every night and had a great time. $8 a drink in the passenger bars, same drink for $1 in the crew bar. It was so cheap I just doubled every bill as a tip and still came out on top.”

There is a Lot Of Hooking Up

Just as Pixielix mentioned, crewmembers are keen on getting familiar with one another. This seems to be a running theme with these kinds of Reddit posts.

One comment states simply, “The workers all hook up with each other all the time.”

Another person chimes in, confirming the $1 drinks for crew and adding: “It's such a small microcosm to live in - everyone is having sex and when people do get into relationships, they call it ‘a ship thing,’ meaning the relationship's life expectancy isn't expected to last past the cruise ship contract.”

No Interaction With Guests

One item of note behind the hooking up: You are forbidden to have relations with guests. Some posters state that such things will actually get you fired.

But it does happen.

You Are ‘Cones’ Apparently:

This brings us to a term we had not yet heard before. One crewmember wondered in a post: “Former cruise ship musician here…we used to call sleeping with passengers 'coning' as passengers were 'cones.’ Was this just my boat/line or is this industry wide?”

That comment was answered with, “Yeah...They call passengers cones because they stand around like pylons because they have no [expletive] clue where they are going. Ships are big. You get fired if you're caught coning but it still happened.”

People Get Sick, Just Like On Land

The norovirus is one awful bane of the cruise industry, and something we have covered in the past.

And while we've been pretty clear that norovirus is just as common on cruise ships as it is in just about any other public space, it still happens.

One posting asserted that the “Norovirus is way more common on ships than you would think.” Another continued that the “Norovirus is very common but more during flu season.”

Thankfully, user tomsloane states, “Wash your hands frequently and use the hand sanitizer located around the cruise ship when food or drinks are involved. You should be OK.”

One of the more obvious things we discovered is that the crew has told or heard every single joke uttered on your respective ship.

Whether it’s in the couple’s game show or at the card table, the same lines have been passed out and delivered as if made up on the spot, which you probably already knew judging by the amount of cheese that comes with each punch line.

If all this is to be believed, just beyond your small room, there is an entire world of debauchery going on, so be nice to the crew.

The chances are pretty good that they are fairly hungover.


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