Cruise Ship Secrets You Wish You Never Knew

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of those floating paradises? Cruise ships promise sun, fun, and endless buffets, but there’s more to these ocean giants than meets the eye. From hidden crew areas to secret passenger perks, cruise ships are full of surprises.

But be warned: some of these cruise secrets might make you think twice about your next vacation at sea. Let’s discuss the cruise ship secrets you might wish you never knew!

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The Morgue

Every big cruise ship has a morgue. It’s a cold, hidden room where they keep bodies if someone dies during the trip. Sadly, with thousands of people on board, deaths do happen sometimes. The crew is trained to handle these situations quietly to avoid upsetting other passengers.

Code Words

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Cruise staff use secret codes to talk about problems without scaring passengers. For example, “Code Adam” means a child is missing. “Operation Bright Star” is for medical emergencies. These codes help the crew deal with issues quickly and calmly.

The Poop Deck

Despite its funny name, the poop deck isn’t what you think. It’s actually the highest deck at the back of the ship. But speaking of bathrooms, did you know that cruise ship toilets use powerful suction? Be careful what you flush – it could get stuck in the pipes!

Hidden Crew Areas

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There’s a whole world below decks that passengers never see. Crew members have their own dining areas, gyms, and even bars. These spaces are much less fancy than the guest areas, but they’re where the staff can relax after long work hours.

The Brig

Yes, cruise ships have jails. They’re called brigs, and they’re used to hold passengers who break rules or cause trouble. These small, bare rooms are nothing like the cozy cabins upstairs. Thankfully, they’re rarely used.

Onboard Crime Scene Investigation

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Big ships have their own CSI-style kits for investigating crimes. They can collect fingerprints and other evidence if needed. While serious crimes are rare, the crew is prepared to handle them until they can reach the police on land.

The Truth About “Fresh” Food

Not all food on a cruise is as fresh as you might think. Many items are frozen or pre-prepared to feed so many people. Fruits and veggies might be days or weeks old by the time they reach your plate. But don’t worry – the kitchens still follow strict safety rules.

Secret Passenger Perks

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Some passengers get special treatment without others knowing. Big spenders or frequent cruisers might get free drinks, special dining, or even butler service. These perks are kept quiet to avoid making other guests feel left out.

The “Seawater” Swimming Pools

Most pools on cruise ships don’t actually use seawater. They’re filled with filtered freshwater, which is easier to maintain. The water is also heavily treated with chemicals to keep it clean with so many swimmers.

Cruise Ship Pollution

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Despite efforts to be “green,” cruise ships can create a lot of pollution. They burn lots of fuel and create tons of trash and dirty water. Some ships are working on being cleaner, but it’s still a big problem for the oceans.

The Risk of Illness

With so many people in close quarters, germs can spread fast on a cruise. Norovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhea, is a common problem. That’s why you see hand sanitizer stations everywhere. Always wash your hands to stay healthy!

Cruise Ship “Hosts”

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Some cruise lines hire men to dance with single female passengers. These “gentlemen hosts” are usually older guys who get free cruises in exchange for being dance partners and friendly faces for solo travelers.

The Real Cost of “Free” Stuff

Those “free” drinks and activities? They’re not really free. The cost is built into your ticket price or added as hidden fees. Always read the fine print to know what you’re really paying for.

Overboard Incidents

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People falling overboard happens more often than you’d think. Modern ships have systems to detect falls, but it can still be hard to rescue someone in rough seas. That’s why it’s so important to be careful on deck, especially at night.

The Crew’s Long Hours

Cruise ship workers often work incredibly long days, sometimes up to 14 hours or more. They might work for months without a day off. While they get to travel, it’s not the relaxing vacation that passengers enjoy.

More On This…

Now you know some of the hidden secrets of cruise ships. While some of these facts might seem scary or gross, millions of people enjoy safe and fun cruises every year.

Cruise lines work hard to keep passengers happy and healthy. So, if you decide to set sail, just keep these secrets in mind and focus on having a great time!

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Victoria Omololu

Victoria Omololu is a fashionista exploring the world on a budget. She co-founded Only Earthlings in 2023 to show her travels in North America, Europe, Africa, and everywhere else. Victoria loves writing about travel tips, itineraries, packing guides, and taking photography from all over the world.

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