Full disclosure, I’ve never been on a cruise ship. I think seeing ‘Titanic’ at such a young age really ruined the idea for me. I’m also the kind of person who prefers not to feel trapped. On a cruise ship, you’re basically trapped in the middle of the ocean. I guess that’s better than being on a plane in some respects. But none of it appeals to me. I’ve heard rumours about the cruises where folks all get really sick, and everyone’s just barfing all over the place. There’s probably some truth to what I heard but even if there wasn’t, it’s the last place I’d want to go for vacation. I get sea sick too easily anyway. So what do the staff of cruise ship lines have to say about the experience? Read on to find out!
15. Everybody is Cheating Left & Right
A cruise ship worker, named ‘Blake’, offered some the dirt on cruise ship life. He explained that in terms of workers, men far outnumber the women. This semi-anonymous worker admitted that people often cheated with each other. Another cruise worker, named Cathryn, also spoke about the rampant cheating that occurred on board. She revealed that some men on board were often living double lives with girlfriends on the ship and wives who were none the wiser. I hope they’re all at least using protection. Otherwise, I bet all these philandering folks often find themselves getting in trouble with STDs and STIs.
14. Don’t Sleep With The ‘Cones’
One Reddit user named ‘ElBrad’ profiled his experience working on a cruise ship and explained that one of the biggest no-nos was to get involved with guests, known by crew members as ‘cones’. He revealed that the story the crew gets from up top is that if they are found out to have sexually interacted with passengers, they are immediately let go. Apparently, once the ship sets anchor at its next destination, you’re forced to exit the boat and are given a ticket home. ‘ElBrad’ admits that he only witnessed such a punishment get used once. Sounds like a pretty intense threat.
13. People Forget Kinky Stuff Constantly
When I heard about this one reveal about cruise ships, I couldn’t help but imagine all of the things people leave behind. I imagine there’s a ton of weird stuff. One cruise ship housekeeper explained that some people tend to forget everything when they leave a cruise ship. The especially sexually adventurous ones leave behind some very interesting toys; the stories of finding used condoms in random corners of cruise ships is really very common by now. I don’t understand that. Although, I’m sure I’ve left lots of stuff behind in hotels throughout my life even though I’m very meticulous when it comes to staying organized away from home. The housekeeper says that it’s likely that if you need something, they have that object stored away. All it takes is for you to ask nicely.
12. Must beware of PIRATES!
Well, yeah. When you’re on the high seas, anything can happen. It turns out that cruise ship workers are actually trained beforehand on how to deal with attacks from pirates. So how exactly does a cruise ship crew handle a pirate invasion? They are supposed to lead the passengers far from the ship’s windows. The ship is equipped with huge cannons that shoot water, these are intended to repel the pirates and stop them from boarding. Some ships even have a way to deter pirates with noise. Honestly, if I were a pirate I’d rather the huge water cannons. I hate loud annoying noises, let alone painful ones.
11. They Use a Special Sauce
One cruise ship worker revealed that the ship’s food has a secret ingredient. The employee claims that the cooks add extra fat to the food which tends to have a laxative effect and cause stool to soften. This ‘special sauce’ is intended to help the ship’s plumbing along throughout the journey. Yep, all that poop has to go somewhere, right? It makes things a lot easier – for you, and the pipes – if things are not as…rigid. I can’t imagine that extra oil agrees with everyone, though. And that solves the mystery of why people tend to gain weight on a cruise!
10. Secret Parties
This is less of a reveal and more of a confirmation of my assumptions regarding cruise ship staff. It turns out cruise ship employees have a lot of fun when they’re off duty. There’s usually a huge rager going on down below where the staff lives. I imagine it’s a lot like the party from the movie ‘Titanic’. Except, maybe with different music. One former cruise worker explained that working on board a cruise ship felt like “a constant party”. Honestly, that might sound great to some, but to me, it just sounds exhausting. The cruise member goes on to explain that the reason for the partying is mostly to de-stress due to the high-stress of the job.
9. Cruiseship Morgue
It’s totally logical that there’s a morgue on board huge cruise ships but it still doesn’t tone down the creep factor. People die in all sorts of places. If you die on the subway, you’re brought to the city’s morgue. If you die in a plane, they just throw your body into the ocean, right? No? Well, on cruise ships, they have a place to keep the dead tucked away. The morgues on board are usually quite small and they’re even more important to have when it comes to cruise ships targeting the elderly. Kind of a grim thought. Yikes. Just imagine you partying away in the ship’s large party pool while just below deck a corpse is slowly rotting away until it can be disposed of at the next port stop.
8. Alcohol Is CHEAP
Apparently, workers on cruise ships get access to much cheaper booze than the passengers. Staff also often get big price reductions at bars in ports where they dock temporarily. Sounds like a big plus to me. Isn’t that what most cruise ship guests tend to splurge on when drinks are not included? It’s easy to spend lots of dough on alcohol. It’s interesting that many lines provide it so cheaply to employees. It seems counterintuitive. Don’t they all get super drunk all the time? I assume it must have an impact on productivity and work quality, but it seems to be a common thing that most staff and former-employees comment on.
7. Frozen Fish
At first, I was kind of shocked about this but the more I think about it, the more it makes total sense. It turns out that most seafood served on board cruise ships is frozen. You’d assume that since you’re at sea you’re eating lovely fresh caught fish, but that’s just not the case. Naturally, no one is fishing off the edge of the boat in order to get dinner on your plate. It’s charming to think of it that way but it’s pretty tough to serve up fresh fish on a ship. Where would it come from? The water? Well, unfortunately, a cruise ship isn’t a fishing boat. And depending on the size of the cruise ship, they must be sure to have enough food stocked up for the passengers, which is where frozen food comes in quite handy I imagine.
6. Cruise Ship Sex Worker
This confession comes straight from Whisper so there’s no way to find out if it’s true but I can’t imagine it’s that far fetched to believe this has occurred. Like I mentioned before, it’s strictly forbidden for the crew to mingle with passengers. There a good reason for this, cruise ships want to avoid misunderstandings and possible misconduct of employees. But this guy is breaking the rules on a whole other level. He’s not only fraternizing with guests, he’s taking money for sex. If he were to get found out, he’d probably get kicked off the ship and left on the nearest island. That’s breaking the rules and the law!
5. Private Butler At Your Service
I bet some of you didn’t know that at some fancy hotels, resorts, and yes, even on cruise ships, you can get yourself a private butler. Butlers are there to make your stay more efficient and enjoy your stay to the max. They can book stuff for you so you don’t have to deal with other human beings, but sometimes they go above and beyond. One cruise ship butler story describes an incident where a customer requested something a bit peculiar…a La-Z-Boy armchair. The armchair was purchased for the passenger’s cabin and has been stored on board ever since. Whenever he’s back for another cruise, the chair goes back into his suite.
4. You Will Be Immediately Quarantined If Sick
You probably already can fathom that having sick passengers on a cruise ship is bad news. In close quarters, illness tends to spread rapidly. Being sick on vacation isn’t fun for anyone and cruise ship lines tend to want to avoid the spreading of illnesses on board. An employee for Celebrity Cruise Lines revealed on Reddit that if staff falls ill, they can be quarantined for as long as a week. Imagine being forced to stay cooped up in small quarters on a moving ship. Yikes. The former employee also explained that for the most part, though, ships were cleaned quite thoroughly to avoid sudden outbreaks of illness.
3. The Pay Is Actually Lousy
Yep. Sadly, for most employees on cruise ships, the pay is really awful. For some, it’s still a great tradeoff since it allows them to travel the world, meet new people, and enjoy a whole new experience in life. The low pay isn’t usually a problem for those who work in the industry temporarily, but for those who are permanent staff, it’s a tough gig. A cruise ship employee revealed that pay ranged wildly. Some employees could make less than $300 a month (before tips). That seems insane to me. No one should have to rely on tips to get by.
2. Lousy Conditions
Unfortunately, some former cruise ship employees have revealed that conditions for crew are not all that stellar. One employee explained that the staff lower down the ranks is treated quite poorly by those above. The staff also often had to deal with really awful food. In addition, the days are really long and days off are rare or non-existent. Some shifts can go as long as 17 hours! That’s a long time to put on a smile and interact with guests. I can barely handle being awake for the entire day. I can’t imagine dealing with such long work hours, especially when you’re being fuelled by subpar slop.
1. Still A Pretty Rad Gig?
Here’s the thing though, despite some of the more negative aspects revealed by former cruise line staff, it’s pretty clear that it’s a great gig for someone looking to experience the world. It’s true that the staff doesn’t necessarily get to have an extended visit of each place where the ship ports, but it’s still a way to see the world without having to shell out a bunch of cash. True, you’ll have to deal with tight quarters, and a constant party atmosphere, but for some, that’s actually not that big a deal. Of course, that’s all assuming you don’t get sea sick!
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