What comes to mind when you think about cruising? Chances are, like most people, you’ll envision endless sunshine, tropical cocktails, adventures in new lands, and an array of fun activities. Why is that? Well, for one, cruise lines spend millions of dollars a year on consumer advertising to entice the public to book a sailing. They portray an environment of safety, excitement, and relaxation for people of all ages. However, you may not be getting the complete picture of what cruising is really like.
There’s a lot you may not know about the cruise industry, and the truth may shock you. Our cruise lawyers have put together a list of 3 shocking facts about cruise vacations you may be surprised (or even frightened) to learn about. Let’s take a look.
- There’s an undertaker on your ship. Did you know that the majority of larger cruise ships are equipped with morgues? This means that on your next sailing, you may be sharing the ship with an undertaker. But why is this? Well, for one, there are times when cruise passengers and crew members suffer fatal injuries or fatal medical emergencies. There are also a large number of elderly guests on any given, which means that cruise lines need to prepare for unfortunate deaths at sea. This may sound morbid, but having an onboard morgue is actually quite common in the cruise industry and provides a safe area for the deceased before the body can be transported to a morgue on land.
- You’re on your own at the pool. Only a handful of cruise lines hire trained lifeguards, which means that if you plan on swimming in one of the ship’s pools or hot tubs, exercise extreme caution. This is especially true if you are traveling with young children. Drowning accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and without experienced lifeguards keeping an eye on passengers to ensure safety, it can be easy to suffer a drowning or near-drowning incident. To prevent such a tragedy, monitor children (and anyone in your party) carefully, choose areas of a pool that are not too crowded, and avoid dangerous activities like diving or underwater games.
- There may not be anyone manning the helm. Though many cruise ship accidents are attributed to captain or crew member mistakes (who can forget the Costa Concordia tragedy?), the reality of the matter is that there may not be any ‘person’ actually steering the cruise ship you are sailing aboard. Many times, cruise ships are set to auto-navigate, if you will. Via a complex system of computers and navigational equipment, vessels can be programmed to self-sail, eliminating the need for manual steering. This gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘cruise control.’ Not to worry though, when seas are extra choppy, weather conditions prove unfavorable, and during docking, the captain will be at the wheel.
These are just a few cruise line truths that the public may not be aware of. In reality, there are endless facts about the cruise industry prospective passengers (and even crew members) don’t know about. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to turn a blind eye to some of these truths (man of which may be unnerving) or base your decision to sail on them. It’s always important to remember that as a prospective passenger, you can do some research on your own. The best way to avoid a cruise ship accident is to educate yourself as much as possible on what really goes on behind cruise ship cabin doors and to understand your rights and legal options, should you experience an emergency at sea or in a foreign port.