Cruise ships spend millions of dollars a year on advertising in an attempt to win consumers’ vacation dollars. For instance, in 2010, Carnival Cruise lines spent $66.4 million on advertising alone. In these advertisements, consumers see sun-drenched decks, shimmering pools, and exotic locales. Yet, there are many things about the cruise industry that cruise lines don’t tell would-be vacationers. While some of these things are shocking, others are perks that cruise vacationers may not be aware of.
That being said, our cruise lawyers here at LMAW have compiled a list of five interesting things about cruise vacations you may be shocked to learn about.
Cruise Morgues. Yes, most of the bigger ships do have morgues. Given the large capacity of these ships, and the number of elderly guests that travel on cruise ships, cruise lines need to be prepared for every contingency—and death is just one of those contingencies. It is important to properly handle the deaths of passengers and crew in order to keep all on board safe. But, not many people may be aware of the fact that when death occurs at sea, it can sometimes be several days before lines can send bodies to a morgue on land. For this reason, most ships come equipped with a morgue of their own.
Unspoken food perks. Most passengers are aware of the free, all-you-can-eat buffets and the fact that most meals on-board are covered by the cost of your fare. Yet, many passengers aren’t aware that they can get free room service at most times of the day. Furthermore, you can order more than one appetizer, dessert, and entrée in the dining room. Passengers who want to sample new foods can even turn an entrée-sized portion into an appetizer. If you’re paying for a cruise, might as well enjoy it to the fullest. Bon Appétit!
Your captain isn’t always steering the ship. Much like an airplane, modern cruise ships utilize computers and other sophisticated navigational equipment. Most cruise ships can self-navigate for most of the time the cruise is at sea. Don’t worry, though, during storms or during docking, your captain will be at the wheel. That said, emergencies can happen, and some passengers are unnerved by the idea that the captain won’t be steering the ship at all times. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you are comfortable with this fact before booking a cruise vacation.
Crew members don’t get weekends off. Does your waiter look a little tired? It may not just be your imagination. Many crew members work for days at a time before they get time off. Some may work as many as seven days in a row straight. While this is great for cruise lines as it allows them to more efficiently use their labor, it may not be the best for guests at the end of the day. Working so hard for so long is likely to lead to cruise ship accidents. Sadly, the practice of working crew to the bone isn’t likely to end any time soon as it cuts down on costs.
Magnetic cabins. Ships are made of metal, and even though cruise lines try to create interior decorations to mask the material, all cruise cabins are completely metallic. Bring magnets on your next cruise and have a party! Magnetic poetry anyone? Or better yet, if you’re bringing the kids, don’t forget to buy some fun magnets for the trip.
While some of these cruise “secrets” are great ways to maximize your vacation, others are bound to shock. It’s important to understand that there’s always a side of cruising the general public may not be privy to. The more you know about the cruise industry, the more you can either a) take advantage of the perks, or b) gain enough insight to avoid becoming the victim of a cruise ship accident or understand your rights when a cruise accident does take place.