There aren’t very many people who don’t like to go on a nice cruise ship vacation. The promise of a peaceful atmosphere along with some beautiful settings to view, not to mention some of the beautiful ports they stop in, who can resist? The ships always offer great food, top notch entertainment and there are plenty of activities going on all throughout the day if you want to stay busy. It sounds like a great time doesn’t it? Well, things are not always what they seem to be. In the world of cruise ships, there are just as many bad things about them as there are good things. In some cases, the bad just may outweigh the good.
Plenty of people do not realize all of the bad things that can happen on a cruise ship vacation and believe me the companies aren’t including them in their advertisements. When you learn some of the things that you will today, you’ll have to decide if that next cruise ship vacation that you have planned, is actually worth the risk or not.
A few examples could be that your ship may catch on fire (it happens more than you think), or maybe you will leave port on the vessel and never be seen again. Perhaps you’ll run into some pirates who are not fictional or maybe you might come across a ghost ship that really does exist. Read on and learn some things that you might not know about dream vacations!
15. How Many People Disappear
When you are boarding your favorite cruise ship for that dream vacation, there are plenty of things to think about. One of the most important is that just because you leave, that doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to return. That’s right, you can buy a ticket and head out to shore but the ship may return without you, and not because it left you behind.
Did you know that between 2000 and 2013 there were more than two hundred instances of people leaving but never coming back? That’s right, they just vanished into thin air while on their dream trip. In the year 2012 alone, this happened twenty-three different times.
Here is a breakdown to pay attention to, Carnival Cruise ships were the scene of ninety-four of these disappearances. Thirty-nine times it has happened on a Royal Caribbean ship. Those are your two major players in the cruise ship game so make a note of the numbers. It tells you that certain precautions must always be taken, even if you are on that dream vacation.
14. Once You Board You Can’t Get Off
A cruise ship is like a ride on a roller coaster in many ways. If you aren’t a fan of the twisting, looping and dropping coasters you may want to get off before the ride is actually over.
It’s the same on a cruise ship. Once it leaves the port you are stuck on it until it reaches another port. That is unless you can swim a really far distance.
That’s the fate that passengers suffered back on February 10th of 2013. Anytime that you say you’ve had a stinky day, think about these poor people. A crowded Carnival cruise ship was making its way across the Gulf of Mexico when the ship caught on fire. The fire cut power to the vessel leaving passengers stranded in the middle of nowhere. Things took a turn for the worst when the ship’s raw sewage started backing up and going places on the ship that it shouldn’t. Tents had to be set up on the other end of the vessel so passengers could be safe from all of the hazardous waste that was floating around other areas of their vessel.
13. Watch Out For Fire!
During a twenty-one year period, there was a total of seventy-nine fires on cruise ships. That time frame was between 1990 and 2011. Since the numbers started to be more accurately kept, the numbers that have been brought to the world have been alarming. Since 2006 the number of fires that have been reported on cruise ships has actually doubled.
The first thing you should do whenever getting on a vessel is to locate any nearby fire extinguishers and come up with an escape plan in case there is a fire nearby. Obviously, there are limitations to where you can go so it’s wise to take just a few minutes to check out the layout that you have to work with.
One more thing that you’ll have to keep in mind is that if you are unlucky enough to be on a ship that catches fire, you could be stranded for days. Depending on how far away from land you are will dictate how quickly other ships can get there to take you off of your vessel. If it has to be towed back to port it could extend the trip even more.
12. There’s A Real Ghost Ship
In 1976 the MV Lyubov Orlova was built and it was a sturdy vessel that was in service for almost thirty years. When it was finally retired it was sold for parts to an interested party. While it was being towed to its new home it broke free from the towing ship near Newfoundland and aimlessly floated away. Finally, in 2013 it was reached by Transport Canada who took it into their control. However, for some unknown reason, they cut it loose as soon as they reached international waters.
A month later it was seen almost 1,000 miles off of the coast of Ireland, but it never reached the shoreline.
11. Kids And Elders Don’t Matter
If something ever does happen to your family while on a cruise, don’t think that you’re in for an automatic payday. The cruise ship companies place little to no value on elders and children. Of course, they don’t tell you this when they take your money, mainly because they don’t want you to know about it.
Back in 1920, the Death on the High Seas Act was made and allows your spouse to receive money if you were to die while vacationing on a cruise ship. It’s not easy to pry money from the companies though and if you are lucky enough to do so, it will more than likely be far less than you were expecting. The Act does not cover pain, suffering, grief, or bereavement so that allows them to undercut what you might expect to receive.
One glaring thing that is missing from the Act is the inclusion of children or retired adults. They are not mentioned at all, therefore, nothing can be gained if a family tragically loses one during a cruise.
10. Fog Is A Very Real Threat
Being out on the open water is not a good place to be when a storm is approaching. Cruise ships have top of the line radar to detect them so they have enough time to go around a storm that might be in its path. This is to keep the vessel out of danger and to keep it under clear skies as much as possible. There is not a passenger in the world who wants to stay in their cabin on a cruise ship vacation.
Fog is much harder to detect and in these cases, they use regular radar to detect other possible vessels in the area. It doesn’t always work though because fog causes all kinds of issues. In 2012 off the Vietnam coast a passenger ship collided with a container ship in heavy fog in the middle of the night.
9. The Disappearance Of Amy Lynn Bradley
You never know what can happen on a ship. That dream vacation could suddenly be brought to a crashing halt if a family member is lost. Always keep an eye on your loved ones even though it’s a bit tough to do on a ship. Everyone wants to go off on their own and have fun but safety should always be the #1 rule for everyone on a ship.
A good example is what happened in March of 1998 when Amy Lynn Bradley suddenly vanished off of a Royal Caribbean vessel. She was last seen on the Rhapsody of the Seas when the ship was off the coast of Curacao. She was 23 years old when she disappeared after last being seen in a bar on the ship.
There have been several television shows done and several sightings over the years, but she has never been reunited with family members. Recently there has been new video footage released that has her family hopeful once again but as of today, she is still missing.
8. Pirates Really Do Exist
Everyone knows what pirates are. Sometimes they might have a hook for a hand, a dirty or colorful headband and countless movies have been made about them. Those are the fictional ones though, those aren’t the real pirates. The real ones look nothing like those and they are a lot more ruthless.
The real pirates, that really do exist, sail the open seas on boats, carrying AK-47’s or other weapons, and they are real people, looking to do real harm. In the year 2009 alone these pirates robbed more than 200 ships of all kinds and they got away with just about $34 million in goods. Think about that when you are out on the open seas and always have an eye out for an approaching small boat. The cruise lines take precautions but they obviously are not good enough.
7. Cruise Liners Avoid Registering In The United States
For the most part, everything that is registered in the United States has very strict safety and other rules that must be adhered to. For that reason, many cruise ship companies purposely register their ships with other countries. This way they can take advantage of less stringent safety rules, free or very cheap labor (no laws or very relaxed laws) and low or no pollution laws.
Liberia and Panama are the most favorite places for cruise ship companies to register their ships because they can get away with just about anything. This has been done for quite some time now and it saves those companies millions of dollar per year. It also puts your life in danger every single time you step on a cruise ship for that dream vacation.
6. Criminals Rarely Get Prosecuted
The number one rule you should always follow when going on a cruise ship is to be safe at all times. The numbers you are about to read are pretty scary. Out of murders that are committed on a cruise ship, 16% are actually solved; sexual assaults are worse at 7%.
There are a couple of reasons for these very low numbers. One of them is that cruises go out into international waters and the laws there are not very strict or at the very least they aren’t enforced very stringently. The other main reason is that the cruise lines simply don’t want to take responsibility for anything against the law that might take place on their vessels. They do everything they can to put off the investigations to the nearest country. Most of those don’t seem to have a high level of care either.
5. A Carnival Cruise Ship Failed A Health Inspection
A Carnival cruise ship failed that CDC inspection back in 2013 for not only one reason. The complete list of reasons for the failure read like this: “Lack of chlorination for the ship’s water park, salad bar foods that were unprotected by “sneeze shields”, lack of lighting for cleaning areas involving food, a large fly near raw hamburger patties, a leaking dried food waste compartment and a roach nymph (baby cockroach) in the deck drain of the room service juice dispenser.”
For many years now we have heard the news stories of passengers becoming ill while on a vacation. We all have wondered how this could happen and now we have some of the main reasons that it could be so widespread among all of the passengers. Think about that the next time you think about going on a cruise.
4. You Don’t Know Your Captain
How many times have you boarded a plane and wondered about the Captain that would be in charge of getting you to your destination safely? Is he well rested? Has he been drinking? They are all good questions and definitely relevant to your upcoming trip. The same is true for those that guide your cruise ship through the open waters.
You should know what kind of Captain will be in charge of bringing your vessel out into the open waters. In most cases, this type of information isn’t readily available but it’s worth looking into. Back in 2012, the passengers on the Costa Concordia learned what kind of guy their Captain was and they learned far too late.
Captain Francesco Schettino guided his ship right into the worst maritime disaster in Italy since World War II. About three hours into the trip the vessel ripped into some rocks and the ship was severely damaged. It didn’t take long for the ship to sink and dozens of passengers and crew were killed. The Captain got away just fine though as he fled the vessel after the accident.
3. You Are Being Watched Carefully
When you think about all of those people that have just vanished into thin air while on a cruise ship, you realize how scary that fact is. When you take into consideration that there are cameras everywhere onboard it certainly brings up more questions than answers. How can so many people just disappear without a trace when there are cameras everywhere you look? It’s a question that authorities have been wondering for many years now.
The main reason that ships have so many cameras is so that they can see where you are going, which route you are taking and what the most popular activities are among passengers. It’s actually a pretty good idea and it leads to several decisions to be made about how the ships are run.
2. Cruises Won’t Help You Lose Weight
It might not be a good idea to take a cruise ship vacation if you are on a diet. That’s because you will certainly be taking a vacation from your diet as well. There are only so many options on a vessel like that and they tend to go down the paths of offering fattening foods that the average dieter is trying to avoid.
There are reports that say the average cruise ship passenger will gain one pound per day if they are on a seven to ten day cruise. It might be a bit depressing if you get on board while on a diet and come home ten pounds heavier than you were before.
1. Chances Of Getting Sick Are Very High
Food poisoning is a very common theme among cruise ship vacations. See the CDC inspection failure that we mentioned earlier for reasons on how that may happen. In most cases of food poisoning, the passengers will suffer from Norovirus, a very contagious virus that comes with vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
A Crown Princess cruise saw 129 people get violently ill in April of 2014. When the ship came back to port it was thoroughly cleaned and given a clean bill of health. Later in that year, in October, 172 more people got sick again, suffering from the exact same thing.
This can be more than likely attributed to the more relaxed rules of the country where the vessel was registered in. You can bet if it was registered in the United States that it wouldn’t have happened twice in the same year, on the same ship.