Discover Unexpected Surprises Onboard Your Cruise Ship: From Jail Cells to Morgues!

Cruise ships harbor unseen attributes that a multitude of voyagers, especially novices, are ignorant about. Some vessels are as expansive as compact metropolises, and although it’s fairly straightforward to get acquainted with an apparently infinite assortment of amenities — aqua parks, body art shops, diverse eateries — there’s also an entire hidden universe, frequently beneath guest decks, that remains a puzzle.

Below are five aspects about cruise ships that cruisers might not be aware of:

Several have a morgue …

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Cruise ships transport numerous passengers annually, and incidences of deaths aboard often arise. Every ship is mandated to facilitate a morgue and extra body bags in the pretext of an exigency.

This morgue is typically a miniature refrigerated chamber made of stainless steel located at the lowest level of the ship, which can hold approximately two to 10 bodies, contingent upon the size of the ship. Whenever a crew member or passenger expires, the shore authorities will be alerted by officials on the vessel, and a health team will appraise the body and transfer it to the morgue. Here, it stays till repatriation arrangements are put in place. Generally, the body is taken off the ship at the upcoming port of call, although at times it may remain on board till the voyage concludes.

… and a brig

While there are no police officers on board cruise ships, most of these vessels contain tiny jails known as brigs. Passengers liable to misbehavior might find themselves confined within these jails if they’re gauged to have broken the cruise company’s conduct code by the ship’s security crew.

The brig, typically a minimalist room with sleeping and restroom facilities, isn’t like a traditional jail cell featuring iron bars. It’s utilized to hold guests who commit serious offences such as violent behavior or possession of forbidden substances. Passengers who are drunk and unruly may be imposed a “cabin arrest,” which means they are not allowed to leave their cabin without a security personnel escort.

In most cases, passengers confined to the brig remain there until they can be turned over to legal enforcement officers.

Many vessels lack a Deck 13

A lot of cruise ships avoid having a Deck 13 due to the common belief in Western tradition that the number carries bad luck. Ships that do have a Deck 13 usually allocate it for communal spaces, rather than cabins.

Ships like those in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class feature a Deck 13. This is because these vessels primarily cater to the company’s Asian market where the number isn’t deemed unlucky. MSC ships also boast a Deck 13, but there’s no Deck 17. This is thanks to the cruise line’s Italian founder, as Italians regard 17 as an unlucky number.

Cruise lines also indulge in other superstitions, for example, nominating godmothers to bless new vessels, as well as to provide protection for both passengers and crew. In addition to this, they conduct naming ceremonies where a bottle of sparkling wine is broken against a new ship’s hull for good luck. If the bottle doesn’t break, it’s believed to bring bad luck for the vessel. However, nowadays cruise lines use mechanical aids to prevent such incidences.

Hidden pools and facilities for the crew

Large cruise ships typically come with more than 1,000 crew members. Even though they predominantly spend their time catering to passengers, there are designated areas on the lower decks where they can relax.

Typically, ships feature a variety of amenities such as small swimming pools, dining establishments, bars, and recreational facilities like game rooms and gyms that are strictly for the crew’s use. After their shifts end, the crew members frequently gather at the assigned bar, a pivotal social spot that usually hosts evening live music and events.

The immense Icon of the Seas, a part of Royal Caribbean’s fleet and currently the biggest cruise ship worldwide, dedicates an entire “neighborhood” for its crew of 2,300. This area includes a clubhouse equipped with massage chairs and virtual balconies — large screens that display real-time scenes from outside — and a dining establishment with portholes providing views of the ocean.

AA meetings are commonly held on most ships

Given the abundance of all-inclusive drink packages and numerous bars, cruise ships can be a challenging place for guests who are recovering. Many cruise companies host daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, often listed as “Friends of Bill W.,” referring to William Wilson, the AA program’s co-founder in 1935.

The meetings are usually held in a quiet place such as the library, where guests can feel comfortable and maintain their anonymity. They are also open to other support group members, such as Women for Sobriety and Narcotics Anonymous.

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