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Cruise Ship Confessions: 5 Creepy Things You Didn't Know About Cruising

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

There are trade secrets behind every industry. No matter how glamorous the job/life may look, there’s always dirt to be shared about how things work. Working on a cruise line, you get to see the not-so-glamorous side of cruising- from the bad and ugly to the creepy.

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1. There Is A Morgue Onboard

There is either a morgue, or a room specifically designated to hold deceased bodies on every cruise ship. Eerie as it may sound, life and death happens even when you’re at sea. Whether it’s sudden, like a heart attack, or a little more expected, like old age, people you cruise with will pass away.


With that being said, the cruise lines try to dispose of the body as soon as possible and obviously so, as quietly as possible. Not even all the crewmembers are aware of when someone has passed to avoid gossip spreading.

Not all ports accept bodies and there are lots of rules in place when it comes to disposing a body. However, there are still some countries, like the Bahamas for example, which accept the bodies because they have the means to properly deal with the corpse.

So next time you’re bickering about how the cruise line is running behind, realize there are a lot of reasons that this could be- from security issues, to safety hazards to even a hold in the process to move a corpse, please just be patient and respectful just in case. You never know what could have happened.

2. Ships Have Jail Cells

Depending on the size of the cruise ship, some do have their jail cells. They are used to quarantine disruptive passengers that can cause harm or problems with other passengers or crew.

These are pretty rare though.

More often than not, passengers are told they are not allowed to leave their cabin and could even have security watching the doors if orders are disobeyed. If the problem is serious enough, the cruise line is allowed to disembark the passenger in the next port.

As a passenger, there are safety rules to abide by and if for any reason at all, you become a risk to other passenger/crew, ciao ciao mickey mouse. Not only that, but you can become black listed among other ship lines as well.

3. The Ship Isn't Concerned If You Get Left Behind Or Not

We’re no heartless but at the end of the day, there’s usually nothing we can do for you if you miss the ship all onboard time. A lot of ports have a “hard close” time which means the doors have to close at a certain time for whatever reason (ie. security/customs/safety) even if everyone is not onboard.

The cruise line loses thousands for staying late in a port.

A lot of times we need to be out of the way for another ship to come in. If that’s not the case, we’re delaying all work in the port. The people that work in the port also have families and lives. Lateness on the schedule not only lead to loads of fines but eventual termination of the captain on board.

We will leave crewmembers behind.

We would even leave the cruise director behind.

So we won’t hesitate to leave you behind.

The ship will wait for only one person and that’s the Captain. Please be on time if you don’t want to have to pay to fly to another port.


At least communicate with the cruise line if something happened, and we may be able to help, but if you don’t say anything, we hope to see you in the next port. However, we have no obligation to stay around waiting for you delaying thousands of other people’s travels.

So you already decided you won't let the ship leave you behind, but what about what you left behind at home? Check out the 7 Things You Don't Want to Forget for your Cruise Vacation!

4. A Man Overboard Has A Slim Chance At Survival

Note how I didn’t say fall, because your chances of just falling over board by mistake are slim to none. Nope, people don’t fall. They jump or are pushed. Despite loads of radars, and modern technology to recognize a man overboard, the best odds you have at survival are still just the hope that someone sees you initially fall and can keep an eye on you.

With rough waters to catch your fall, cold temperatures, strong currents sucking water underneath the ship and potential bad weather, you will rarely see someone survive a dip into the water more than 1 or 2 hours.

With this being said, as long as basic safety is abided by, a fall will never happen. In the past years only about 200 people have fallen overboard out of the 30 million that cruise on average every year.

Pro Tip: I know this easier said than done, but if you were to fall over board, try your best to stay calm! The more you flap your arms and legs around, the shorter you'll be able to stay afloat.

5. If We Have To Evacuate The Ship, Your Dog Gets Left Behind

I know this sounds like a rare thing, but more people than you think have dogs on board for health reasons. Guide dogs are allowed to cruise with their owners as long as a few basic rules are followed.

You may not have a dog, but here is a list of other things you should pack for your first cruise!


If worst came to worse, and we were evacuating passengers due to an emergency, the dogs chances of being allowed on a lifeboat are pretty low. They are allowed only if no one on the same lifeboat has a problem with the dog boarding with them.

With many people having allergies or problems with animals, especially in a crises situation, one “no” from a passenger out of potential hundreds or passengers on one single life boat is expected. This means the dog’s chances of being brought along are pretty low.


What things freak you out about cruise ships? Would any of this keep you from booking that next cruise?

Make sure to subscribe for all you want to know about Cruising and Life Onboard a Cruise Ship! Gollow me on Instagram to keep updated with all things travel and cruising! As always, God Bless! I hope to see you somewhere around the world.

Love, Kait

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