Ship workers have been revealing exactly what happens behind the scenes on a cruise liner.
And it appears that crew members having ‘so much sex’, T-shirts being flushed down the toilet and elderly people dying are among the things passengers on board never get to know about.
The revelations emerged on an online discussion that was sparked after an internet user asked for cruise liner secrets to be spilled.
Reddit user willfulpool posed the question: ‘Cruise ship employees, what are things that happen aboard the ship that the guests don’t know about?’
He got hundreds of responses, many from former cruise workers, who lifted the lid on life on the seven seas.
Several mentioned the cramped sleeping quarters that staff on board are forced to live in.
One commenter, stylz168, wrote: ‘Was on a cruise recently and struck up a conversation with one of the performing artists from a show.
‘He told me how cramped the sleeping quarters were for the crew, and basically created to be shared spaces.
‘So if he wanted to have sex with his wife, he would have to schedule it around the other two people who shared the space
While PhantomSplit added: ‘If you think that you don’t have much space in your room then you should see the crew’s quarters. The crew is packed in like corn on a cob.
‘Take that single person room you have, double the size, but now six people are sleeping and living in there.’
And it seems that as the staff in the cramped areas get very close, many also get intimate.
OptimalGoat added: ‘Oh man are the crew all having sex with each other. Just… all the time.
‘You work with like, 20 other people in your department, all in this little prison of a job for six months at a time, except every few weeks two to three of the people might just be swapped out to other people.’
PhantomSplit added: ‘The crew has so much sex. There was a place in the main crew area with free (sh****) condoms but the STD rate is still through the roof. Well over 50 per cent. It honestly amazes me how much sex everyone has when everyone is also sharing rooms. But most employees will be on the ship eight months out of the year and all that pent up tension will get released one way or another.’
Elderly passengers passing away on board was also brought up with many former cruise workers saying it is more common than people think.
One revealed: ‘A family friend use to work for a cruise line and told me deaths are common, especially with the elderly.
‘Senior/nursing homes are expensive and for a much smaller price tag the elderly can be gone for a week or two at a time and have people constantly checking on them and they get all their meals.’
And Notmiefault added: ‘I did a behind-the-scenes tour of a cruise ship once and they showed us the morgue.
‘They also have two full ICUs on board since, even with helicopters, it can be days between someone falling ill and getting them to a proper hospital.’
PhantomSplit, who claimed he used to work in the engine room of a cruise liner, unveiled more about life on the open waves, including how companies circumnavigate employment rights, what customers flush down toilets and how smokers held up the refuelling process.
He explained: ‘The one thing to realise is that most cruise ships sail under a “flag of convenience”.
‘This means that they register the ship under some country that has some really relaxed regulations. For you the customer this probably does not mean much. But for employees this is important because it means there are not always strict regulations on how you get paid or competitive wages.’
He continued: ‘You would be amazed at what people will flush down the toilet. Pool noodles, T-shirts, shoes… pretty much anything that people don’t want to pack with them when they leave.
‘The ship also needs to fuel up (bunkering) and sometimes passengers are on board while that is going on. No open flames are allowed outside while bunkering is ongoing and this becomes a problem with passengers who need a smoke.
‘To get around this they smoke in their rooms, which sets off the smoke detectors. There is also a regulation that bunkering must immediately stop if a fire alarm goes off until the hazard of a fire has passed. So somebody from the crew has to go to your room and make sure it isn’t on fire. Then they call down to the engine room to report it’s a false alarm. Then we can start the pumps again.
‘On average, bunkering is usually interrupted three or four times due to this and it’s annoying as hell.’