Here Are 15 Well-kept Secrets About Cruise Ships

You may have already travelled on a cruise ship without taking the time to explore it in its entirety. But we are certain that you have wondered more than once: Where does that door lead and what is it like to be part of the crew. Here are some things you didn't know about them and some of the best well-kept secrets of cruise ships.


Cruising can be intimidating for a novice sailor. Especially since we have all heard more than one cruise ship horror stories. Disparitions, shipwrecks and more… From the crew to the ship, cruises are a great mystery. The more often you travel on cruise ships, the more secrets and shortcuts you will discover. But if you have never lived the experience from the inside – as a crew member or an organizer – chances are you are still very curious about the whole thing. And perhaps you should, as there are many secrets that most cruise lines don’t want you to know.

This list of cruise secrets will answer your questions while spilling the tea on things you never suspected. If you are a fan of vacationing on cruise ships, it will definitely help you navigate like a pro and know which parts of the boat you should absolutely avoid. After that, you’ll be able to claim that you’re a cruise expert!

1. All ships have room to store three dead bodies

P.J.L Laurens/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

If someone dies on board the boat, the body will be placed in the morgue. Thus, there is no need to turn around or dock somewhere to transfer the deceased body to land!

2. The crew members call the passengers “cones”

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Why cones? Passengers are often slow and cautious when walking, so the crew constantly walk around them to move around the ship. After all, unlike the passengers, the crew members have long since completed their master’s degree in walking on a boat!

3. Try to party with the crew to get cheaper drinks

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On sea days, crew members are expected to dress up, go out, mingle with the passengers and celebrate without drinking too much. The crew also pays less for drinks, so why not make a friend? Your bank account will thank you!

4. Most cruise ships really have a “prison”

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If there is a hostile incident between guests or crew members, they try to resolve it without physical intervention, but if this is not possible, most cruise ships have at least one cabin designated as a “prison”. So, you must behave if you don’t want to end up there, and maybe got a trial or something?

5. You can fight seasickness with green apples and crackers

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Are you seasick? Instead of ruining your trip, and thus wasting all the savings you spent on this cruise, try green apples and crackers: some crew members swear by this remedy. You can also get free seasickness medication inside the boat.

6. Surf for free by offering your services as a speaker

Apostleship of the Sea/Flickr/Public Domain Mark 1.0

Many major cruise lines offer free passage for qualified guests to give conferences on board. Call the line entertainment office to see if your classes paid off so you have the necessary skills.

7. Look at the horizon calmly if you are suffering from seasickness

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If you are seasick, claim your place in the middle of the boat and as close as possible to the waterline (this area does not move as much as the front). Lie down so you can see the horizon (which places your head in a fixed position).

8. It is very expensive to go through the Panama Canal

US DOT/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Cruises are expensive, not only for customers, but also for the cruise industry itself. To pass through the Panama Canal, ships pay per berth (or per bed). For an average cruise ship, it costs about $300,000. This probably explains the high cost of some cruise tickets: if they don’t want to go bankrupt, they have to plan ahead!

9. Drink juice to save money

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You are almost always charged an extra fee for soft drinks, beer, wine and cocktails during meals. However, this is not the case for juices. Saving money 101!

10. Wait until you get to the port to go to the spa

Hartmann Linge/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Cruise lines often offer discounts on spas when the ship is in port. So save a little energy by avoiding an outing, and at the same time, relax!

11. Jump into the port of call and enjoy the empty boat instead

Ken/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Stopovers can be missed. Often, you can barely see the place you are visiting, and you pay a high price for the privilege (or lack thereof) if you book an excursion. If you can handle missing six hours of a tour bus, stay on board. Most of the facilities are still open, and you will have them all to yourself. Spending your time like that is really not a waste of time, you’ll see!

12. The crew has its own bar (cheaper)

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The crew has its own bar where they can drink cheaper, hence the excellent idea of making friends with some of the crew members! More savings in the making!

13. Behave well on board the boat

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If you misbehave, the captain has the right to have you leave the ship at the next port without refund or return home. So make sure you have an irreproachable behaviour, or your investment in a cruise for your vacation will be lost.

14. Always be polite to the captain.

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The captain is extremely important on the ship, so if you see him walking, look him in the eye and if the opportunity presents itself, shake his hand and thank him for the wonderful trip he offers you. It can’t hurt to have the captain on your side if you have a problem on board. That’s how business works, after all!

15. Doors are not closed on cruise ships!

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Almost no door on a cruise ship locks. There is no lock in case of an emergency situation. So if you feel curious one night, take a look around. You can explore most parts of the ship at night.