8 Offbeat And Unusual Cruise Ship Questions Answered !

8 Offbeat And Unusual Cruise Ship Questions Answered !


You’re about to discover the answers to eight of the more unusual, curious and inquisitive questions about cruising. I’m Gary Bembridge, this is
another My Tips for Travellers. There are eight questions
I hear people often ask on a cruise ship or ask me about cruising. They really are slightly unusual, and a little bit on the quirky side. So I thought I would answer them right here, right now,
starting with this one. Is there a jail on board a cruise ship? Well, actually there is. There’s what’s known as a brig. Now if there’s some issue, normally passengers will be
restricted to their cabin, but there is, on most
cruise ships, a brig. This is normally a pretty
secure room, nonlinear security, where they can hold up rowdy passages, or in fact, I guess, crew until they get to the next port and can hand them over to authorities if something serious has happened. Now in reality, one of the big challenges
on board cruise ships is crime and how much crime
exists onboard a cruise. The statistics suggest crime rates are not particularly high. However, it’s quite
difficult to understand because there’s no requirement and no central registry because of the way that cruises are run and where they’re registered. However, one of the
ways of looking at crime is there are eight serious crimes, which cruise companies have to report if they’re either
embarking or disembarking in the United States. Of those eight serious crimes, three of them are the most reported, that’s assaults, sexual assaults and thefts of large amounts
of high value property. However, it’s not really known how much kind of petty crime
exists on board a cruise ship. There are no police on board and security will deal with most issues. So the things you tend to hear about are the more serious things. Saying that, in terms of the
amount of crime per thousand or hundreds of thousands of passengers, it’s really low on a cruise, so when a crime does
happen on a cruise ship, it tends to get a lot of publicity, but it is kind of hard to get the stats. But if you do fall foul
and you do commit a crime or cause a disturbance,
there is a brig on board, which you will be thrown into. The second question that I get asked a lot and hear asked a lot is, how many people die on
a cruise every year? Well actually the number’s
surprisingly small, around about 200 deaths are
recorded on cruise ships. And bear in mind something
like 21 / 22 million people cruise on cruise ships every year. It’s a pretty small number. Most of those deaths are related to age, so dying of old age on board a cruise. Things to look out for on a cruise is if you hear over the Tannoy
system, over the loudspeakers, Operation Bright Star, that means there’s a
medical issue on board, some sort of medical emergency on board. And if you actually hear
Operation Rising Star, that means there has
been a death on board. Of course the cruise
lines are not normally likely going to publicise it, if it happens because it normally happens
kind of discreetly in a cabin or whatever. So what do they do with the bodies? Well actually cruise
ships do have a morgue and have to carry body bags and normally, the body is put in a body bag, it’ll be stored in the morgue. Now what happens to that body, depends a little bit on the port. Some ports will want the
body to be disembarked, I guess sometimes the family
will want the body disembarked. In other cases, the
body will stay on board until the ship gets back to
the port it started in, because that just makes it
much easier for the cruise line and often for the family to deal with. The third question is, is it a ship or is it a boat? A lot of people on cruises go crazy when people call a cruise
ship a cruise boat. So what is the right terminology? Well, in the whole military area and all the maritime worlds, one of the rules that people use is you can put a boat on a ship but you can’t put a ship on a boat. So if you look at cruise ships, they actually have boats on them, they have lifeboats on them, so that does make them a ship. So it’s kind of an informal thing. Another point of view is, anything over 20 metres i.e over 60 feet, is considered a ship. So actually, for example, in
river cruising for a long time, they were called river boats because they were shorter
than 60 feet long. However, the general view is that anything that’s over that size is a ship. So as in in the military
world, anything over that size is likely to be called a ship. In practise, there’s no right or wrong. However, people who are into cruising will tend to call it
a ship and not a boat. You’ll even find some cruise captains, believe so strongly in it. So I have been on cruises, for example, on Celebrity Cruises, where Captain Kate is renowned
for a badge that she wears, which says it’s a ship, not a boat. The next question I hear a lot and it’s actually one thing I
wondered about for a long time is why is the safety drill
called a Muster Drill? It’s quite hard to find
out the reason for that, but it seems to be it’s
always been called that and it comes from the word muster, which means to gather,
and it’s just stuck. It’s become one of those
terms for the safety drill. Very important, of course, the safety drill has to be done within 24 hours of passengers embarking. Since Costa Concordia
that’s become even stricter. And now cruise lines do that before the ship actually sets sail. The fifth question is, if you’ve ever looked
at a daily programme, you’ll see there’s a couple of
people have lots of friends. So, Bill and Dorothy, for
example, have lots of friends. So the question you could ask is, why on earth do Bill W., Dorothy and Jimmy have so many friends that they actually have a meetup? Well Friends of Bill W., was the one that really kicked it all off, and it’s because cruise lines originally, didn’t want to say that they were hosting
Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Bill W. refers to William
or Bill W. Wilson, who was one of the co-founders of the AA. Dorothy was the codename, way back when, for the LGBT community. You’ll find nowadays,
that very few cruise lines talk about Friends of Dorothy meetings, and they will just call them LGBT meetups. Nowadays, it’s the Dorothy slang word has kind of disappeared and
people just call it LGBT. The other one that you may see, although it’s much less
common is Friends of Jimmy. And Friends of Jimmy K. refers to the NA or Narcotics Anonymous, which
was founded by James Kinnon. Most cruise lines though, will tend to direct people
looking for an NA meeting, or Friends of Jimmy K. to the
Friends of Bill W. meeting. So that’s why Bill, Jimmy and
Dorothy have so many friends and meetups on board the ship. Another question that I hear a lot is, is it salt water in the toilets? Of course, no one’s
going to get close enough to actually find out
and test for themselves. Well, actually, originally, it was salt water in the toilets. That’s before desalination plants and when they were really expensive
and were just prohibitive. So salt water was actually
used both in the showers and also in the toilets. That created a lot of
problems because, of course, rust and all sorts of problems
in the actual equipment, but it was originally salt water, today, it’s not salt water. The next question is, where does all this clean pure
non salted water come from? There’s actually three places that it can come from on a cruise ship. The first, and the most
traditional of all, is what’s known as bunkering. Bunkering is the maritime term for loading water onboard
a ship and of course, if water is bunkered on a cruise ship, it’s tested on board to make
sure it’s all safe to drink. However, nowadays cruise
ships will tend to make their own water. And two ways of doing that, the first of the processes that cruise ships use themselves on board is known as steam evaporation. So this is where the
cruise ship uses the heat, the huge amount of heat that’s
generated by the engines. They take salt water, they heat it up, it evaporates, the water evaporates, all the salts and stuff is left behind, they then turn the steam back into water through condensation and they have water that they can then treat and use. The other process which
is the most common process is known as reverse osmosis. So what happens here is salt
water is taken on board, and is basically pushed through a microscopic screen, which
then keeps all the salts and the stuff like that behind, and only the fresh clean
water goes through, of course the water is then treated and made sure that it’s
safe to drink and consume. So those are the three key
ways that the ship gets water that people can drink and use on board. So water is perfectly
safe to drink on board, it’s processed and treated
extremely thoroughly before it’s sent through the
ship for consumption and use. The next question is around waste. Now clearly, on ships of
several thousand people, an enormous amount of waste
is going to be generated both human waste and rubbish waste. So what actually happens
to all of that waste? Let’s talk, first of all, about sewage. By international law, ocean going vessels are actually able to put sewage in the sea once they’re 12 miles out from land and they’re going a certain speed. However, cruise ships are
however not allowed to do it. So all cruise liners which
are part of the CLIA, the Cruise Line Association, abide by policy which says
that no untreated sewage will be put into the sea anywhere
in the world at any time. So what happens? Well, it’s treated on board. First of all, they take black water, which is basically human waste, and they take grey water, so that’s water that’s come out of things like the kitchens or
the basins or the showers. Those two waters are
combined in certain ratios, they’re then treated by normally sort of bacterial treatment, which purifies it. It then goes through another process, and they use UV to really treat the water rather than chlorine or chemicals because ultimately the
water, once it’s treated, and it is back to being completely safe and free of impurities, it is released, normally, back into the ocean. When it comes to food waste, all the food waste is collected and it goes through these grinders and turn basically into a runny mixture, which then is normally also able to then be released into the sea. Sometimes, of course, it
is then pumped in on land. When it comes to other items,
there’s also a whole process. What’s important to know is, cruise ships have an
Environmental Officer on board who is in charge of all
of these various operations. So when it comes to waste, your
cabin steward, for example, will sort through all of your waste and sort it into plastics,
into metals, into paper. All of the glass collected on board, is sorted by colour, it’s ground down, and then is disembarked
because it’s sold off as waste that can be recycled on land. Paper is sorted out, it’s all bundled up and again that’s handed
over and sold for recycling and the same is done
separately for cardboard and of course for things like metal cans, which are all crushed down. So there’s a huge big operation. One of the things I
would encourage you to do if you’re ever on a cruise ship that offers a full behind-the-scenes tour, which you’ll often have to pay for, but it will take you right and down into the depths of the ship and you get to meet the
Environmental Officer and you get to see the
whole process in place, and it’s really, really interesting to see how they take the waste, both human waste and the grey water, and paper and glass and cans. And it’s really good to see first-hand how it’s all dealt with. So there’s a whole big recycling operation that takes place on board cruise ships. Those are the answers to eight of the most probing, unusual
and slightly quirky questions that I hear about cruising. Hope you found that helpful, I’d love it if you watched
another one of my many videos packed full of cruising
tips and advice right now.

40 thoughts on “8 Offbeat And Unusual Cruise Ship Questions Answered !

  1. Gary, years ago I was with a group cruise and one of the 'gentleman' in the group got taken to the brig for drinking too much!! I guess this doesn't happen anymore with the introduction of drink packages on almost all cruise ship lines! Thanks for the vids!!

  2. I took the behind the scenes tour on the Queen Victoria last year and it was really interesting. There is a whole world below decks that passengers normally don't get to see.

  3. Muster – military term from Napoleanic wars when a roll call of people assigned to a unit had to be verified and certified that they existed

  4. In the Navy we just called it an abandon ship drill. Of course I can understand why the cruise industry might prefer to avoid that kind of language. Another term that I believe used to be used on passenger ships, but has been largely abandoned, was "lifeboat drill."

  5. I like these videos, but they get repetitive a lot. I mean, most of these questions were already answered by you in another video. Maybe you could start checking that part out. Making new content more often than recycling old content.

  6. Here's a question why use the term Port, Starboard, Forward and Aft instead of just saying Left, Right, Straight or Back?

  7. This is one of the most interesting cruise videos ever. I knew about the brig, morgue, and "friends" meetings, but little to nothing about the water and waste treatments. Very encouraging.

  8. Hello Gary good video as usual with amazing educational content that oneself has to acquire before cruising as it’s a superb homework tool to utilise with so thanks take care and cheerio

  9. Here is some interesting sound codes so you could know whats going on when you here it. They differ from one cruise line to an other. More you will find on Wiki.
    Alpha, Alpha, Alpha is the code for Medical Emergency aboard Royal Caribbean ships.
    Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, used by many cruise lines to alert crew to a fire or other serious incident on board without alarming passengers.
    Charlie, Charlie, Charlie is the code for a security threat aboard Royal Caribbean ships and the code for upcoming helicopter winch operations aboard c-bed accommodation vessels.
    Oscar, Oscar, Oscar is the code for Man Overboard aboard Royal Caribbean ships.

  10. A question I've heard is why do they have the initials M.S. before the name of the cruise ship as seen on a life ring. M S is for Motor Ship. S S is for Steam Ship (which is rare these days).

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