When you’re away for most of the year and cut off from the rest of the world, it’s way easier to get away with hiding some major secrets. This is why so many cruise workers lead double lives when they’re on the ship. It’s not uncommon for certain couples to have wives at home and a whole different relationship as soon as they set sail. Apparently, marriage vows may not really hold up in international waters.
There have also been reports of gay men who are closeted on land but very open and out-of-the-closet on the ship. Being cut off from the world gives you a chance to be who you want to be, not who you feel you have to be on land.
Forget keeping up with Game of Thrones or your favorite TV programs. If you work on a cruise ship, you’re lucky to keep up with the news in general. As much as it may pain you to not see your favorite team smash next season out of the park, sometimes it’s impossible to tune in. Internet connections at sea are notoriously expensive and unreliable. Often times, you have to catch up when you dock, leaving days between when you get your news and not. For this reason, many cruise workers tend to stop following news, sports, and pop culture altogether.
Crew members don’t want to alarm passengers. Guests are on vacation and don’t need to know about every little emergency – especially if it doesn’t have to do with them. What sort of mass panic would it cause if every passenger suddenly knew there was a small fire on the ship? It’d be hectic! Because of this, crew workers use certain codes that they can announce on a loudspeaker without alarming passengers.
For example: “Code Adam” means a child is missing, “Code Alpha” means there’s a medical emergency, “Code Oscar” means someone fell overboard, and “Code Bravo” means there’s a fire on the ship. Pictured above is a case of a “Code Bravo” when the Star Princess cruise ship caught on fire in the middle of the night in 2006. The fire is thought to have been started with a discarded smoldering cigarette.
Work hard, party hard – this motto holds true for cruise ship workers. When workers aren’t working, they’re probably drinking and partying. In fact, the crew has a special “crew only” bar with insanely cheap liquor. For example, many cruises charge about $15 a drink for guests, but at the crew bar, you can get a cocktail for less than $1.50. The crew definitely party hard, but they’ve got to be careful. Ships sometimes subject employees to random breathalyzer and drug tests, though it’s not always enforced. A former cruise ship worker who spoke to Trend-Chaser let us know just how lax the rules often are.
“The crew isn’t supposed to get drunk pretty much ever,” he said. “Everyone is told they’re not allowed to actually get drunk, but then you go drinking with your HR person and she has four or five drinks.” Apparently, people drink on the job all the time and just fly under-the-radar. As long as you’re not making a spectacle of yourself, you’re probably good to go.
If you’re looking to find a fun fling while you’re on contract at sea, look away from anyone who may be on vacation. Cruise workers are strictly forbidden to hook up with guests, and it’s one of the easiest ways to get booted from your job. In fact, according to an anonymous cruise worker who spoke to Trend-Chaser, the crew is actually discouraged from interacting with guests one-on-one. This helps protect the cruise line from any sort of accusations that may hurt the ship’s reputation. If you’re caught breaking the rules, you’ll be kicked off at the next port.
Just because crew members can’t hookup with guests doesn’t mean they’re celibate at sea. In fact, it’s sort of the opposite. Crew members frequently get down and dirty with each other. Think about it: you’re around the same people for nearly a year at a time, isolated on this ship. You’re in romantic, exotic locations with tons of alcohol on hand. Hook ups are bound to happen, and according to an anonymous cruise worker who spoke to Trend-Chaser, they happen a lot.
“People hook up all the time. There are a ton of crew parties,” he said. Hooking up is so prevalent that the crew areas on ships often have posters about STD prevention.