9 Things Cruise Lines Don’t Want You To Know

In this video you’re going to discover the nine things that cruise lines don’t tell you, and don’t want you to know. Hi I’m Gary Bembridge and this is another of my Tips For Travellers. Please subscribe to the channel and you’ll never miss the next video packed full of travel tips and advice. The first thing that cruise lines don’t tell you and don’t want you to know is that the ports that are listed on your itinerary are not guaranteed. The cruise lines are able to, at the captain’s discretion, change or not call into a port if it’s deemed that it’s either unsaf,e the weather’s too bad or the some incident that prevents them or they feel it’s not suitable going into that port. So the cruise line doesn’t tell you upfront that you may not go to all of the ports that are listed on your itinerary. Of course they normally do a try and do everything they possibly can to make all the ports, so for example I’ve actually been on a cruise where half of the six ports that we were due to call on we never made it to, and I’ve been on many other cruises where one or two of the port’s have had to be cancelled or skipped. Normally it’s due to weather. Another thing that the cruise lines don’t tell you, but it’s very important to know, is that the cruise ships do not wait for passengers who are late back to the ship. Perhaps they have gone self touring and have lost track of time and don’t get back by the all aboard and departure time. If you’ve gone on a cruise line excursion and it’s running late, the ship will wait for that. But if you are late back to the ship and the ship has left without you, they also leave you on your own. It’s up to you to make your own plans and either get yourself back to the ship or head home. They do not provide support and help. Often the port agent will try and be as helpful as possible. Also if you have a medical emergency and you have to leave the ship for medical reasons, the cruise line will also then leave you to then sort it out yourself. So again very important to make sure that you have travel insurance to cover yourself if you are perhaps late back to ship and stranded in port, or if you do have a medical issue, then the ship will not wait for you and also the cruise line will take no responsibility for sorting you out if you are left behind. Another thing that the cruise lines don’t tell you and don’t talk about is about crime. Now crime does happen on a ship. The good news is though the level of crime is likely to be much lower than it is on land. Now it gets a little bit murky in terms of the statistics and no one’s 100% sure of how much crime that’s actually happened on cruise ships, because there’s no strict regulations about where crime gets reported – and who gets reported to. Now in terms of the reported crime statistics, which are pretty low, the main reported crime is actually assault and sexual assault. Now bear in mind these numbers though are pretty small. It’s also not known how much for example theft takes place because it’s felt that many of these statistics on small theft are probably not reported, and just sorted out within the ship. So bear in mind when you go aboard a cruise ship you’re not entering a guaranteed crime free. Most cruise ships also have some kind of prison facility. Now this may just be a room with very little furniture and where, if there is a member crew or a passenger that needs to actually be held in a prison situation, there is normally space onboard which is known as the brig. One of the things that cruise lines do not talk about is that they do dump a lot of stuff into the ocean. There are very very strict rules and regulations about what can and cannot be put into the ocean, and in fact Cruise Lines follows some stricter regulations than they are required to by maritime law. So let’s take a look at what actually they are allowed to put into the ocean. They are allowed to put in to the ocean sewerage once they’re into international waters. The maritime regulations actually allow you to put untreated sewage into the sea, however cruise lines follow the CLIA (the Cruise Line Association) regulations where they only put treated sewage into the sea. Food waste is also normally processed. It’s crushed down turned into almost a liquid form and this can also be released into the ocean once they head into international waters. Grey water is another key side product of cruise ships, so this is stuff that comes out of the showers, perhaps from washing dishes, and again this water is normally treated and is able to be put into the ocean. All glass is separated into color, its crushed down and put into bags and is disembarked in certain ports and they sold on to people who do recycling. Also your cabin steward and other people on board and the environmental team will make sure that all other waste is sorted, so paper, plastics, etc is sorted. Many cruise ships will incinerate a lot of rubbish but are not allowed to put that ash into the ocean and it gets taken off when in port. There is very strict regulations though on things like chemicals, that are used perhaps for creating photographs, cooking oil and those type of products and they are not allowed to put those into the ocean. So those have to be packed up and they are disembarked in a port. One thing I recommend you do is if there ever is there behind-the-scenes tour which includes meeting the environmental officer, do it because it’s really interesting to go and have a look at the whole recycling and the treatment plant on board a cruise ship – and they will explain in much more detail with that specific ship does in terms of getting rid of waste. Of course the other thing to realize is that cruise ships do have a pretty big carbon footprint. The cruise industry is trying to improve it, so there are more regulations around the type of fuel used, how much fuel is used, the speed that they travel and of course looking for alternative forms to make it more eco-friendly – but of course it does have a big carbon footprint. The next thing I want to talk about is that people do go missing off cruise ships. Up to 19 people go overboard or missing from a cruise ship every year. Now bear in mind there are millions and millions of people that go cruising, so the number is pretty small. Also bear in mind that it is pretty much impossible to fall off a cruise ship. Anyone who’s been on a cruise ship will note that the railings are pretty high, and so most people go overboard tend to have done it because they’ve either deliberately jumped overboard or they’ve been very drunk and irresponsible and done things like climbed up on the railings. Whilst we’re looking at this slightly ghoulish side of cruising, the other thing that cruise lines don’t tell you is that they do have a morgue and they’re also required to carry body bags. Most publicly available reports say that up to 200 people a year die on board a cruise ship, most tend to be elderly passengers. So the numbers dying on board are relatively low when you consider the huge amount of people that go cruising, and most of the deaths are due to natural causes. If someone dies on board the normal procedure is to take people off at the nearest port, have a death certificate and repatriate them home. If you hear over the public address system “Operation Rising Star” that indicates that there has been a death on board. The other thing that cruise lines don’t tell you very overtly is that although they’re owned normally by American, or perhaps British owners, they register the ships in foreign places particularly Liberia, Panama and the Bahamas. The reason for this is they then do not have to follow the rules of their country where they are owned, they don’t follow US. rules or the UK rules, and they can follow the rules of the country where they’re registered, and those countries which are flags of convenience countries tend to have much more liberal employment laws, environmental laws, safety laws. So actually the cruise lines are able to operate their ships with less strict regulations than they would if they’re registered for example in the United States. Another thing the cruise lines don’t really tell you upfront is that their cancellation policies are incredibly tight and very very strict. So of course it’s buried within the cruise contract, but importantly make sure that you understand what the cancellation conditions are when you book a cruise. So for example in many cases you will lose up to 25 percent of the cruise fare if you cancel up to 90 days, now normally what that means is whatever deposit you’ve paid. You will usually lose between 90 days and 60 days you can lose anything up to 50% or sometimes even 75% of the cruise fare if you cancel. And after 60 days and certainly after 30 days you’re going to lose anything between 75% and 100% of the fare. Also importantly many cruise lines count a name change as a cancellation. So if you have perhaps traveling with a friend or a partner and they have to drop out for whatever reason and you want to substitute someone, many Cruise Lines will count that as a cancellation. Make sure that you understand what the cancellation charges or penalties are going to be and take up travel insurance that’s going to cover cancellations, because you never know what’s going to happen – particularly booking a cruise way in advance. Another thing that cruise lines don’t tell you is when you book and buy your ticket you’re actually accepting the cruise contract. So you’re not given the cruise contract to look at, but it’s in the brochure or you can look at it online. You are agreeing when you buy your ticket and pay for the ticket to the contract. A couple of things that people don’t always understand that the contract includes are some of the following: so for example there’s normally a clause that says that the cruise line is able to search you and your cabin whenever they want to without having giving you a very strong reason to do that. Secondly they’re also saying they take no liability for contractors. Now many of the facilities on board like photography, the spa perhaps lecturers are not normally employed or often not employed by the cruise line, and the cruise line is saying that they will have no liability if there’s any issues. That even in many cases includes medical facilities, which are often contracted out to a separate company. The third area is around photography. Often in the cruise contract it will say that the cruise line can take images of you, and they are able to use that in marketing or even advertising in many cases without rewarding you. On the other side sometimes cruise contracts state that if you take images they can also stop you using them whether it’s on social media that can ask you to take them down or whether you want to use them on blogs or whatever. So sometimes in the cruise contracts it actually restricts what you can do with your own photographs. Also very very importantly, the cruise contact will normally state where if there’s any litigation or legal dispute where the jurisdiction is going to be. They can decide to name a particular court so if you ever end up having to get into dispute with the cruise line, and go to court, they will in the cruise contract to determine where that court will be – and of course they’re likely to have chosen a court or jurisdiction which they think is going to be best for them. I hope you find that helpful and has given you something to think about.