Stocking a cruise ship with enough food for thousands of guests is no joke. Cruise ship staff have this process down to a science. Well, down to math, anyway. As it turns out, we humans are pretty predictable when it comes to our eating habits. Cruise ship managers and higher-ups can accurately predict what kind of food to stock on any given cruise based on where most of the passengers are from.
For example, cruises with a majority American audience tend to order and stock more ketchup, chicken, and eggs. If a cruise has predominately Chinese guests, the staff makes sure to stock more fresh fruit and seafood. These statistics may be generalizations, but they help the crew run their cruise in a way that makes everyone happy and satisfied.
Subliminal Staff Messaging
If you think cruise ships are giant cash cows, you’d be correct. Cruise ship staff are encouraged by their managers to encourage extra spending. The cruise ship itself is a well-oiled machine that employs certain tricks to encourage guests to spend time and money in certain areas. The cruise ship's PA system will often broadcast certain messages to subliminally influence the flow of traffic or encourage guests to visit a less-utilized part of the ship.
Customer-facing crew members will also throw in some lines in their speeches to promote certain activities, like visiting Starbucks or checking out the ship’s casino. Some activity managers have been known to film their daily newscast with a Starbucks Venti latte in-frame. If you suddenly want a pumpkin spice latte after watching one of those broadcasts, that might be why.
The Secret Burn Book
Have you ever worked a customer service job? Yes? Then you know how silly and ridiculous customers can be. It’s no different on a cruise ship. In fact, the high concentration of people in such a small area might even make notorious customer behavior even worse. To cope, many cruise ship crews have a secret burn book filled with the dumbest guest interactions.
These burn books are often filled with the weirdest questions and requests asked by cruise ship guests. A former Royal Caribbean director divulged that their cruise ship’s burn book had such silly gems as, “How long does it take the crew to get home every night?” and “Is the ship parked backward? I can’t find my cabin.”
No Smooth Sailing for Short Sails
Want some insider advice on how to avoid catching norovirus, the ever-dreaded cruise contagion? Listen up. Cruise staff has seen it all, and they know the best ways to avoid catching this highly contagious virus. The most basic way to avoid being caught in an outbreak is to avoid short-term cruises altogether.
Royal Caribbean crew members highly recommend avoiding these cheaper, shorter cruises because they tend to draw in older guests who are more susceptible to catching something. These cheaper cruises also attract younger partiers who are usually more focused on the all-you-can-drink bar instead of basic sanitation and hygiene. Yikes.
“Wash Your Hands!”
If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you’ve probably noticed that all cruise staff members are obsessed with hand washing. It’s kind of annoying, really. Like, who doesn’t wash their hands on a regular basis? Well, plenty of people don’t, and cruise ship staff know that all too well. Staff encourages hand washing and basic hygiene to lessen the risk of a norovirus outbreak onboard.
Here’s an insider pro tip about the whole “wash your hands” messaging. If you notice that PA messages and staff members really ramp up the hand-washing reminders, it’s probably because there’s been a small outbreak on board. Part of a cruise ship’s Outbreak Prevention Plan is to increase hygiene messaging without freaking out passengers. Now you know.