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.
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.”
Guess What? Guests are Predictable!
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.
“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.
The Staff Won’t Flirt
It’s a common sense rule that cruise ship staff members are not allowed to hook up with guests. That’s a whole can of worms that no cruise company wants to open. So, if a staff member is ever caught hooking up with a passenger, they are immediately fired and sent home. Cruise ship staff members are nothing but professional, though, so this is usually never an issue.
If anything, cruise passengers are usually the ones being inappropriate with staff. Workers have to deal with flirtatious, handsy, and cringey behavior all the time. Staff is trained on how to avoid, diffuse, and de-escalate tense situations of a romantic nature. One cruise worker said he always poses for photos with passengers with his thumbs up. That way, his hands are always in plain view. No one can accuse him of being inappropriate.