The cruise industry is often misunderstood. People who have never taken a cruise may believe all kinds of crazy myths about what life’s like on a cruise ship. Even those who have cruised before may be surprised to learn that some of these cruise facts are actually not based on truth at all.
Read on as we dispel some popular cruise myths…
MYTH: Cruise ships are causing over-tourism
REALITY: Cruise passengers represent just 2% of tourists in the world. Even in a sensitive location like Venice, cruise passengers make up only 5% of visitors.
The cruise industry recognises the importance of tacking destination overcrowding and works closely with communities in key locations to address their concerns.
MYTH: Cruise ships are breeding grounds for gastro-intestinal diseases
REALITY: Illnesses like norovirus are much more common on land than on-board cruise ships.
Your risk of getting norovirus on land is about 1 in 15 each year. However, during a cruise, your risk is 1 in 5,500. Less than 1% of all norovirus outbreaks occur on cruise ships.
Strict practices are in place to help prevent outbreaks of disease on cruise ships. Passengers are screened before they embark the ship with boarding denied to anyone who has recently had symptoms of illness. Regular hand washing is encouraged. Public areas are cleaned very regularly including a top to bottom clean before each cruise.
MYTH: Cruise ships operate outside the law once they’re in international waters
REALITY: Cruise ships are highly regulated, even when at sea. They are covered by local, national and international laws wherever they sail.
Cruise ships up to 12 nautical miles from the coast are with a country’s territorial waters and almost all of the laws of that country will apply. Ships between 12 and 24 nautical miles from the coast are within a country’s contiguous zone and that country has certain rights. Ships more than 24 nautical miles from the coast are considered to be in international water and are covered by the laws of their flag state (where the ship was registered).
Cruise lines voluntarily report any serious crime allegation on oceangoing voyages worldwide, regardless of the ship’s location and flag.
MYTH: Cruise ships are crime hotspots
REALITY. Crime rates on-board cruise ships are much lower than on land.
According to data from the FBI, cruise ships are 25 times safer than a typical city in the United States. Cruise ships have high levels of security and allegations of major crimes on-board cruise ships are very rare.
Take a look at the security centre on-board a cruise ship…
MYTH: Cruise ships release untreated sewage into the ocean
REALITY: Cruise ships never ever release untreated sewage into the sea.
Ships have advanced waste management systems which treat waste water to a higher standard than the methods used in many cities.
MYTH: Cruise ships are really bad for the environment
REALITY: The cruise industry is leading the way in environmental advances.
Cruise lines have committed to a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. To do this, the cruise industry is investing $1 billion in new technologies and cleaner fuels to reduce air emissions.
On-board a cruise ship, each person produces less than 700g of unrecyclable waste per day, compared to 2kg on land. This means that cruise ships recycle 60% more waste per person than would be recycled on land. Some ships can even recycle 100% of waste.
This video shows the efforts that cruise lines are making to become leaders of environmental stewardship:
MYTH: People going overboard on cruise ships is becoming more common
REALITY: Over the past ten years, there has been a 35% decrease in the rate of man overboard incidents. This is despite a 55% increase in passenger numbers.
There have been no known cases of someone acting responsibly who has accidentally fallen over the railing of a cruise ship. Every case of passengers going overboard has been either intentional or the result of reckless behaviour.
MYTH: Cruise ships don’t always have enough lifeboats for everyone
REALITY: By law, every cruise ship must be equipped with enough survival craft to accommodate at least 125% of the number of people on-board
All cruise lifeboats are tested to meet rigorous international guidelines. Cruise ships must also carry enough lifejackets for everyone on-board, although in reality they usually have many more than are legally required.