With summer right around the corner, it’s time to start packing your bags and prepare for cruising season. Whether you’re destination be the mystifying shores of the Caribbean, the naturally beautiful islands of Hawaii, or even the untamed wild of Alaska; there’s almost no downside to cruising anywhere around the world. Anyone of any age can find fun on a cruise making it one of the most popular ways to vacation in the summer. The following list celebrates this hedonistic hobby by offering 10-interesting facts about cruising.
1. The first-ever cruise ship
The Prinzessin Victoria Luise was a German passenger ship and is considered the first cruise ship ever built. The ship launched on June 29, 1900 and was used almost exclusively for cruising. The ship would take famous and wealthy passengers all over the world to locations like New York City and The Black Sea.
The ship didn’t have a long cruising career however, when in her fifth year of cruising the ship got into a crash while on a trip to West India. The tragedy, was caused by a simple yet catastrophic mistake when the Captain of the ship, Captain Brunswig mistook a lighthouse for the port they were supposed to dock at. The ship ended up climbing into the rocks of the lighthouse causing it to never cruise again.
© MSC Divina
2. Food, Food, Food
I hope you’re not on a diet, because prepare to eat, a lot. Some cruise ships have more food on the ship then what most people will eat in their life times. A one-week cruise can sometimes go through 46,800 eggs and over 19,723 pounds of chicken. Cruise ship operator of the “Oasis of the Seas” gave a run-down to the Associate Press on how much food is stocked on a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean.
The ship is loaded with over 18,314 pounds of Beef, 1,899 pounds of coffee, 14,800 pounds of potatoes, 31,900 bottles and 900 cans of beer; and that’s only the beginning. It’s no surprise that the average weight that most people put on after a cruise is five-10 pounds. If you’re cruising this summer make sure to stay away from a scale following your trip.
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The wildlife enriched state is predicted to once again be one of this years most popular cruising destinations among travelers. Alaska is looking to break its own passenger record in 2018, according to a 2018-2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report, with an estimate of more than one-million passengers taking a cruise trip to Alaska this year. According to the The Cruise Lines International Association, Alaskan tourism makes up for one in eight jobs within the state and the cruising industry there is responsible for generating 19,842 jobs and $991 million in wages in 2016.
But why Alaska, you may be wondering. Well most of it has to do with the untamed wildlife and natural beauty that is scattered throughout the 49th state. There’s an abundance of illuminated bright blue glaciers and wildlife patrolling the land, air and sea; and on most cruises to Alaska you can see it all from the comfort of your ship. On cruise-lines like Glacier Bay cruises, a national park ranger is required to be present on ship and provide informative commentary about what you’re looking at and what to look out for. It may seem like a weird location to cruise to but upon looking at any pictures of the natural beauty of Alaska it becomes apparent why the destination is highly sought after.
© H. 128
4. Cruise ships actually have morgues
On a much darker note, most large cruise ships have a designated morgue in the rare case that a passenger passes away during the voyage. Most commercial cruises are also stocked with body bags and if a death does in fact occur, cruise staff is prepared to hold a body onboard until the ship reaches a port large to make arrangements for the deceased. With the average cruise ship passenger being middle-aged and with thousands of people onboard, it makes sense that most cruises have a contingency plan if a passenger pushes up daisies.
5. The world’s largest cruise ship
The world’s largest cruise ship is Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, measuring in at 226,963 gross tonnes or 508,397,120 million pounds. Or at least the Harmony of the Seas used to be the largest ship until Royal Caribbean unveiled their new ship this year, the Symphony of the Seas weighing in at 230,000 tons and being just 70-feet shy of the height of the Empire State Building. The cruise ship is set to make its maiden voyage on March 31, 2018.
6. A new Titanic in 2019
Speaking of large ships, one of the most iconic “large” cruise ships of all time is being reimagined as a Titanic replica is set to sail in 2019. The replica is receiving a lot of buzz for trying to mimic every last detail of the original Titanic ranging from the light fixtures to the original European cuisine. In an interview with The China Daily, Su Shaojun, one of the ship’s financiers stated, “Many blueprint fragments found their way into the hands of collectors or remained missing. We spent many years collecting the blueprints from many parts of the world and managed to obtain most of them.”
© Dennis S. Hurd
7. Cruise lines for your weirdest fantasies
Did you know that there’s a cruise line dedicated to service cat lovers or even cruises made for passengers to have a completely nude voyage. That’s right, there’s tons of cruise lines tailor-made to service even your weirdest fantasies. Earlier this year, a cruise named the Walker Stalker sailed the sea’s with fans and cast of the popular television show The Walking Dead. Nudist cruise lines are also gaining popularity, companies like Bare Necessities launch a cruise every year that carries 3,000 bare-skinned passengers on the appropriately named boat, “The Big Nude Boat.”
While many imagine pirates to be like Captain Hook or Jack Sparrow, pirating is a serious issue for some cruises; especially cruises that go into the Indian Ocean close to the coast of Somalia. After boarding ships and seizing desirable goods, these pirates often ransom the passengers and ships back to their countries. While most of these attacks exclude luxurious and more popular cruise lines, they are still not completely unheard of. According to Cruise Critic, “In more than a decade, there have been only six-reported incidents of pirates attempting to attack cruise ships.”
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9. Amenities continue to get crazier
Onboard amusement parks, five-story water slides and live concerts featuring legendary bands have quickly become the standard on almost all cruise ships. Cruise lines aren’t slowing down either as new off-the-wall amenities are added to the most popular cruise ships. Like on Royal Caribbean’s “Quantum of the Seas” which features the first skydiving simulator at sea. Or on Disney’s Magic cruise ship which features a three-story high water slide that starts with the floor dropping out from underneath you and sends you down a slide that at one point leaves the side of the boat.
© Kevin Nguyen-Tu
10. Customer satisfaction and a competitive industry
While only a few cruise companies like Royal Caribbean, Disney and Carnival dominate the cruising market; the industry remains extremely competitive and thrives on customer feedback. In 2017, a market research company named Statista asked travelers to rate their overall cruise experience with 59-percent saying their experiences were“quite positive,” two-percent rating “quite negative,” and not one cruiser in the study choosing the poorest rating of “very negative.”