Cruise ship holidays welcome all sorts of Travellers on board who are keen to enjoy their trip away. Needless to say, cruise companies want everyone on the ship to make the most of their time on board. This means keeping everyone happy – and they have a nifty trick to help make this happen when it comes to evening entertainment. On certain cruise ships – namely Cunard, Crystal, Silversea or Holland America – you may notice a well-dressed, dashing, mature gentlemen on the dance floor.
It can be tempting to think that, if this man asks you to dance, he could well be interested in you.
However, while this gentleman may be very attentive – his motives are not romantic in the slightest.
He is a dance host – or ambassador host – whose role is to ask ‘unescorted’ woman to dance.
The host will be talented at a range of dances including the foxtrot, waltz, swing and cha-cha.
He could be useful if you’ve come aboard with a partner who is unwilling to dance or indeed if you’ve come away alone.
Cruises are not entirely about having fun, however, as health and safety is a priority.
This means that guests have to attend a muster drill at the start of the cruise – even though most people hate going to them.
“It’s no secret that passengers have a special hate/hate relationship with the emergency boat drills that take place at the beginning of each cruise,” said former cruise worker Joshua Kinser in his book, Chronicles of a Cruise Ship Member.
“For most passengers, it only takes one boat drill to become instantly aware that they are something you absolutely dislike.”
Kinser continued: “I fully understand the desire to throw the boat drill over the rails.
“Nothing says care-free holiday like starting it off donning your life jacket so you can listen to an officer tell you what to do if an iceberg slices the hull of the ship wide open like a can opener or how to jump overboard it the cruise liner runs aground and become the world’s largest artificial reef off the coast of Italy.”
However, the Kinser also warned passengers of the importance of these drills. “In all seriousness, these emergency boat drills could save your life,” he said.
On a similar note, cruise passengers are also urged to display good hygiene in a bid to prevent the spread of illness.
One disease of great concern on a cruise is norovirus – also known as the winter vomiting bug (although it can strike any time of year). Norovirus causes projectile vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches and stomach cramps.
To prevent such illness spreading it’s vital passengers and crew wash their hands often – especially after going to the toilet – and use sanitising gels before entering dining areas.
Cruise ship doctor Ben MacFarlane recalled in his book Cruise Ship SOS what happened when they suspected “the dreaded noro.”
“If there’s any risk that they’ve snuck in from land then we pretty much go onto autopilot,” he wrote. “We’ve been rehearsing our protocols and procedures every few weeks. If the alert levels rise too far we pretty much lock the ship down.”
“At Code Red almost every member of the 1,000 strong crew will play some part in the fight-back procedure, even if it’s only washing their hands a few more times every hour,” he said.