Cruise secrets: Crew member reveals painful truth about what really happens between staff

Cruise ship holidays see hordes of passengers descend on the vessel. While for passengers, cruises are an excuse to relax and enjoy oneself, it’s hard work for those who work there. Cruise ship crew members work for weeks at a time and the job can be very hard indeed.


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Often, crew are young and come from all walks of life so it stands to reason that sparks do fly between them.

An ex cruise ship crew member revealed that while romances start onboard, ending them can be rather tricky.

Jay Herring explained that there’s a very common way relationships come to a halt onboard.

Herring revealed in his book The Truth About Cruise Ships what happened to him when a romance began to fizzle out.

“We continued to sleep together even though I had zero interest and zero attraction to her.

“I held on until she signed off because it was the easiest way to end it.”

Herring went on to explain a “common practice” on board.

He said that many people are afraid of actually ending a relationship while out at sea.

“This was a common practice on ships,” Herring wrote.

“Instead of dealing with a breakup and then continuing to see the same person every day, people just waited until the signoff date.”

Another cruise ship worker, Joshua Kinser revealed how crew can end up being attracted to someone board that they’d never go for in normal life.

In his book Chronicles of a Cruise Ship Worker, Kinser explained that crew tend to develop “ship goggles” when it comes to the attractiveness of those around them.

“An interesting phenomenon occurs when you’re put into an environment where you generally only see the same one thousand or so crew member for six months. You realise that beauty is relative,” wrote Kinser.


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“After a crew member spends six months with the same shipmates, anyone who is breathing and has properly functioning sex organs is considered dateable.

“This is the phenomenon that crew members call ‘ship goggles’… after five months on a ship, a guy with a face that has all the handsome qualities of a blowfish will get as much attention from beautiful women as the Beatles did back in 1964.”

According to Herring, sex is actually one of the main activities onboard a cruise ship.

“Cosmopolitan magazine conducted a survey and found that 80 per cent of the passengers polled felt more sexually excited at sea than they did on land,” he wrote in his book.

He added: “I think it’s because the ship environment is so different than what people are used to on land.”

Former cruise ship crew member David Brian Bruns shard his experience of what crew really got up to in his book Cruise a la Carte.

“They’re all far from home, working hard at something nobody back home can possibly relate to,” Bruns wrote. “All are generally young, generally attractive, and generally can’t get on board unless squeaky clean.

“Many are looking to make memories, many are desperate to feel good for just a few minutes. Finally many have never experienced freedom from parental – or village – scrutiny before.”

The cruise ship worker added: “Working on a cruise ship is a work-hard, play-hard lifestyle.

“For most of us, it’s only a short period in our lives, when we’re young and adventurous. Why not make the most of it?

“You have a world-wide smorgasbord of bodies to choose from, probably from the only time in your life. That’s worth losing a little sleep over.”

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