‘Secret cruise code language’ used in emergencies ‘Be wary if you hear Echo or Oscar!’

Jane McDonald takes an American cruise around Alaska

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Onboard a cruise ship, crew members are working 24 hours a day to make sure the community of passengers stay happy and healthy. One former cruise director has lifted the lid on how the staff communicate with one another when certain situations arise. Apparently, there is a “secret cruise code language”. 

Brandon Presser was invited to “join the ranks as temporary director of” Royal Caribbean International’s “largest ship, Harmony of the seas”. 

The ship is as big as five Titanics and Brandon “knew [he] was signing up for the most manic week of [his] life”. 

As cruise director, his main responsibility was to oversee the happiness of the thousands of passengers and crew on board. 

He explained: “I had my hands in every department, from ship activities and entertainment to onboard revenue, making sure that everyone and everything worked in, well, harmony. 

“Everything is 10 times crazier when you’re mayor of a city that’s floating in the middle of the sea.” 

So how does the crew manage when a situation arises? There’s a “secret cruise code language” apparently. 

Brandon revealed: “It’s crucial for the staff to have code words so that passengers don’t get freaked out if something goes wrong. 

“A ‘30-30’ means the crew is asking maintenance to clean up a mess; three times during my stint I called in a ‘PVI’ (public vomiting incident). 

“An ‘Alpha’ is a medical emergency, a ‘Bravo’ is a fire’. 

“‘Kilo’ is a request for all personnel to report to their emergency posts, which happens in the event of, say, a necessary evacuation. 

“Be wary of ‘Echo,’ which is called if the ship is starting to drift, or ‘Oscar,’ which means someone’s gone overboard. 

“A crew member told me he’s had only four or five ‘Oscars’ in 10 years of cruising,” Brandon added. 

The former cruise worker also revealed a few other interesting facts, for example, the most popular alcoholic beverage to be ordered onboard is a cinnamon fireball shot. 

He went on to reveal “the biggest issue involving alcohol is when the ship is docked in Mexico”. 

An afternoon of passengers drinking to their hearts content on land, combined with “tropical head a few glasses of Mexican tap water, and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed ‘PVI.’” 

Brandon also spoke about the “hardest” guest to have onboard – a celebrity. 

“To give them privacy amid thousands of cruisers,” is difficult, he told Bloomberg.com. 

“We usher them into shows after the lights go dark, and we grab them to leave five minutes before the show is done.” 

A-listers on board with their families included Kelsey Grammer, Adam Sandler, and Seth Rogen.

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