Ex-FBI agent on cruises used specific training to deal with drunk passengers

A former FBI agent has revealed the skills he possesses from his time in the super-secret governmental department came in handy when he later worked on cruise ships, particularly when having to deal with drunk guests.

Now, it may happen fairly often on cruise ships that holidaymakers get carried away with their drinks package and sink too much booze to cope with. While many people will simply fall asleep in their room or on a sun lounger some can become aggressive or inappropriate and the staff has to intervene.

Vincent McNally told Insider he went on a cruise after leaving his job in the FBI and thought being a cruise security officer would suit his needs. He allied and went on to work for Holland America Line cruises from 2005 to 2011.

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Security officers on cruise ships play a number of roles including investigating any criminal activity on board and keeping the crew and passengers safe and calm. Vincent worked for three to four months at a time and was able to bring his wife aboard – so they lived on the ship for six months at a time.

However he also had to work long hours from 8am to 10pm – and he claims one of the tricky parts of the role was dealing with drunken holidaymakers. Vincent noted: "People were on vacation, so alcohol was almost always involved if there was an issue with a passenger.

"I used my first responder training in hostage negotiation and acute traumatic stress management to negotiate people out of bad situations. I ended up teaching management and security staff on how to utilise those principles to handle any kind of situation.

"One of the ways I solved the alcohol problem was by creating contracts for problematic passengers to sign saying they won't drink for the rest of the cruise or they'll get kicked off at the next port. It helped a lot — we'd never have a problem with them again."

The security officer isn't the only person to reveal what it's like to work on a cruise ship. One worker explained that the sex lives of ship staff vary wildly – from one night stands at the secret crew bars to breaking the rule and sleeping with passengers. They admitted that passengers and the crew are forbidden on every major cruise line that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.

While passengers are warned against getting drunk and rowdy on ships, being inebriated isn't the only booze-related mistake that could land you a hefty fine.

Cruise passengers have previously been warned that a drinks package mistake could end up being particularly costly, even if done with good intentions. Explaining the etiquette and rules most people may not know, the experts at Panache Cruises have explained that sharing a drinks package is often a violation of your booking policy. If you're caught, you may have your drinks package revoked (with no refund) meaning you'll need to pay for drinks individually and this can quickly add up. In some cases, cruise lines may even issue you with an on-the-spot fine for breaking the rules.

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