Dedicated cruisers have probably experienced bad weather conditions several times and some new cruisers have been unlucky enough to experience it too. When the cruise ship is in choppy seas there are procedures in place to provide safety for guests and crew onboard. Let’s take a look at what is done onboard when the ship is sailing in bad weather conditions.
Closed Open Decks
When there are high winds during the cruise it can be dangerous to be out on the open decks. Some open areas located on the starboard and port sides can be more dangerous than the areas where usually the main pool is. Some guests may not realise how gusty the winds can be so the crew will go into action to keep everyone safe.
Any access to at risk areas will be closed off, chains blocking the stairwells and roped off doorways. There will be a notice at any closed area informing passengers there are high winds.
Nets Over Pools
It’s common for the swimming pools to be covered up with netting, why? To stop guests getting in and having a swim when the ship is rocking. When the weather is bad the ship will rock around and you can really see just how bad by seeing the waves in the pool splashing everywhere. Just do a search on YouTube and you’ll find plenty of videos featuring ship swimming pools in bad weather conditions.
The nets will keep guests out but sadly not the water in. Don’t get too close or you’ll be soaked! With most pool areas located outdoors it might be best to stay inside anyway during bad weather. The entertainment staff will put on extra activities and events to make up for it.
When the vessel is hit by bad weather the captain may decide to use the stabilizers. These are two large fin type parts which emerge from both sides of the ship’s hull. Located underwater the stabilizers will help make the ship become more stable through the strong winds and waves. The stabilizers do use more fuel so are usually only used if really needed. They are part of most modern cruise ships
Motion sickness is part of cruise life and the cruise lines are prepared. When there is bad weather the crew will provide guests with seasick bags. Depending on the cruise line, they are provided by the stateroom steward and also put in some public spaces around the ship. To be honest if the motion is that bad it’s best to stay in the cabin, if you’re in a ocean view or balcony then close the curtains so the ocean can’t be seen going up and down.
Store and Hold
Often the captain will inform all departments around the ship that a storm or bad weather is on the way. Hotel departments like the gift shops which has all kinds of valuable liquor displays, racks and merchandise will usually lock everything down. Items will be taken off the shelves and on to the floor and racks will be taped to the walls so they don’t crash over. In the past those liquor bottles have gone smashing all over the floor costing thousands of dollars. Thankfully now the ship is ready for these situations and many movable objects can be stowed away.
Hope these give you an insight into what is done when the cruise ship is sailing in bad weather. Hopefully none of you have ever experienced this, in many cases the captain will decide to sail around any oncoming storm, but this would also affect the ship’s itinerary. If there is anything you would like to add then please feel free to post in the comments below.