10 Shocking Cruise Ship Facts You Never Thought Of

Just how big is the largest cruise in the world? Do they have a jail onboard? Click here to learn some fascinating cruise ship facts just in time for your trip.

More than 23 million people take a cruise each year with more than 300 ships traveling around the world. Most passengers don’t know much about the mini-city they board to sail the open seas and explore foreign lands. Keep reading for 10 interesting cruise ship facts that you never knew you wanted to know.

1. Largest Cruise Ship is 228,081 Gross Tons

Royal Carribean Cruise line believes size matters and owns some of the world’s largest and most luxurious ships in the world today.

Symphony of the Seas was launched for her maiden voyage in 2018 and is a massive 1,188 ft long and 215 ft wide. This ship can handle more than 6,600 passengers at a time. 

It took the title of the largest cruise ship from another Royal Carribean ship, Harmony of the Seas, which is a formidable 226,963-tons.

Symphony of the Seas has more than 20 restaurants, 40+ bars, and lounges, stores, theatres, and even has a 10-story high slide located aft. There are over 20 pools, whirlpools, and waterslides for guests to enjoy as well as a zipline that is over nine stories high.

2. There are 233,701 Employees in Cruise Industry in North America

Almost a quarter of all Americans have taken a cruise. They all need to be fed, taken care of, cleaned up after and entertained while aboard. This takes more than 233,700 employees in the North American cruise industry to make that happen.

As cruises continue to gain popularity as an all in one entertainment and adventure vacation choice, this industry will continue to require greater numbers of employees to meet that growing need.

Cruise ships are major employers for entertainers and those in the hospitality industry because of the unique opportunity to see the world through their employment.

3. Florida, Alaska, and Mexico Have This in Common

You may not think that Florida, Mexico, and Alaska would have much in common but they are the three top cruise ship industry capitals in the world. For these destinations only there are even more cruise ships facts!

Florida sees more than 6 million people boarding cruises in that state.  Alaska has 3.5 million cruise ship visitors each year.

Internationally, Cozumel is the next busiest port (behind Port Miami and Canaveral, Florida) with over 12,000 cruise ship calls each year.

The Bahamas is one of the most popular destinations in the world and sees numbers comparable to Alaska with more than 3.6 million cruise ship visitors each year.

4. People Live on Cruise Ships

It’s not just the staff and employees that live on cruise ships. That’s right some people have found a life on the sea is more to their liking than a traditional home.

There are a couple of ways to do this. Some people actually buy an “apartment on the sea” and pay close to $100,000 a year for a home on one of the luxurious cruise ships that sell permanent residence on board.

Others simply book back to back cruises and take advantage of sales, long-term and senior discounts to come up with a more economical option than an assisted-living facility on land.

5. Most Ships Have a Jail, Medical Unit, and Morgue

While you always hope for the best, you have to plan for the worst and that doesn’t change when you’re traveling the ocean blue. This can be especially true when you have thousands of people partying with unlimited alcohol packages. 

While the majority of vacations on cruise ships are the trip of a lifetime and people love their trip, there are a few people on every trip that drink a little too much or may face some type medical emergency.

One of the most shocking cruise ship facts is a jail cell hidden away at the bottom of the vessel in the crew areas. Let’s hope you never get to see one!

Thousands of retired elderly vacationers will eventually lead to the need for a morgue to discretely keep a body without any undue distress for other guests. Most ships have a morgue that can hold one to three bodies.

6. Say Cheese

It takes a lot of food to keep thousands of passengers fed in the dozens of restaurants, buffets, and bars. Each must be stocked with supplies to last for the duration of a trip.

An average cruise ship will load more than 7,000 pounds of cheese, 2000 pounds of coffee, more than 14,000 pounds of potatoes and more than 21 000 ice cream cones with enough ice cream to fill them all. This is all loaded with precision before a ship can begin setting sail. 

You can’t forget the alcohol. There are more than 3000 bottles of white wine, 2500 bottles of red wine, and thousands of bottles of hard liquor to get the party started.

7. More Than Buffets, State of the Art Fun

Many people have the misconception that cruises are just for retirees in their golden years but there are cruises that cater to every age group from the youngest child to the oldest grandparent. There are cruise ships to entertain every age group and any interest.

From state-of-the-art digitally enhanced escape rooms to ziplines and waterslides, you can find fun and challenging activities for almost everyone. 

There are robotic bartenders on some Royal Carribean ships for those that prefer to be spectators of the more adventurous activities on board. There are ships with activities like Virtual Reality, surfing, and even skydiving simulators.

Norwegian Cruise Line offer ships with activities like bungee trampolines, go-karts, mini-golf, rope courses, aquatic parks, water slides, and climbing walls.

Carnival offers many of these activities and a SkyRide which is an experience similar to riding a bike in the sky. It is one bike ride you’ll never forget. Carnival Mardi Gras also has the first cruise roller coaster, the Bolt, which is a favorite for theme park fans and thrill-seekers from around the world.

Most cruises also have art shows, comedians, dance clubs, limbo contests, cooking classes, or wine tastings. You will never have an excuse to be bored and yet always have enough options to not feel rushed.

8. More than 5,000 Sprinklers

Even though you’re on the water, the ship needs to be prepared for a fire emergency. The average ship carrying 2,700 passengers will have more than 5,000 sprinkler heads that will go off if needed.

There are also approximately 500 fire extinguishers, 4,000 smoke detectors and a handful of firefighting crews ready to battle any unexpected blaze.

9. No Drones, Pets, or B.Y.O.B. Parties at Sea

While a cruise is all about having fun there are a few things you won’t be able to use on a cruise ship.

You can’t bring any open flames or heating devices such as irons, coffeemaker, incense or candles. You are allowed to have a curling iron or hairdryer and can use matches or regular lighters in designated smoking areas aboard the ship.

As amazing as it would be to get drone footage from the middle of the ocean and hopefully catch some viral footage of whales swimming nearby, you won’t be allowed to use a drone while at sea. You should check with any cruise line regarding their policies around drones and other devices on board as you may still be able to use during a port of call.

Unless your pet is a service animal then there are strict rules about bringing them on board too. Which is probably for the best as you don’t really want Fido trying to catch a passing seagull only to end up swimming with the fishes.

You won’t be able to bring your own alcohol for the trip either. And if you pick up any while in a port, you’ll have to hand it over until the cruise is over. This doesn’t mean your trip has to be a dry one, you just have to get your alcohol from them. 

You may be allowed a maximum of two bottles upon boarding, but each cruise line has its own policies around this.

Even if you leave from a state that has legalized marijuana use, don’t bring it with you. It is still a federal crime in the United States and will be treated like any other illegal substance.  

10. Some Religions Promise Heaven, Others Offer a Cruise

The Church of Scientology has a cruise ship that is referred to on their website as the “the pinnacle of a Scientologist’s spiritual journey”.

Unfortunately, for some, that journey also included a stint in quarantine and exposure to the measles but every journey has its challenges.

Cruise Ship Facts: You Should Book a Cruise

The majority of first-time cruisers are hooked for life and would recommend it as a vacation option for friends and family. It is the best of all worlds. It’s relaxation and adventure, fun and exploration, family time and more food than you can imagine available day and night.

Be sure to bookmark our site for easy access to all our cruise ship facts and vacation deals.

A dedicated cruise blog keeping readers informed on the latest news, informative cruise-related articles, forums and keeping track of the very latest ships. Find out more about us here.


Free expert cruise tips and news from Cruise Hive! We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Cruise Hive Awards 2023
Copy link