MANY cruise passengers base their bookings on the destinations and calling points crammed into their action packed itinerary – yet a huge secret about the ship’s schedule shake ups has been revealed.
Cruise lines call at a variety of different destinations, allowing passengers the chance to hop on and off board as they please. Often the boat will have a home port from which the journey begins, before venturing to a collection of countries usually in similar geographic areas. When the liner pulls into port, guests have the choice of staying on board to make the most of the plush facilities or venturing to the local attractions. Here they can explore by themselves or enlist the help of a cruise ship guide.
Yet when there is a switch in the schedule, passengers on board can frequently find themselves in unexpected locations.
According to former cruise ship officer Jay Herring sometimes these schedule changes are not coincidental, and actually maximise revenue for the cruise firm.
He let slip the details in is new book, The Truth About Cruise Ships, and wrote: “The itinerary of some ships is scheduled to change throughout the year.
“Often when a ship changed its itinerary it often changed its home port, and this was called repositioning.
“to maximise revenue, the cruise line sometimes booked passengers on these repositioning cruises.
Cruise secrets: The way cruise lines benefit from changing the itinerary revealed
“This meant that passengers would embark at one port and disembark at a different port, but often the ship sailed without passengers while repositioning.”
He told how one vessel on which he was travelling, The Triumph, originally had a home port of New York City, which switched to Charleston in South Carolina.
This later changed to Miami as its final home destination port.
Jay added: “It only took a day to reposition the ship each time, so instead of booking passengers for a one day cruise, the ship sailed empty.”
Meanwhile, passengers may also be advised to listen out for particular language used on board.
During their downtime, a cruise ship employee has revealed the secret language they use to communicate, especially during times of stress and disturbance, when a code language may be needed to prevent passenger alarm.
Cruise secrets: The itinerary and home port of a cruise ship can be changed while on route
Cruise Secrets: The trick means more revenue as more passengers can be brought on
Staff on Royal Caribbean Cruise’s Harmony of the Seas have told how the language can prove essential in an emergency.
Druy Pavlov, veteran cruise director, has told how the phrase “Oscar” could be a doomed name if uttered by employees.
He told how it means “someone’s gone overboard”, therefore an emergency for the crew to tackle.
Meanwhile, the phrase “Echo” also has negative connotations, as it means the liner is starting to drift off course.
“Alpha” is used in a medical emergency, such as the recent norovirus outbreak on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas.