Cruise secrets: Cruise worker reveals passengers take this big ‘risk’ on Caribbean cruises

Cruise ship holidays in the Caribbean may be on many Briton’s wishlists but such trips don’t come without their dangers. A former cruise worker has revealed one way passengers put themselves at risk on Caribbean holidays at sea. This comes about when there is no dock at the port or the dock is at full capacity and passengers have to journey ashore in smaller boats called tenders. “Tenders often carry about fifty passengers at a time, and you’re often taking a risk when you climb aboard a tender,” ex cruise ship worker Joshua Kinser wrote in his book Chronicles of a Cruise Ship Member.

Cruise ship crew reveals passengers take this big ‘risk’ on Caribbean cruises

“Most people cruise in the Caribbean where the weather is extremely volatile.”

Kinser recalled one episode which saw a passenger-filled tender struggle in very bad weather off the coast of Saint Thomas.

“A fleet of six or seven tenders was still attempting to return to the ship,” he said.

“The tenders couldn’t rope up to the side of the ship; the seas were too high.

“They were in no man’s land, forsaken castaways trapped between ship and shore.”

Kinser continued: “The tender would disappear behind a wave, and everyone feared it would capsize and the Coast Guard would be called.

“I imagined them dredging the bottom of the Caribbean sea, only to cover the badly sunburned bodies of passengers with braided and beaded hair, each clutching their soggy boxes of Tortuga Rum Cakes, perfectly sealed bags of illicit Cuban cigars, unopened bottles of rum and their winnings from hermit crab races.”

Fortunately, Kinser’s fears did not materialise and the tale did have a happy ending.

“Eventually the seas died down and the tender passengers wobbling and dehydrated and ready to punch the lights out of the captain, stumbled back aboard the ship,” he wrote.

Kinser cautioned: “When you step onto a tender, you are putting yourself at the mercy of the sea.

“Do it at your own risk, and bring a paper bag, Dramamine, seasickness patches, and plenty of water, and be sure to check the weather report.”

Another former cruise ship worker has revealed what crew really get up to when they head to land – and passengers would likely never consider doing the same.

Former officer Jay Herring revealed in his book The Truth About Cruise Ships that when crew got off onto dry land – rather than exploring exciting places as passengers would, they’re often keener to do something much more mundane. 

“There were other things that the crew did in port that most passengers would never do,” Herring wrote.

“Things like going to the movies or playing mini-golf were almost as much fun as any shore excursions because it made you feel normal again.

“Even going to the local grocery store was enjoyable because the package labelling and products – in Mexico, for instance – were unfamiliar, and I got to see the locals living in their element rather than faking an image for the tourists.”

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