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How Much Does A Cruise Ship Cost To Build & Operate? (It’s a lot!)


Cruise ships are pretty impressive – even the smaller ones are stunning, epic works of engineering genius. And they’re hardly empty shells – they’re packed with cabins, restaurants, places to relax and things to do. None of which comes cheap.

Imagine the cost of your average hotel – now factor in making sure that the hotel can float, has powerful engines (and fuel) to move it between destinations, and the ability to power every room without being constantly plugged into the power network.

It all sounds terribly expensive – but how much does a cruise ship actually cost to build and operate?

Let’s take a look at the costs involved, as I think you’ll be impressed by the scale of it all.

The cost of building a cruise ship (they aren’t cheap!)

The cost of a cruise ship varies depending on its size and complexity, but many break the $1 billion level, especially the latest mega-ships. The average cost of an ocean cruise ship sailing today is $496 million (or £380 million).

So, on average, how much is a cruise ship? Well, this table shows the world’s most expensive cruise ships in order:

Cruise Line Ship Cost to Build Year Built Volume (GT tons) Guest Capacity
Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas $2 billion (rumoured) 2024 250,800 7,600
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas $1.43 billion 2010 225,280 5,412
Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas $1.35 billion 2022 228,080 5,518
Royal Caribbean Harmony Of The Seas $1.35 billion 2016 227,000 6,780
Royal Caribbean Symphony Of The Seas $1.35 billion 2018 230,000 6,870
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas $1.3 billion 2009 225,280 5,412
MSC MSC Europa $1.255 billion 2022 205,700 5,264
MSC MSC World Europa $1.255 billion 2022 205,700 5,264
NCL Norwegian Epic $1.2 billion 2010 155,900 4,228
Royal Caribbean Ovation Of The Seas $1.1 billion 2016 167,800 4,820
MSC MSC Seascape $1 billion 2022 169,500 4,540
MSC MSC Seashore $1 billion 2021 169,500 4,540
Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas $0.95 billion 2014 158,000 4,100
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas $0.95 billion 2015 167,000 4,180
P&O Arvia $0.95 billion 2022 184,700 5,206
P&O Iona $0.95 billion 2021 184,000 5,206
Carnival Mardi Gras $0.95 billion 2020 180,800 5,282
Costa Costa Toscana $0.95 billion 2021 183,900 5,322
Carnival Carnival Celebration $0.95 billion 2022 183,900 5,374
MSC MSC Bellissima $0.95 billion 2019 171,600 5,700
MSC MSC Meraviglia $0.95 billion 2017 171,600 5,700
Costa Costa Smeralda $0.95 billion 2019 183,900 6,520
Disney Disney Fantasy $0.94 billion 2012 128,000 2,500
Royal Caribbean Spectrum of the Seas $0.94 billion 2019 168,670 4,246
NCL Norwegian Bliss $0.92 billion 2018 164,600 4,200
NCL Norwegian Encore $0.92 billion 2019 167,800 4,200
NCL Norwegian Escape $0.92 billion 2015 163,000 4,200
NCL Norwegian Joy $0.92 billion 2017 167,400 4,400
Celebrity Celebrity Apex $0.9 billion 2021 129,500 3,260
Celebrity Celebrity Beyond $0.9 billion 2022 129,500 3,276
Celebrity Celebrity Edge $0.9 billion 2018 129,500 3,370
Disney Disney Dream $0.9 billion 2011 128,000 2,500
Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady $0.85 billion 2020 110,000 2,800
NCL Norwegian Prima $0.85 billion 2022 142,500 3,215
MSC MSC Virtuosa $0.85 billion 2021 181,541 4,810
MSC MSC Euribia $0.85 billion 2023 181,541 4,828
MSC MSC Grandiosa $0.85 billion 2019 181,541 4,888
NCL Norwegian Breakaway $0.84 billion 2013 144,000 4,000
Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas $0.83 billion 2008 154,400 3,634
Cunard Queen Mary 2 $0.8 billion 2004 151,400 2,592
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas $0.8 billion 2006 154,400 3,634
Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas $0.8 billion 2007 154,400 3,634
Carnival Carnival Horizon $0.8 billion 2018 133,500 4,700
Carnival Carnival Vista $0.8 billion 2016 133,500 4,716
NCL Norwegian Getaway $0.78 billion 2014 143,500 4,000
Costa Costa Firenze $0.78 billion 2021 135,225 4,232
Carnival Carnival Panorama $0.78 billion 2019 133,500 4,700
Costa Costa Venezia $0.78 billion 2019 135,500 5,260
P&O Britannia $0.77 billion 2015 141,000 4,370
Princess Majestic Princess $0.76 billion 2017 143,000 3,560
Princess Regal Princess $0.76 billion 2014 141,000 3,600
Princess Discovery Princess $0.76 billion 2022 143,700 3,668
Princess Enchanted Princess $0.76 billion 2021 143,700 3,668
Princess Sky Princess $0.76 billion 2019 142,700 4,272
Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the Seas $0.75 billion 2021 169,300 4,284
MSC MSC Seaside $0.745 billion 2017 153,516 4,134
MSC MSC Seaview $0.745 billion 2018 153,516 4,134
Carnival Carnival Dream $0.74 billion 2009 130,000 3,646
Carnival Carnival Breeze $0.74 billion 2012 130,000 3,690
Carnival Carnival Magic $0.74 billion 2011 130,000 3,690
Princess Royal Princess $0.735 billion 2013 139,000 3,600
Data: Cruise Mapper

Even though Icon of the Seas launched quite a while ago now, we haven’t had confirmed figures for her final build cost. But she’s likely the most expensive ship ever built even if the $2 billion estimation ends up being an exaggeration.

In comparison, the cruise ships sailing in 2024 that cost the least amount of money to build are SeaDream Yacht Club‘s SeaDream I and SeaDream II. They were built in 1984 and 1985 respectively and cost a mere $35 million each.

An alternative comparison you can make is to look at the most expensive cruise ship per berth. Most cruise ships cost in the region of $100,000 to $350,000 per passenger to build, but there are a few anomalies below and above that range.

The most expensive cruise ship ever built when you look at the cost per berth is the luxury expedition cruise ship Hanseatic Nature, which is operated by Hapag Lloyd for the German market. At $155 million, the ship wasn’t so expensive overall, but as she only has a capacity of 199 passengers that works out at a huge $779,000 per person.

That’s a lot of cruises that the ship needed to operate to make back her money!

Hanseatic Nature
Hanseatic Nature

Of the cruise ships to have a maximum capacity of at least 1,000 guests, the most expensive are the Oceania Marina and Riviera, which each has a capacity for 1,258 passengers at a cost of $380,000 per person to build.

Suggested read: New ships for 2024

Running costs of cruise ships

Of course, building a cruise ship is only the first step. Most of the cost of running a cruise line comes from operating and maintaining the ships.

The cost to operate a cruise ship varies depending on the size of the ship and where it’s sailing. As a guide, Royal Caribbean ships cost an average of $240 million per year to operate.

There are six main areas of expense for cruise ships:

1. Commission and transportation

This is a broad area that covers everything to do with getting passengers onto a ship. So that’ll be the cost of producing tickets, any commission fees paid to travel agents, and the costs involved in using a port for embarkation and disembarkation.

Port costs are normally calculated based on the capacity and tonnage of a ship – a bigger ship means more passengers will be boarding, which in turn means more space is needed, more security staff must be hired or paid for longer, and even just the cost of power for the terminal goes up too.

2. Onboard expenses

This area covers the cost of any facilities or features on the ship that cost money to run. So think entertainment, spas, shops and activities. These all need special insurance too, so that’s covered in this section of expenses. 

3. Payroll

A really simple one – the staff on the ship need to be paid. Again, depending on the size of the ship this will vary pretty dramatically. Often the larger ships will have as many crew as some smaller ships will have total passengers.

Suggested read: How Much Do Cruise Ship Workers Get Paid?

4. Food

Unsurprisingly, the cost of cruise ship food is high – cruise ships get through a lot of food, and so this expense gets its own category. There are all the upmarket meals that guests eat, including snacks and drinks, while the crew also needs to be fed while they’re on board.

Independence of the Seas restaurant
Fish & Ships on Independence of the Seas

5. Fuel

Fuel costs include the cost of buying the fuel, but also the cost of getting the fuel delivered to the ship and any costs involved with storing it. Fuel is expensive, and cruise ships spend huge amounts on it – more on that below.

6. Other expenses

The final category of expenses covers ‘everything else’, such as general repairs and maintenance, and the cost of insuring the ship as a whole.

Fuel is one of the biggest costs for ships

The amount of fuel used by a cruise ship depends on its size and cruising speed. The largest ships will use around 250 tonnes of fuel per day, which means a cost of around $187,500 per day.

Just like all fuel costs, the price of ship fuel has continued to climb, and ships can now expect to pay between $700 and $750 per tonne, depending on the port that they buy it from. Based on using 250 tonnes per day at $750 per tonne, that’s a mammoth sum, working out at over $68 million per year on fuel – for one ship!

Smaller ships will likely use between 100 and 150 tonnes per day. If we take an average of 125 tonnes per day, then a small cruise ship would spend just under $95,000 per day or $34 million a year on fuel. Still pretty pricey!

Maintenance matters too – ships need a lot of TLC

It’s been reported that around 7% of a cruise line’s revenue goes into ship maintenance. That averages out at around $19 million a year per cruise ship, although that figure fluctuates as cruise ships will do larger refurbishments every three to five years.

Ships go through a lot of wear and tear, but cruise lines don’t want guests to know about that. It’s important that everything is properly cleaned, repaired and maintained so that every guest gets the same high-quality experience.

Cruise ships are cleaned very thoroughly
Cruise ships are cleaned very thoroughly

This means there are ongoing costs to keep on top of smaller issues, and then larger refurbishments when features start to get tired and need an update.

These refurbishments often cost huge sums. Here are some examples:

Celebrity Revolution

Celebrity Cruises undertook a massive refurbishment programme towards the end of the 2010s, spending $500 million to modernise the entire fleet of nine ships and bring them in line with Celebrity Edge, at the time their newest ship. Suites and public areas were given an ‘epic makeover’ as part of the investment.

Celebrity Equinox
The newly revolutionised Celebrity Equinox

Norwegian Spirit

In one of the largest ever single-ship refurbishments, NCL spent $100 million to upgrade the Norwegian Spirit in 2020, carrying out a number of major enhancements.

I visited Norwegian Spirit just before the makeover, and she actually looked fine! A little dated, yes, but still in good condition as you can see from my ship tour.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent spent $125 million to upgrade the Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner from 2016-to 2017, following the launch of the Seven Seas Explorer. Compared to the $100 million NCL spent on one ship it doesn’t seem like an incredible sum, but these ships were already exceptionally luxurious.

Ships still make money (of course)

So, given the huge costs of building and maintaining cruise ships, you may now be interested to know how much profit cruise lines are making.

Owning a cruise ship is profitable, providing the ships sail with enough passengers – likely around 70% capacity. While there are huge expenses involved, cruise fares are designed to cover these costs while still being affordable to passengers.

Even deals like drinks packages are carefully planned out based on the data that cruise ships record. They’ll look at how many drinks they’re selling on average by passenger, and then offer a package that covers that cost.

Passengers who drink a lot will probably get value for their money but there’ll be a lot of passengers who take out a drinks package but don’t consume their share – extra profit for the cruise line.

A decent chunk of profit comes from casinos, spas, speciality dining and guests booking suites. As a general rule, if you book an inside cabin and decline the drinks, speciality dining, spa services and casino, the cruise line will make a loss on your stay.

Cruise ships vs. hotels

Royal Caribbean Group made $1.8 billion in profit in 2019. Hilton Worldwide Holdings made $886 million in the same year.

So the Royal Caribbean made twice as much money, which is even more impressive when you consider that Hilton has almost a million rooms in its hotels, whereas Royal Caribbean has around 70,000 staterooms on its ships.

In years since the global shutdown of 2020, many cruise lines have lost money rather than being profitable, but year-on-year things are improving again.

Per ship, it’s a decent chunk of change

A cruise ship will usually generate around $200 million to $300 million in revenue every year. The amount of profit that a cruise ship makes every year will vary but it’s usually between $20 and $40 million annually.

As I said above, Royal Caribbean Group made around $1.8 billion in profit in 2019, the year before the global pause. When you divide that between all the ships operated by the group at that time (across Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea Cruises and other smaller lines) that averages at $40 million per ship each year.

Ships will eventually need to be sold or scrapped

On average, a cruise ship tends to last for around 30 years if properly maintained, and they will usually undergo some refurbishments or a refit during that time to keep them updated.

That can vary though – some ships have a much longer lifespan. The longest-surviving cruise ship still sailing is the Sea Cloud, owned by Sea Cloud Cruises operating as an independent cruise ship for up to 64 passengers. She was first built in 1931 as a private yacht and served during World War II as a weather ship for the US Navy.

Sea Cloud
Sea Cloud
Photo: BaS via Wikimedia Commons

Hebridean Princess is another ship that’s had a long life – she was first launched in 1964 as MV Columba, serving as a car ferry and Royal Mail ship. She now serves as a cruise ship for Hebridean Islands Cruises around the islands of Scotland.

Here are some notable ships that no longer operate, and their lifespan:

Cruise Line Ship Year Launched Year Ended Service Years Active Notes
Carnival/Century Carnival Fascination/Century Harmony 1994 2022 30 Spent most of her life as Carnival Fascination for Carnival, until 2020.
Carnival Carnival Sensation 1993 2022 31 After being retired in early 2022 by Carnival, she was scrapped immediately.
Fred.Olsen Black Watch 1972 2022 50 Never returned to service after the global shutdown of 2020.
Fred.Olsen Boudicca 1973 2021 48 Began life as Royal Viking Sky. Various operators including Princess from 1993-97.
NCL Norwegian Star 1973 2021 48 Originally built for Phoenix Reisen, bought by NCL in 1997.
Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2 1969 2008 39 Cunard’s longest-serving ship, now operating as a floating hotel in Dubai
P&O Cruises Arcadia 1988 2021 33 P&O’s second Arcadia also served for Princess, and Cruise and Maritime
Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas 1988 2020 32 Served as MS Sovereign for Pullmantur Cruises from 2008 to 2020
Carnival Mardi Gras 1972 2003 31 Carnival’s first ship was sold on in 1993
MSC Cruises Melody 1982 2013 31 Sailed for MSC from 1997-2013. Started life as the Atlantic.
Carnival Carnival Fantasy 1990 2020 30 Served its whole life with Carnival.
Celebrity Cruises Horizon 1990 2020 30 Sold by Celebrity in 2005, served for Island, Pullmantur and CDF since
Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas 1991 2020 29 Served as MS Monarch for Pullmantur Cruises from 2013 to 2020
Princess Cruises Princess Patricia 1949 1978 29 Princess’ first ship when bought in 1965.
P&O Cruises Arcadia 1954 1979 25 Built as a passenger ship originally, began cruises in the 1960s.

The bottom line

Phew – quite the stat-heavy guide there, but hopefully you can see now just how big the numbers are when dealing with how much cruise ships cost, both when being built and to be maintained, and how much money they make.

Are the numbers what you expected? Or are they bigger, or smaller?

The numbers will only get bigger again, especially now that capacity is getting back to maximum levels and new, feature-packed ships are launching.

It’s an exciting time to be a cruise passenger with some of the epic ships on the horizon – that will no doubt cost a pretty penny. 

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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32 Cruise Industry Statistics and Facts (2024)


As we know, the cruise industry took a bit of a hit from 2020 until 2021, but the recovery has been pretty remarkable. 2022 and 2023 saw the cruise market boom once again, helped by a number of new ship launches

In this updated guide, I’ve got some key cruise stats that help show you the state of the current cruise industry, including key info from the last couple of years and a preview of what’s to come in 2024.

cruise statistics

2024 Cruise Industry Statistics

1. In 2023, the Cruise Market Recovered to Record Levels

31.7 million people enjoyed a cruise in 2023 – record levels that surpass even the numbers before the global shutdown.

According to the latest state of cruising report by the Cruise Line International Association, around 35 million passengers are expected to embark on a cruise in 2024.

2023 was the first year expected to be above 2019 passenger levels, with the industry recovering slowly from the global shutdown of 2020 – though not slow compared to some other travel industries.

2. Royal Caribbean Carried the Most Passengers of All Cruise Lines in 2023

(Individual cruise line reports)

Royal Caribbean carried more passengers than any other cruise line in 2023, with over 6 million passengers. However, the Carnival Corporation (including Carnival, Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises, AIDA, Holland America, and P&O) hasn’t yet announced its full statistics and it’s likely that the Group will have more passengers combined – it was 7.7 million in 2022.

3. 15 New Cruise Ships Were Delivered in 2023

The new cruise ships delivered in 2023 are shown in the following table…

Cruise Line Ship Cost (millions) Capacity
Seabourn Pursuit $265 264
Emerald Emerald Sakara $TBC 100
Oceania Vista $680 1,200
Viking Saturn $400 930
Swan Hellenic SH Diana $TBC 192
Explora Journeys Explora I $530 922
Virgin Voyages Resilient Lady $710 2,770
MSC Cruises MSC Euribia $850 4,800
NCL Norwegian Viva $850 3,219
Scenic Ocean Cruises Scenic Eclipse II $230 228
Silversea Silver Nova $205 728
Regent Seven Seas Seven Seas Grandeur $450 750
Carnival Carnival Jubilee $950 6,500
Celebrity Celebrity Ascent $900 3,260
Adora Magic City $770 5,246

Learn more about the new cruise ships launched in 2023 here.

4. Another 11 Cruise Ships Will Launch in 2024

In 2024, 11 new cruise ships are currently planned, including a brand-new biggest ship ever.

The ships due to be delivered in 2024 are:

Cruise Ship Cruise Line Capacity Launch
Icon of the Seas Royal Caribbean 7,600 January 2024
Sun Princess Princess Cruises 4,300 February 2024
Brilliant Lady Virgin Voyages 2,700 May 2024 TBC
Queen Anne Cunard Line 3,000 May 2024
Mein Schiff 7 TUI Cruises 2,900 June 2024
Silver Ray Silversea 728 June 2024
Utopia of the Seas Royal Caribbean 5,668 July 2024
Explora II Explora Journeys 922 August 2024
Viking Vela Viking Ocean Cruises 998 December 2024
Disney Treasure Disney Cruise Line 4,000 December 2024
Ilma Ritz Carlton 448 TBC Summer 2024

5. More Than 50% Of All New Cruise Ships That Launched in 2022 or 2023 Are Powered by LNG Rather Than Diesel

(CLIA)

Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is the cleanest fossil fuel and it represents an excellent alternative to diesel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and compact climate change. LNG also has virtually zero sulphur emissions. 

69% of diesel-powered ships have been fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) which remove 98% of sulphur content from exhaust emissions. 96% of non-LNG new ships will have EGCS installed.

Arvia being fuelled with LNG
Arvia being fuelled with LNG

Here’s a full list of all of the LNG-powered cruise ships currently sailing and under construction.

Cruise Ship Statistics

6. In 2023 There Were Over 300 Cruise Ships in the World

It’s not clear how many cruise ships are operating right now, because some of the smaller ships don’t always operate. There were believed to be 323 cruise ships by the end of 2022 and another 15 were added in 2023, but it’s not clear how many were sold or scrapped. It’s likely to be around 320 ships sailing right now.

According to CLIA this is still under 1% of the world’s commercial fleet of ships. 25% of ships are general cargo ships.

7. There Are More Than 50 Cruise Lines in the World

(CLIA, Maritime Executive)

There were more than 50 cruise lines operating in 2024, as recognised by the Cruise Lines International Association as well as some smaller brands.

The biggest additions to the cruise line world last year were Explora Journeys – a new luxury brand operated by MSC – and Crystal Cruises, which made its return after folding in 2022.

Explora Journeys
Explora Journeys was a new cruise line for 2023

8. An Exact Replica of the Titanic, Called Titanic II, Was Announced (Again) in 2024.

(Business Insider)

An Australian businessman has undertaken a $500 million project to build an exact replica of the Titanic cruise ship which sank in 1912.

The ship will feature modern-day navigation technology and safety systems and, unlike the original, it will have enough lifeboats and life jackets for all of the passengers.

You can learn more about Titanic II in this video…

The project was announced a long time ago, but only in early 2024 was an update given and it is still happening, though there is no timescale.

Suggested read: How big was the Titanic compared to modern cruise ships?

9. The First Cruise Ships Had Cows on Board To Provide Fresh Milk

(Associated Press, Cunard)

Cunard is one of the oldest cruise lines with a history dating back to 1840. On the earliest cruises, cows were kept on board to supply fresh milk before being slaughtered and eaten on the final day of the voyage.

These days, over 40,000 pints of milk are brought on to a cruise ship for a two-week cruise. To produce that amount of milk in two weeks would require 25 dairy cows.

10. 2024 Saw The New ‘Biggest Cruise Ship in the World’

In early 2024, Royal Caribbean’s ship Icon of the Seas launched as the biggest cruise ship in the world.

Unlike previous new ‘biggest ship’ launches such as Wonder of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas, this is not a minor increase within the same class. This is a brand new Icon Class, which is significantly larger.

The previous biggest ship launched in 2022, and that was Wonder of the Seas. She had an internal volume of 236,857 gross tons and a maximum passenger capacity of 6,988.

Icon of the Seas exceeds those stats by some way, with a volume of 250,800 gross tons and a maximum passenger capacity of 7,600.

She really is iconic.

Read more: Icon of the Seas Size Comparison

Ariel shot of Icon of the Seas
Icon of the Seas

11. The Most Expensive Cruise Ships Are Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas… For Now

(Statista)

The most expensive cruise ships ever built are Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. These virtually-identical ships each cost around $1.4 billion when they were built in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Royal Caribbean’s newest Oasis-class ship, Wonder of the Seas, was slightly less expensive to build, with a cost of $1.3 billion.

But Icon of the Seas, that launched earlier in 2024, is estimated to have cost $2 billion. So the title may change hands very soon, once that figure is confirmed…

Suggested read: How Much Does A Cruise Ship Cost To Build?

12. The Average Cruise Duration Is Seven Days

(CLIA)

The average cruise duration is seven days. However, seven-day cruises account for only 40% of all cruises. 27% of cruises are 4-6 days in length, 15% are 8-13 days, 11% are up to 3 days and 4% are 14 days. 

Cruise Port and Destination Statistics

13. There Are More Than 2,000 Cruise Ports To Explore

(CruiseMapper)

CruiseMapper has a database of 2,219 cruise ports. 587 of these are river ports and 1,632 are ocean ports.

Most cruise ports can only accommodate ships of a certain size – the smaller ones are only accessible by smaller cruise ships.

14. The World’s Busiest Cruise Port Is Port Canaveral

(Florida Ports Council)

The world’s busiest cruise port is Port Canaveral, which welcomed 6.8 million passengers in 2023 – a massive increase of over 2 million guests compared to 2022 (source).

Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral

15. The Average Cruise Passenger Spends $385 in Port Before Boarding a Cruise

(CLIA)

Most passengers will arrive in a port city at least one day before they embark on a cruise. During this time, they spend an average of $385 per person on things like accommodation, food and transport.

Passengers go on to spend an average of $100 in each port that they visit during the cruise.

16. The Preferred Destination of British and Irish Passengers Is the Mediterranean

(CLIA)

38.4% of cruises taken by British and Irish passengers were to the Mediterranean, significantly more than any other region. The second most popular destination was Northern Europe, with 29%, while 10.6% of passengers went to the Caribbean.

Of all passengers cruising anywhere in Europe in 2024, 29% came from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Cruise Passenger Statistics

17. The Average Cruise Passenger Is 47 Years Old

(CLIA)

The average age of a cruise passenger is 46 years old. However, people in their forties make up only 15% of cruise passengers. Most cruises have a mix of all ages, from children to pensioners.

Here is the breakdown of cruisers by age:

  • 12 and under – 9%
  • 13 to 19 – 6%
  • 20 to 29 – 9%
  • 30 to 39 – 11%
  • 40 to 49 – 15%
  • 50 to 59 – 18%
  • 60 to 69 – 19%
  • 70 and over – 14%

World cruises have the oldest passengers, with an average age of 62. This is because there are few, if any, children on board and because it’s mostly retired people who can go away for 3 months at a time.

Caribbean cruises have the youngest passengers, with an average age of 43. This is because they are popular with families as well as those under 30 who like to take short party cruises from the US.

British passengers have an older average age than the global figures – it stands at 55.8 years.

We also know from the latest CLIA stats that more than a quarter of cruises taken by British and Irish guests in 2024 involved a travelling party of three or more generations. That’s a lot of people travelling with children, parents and/or grandparents (or even great-grandparents).

18. Half of All Cruise Passengers Reside in North America

(CLIA)

Around 50% of cruise passengers come from North America. 24% come from Western Europe, 15% from Asia and 11% from elsewhere. 

The following table shows the number of cruise passengers in 2018 based on where they live:

Region of residence Number of Passengers % of all
North America 14,240,000 50%
Western Europe 6,731,000 24%
Asia 4,240,000 15%
Australasia 1,460,000 5%
South America 883,000 3%
Scandinavia 225,000 1%
Eastern Europe 213,000 1%
Africa 154,000 1%
Middle East 111,000 0%
Caribbean 56,000 0%
Central America 47,000 0%

19. Singaporean People Like to Cruise More Than Any Other Nation

(CLIA)

Cruising is very popular in Singapore, with 6.4% of Singaporeans taking a cruise in an average year. Other nationalities which like to cruise are Australians (5.4%), Americans (4%), Hong Kongers (3.3%), Brits (2.8%), Germans (2.7%) and Canadians (2.6%).

The following table shows how many people from each country took a cruise in 2018:

Country Cruise passengers (2018) Population % of people cruising per year
Singapore 373,000 5,800,000 6.4%
Australia 1,345,000 25,000,000 5.4%
United States 13,091,000 331,000,000 4.0%
Hong Kong 250,000 7,500,000 3.3%
UK & Ireland 2,009,000 72,000,000 2.8%
Germany 2,233,000 83,800,000 2.7%
Canada 971,000 37,700,000 2.6%
New Zealand 112,000 4,800,000 2.3%
Norway 101,000 5,400,000 1.9%
Switzerland 154,000 8,654,622 1.8%
Taiwan 391,000 23,800,000 1.6%
Austria 136,000 9,000,000 1.5%
Italy 831,000 60,400,000 1.4%
Spain 530,000 46,700,000 1.1%
France 521,000 65,200,000 0.8%
Netherlands 113,000 17,100,000 0.7%
Malaysia 150,000 32,300,000 0.5%
Argentina 187,000 45,200,000 0.4%
South Africa 143,000 59,300,000 0.2%
Brazil 510,000 212,500,000 0.2%
Japan 266,000 126,400,000 0.2%
Mainland China 2,357,000 1,395,000,000 0.2%
Mexico 174,000 123,932,000 0.1%
India 221,000 1,380,000,000 0.0%

20. Three-Quarters of People Use a Travel Agent When Booking a Cruise

(CLIA)

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recognises 13,000 travel agencies and 50,000 individual travel agents worldwide. Together, these book 75% of cruise vacations around the world.

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21. More People Are Aware of the Environmental Impact of Cruising – And the Efforts To Improve Things

(CLIA)

CLIA’s latest information for British and Irish cruise passengers shows that 76% of passengers were either “more aware” or “much more aware” of environmental and sustainable tourism, while the cruise industry moves towards a target of net zero carbon cruising by 2050.

This shows a significant increase in passengers being aware of cruising’s environmental impact – a good thing that more ships are being built to use more eco-friendly fuel then.

Cruise Safety Statistics

22. The Biggest Threat to Cruise Ship Safety Is Fire

(Tyco)

To ensure that any fires that occur on cruise ships can be quickly contained, the average 2,700-passenger cruise ship has 4,000 smoke detectors, 500 fire extinguishers, 5,000 sprinklers, six miles of fire hose and five specially-trained firefighting teams.

23. The Risk of Violent Crime on a Cruise Ship Is 95% Lower Than on Land

(CLIA)

A study of four years of violent crime data by renowned criminologist Dr James Alan Fox showed that the rate of violent crime on a cruise ship is 23.8 per 100,000 people, compared to 508 per 100,000 people in a typical city in the United States.

Suggested read: How Safe Are Cruise Ships?

24. Most Cruise Ships Have Jails, Hospitals and Morgues on Board

Cruise ships need to be prepared for every eventuality. Cruise ship jails, hospitals and morgues will be found in the lower decks, away from the majority of passengers. Depending on the size of the cruise ship, the morgue usually holds thre to six bodies.

Read more about cruise ship morgues.

Medical centre on a cruise ship
Medical centre on a cruise ship

25. Many Cruise Ships Have Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Meetings on Board

As cruise ships have an abundance of alcohol on board, people suffering from addictions sometimes worry about being able to practice abstinence on board.

For this reason, many cruise ships have Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings on a daily basis. You’ll see these on the cruise daily schedule as ‘Friends of Bill W’ or ‘FOB’.

Bill Wilson is the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Friends of Bill meetings on cruise ships may also be attended by members of similar support groups such as Overeaters Anonymous (OA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Friends of Bill W meeting on a cruise
Friends of Bill W meeting on the bulletin board

Weird Cruise Facts

26. The Church of Scientology Has Its Own Cruise Ship

(Scientology)

The Freewinds is a 540-passenger cruise ship belonging to the Church of Scientology. It is staffed by an unpaid crew known as Sea Org and sails out of Curaçao. The church describes the cruise ship as ‘the pinnacle of a deeply spiritual journey’.

Freewinds Scientology cruise ship
Freewinds
Photo credit: Ein Dahmer CC BY-SA

27. Not All Cruise Ship Weddings Are Legally Recognised

(World of Cruising)

Cruise ship weddings may be legally-binding or just symbolic. If you want your cruise ship wedding to count as a legal marriage, you’ll need to choose a cruise ship that was registered in a country where the law allows marriages onboard a cruise ship. 

Options for legally-binding cruise ship weddings include P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises (which have ships registered in Bermuda), Celebrity Cruises (on ships registered in Malta) and Royal Caribbean (on ships registered in the Bahamas).

Suggested read: Why Do Cruise Ships Register In The Bahamas?

28. The Big X on Celebrity Cruises’ Ship Funnels Isn’t the Letter X

Each Celebrity Cruises ship has a big letter X on the funnel. While you may think that this is the letter X, it’s actually the Greek letter Chi and it stands for Chandris which is the group that founded Celebrity Cruises in 1988. 

Read more: Why Celebrity Cruise ship funnels have a letter X

Celebrity Cruises ship
Photo credit: Celebrity Cruises

29. You Can Bring Your Dog or Cat on a Cruise

(Cunard)

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is the only cruise ship that allows passengers to bring their pet dogs and cats on board. This ship has 24 kennels, space to play and it even has lampposts and fire hydrants for dogs to relieve themselves.

Service dogs such as guide dogs for visually impaired people and hearing dogs for the deaf are welcome on most cruise ships.

However, certain types of working dogs such as emotional support dogs are not recognised as official service dogs and are not allowed on board. The rules have become stricter since people began to bring untrained pet dogs on board under the guise of being assistance dogs. 

Service dog toilet on the Disney Wish
Service dog toilet on the Disney Wish

Cat lovers may also be interested in the Meow Meow Cruise, a cat-themed cruise. Unfortunately, no cats are permitted onboard.

30. You Can See an Abandoned Cruise Ship Wreck on Google Maps

The MS World Discoverer is a cruise ship that struck a rock in the ocean off the Solomon Islands in April 2000. All passengers were transported to safety, but the ship remains there to this day, lying tipped to one side.

You can view the World Discoverer cruise ship on Google Maps here.

31. Most Cruise Ships Don’t Have a Deck 13

And yes, it’s for exactly the reason you think it is – superstition means that many cruise ships go straight from Deck 12 to Deck 14.

MSC Cruises is a little different – the number 17 is considered unlucky in Italian culture, and so instead MSC ships often skip from Deck 16 to Deck 18.

32. You Can Part-Own the Biggest Cruise Lines

Many of the biggest cruise lines in the world are public – meaning you can buy shares in them.

Not only that, but there are often rewards to owning a minimum number of shares, with perks given to you every time you cruise with that cruise line!

Read more:

The Bottom Line

The cruise industry is a huge contributor to the global economy. Following a year like no other, the cruise industry has been quick to engage experts and government authorities to strengthen its already robust public health measures.

Cruising resumed gradually from summer 2020 and the return has continued into 2021 and 2022. 2023 was then one of the strongest years in a long time.

With the pent-up demand for travel, I’m sure that the cruise industry will reach new heights in the years to come.

Sources:

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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9 Surefire Ways To Beat The Post-Cruise Blues


Cruises are a fantastic way to enjoy a break from everyday life – so much so that, for some people, the transition back into normality can be tough.

Post cruise blues

The post-cruise blues are a real thing and can be tough to overcome, depending on your circumstances.

But experienced cruisers have some great tips on how to get past them, so that you aren’t wallowing at home, missing your ship and the crew who looked after you so well.

Let’s take a look.

1. Book another cruise

The number one tip that everyone recommends for beating the post-cruise blues is to book another one.

This image features a woman sitting at a café table using a laptop displaying a booking interface with options for 'Destination', 'Arrival', and 'Departure', set against a palm tree and sunset background. She is also holding a cup of coffee. The focus is on facilitating travel arrangements in a relaxed, outdoor setting.

And it makes sense, because the best way to stop thinking about your old cruise is to think about your next one. Having a cruise booked means you can start daydreaming about the ship and itinerary, thinking about what activities you want to try, where you’ll eat and more.

A common comeback is when people say they can’t afford another cruise, and I get that – especially if you’re still paying off the one that you’ve just sailed on!

But there are some great deals you can often find with low deposits. You might only need a nominal fee, and in some rare situations there may even be special offers with zero deposit required!

You don’t have to split your cruise into equal monthly payments, so if you want to book and then wait a couple of months before you start paying for it, that’s fine. And once you have that cruise booked, you’ll soon beat those blues and start getting the excited feeling again.

Suggested read: How To Pay For A Cruise In Instalments

Also, consider choosing a mini cruise, if you can’t afford a longer one. Even a short 2-night or 3-night getaway can be the ideal bridge to your next longer sailing, and give you something to look forward to.

Just make sure that, once you’ve booked, you put a countdown on your phone, or laptop, or even a good old-fashioned one hung on your wall or noticeboard at home. That way, you can enjoy seeing the days tick by as the cruise gets closer!

2. Plan another cruise

If you absolutely can’t afford to book another cruise yet, don’t worry. You can still plan one, even if you don’t end up actually booking it.

A man with a map laid out planning a trip.

The key is to make sure you have a firm idea in your head. Don’t just look at cruise deals wistfully, without at least trying to make concrete plans, because then you won’t get into it as a project and you’ll just end up feeling sad about the cruise you actually did go on.

Set a rough date and then start looking for deals that’ll work. Think about any pre-cruise hotels you might need to book, and read articles on the cruise line or ship to learn more about it.

Then, when your finances do improve, you can book the cruise quickly.

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3. Write a cruise review

One of the best ways to close the book on a cruise holiday and get yourself back into the ‘everyday’ frame of mind is to write a review about it.

Don’t worry if you aren’t the best at writing, you don’t have to be. Just let everything pour out – talk about the bits you loved, and try to think of anything you didn’t like too. Even the best cruises can have some quirks or niggles.

Cruise Mummy bundled up in a gray knit headband, green scarf, and blue puffer jacket smiles while pointing at a P&O cruise ship docked in a scenic fjord. Snow-capped mountains and quaint buildings create a picturesque background under a partly cloudy sky.

In fact, finding the little negatives can help you beat the blues, since you stop putting the time on the ship on a pedestal.

Plus, your review will help other people to find their perfect ship – whether they are like you, and would love to have a similar experience, or if they’re a different type of cruiser and your review steers them away from your style of cruise to something else.

Suggested read: 7 Best Cruise Forums & Message Boards

4. Share your holiday stories

Going straight from a cruise holiday back to work or just your usual schedule can feel very blunt, which is often why people feel like they have the blues.

With that in mind, make sure you keep the cruise feeling going just a little bit longer by scheduling some time with your friends and family for a catch up, and sharing your stories.

A vibrant group of friends enjoying breakfast together, with fresh fruit, pastries, and orange juice on the table, in a brightly lit room with a window showcasing a sunset or sunrise. Their laughter and the casual, cozy atmosphere suggest a happy start to the day.

Try to be mindful that you don’t sound too obsessed (it’s easily done!), but even people who aren’t normally a fan of cruises often like to hear the stories about them since they’re different to a regular holiday.

And by talking about how your cruise went, you’ll feel more reflective and that’ll help you get back into normal life. Or it’ll have you booking your next cruise, if you weren’t already. Either is good!

5. Add a little of the cruise lifestyle to your own

A lot of the discussions I’ve read online about post-cruise blues talk about how the biggest adjustment is losing all the little things that make a cruise special – easy access to amazing food, a room that’s constantly cleaned for you, fantastic cocktails, and a wealth of entertainment.

So, why not bring a little bit of the cruise lifestyle into your everyday? Maybe think back to your favourite meals you had onboard and try to recreate them using recipes you’ve found online?

Or spoil yourself with some cocktails at home at the end of the week. Many of the best cruise line cocktail recipes are available for people to try themselves.

Suggested read: How To Take A Virtual Cruise At Home

You can even think a little bigger and try to recreate some of the cruise entertainment by checking out comedy and theatre performances near you. Splash out on a couple of nice nights out at a West End-style show and book a meal beforehand.

It won’t be quite the same as having it all on-tap on a cruise ship, but it’ll help capture a bit of that cruise spirit on land.

6. Join Facebook groups and forums

Connecting with like-minded cruise enthusiasts can be a great way to beat the post-cruise blues.

Joining Facebook groups or online forums dedicated to cruising allows you to share experiences, swap tips, and even plan future trips with others who understand your passion.

I have a Facebook group called CRUISE CHAT and I’d love to see you there.

It’s a virtual community where you can relive your cruise memories, discuss upcoming itineraries, and stay engaged in the cruise lifestyle, all from the comfort of home.

Just be aware that you’re probably going to be chatting to people who are about to go on a cruise – try to control the jealousy!

7. Add some cruise décor to your home

Bringing a touch of your cruise experience into your everyday surroundings can work wonders in lifting your spirits.

cruise decor on a ship

Consider adding nautical-themed decorations or souvenirs around your house. Whether it’s a framed photograph or photo collage from your cruise, a model ship on a shelf, or even a sea-inspired colour scheme, these elements can serve as gentle reminders of your memorable voyage.

They don’t just help you to preserve the happy memories, but they also make for a fun, cosy atmosphere that you can enjoy all year round.

8. Distract yourself

Sometimes the best way to overcome the blues is by immersing yourself in activities that keep your mind occupied.

Dive into hobbies or interests that you enjoy but might have set aside during your cruise.

Whether it’s picking up a new book, starting a home improvement project, or even planning a weekend getaway, staying busy can prevent you from dwelling on the end of your cruise holiday.

If that doesn’t work, cycle back to number 2 on this list and see if planning a cruise will help to distract you from your last one.

Sometimes you can’t beat the cruise obsession even with your everyday distractions, so just go with the flow!

9. Get active

One of the last bits of advice on ways to beat the holiday blues is to stay active – get out and enjoy some walks, or go to the gym, or take up something sporty.

A family walking and pointing at which direction to go.

I understand that exercise releases all kinds of endorphins that should cheer you up, but also, how much are people giving out this advice just because they know you’ve likely over-indulged on your cruise? Haha.

If you have taken advantage of the buffet, and you felt your holiday outfits getting a little tighter as you got closer to disembarkation day, then you might feel a little better if you step up your exercise game once you’re home.

And it will help you to get past those sad feelings too as the natural reactions in your body boost your mood in general.

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Final word

Not everyone feels the post-cruise blues. Maybe your cruise wasn’t as good as you were hoping, because you picked the wrong ship or itinerary for you. Or maybe you were just excited to get home to see your cat or dog.

But some people love cruising so much that the blues hit hard once their cruise holiday is over – and hopefully, if you’re one of those, you’ll find that one of these tips helps you beat the funk.

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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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Banned For LIFE! Real Stories Of Cruise Guests Who Are No Longer Welcome


There aren’t too many strict rules you need to follow when you’re cruising, but it’s important that you do stick to the ones that are in place.

Banned from cruise ships

Cruise lines have rules to help keep all guests safe, and to make sure the cruise is enjoyable for everyone. If you flaunt these rules, then there’s a good chance you’ll be kicked off the ship, so that you don’t spoil the cruise for others.

Do something really bad, and the cruise line will ban you for life – and that’s exactly what happened with these people…

1. Banned from P&O for criticising Maleth Aero

You might assume that everyone banned from a cruise line has misbehaved onboard, but that’s not true.

A British man was banned for life from P&O Cruises after he began a social media campaign to raise issues surrounding Maleth Aero, one of the airlines that the cruise line used for Caribbean cruises.

Steve Kidd, 66, joined several Facebook groups to discuss his concerns over the safety of the airline and contacted the cruise line several times to discuss his concerns.

In response, P&O Cruises claimed that Kidd had threatened a “mass deputation” at the company’s head office to protest against Maleth, and that it was unfair for the staff working for the cruise line to have to deal with him. They also accused him of spreading false information and making threats over cruise bookings.

As a result, they cancelled Kidd’s planned Caribbean cruise, refunded him, and told him that he wouldn’t be allowed to sail with them in future.

P&O Flight

Kidd claims that he never acted maliciously and that he shouldn’t have been banned. The cruise line has specified that the ban only applies to Steve – his wife, whose cruise was also cancelled as part of the back-and-forth, is still permitted to sail in future if she wishes.

Interestingly, P&O has since cut ties with Maleth Aero – was Steve right all along?

2. Banned for tampering with drinking water

There are loads of hacks that you can use to save money on a cruise, but some of them risk getting you banned from cruising – as one passenger found out.

She shared a video on TikTok showing how to drink the bottled water in a Carnival cabin for free, by drinking the water, refilling it with water from the tap/faucet, and then using glue to re-seal the cap so that it didn’t appear to have been used.

@krissy.kross I ain paying allat 😭😭 #foryoupage #viral #fypシ #cruise #hotel #jamaica #miami #carnivalcruise #xyzbca #tiktok #carnival ♬ how would they know bad girls club – Sara Speax

Of course, this is dangerous, as it showed people how easy it was to not just steal water, but potentially tamper with the bottles. Anyone could follow the steps in the video to add anything to those bottles.

As a result, Carnival quickly banned the passenger for life, as confirmed by Brand Ambassador, John Heald.

Upon hearing of her ban, the passenger tried to pass the stunt off as a joke. But it was too late, and the cruise line has stood firm on her ban.

3. Banned for attempting to bring CBD gummies onboard

Drugs aren’t allowed on cruise ships – that is an extremely hard line that all cruise lines stick to, with no flexibility.

This rule covers all kinds of CBD products or medicinal cannabis. If you use the drugs for medicinal reasons, the cruise line’s advice is to seek an alternative for your cruise because you aren’t bringing it onboard.

A bottle of CBD oil with a dropper cap is placed on a wooden surface surrounded by dried cannabis buds, leaves, and empty capsules. An open glass jar lies in the background, emphasizing the natural and holistic presentation of CBD products.

Cruise lines even use drug dogs to sniff out products in port, and sometimes on a ship – they take it very seriously!

And Melinda Va Veldhuizen found this out the hard way when trying to board a Carnival cruise in 2023. She was carrying CBD gummies, which are legal in Florida, as she used them as a sleep aid.

However she was refused boarding, and the cruise line then wrote to her to confirm she was banned for life for trying to bring banned substances onboard.

CBD products aren’t like booze, where if you try to sneak extra alcohol through your luggage and you’re caught you’ll likely be given a slap on the wrist. Instead, a lifetime ban is likely – so it’s not worth the risk.

Suggested read: 17 Things You Should Never Bring On A Cruise

4. Banned due to a head injury

A man was apparently banned from Holland America Line for “excessive bleeding” – at least, that’s how he explained it.

The Holland America Veendam cruise ship, featuring its dark hull and white superstructure, glides by a coastline bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun.

According to a Reddit post, the man had suffered a head injury prior to cruising, and on either the first or second port of call he was removed from the ship in Aruba, flown home (at his own expense), and told he couldn’t sail again.

Now in reality, it sounds from the updates and comments that it wasn’t excessive bleeding that was the cause, but actually heavy drinking – which either caused more injuries, or just general behaviour issues.

If you’re viewed as a safety risk by a cruise line, then you can be banned – they won’t take any risks when there’s a chance they could be sued.

5. Banned due to wandering off

In reply to the story above, another Redditor shared their story of their grandmother who was banned from a cruise line for wandering off and nearly getting left behind.

This one’s sad, because it’s not like the passenger was misbehaving – they were just struggling with confusion, and therefore became a risk to themselves and to the cruise line, because they couldn’t stick with their excursion group.

cruise excursion coach

I’m sure these decisions are hard for cruise lines to take, but at the same time they have a duty of care to passengers. If you were confused and it caused you to be left behind in a port, you’d be in a lot of trouble (and you’d have to pay a hefty sum to get home, too).

Suggested read: 14 Best Walkable Cruise Ports You Don’t Need Excursions For

6. Banned for fishing from the balcony

If you look at Carnival’s list of permitted items, you’ll see that you are allowed to bring fishing gear with you.

But to be clear (in case you were in any way confused about this), it’s only to be used ashore.

These guests thought otherwise:

@lovepeacecruise Carnival Passengers Captured Fishing From Cruise Ship Balcony Banned For Life From Cruising with Carnival. 🫢 #CruiseNews #cruisetok #CruiseTikTok #CruiseLife #CruiseFun #CarnivalCruise #Carnival #travel #vacation #cruisevacation #letscruise #SeaDay #CruiseNoNo #cruiseship #cruisehive article provided by @cruisehive ♬ original sound – Dina L❤️VE ☮️🛳️

You can’t fish off a cruise ship balcony, or anywhere on a ship. It’s really unsafe – anything could happen with the line, and there are laws around fishing too. In fact, there are loads of reasons why it’s just a bad idea.

So once these guests were identified, Carnival wrote to them and let them know they were banned from cruising. No second chances here – proof that if you break a serious rule (or just show a lack of common sense), you won’t be sailing again.

Read more: Man Caught Fishing From Cruise Ship Balcony

7. Banned for climbing over a balcony

You know your stateroom balcony, and how it has a railing? That railing is there to serve as a barrier, to protect you and keep you safe.

So, climbing over it for any reason is generally viewed in a negative light by cruise lines, and they will take your lack of responsibility very, very seriously.

A woman was banned from a Royal Caribbean cruise for climbing over her balcony for an extreme selfie. This image was shared on social media by Peter Blosic who witnessed it:

woman climbing over cruise ship balcony

Another woman onboard Carnival Jubilee also climbed over her balcony, and stood on a roof area for a lower deck – it’s not clear why she did it, but she was also banned for life.

It doesn’t matter if you drop something over the edge, or you want a cool photo – don’t climb the balcony. It’s so, so dangerous and you deserve to be banned for it.

8. Banned for biting crew as a child

A woman wanted to get married on a cruise ship, but discovered she was banned from taking her 13-year-old son on the cruise to walk her down the aisle, due to an incident four years earlier.

P&O Australia Pacific Explorer

Nathaniel, when aged 9, bit a member of the crew in the kids’ club, causing quite a significant injury.

Nathaniel is autistic, and his disability was registered with P&O Australia, the cruise line he was sailing with. His grandparents who were cruising with him had explained that being touched could trigger him, which is what the family claimed happened.

Nathaniel, when interviewed since, has expressed his sympathy for the crew member, but the cruise line hasn’t changed its position.

We are sympathetic to the family’s position but we also remain concerned that a crew member on a previous cruise suffered a significant injury and, with the safety of guests and crew in mind, we do not wish to see such an incident repeated. While we believe it is too soon to accept a further booking, we do not rule out the possibility of a review of this position in the future when the passage of time and maturity might have improved the situation.

Carnival Australia statement

So while the lifetime ban still exists, there is hope for Nathaniel yet. Plus, with P&O Australia due to be closed down, it may be that Nathaniel is accepted onto sailings on Carnival ships once more.

9. Banned for diving from the ship

Sadly there are some extremely rare occasions when someone jumps from a cruise ship because they are looking to end their life. It’s horrible to hear about when it happens, and usually ends up in tragic circumstances.

Then you have these idiots:

This apparently happened when a group of friends decided to film an Instagram stunt by jumping from a Royal Caribbean ship. According to reports, the guy who jumped was egged on by his friends, and so they all got a ban – not just him.

He admitted he was drunk, and that he caused a lot of pain to his neck and tailbone.

He’s very lucky to have survived such a jump. And he won’t be cruising again.

Suggested read: What Happens If You Jump Off A Cruise Ship?

10. Banned for general misbehaving

One cruise passenger got banned from their Carnival cruise for general obnoxious behaviour – and didn’t seem to care.

Indeed, they posted about it on Reddit in a boastful way, asking which cruise line they should aim to get banned from next.

In his comments after sharing the letter, he claimed he was staying in a Presidential Suite and causing lots of problems with drinking, trashing the room, and “tomfoolery” which resulted in daily visits from the security staff.

He claims that he was fined for his actions, and that they had their drinks package cancelled before the end of the cruise – so they weren’t kicked off early.

In a fun little twist, his obnoxious replies to his own Reddit post saw him banned from the Carnival Cruise Fans subreddit as well.

11. Banned for the famous ‘clown’ brawl

This story has become a bit of a legend in British cruise circles (and not in a good way).

On a 2019 cruise onboard P&O Britannia, a mass brawl broke out following an onboard party which caused several injuries, including for staff members who tried to break up the incident.

The legend comes from the story that a guest sparked the brawl by turning up dressed as a clown, despite there being rules about fancy dress onboard.

That’s been debunked – apparently, there was no clown involved – but it was still widely reported in the news at the time. And yes, the families involved in the brawl were obviously banned for life.

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Final word

What do you think about these stories? Are any of them a little harsh, and should the guests be allowed to cruise again? Or are you happy that the cruise lines kept a tough stance for them all?

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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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List of All Cruise Ship Webcams: Watch Live Cameras Now


Watching the live webcams on cruise ships can be a fun way to see where a cruise ship is. Many cruise ships have a camera on the bow and some also have one on the stern, giving a live feed of what the ship’s captain can see.

cruise ship camera

Here’s an example of what you might see from a cruise ship webcam.

Webcam Caribbean PrincessCaribbean Princess Webcam

Not all cruise ships have cameras that are available for the public to view online. In fact, many cruise lines have stopped their webcam services too, which is a real shame.

Still, I’ve searched the internet to provide this list of all of the cruise cam feeds live right now.

Just click the links to view the live cruise ship camera in real time.

Tip: You can also view the live webcam feed while on a cruise ship! Just find the correct channel on your in-room TV to watch it. I like to do this every morning when I’m in an inside cabin so that I can see what the weather is like before I get dressed.

Norwegian Cruise Line Web Cameras

bridge cam

Princess Cruises Webcams

Princess Cruises webcam

Cruise lines that don’t have active webcams

Carnival

Carnival Cruise Line hasn’t offered live cameras since early 2020 when cruising was paused worldwide. It’s not clear why they haven’t brought the live feeds back.

Costa Cruises

Unfortunately the Costa Cruise webcam pages have been taken down recently, but without an explanation. I’ll add them if they go live again.

Cunard

Cunard is another cruise line to have stopped showing the webcam unfortunately. It doesn’t look like they’re coming back.

Disney Cruise Line

Unlike most other cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line has never had a public webcam feed from Disney cruise ships. You can, however, see DCL cruise ships on various port webcams such as Port of Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston.

You can view Disney cruise ships on port webcams here.

Disney Wish webcam

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises removed its webcams in November 2019. While some websites appear to show MSC Cruises webcam footage, this is not live, it is simply a screenshot from a few years ago when the webcams were last online.

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises used to offer webcams, but then “temporarily” removed them during the global shutdown in 2020. And, well, they’ve never come back. I’m starting to think that when they said it was temporary, they meant permanent.

If P&O webcams come back online, you will be able to view them here.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean stopped offering live web camera feeds to the public in early 2020, coinciding with the global shutdown. All webcam pages have been redirected to Royal Caribbean’s homepage. It’s not known whether Royal Caribbean will have live cameras in the future.

cruise ship webcam

Final word

I hope that you found this page to be useful. I know, it’s a shame that many cruise lines have got rid of the live ship cam. Hopefully, they bring them back soon! And in the meantime, you can still enjoy NCL webcams and Princess live cameras.

While you’re here, you may also be interested in the live cruise ship tracker that enables you to see exactly where each cruise ship is on a map of the world. Those still work!

If you found this interesting, please share!

Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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Look Inside A Cruise Ship Morgue


While nobody wants to think about dying on vacation, it is the unfortunate truth that sometimes it happens. There are millions of cruise passengers every year, so it’s sadly inevitable that a small number will pass away while on their voyage.

And, of course, this isn’t like a land holiday where the body can be taken to a local morgue. Sometimes, passengers will die in the middle of the ocean, far away from any funeral home.

cruise ship at twilight

In those situations, what happens to a dead body on a cruise ship? Let’s take a look…

People die on cruise ships all the time…

When a cruise ship passenger dies, the staff places the body in the onboard morgue until the ship reaches a suitable port to disembark it, where it will be flown home. The cruise line will inform the next of kin if they’re not already sailing with the passenger.

The key point here is a ‘suitable’ port, as it needs to be somewhere that is willing and able to inspect the body, provide a death certificate and then process the task of flying the body back to the passenger’s home country.

A lot of ports aren’t suitable and would refuse to accept a body, so often a passenger who has passed away will remain on the ship for up to a week until the ship returns to a suitable location. 

Once an appropriate port is found, the body will usually be disembarked from the ship in the early hours of the morning, one of the first things to happen once the ship has docked. This is to minimise the number of guests that see the body and potentially be upset.

It’s worth noting that while the cruise line will work with the port to arrange for the transfer of the dead body, including repatriation to the passenger’s home country, it won’t pay for it. That responsibility falls on the family of the passenger.

A lot of travel insurance plans will cover repatriation costs, but not all. But this is another example of why insurance is a must on a cruise holiday.

Cruise lines will also often employ dedicated staff to assist the on-board family of someone who has passed away. They are not usually trained counsellors, but they are available for support of administrative matters such as arranging the repatriation of the body and contacting a funeral home.

Some cruise lines will also take this a little bit further, by offering free phone and internet access to those families to help them make arrangements, and escorting them to a local hotel when they disembark.

If the cruise has a religious leader such as a priest on board, they may also be involved to offer support.

All cruise ships have morgues

All cruise ships are required to have morgue facilities where a body can be stored for up to a week. Staff are required to be trained in how to handle a passenger passing away, including the appropriate storage methods for a dead body to ensure it is kept secure.

Cruise ship morgues are located on a lower deck in an area inaccessible to passengers. This is usually next to the medical centre.

Morgues must be separate from any food storage locations for obvious hygiene reasons. But sometimes, food freezers may be nearby, as you can see from the photo below…

Cruise ship morgues have space for several bodies

A typical cruise morgue is able to hold at least three bodies, with an average capacity of three to six.

Larger ships will have a larger morgue to potentially hold multiple passengers or crew members, especially on longer sailings such as Transatlantic cruises or to destinations where repatriation isn’t possible.

There’s an urban legend mentioned on a few cruise websites that if cruise ships are doling out extra-large servings of ice cream, potentially for free, is a sign that the crew are trying to clear out a freezer space to store a body.

That is just a legend, though. Cruise ships have morgues, and body bags, and it would be a very exceptional case where more people passed away than the ship could accommodate. They would have backup plans in place that likely wouldn’t involve using food storage spaces.

Here’s what the morgue looks like on a cruise ship…

A cruise ship morgue is usually a simple room with one or two refrigeration units, with multiple compartments to hold a body. They don’t usually look like morgues you see on TV, with individual units for each body. The priority is simply storage until a suitable port is reached.

In the video below, you can see what the morgue looks like on Carnival Fantasy. This video was made after the ship was taken out of service. It is quite an eerie video, so I advise caution if you choose to watch it.

Understandably, there aren’t many videos of cruise ship morgues available online. They’re hardly something that cruise lines want to show off as part of a behind-the-scenes tour, and it would be unusual for cruise ship workers to film them.

However, this video does provide a quick glimpse at what a cruise ship morgue looks like. It’s a little shaky as a video, but you can see the unit with the slide-out shelves to store bodies.

You won’t be buried at sea

Whether you die on a ship or on land, cruise lines don’t offer a burial at sea. However, many do offer services that allow ashes to be scattered at sea. It varies by cruise line, but some offer dedicated ceremonies for this type of service.

When a passenger dies on a cruise ship, the family can’t request that the body is immediately buried at sea. Cruise ships don’t have the facilities to carry out the formalities of processing a body and providing a death certificate, which lists the cause of death. A body must always be stored until it can be disembarked at a suitable port for this service to be carried out.

But if you have a family member that you’ve already had cremated, and they were a fan of cruising or the sea in general, then it’s worth speaking to cruise lines to arrange a scattering of ashes, if that’s your wish. 

Carnival Cruise Lines’ John Heald, a senior cruise director, has been quoted as saying that the trend for burials at sea is a fairly recent one (source), while the cruise line has confirmed that it now averages 200 complimentary ceremonies to scatter ashes every year.

While the service is free, travelling with the cruise line is not, so you would need to book a cruise as normal. You’d also need to make sure that the ashes were brought on board in a biodegradable urn that is completely sealed.

You would then pass the urn to the Guest Services team on board who would carry out the service for you – you don’t just get to pick and choose a location on the ship to do it. You would likely be able to attend, but expect the service to happen at a discreet time and place, away from other guests.

Once the ceremony has been carried out, you would normally receive a signed letter from the captain with the coordinates of where the ceremony took place.

The Bottom Line

Cruise ships are well prepared for any eventually during a voyage, including the untimely passing away of passengers. They have the storage facilities to hold a body safely and respectfully and will support the family of a lost loved one as much as possible.

It’s something you hope to never have to deal with during your cruise holiday, but at least you can have peace of mind that there is help and support available if someone in your party did pass away, so you wouldn’t be left wondering what you were supposed to do.

If you found this interesting, please share!

Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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The Best Cruise April Fool’s Pranks of 2024!


April Fool’s Day is a fun day to spend time online. Your social media feeds come up with all kinds of crazy news stories, and sifting through to sort the fact from fools’ fiction can sometimes be tricky!

Cruise lines like to get it on the fun too, so here’s a rundown of the best April Fool’s jokes by cruise lines for 2024.

The Best Pranks From The Cruise Lines

Ambassador Cruise Line

British cruise line Ambassador was one of the first out of the gate with its April Fool’s offering, claiming to have spotted purple turtles on a British Isles cruise.

The pun comes from the Purple Turtle pub you can enjoy on your cruise – no actual purple turtles, but plenty of great drinks to enjoy!

Carnival Cruise Line Australia

Ready to board Air Force Fun?

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen is a British cruise line that’s aimed at the more mature crowd – so it’s a little surprising to see that plans are afoot to add slides from the suites down to the Lido Bar!

This is somehow one of the most-possible, but least-believable jokes on this list!

MSC Cruises

MSC has invested in some exciting new technology for its cabins – Zero G! Now you can really relax as you float around – just be careful to keep the balcony door closed else you might float away.

Royal Caribbean

Introducing the Ship n Slide – because the slides can never be big enough on a Royal Caribbean cruise!

The Best Cruise-Themed Pranks From Elsewhere

Porthole Cruise and Travel

This one looks a little far-fetched, but I like it…

Cobh2024

A social media agency that is responsible for promoting the Irish city of Cobh claimed that a new cruise ship would be visiting for the first time, from McCruise!

Crew Center

I’m more of a dog person, but maybe this is perfect for you?

Cruiseline.com

Are you ready for Rover of the Land?

John Heald – Carnival’s Brand Ambassador

Oh FFS John…

Sail Away Magazine

Is P&O Cruises about to lose its title of owning the biggest British cruise ships? According to Sail Away Magazine, yes!

The Best Of Prior Years

There have been some great (and some not-so-great) attempts in previous years – here’s a look at the best and worst efforts!

Royal Caribbean’s ‘Most Aussie Holiday’

Carnival Unveils New Fastest Ship Ever

Virgin To Launch Direct Jet Transfers

One from 2019 – Virgin Voyages announced they were to offer direct-to-ship air transfers, with planes that could land on the ship itself.

Virgin Voyages April Fool

AIDA Hires ‘Chief Officer Towels’

How’s your German? Don’t worry if you can’t understand it, as you’ll get the gist – the cruise line was supposedly hiring a new officer for towels. Dream job much?

Have I missed any? Let me know in the comments below, and tell me which is your favourite.

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If you found this interesting, please share!
Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

Read more about me





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