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Cruise Ship Employees Reveal The Scariest Things That Ever Happened To Them At Sea

May 6, 2020 7k votes 1.1k voters 140.9k views15 items

List RulesVote up the scary stories that make you glad to be a landlubber.

Out of all the places to spend your vacation, you could do worse than a cruise ship. For many vacationers, cruises are the pinnacle of luxury and relaxation - with endless music, food, and entertainment, how could you go wrong? These stories from cruise ship employees may be able to answer that question.

While cruises are usually very safe, sometimes things go pear-shaped. Any number of mishaps could turn a fun-loving sea voyage into a nightmare, and these scary cruise ship stories can prove it.

  • 5

    The Ship Was Stranded At Sea After All The Engines Gave Out

    From Redditor /u/Rally_Blue:

    I provide software and services for most of the major cruise lines and spend a lot of time “cruising.” On the new builds is when you see a lot of crazy stuff happening.

    One story that comes to mind with passengers (travel agents and family) was the first sailing out of the yard. The ship can hold about 4,500 passengers. She’s a big girl and has five or six massive engines to power [her]. About three hours into the sail away, I heard a loud thump and massive vibrations all around. I was in an empty restaurant and saw plates and cups crashing to the ground from the vibrations. My first thought is to always see how the crew reacts: If they are calm, you can stay calm... if they freak out, you better start moving. I could see some concern, but they continued on with their business, so I followed their lead and continued doing my work, too.

    About [three or four] hours after that, another loud thump and even more vibrations... then silence. After speaking with a few crew members, [I] found out we lost two engines on the initial incident, and now we just lost the rest. Whatever the reason was, we lost complete propulsion, and this beast of a ship was going to go wherever the ocean wanted it to. Passengers were notified that we will be running late but to continue having fun and drinks were on the house. No other info was given (smart to avoid panic).

    About 12 hours later, a helicopter was [seen] (early AM hours) above us dropping down crates of engine parts, and a short time after that, we had propulsion again... and passengers had no idea why we were delayed and didn’t seem to care.

    Seafaring nightmare?
  • 6

    Their Ship Was Prepared For Pirates

    From Redditor /u/CaptainJAmazing:

    I never had to deal with it myself, but the ship I worked on actually had protocols in place if modern-day pirates attacked. We had some kind of sonic-noise weapon and could also use our firehoses. I was told that pirates were not unheard of in the area around Shanghai.

    Seafaring nightmare?
  • 7

    All The Spare Toilet Paper Got Soaked

    From Redditor /u/myjobisawesome:

    Water pipe burst in a store room and soaked ALL of the spare toilet paper. This was on day two of a 14-day voyage to Antarctica. The cabin stewards had to swap around rolls of paper between "low use" and "high use" guest cabins, and it came right down [to] the wire.

    None of the guests found out or realized. Now toilet paper is hidden in every cabin instead of a centralized location.

    Seafaring nightmare?
  • 8

    A Scuffle Ensued After A Passenger Dropped Dead

    From Redditor /u/SchruteFarmsInc:

    Ship just arrived in Whittier, Alaska ... and an elderly passenger dropped dead while walking down the gangway. A conflict ensues between the port security and the ship's medical team. The port security didn't want the ship's medical team to get involved because it technically happened off the ship, and the local authorities had jurisdiction. There really was no saving the guy, but the ship's medical team at least wanted to try. The local authorites wouldn't even allow the chief medical officer to start CPR.

    The coroner had a [six-hour] ETA, so the port authorities bagged up the body and stuffed it in an x-ray machine storage container in port (guarded by local police) until the coroner could arrive to take the body to Anchorage.

    The wife of the deceased continued on to finish the vacation for the seven-day rail trip to Denali... My understanding was the cruise line comped her entire vacation, arranged for the remains to be returned home at no cost to her, and provided a personal escort/assistant for the remainder of her vacation.

    Seafaring nightmare?