Cruise ship staff are tasked with the smooth running of everything on-board the vessel, from meal times and social activities to allocating cabins and making sure guests can enjoy a jam-packed excursion list. They are often working in teams together for weeks on end, as the boat moors up at a number of jaw-dropping destinations. This means they develop a very close relationship with customers, and with each other. 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.
Staff on Royal Carribean 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.
A PVI is classed as a more self-explanatory Public Vomiting Incident.
A crew member then added how they had only experienced five “Oscar” usages in 10 years.
Meanwhile, Travel expert Brandon Presser has revealed to Bloomberg that if you hear the word “kilo” said by staff – an emergency is underway.
The codeword “kilo” signifies that all personnel need to report to their emergency posts. Once in their posts, the staff are instructed by designated cruise workers how to proceed.
Another alarm is then sounded to alert passengers to an emergency. They then need to head to specified areas of the ship where the staff will tell them what to do.
“Onboard a cruise ship there is a mandatory muster of passengers before the ship leaves port, during which each passenger is pre-assigned to a specific lifeboat or muster station based on the location of their accommodations,” a spokeswoman for the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) told Express.co.uk.
“This is to ensure that every single passenger is briefed on emergency drills and where they need to go on hearing the ship’s alarm signal.”
On some cruise ships, instead of using code words in such emergencies, a series of horn blasts will be heard, a spokesperson for MSC cruises told Express.co.uk.
However, passengers needn’t worry as emergencies are rare: “Cruise ships today are the safest that ever sailed due to the enhanced rules, regulations and technological innovations that govern their design,” the CLIA spokeswoman said.
“The safety of passengers and crew is top priority for cruise lines and they continually seek opportunities to enhance industry best practices.”
Cruises are currently growing in popularity. Last year 26.7 million people took to the seas, surpassing estimates by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).