For many people, the thought of taking a Carnival cruise across the seas to beautiful and exotic destinations sounds like the perfect way to spend a vacation. With the onboard amenities, Insta-worthy sights, and all-inclusive food and drink packages, it seems almost too good to be true. And maybe it is.
The world's largest cruise line is hiding some dark secrets that they don't want you to know. Because if you did uncover the facts, you would make sure that your next vacation was firmly based on terra firma, and swear to never set foot on a cruise ship for the rest of your life.
From their terrible record with polluting the ocean to mysterious disappearances at sea, here are 20 very sketchy facts about the Carnival Cruise line that frequent passengers are all too familiar with.
20 The Ships Are Overcrowded
Not only are you likely to be packed in with thousands of other passengers on your next Carnival cruise, insider.com says that the cruise industry is also responsible for overcrowding in many of the ports of call as well. Imagine finally getting to see Venice or Tahiti only to be crushed by the bewildered herd of fellow Carnival passengers!
19 Cruise Ship Crew Are Very Poorly Paid
Due to being registered overseas, and thus being able to avoid minimum salary laws, many staff on cruises like Carnival are paid pitifully low wages. According to the Guardian, a beginning waiter on a cruise ship can make as little as 250 pounds a month. That's just $322 USD!
18 For Working 70 Plus Hour Weeks With No Rest Days
The worst part about the low wages for cruise ship staff? It's the fact that they often work seven days a week, 11 or more hours a day with little rest and no vacation to earn it. Carnival manages to pull off this slave labor by hiring workers from countries like India or the Philippines. And they say cruises are supposed to be fun!
17 People Mysteriously Disappear
According to SOTT.NET, over 165 people have vanished on cruise ships since 1995. Most of them disappeared on a dark night far out at sea, and few of the missing passengers have never been found. If that doesn't discourage you from taking that Carnival cruise, I don't know what will!
16 You Can Spend Hours Waiting In Lines
Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned vacation waiting around in lines, but Cruisehive says that it's impossible to avoid on Carnival Cruises. Some of the larger ships can carry over 6,000 passengers, and that can result in a whole lot of standing and waiting.
15 Most Cruise Passengers Are Old
Most cruise line brochures and advertisements show young smiling couples enjoying a margarita beside the pool or playing a mid-morning game of tennis. But the truth is you are more likely to spend your cruise playing bingo with octogenarians as the cruise industry has always attracted the older generation.
14 This Cruise Line Sails During Hurricane Season
What's the worst thing that could possibly happen on your Carnival cruise? Certainly getting stuck in a hurricane would be near the top of the list. According to Adweek, the threat of an oncoming hurricane rarely even encourages the Captain to alter course. Yikes!
13 Seasickness Is A Regular Occurrence
Even if you don't end up battling a full-blown hurricane at sea, chances are you will encounter bumpy seas somewhere along the way. And nothing dampens the excitement of a vacation like watching your fellow passengers empty the contents of their stomachs into the sea.
12 Carnival Cruises Used To Be Registered In Liberia
Most large cruise lines use "flags of convenience", where they register their vessels in overseas countries for tax avoidance and less stringent laws and regulations. According to cruisemapper.com, Carnival registered their ships in this unstable African country to minimize costs and maximize profits.
11 Hidden Costs Can Add Up Fast
Carnival likes to entice new passengers with cheap "all-inclusive" deals that initially sound very affordable. But Frommers says that you are expected to tip $10 to $12 per person every day, not to mention the extra costs of dining at special restaurants, gambling, drinking expensive cocktails or making use of the onboard shopping centers.
10 Engine Failure Is A Real Possibility
In March of 2019, passengers on a cruise ship off of Norway had to be rescued when the ship experienced engine failure due to low levels of engine oil. Let's just hope that they had enough lifeboats!
9 Ships Are Often Quarantined Because Of Disease Outbreaks
Even worse than being evacuated from the ship due to engine failure is being told that you aren't allowed to leave. Like in 2014 when passengers on a Carnival cruise were denied entry to Mexico and Belize because a passenger was thought to have Ebola virus.
8 Sometimes It Seems Like You Are On The Titanic
Passengers onboard the Carnival Sensation likened their cruise to the Titanic when pipes burst and the interior was flooded with water off of Key West, Florida. Remember - women and children first!
7 Elevators Can Stop Working
If your Carnival cruise does go the way of the Titanic and you are heading toward the lifeboats, it's a good idea to take the stairs. A group of passengers on the Carnival Inspiration told Newsweek that they were stuck for more than an hour when the elevator stopped working.
6 Toilets Are Unreliable
How about joining Carnival on a luxurious 'poop cruise' through the Caribbean? That's what passengers on the Carnival Triumph experienced when their toilets began to fill with mysterious brown water that smelled like you-know-what.
5 Carnival Once Stole A Passenger's Dialysis Machine
Businessinsider reports that staff on a Carnival cruise ship once lost a passenger's dialysis machine, then kicked her off the ship and left without her. The machine was later discovered to be aboard the ship when the abandoned passenger needed it the most.
4 Carnival's Carbon Pollution Is The Worst
According to transportenvironment.org, Carnival cruise line emits ten times more air pollution than all of the cars in Europe! That's more than 260 million cars. If you want to travel green, it's best to rethink that cruise. And they say that flying is bad for the environment!
3 And Plastic Pollution
Carnival's air pollution competes with the worst corporations in the world, but their plastic pollution is equally terrible. According to jezebel.com, Carnival Cruise lines has thrown so much garbage into the ocean over the years that they have to pay a $20 million dollar fine for illegal dumping.
2 And Sewage Pollution
The pollution problem with Carnival cruise ships truly is unbelievable! They don't stop with air and plastic but also manage to dump millions of gallons of raw sewage into the seas every year. Those crystal clear waters don't look so nice when they turn brown and smelly!
1 Forget About Police In An Emergency At Sea
With no police and usually nobody ever recovered, a Carnival cruise is the perfect place for a criminal to get rid of somebody that they don't like. In almost 200 disappearances onboard cruise ships in the past few decades, arrests rarely follow. And if you see something suspicious at sea don't bother calling 911 - cell service doesn't work away from land.