We reveal the things that you need to know about cruises, including some rather unusual facilities hidden from passengers. Picture: AP Photo/Luca Bruno
In this video discover the nine things that cruise lines do not tell you, and do not want you to know. 

Cruising is a great vacation but there are a range of things that cruise lines would rather you did not know about how they operate, conditions on the ship, rules they follow, restrictions on your rights and what you agree to when buying a ticket but are not drawn to your attention until things go wrong.

We reveal nine things that you need to know about, including some rather unusual facilities hidden from passengers.

Watch here:


1) Cruise ships won't necessarily stop at all the ports on the itinerary
Docking is weather dependent.  I have only been on two cruises and on both cruises we did not stop at one of the two ports that we were supposed to stop at.

2) If you are late the cruise ship will not wait for you
If you are late in coming back from a shore excursion you will miss the boat. You will have to find your own way home. If you become sick they will drop you at the closest port and you will have to organise your own hospital transfer  and medical assistance - it is not their responsibility.

3) Crime
Crimes such as petty theft are not reported, only more serious crimes such as assault and sexual assault are reported.  Most large cruise liners have a prison, or a “brig”,  on board. An unruly passenger will be held there before being handed over to port authorities at the next landing spot or until the end of the trip.

4) They do dump things into the ocean
Although they are environmentally conscious of what they dump, r aw sewage is allowed to be dumped in international waters, however cruise liners generally treat their sewage before dumping it. Treated food waste and grey water is dumped at sea. 
There are strict regulations on cooking oils, chemicals etc - which are disembarked in the port. All cruise liners have an environmental  officer on board.

5) Carbon footprint
Cruise liners DO leave a big carbon footprint, however, they are trying to reduce it with new designs which have less carbon emissions.

6) People do go missing on cruise ships 
On average 19 per year go missing during cruises - although it is almost impossible to fall - it is mostly suicides or when drunk and trying to emulate a Titanic  moment.

7) All cruise ships have a morgue
On average 200 people die on board a year - mainly older people. When you hear a broadcast message "operation rising star" you will know that there has been a death on board.

8) Most cruise liners are registered in foreign ports
They don't have to follow the rules of where the ship company is registered. They "fly flags of convenience" - registering in countries which have more liberal employment and environmental laws.

9)  If you buy a cruise ticket you are agreeing to a contract
This contract includes giving them permission to search people and their cabins, as well as them taking no liability for the behaviour of contracted employees on the cruise, which include doctors and spa staff.
The contract includes image usage:
In the contract you sign that you are agreeing that any images taken on board can be used by the cruise company for advertising, however, they restrict you from using your own photos.
Cancellation policies are very strict - make sure you know them. 
You can loose 25% of your fare when cancelling before 90 days of disembarking, 50-75% within 60 days and 100% within 30 days. They also consider a name change as a cancellation. If you are booking far in advance take out travel insurance.
Legal matters
If there is a court case against the cruise company, they can choose any court jurisdiction  that suits them.