24 Unexpected Things You'll Find on Cruise Ships

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Hi, I'm John Green, welcome to my salon, this is mental_floss on YouTube, and...

1. Did you know that every cruise ship contains a morgue? Every year, about 200 people die on cruise ships, so the ships need a place to store the bodies. There are typically some body bags and a room with 6-10 refrigerated storage units, because, you know, if you die, just to be clear, the cruise is not turning around. You might be dead, but grandma's still going to Venice!  

Anyway, that's the first of many weird things aboard cruise ships that I'm gonna share with you in this video today.

2. Many cruises have a brig or jail cell, although it's really just a small room and you have to do something very bad to get locked up in there.  Depending on what the offender did, they may be arrested at the next port of call, or just returned to their cabin and put on home arrest.

3. The MSC Divina cruise offers aqua cycling lessons, so there are pools that contain actual underwater bikes for exercise. I don't wanna generalize, but those pools also probably contain norovirus.  

4. Any ship that has over 50 passengers is required by law to contain a hospital and at least one doctor. This is primarily for minor issues, though, like, you know, norovirus. If there's a serious medical emergency, helicopters can be sent to airlift passengers to a hospital.  

5. Many cruises, including Royal Caribbean and Carnival, sell really expensive pieces of art onboard. In fact, paintings and prints by artists like Picasso, Rembrandt, and Dali have been sold on cruise ships.

6. In addition like, the rock climbing and swimming, most cruise ships also have really quiet spaces, like libraries. In fact, a few ships employ full-time librarians to manage their library rooms.  

7. On a few cruises from the Norwegian cruise line, there are ice bars. The bars provide coats and gloves for the 25 guests that are allowed in at one time. The room is rarely warmer than 17 degrees Fahrenheit, and boy, is all that ice and coolant a good use of our world's resources.

8. A few Royal Caribbean ships contain a 23-foot-tall glass chamber, which you can enter to feel like you're skydiving. In the chamber, there's an upward flowing wind of over 100 miles per hour, so you get lifted off the ground.

9. I guess Royal Caribbean is really the brand for daredevils, because they also have ziplines on their ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. They're 82 feet long and 9 decks tall.

10. Those two ships, along with a few others, also have surf simulators, so people can learn how to surf while 34,000 gallons of water pump through the machine per minute.

11. There's also a hand-carved carousel on the Allure of the Seas. Basically, you're not gonna get bored there. You might get norovirus, but you won't get bored.

12. Many cruise ships host regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for passengers. You might not realize it, because they're often announced as a 'Friends of Bill W.' meeting. He was the co-founder of AA. 

13. Because people can't spend a seven-day cruise without a desperate need to go ice skating, some modern cruises are equipped with ice rinks. Some even feature ice shows.  

14. There are sometimes dogs aboard cruise ships, service dogs have been allowed for years, but as of 2013, some cruises have added kennels for pets. You can't bring your pet into your cabin, but you are allowed to go play with it in the kennel.

15. Norwegian Cruise Lines makes it a point to celebrate many holidays, including Festivus from Seinfeld.  According to their website, "We can't promise a Festivus pole, but we will have gingerbread-making contests and special menu items."

16. On the MSC Divina, there's a Formula One race car simulator. It's a single seat car with video screens all around so the guest can get the full race car experience, except for the smell of the exhaust.

17. The MSC Divina also contains a 4D cinema, promising a virtual reality experience that is not just 3D through glasses, but also has things like vibrating seats and wind gusts.  

18. And there are some Royal Caribbean cruises that have robot bartenders in what's known as the Bionic Bar. The robots are programmed to get liquor from the right bottle and then add it to a cocktail mix. Of course, they always add the exact right amount, which, you know, on a cruise ship is never quite enough. I do genuinely like cruises, but boy do they under-serve.

19. Anyway, some cruise ships also have blind date programs, in which people can be set up on dates. Even weirder, some have what's known as a gentleman host program, in which women are taken to dinner and dancing by single, male employees of the cruise ship.  

20. Speaking of things that make me shudder, there's a ropes course on the Norwegian Breakaway cruise, it has over 40 elements, including a plank that brings you eight feet over the ship's side. And underneath the ropes course, there's minigolf, so that our descendants can look back at us and be disgusted by our excess.

21. There's a cruise ship named The World which travels—wait for it—the world, and sells condos onboard. There are 165 total residences, including apartments and studio apartments.  Some live on the cruise full-time, others just hop on and off for vacations.

22. Speaking of living on cruises, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, students at Tulane University in New Orleans moved onto cruise ships for temporary housing. Some professors also moved onboard so they could keep teaching.

23. Royal Caribbean boasts that it has the first food truck at sea. It's called the Seaplex Dog House and it serves hot dogs. You can find it over by the bumper cars, because, you know, why not?

24. And finally, I return to my salon to tell you that some people choose cruise ships over nursing homes when they reach a certain age. One woman who does this, Lee Wachtstetter, says that it costs about $164,000 per year, which is comparable with a fancy retirement home, and it has better service and tons of programs, like dances and entertainment. Plus, there's a morgue! Now I feel bad if Lee Wachtstetter is watching this. She's gonna be bummed out. You know, they do have WiFi on cruise ships now.  

Anyway, thanks for watching mental_floss here on YouTube, which is made with the help of all of these nice people. As we say in my hometown, don't forget to be awesome. 

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Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

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Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit

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Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

[h/t Thrillist]


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