On board the world's empty cruise ships – where staff have moved into the best cabins

Cruise ships are docked in ports around the world, and the crew have moved upstairs
Cruise ships are docked in ports around the world, and the crew have moved upstairs Credit: getty
Crew are enjoying some down time on board now all the passengers have left 

Cruise lines have suspended operations – so where are all the ships going?

Most cruise ships are heading to ports in their home countries but some are being anchored offshore. Three of the biggest ships in the world – Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas – are stationary off the coast of Little Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, where Royal Caribbean has its CocoCay resort. The fourth member of the class, Allure of the Seas, is currently heading to Southampton. 

The huge Carnival Cruise Line fleet is docked at ports all around the US but among those still at sea are Carnival Sensation, off Miami, and Carnival Panorama and Carnival Imagination, both off Long Beach, California. 

三级成人视频Norwegian Cruise Line said it had secured berthing for many of its vessels and added: “Our business remains operational and our team is available to offer reassurance to our guests as well as assist them with future travel arrangements.”

三级成人视频The world’s busiest cruise port, Miami, is seeing many ships call in to offload passengers before some head off to moorings elsewhere in the country. Among the vessels currently laid up in the city are Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady, which was due to make its maiden Caribbean voyage on April 1. That has been put back until August 7.

Southampton is welcoming back P&O Cruises ships, including Britannia, and two members of the Cunard fleet, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. Queen Elizabeth, off Australia’s Gold Coast, does not yet have a final destination. 

CocoCay resort

Will they keep the engines running?

O三级成人视频n-board generators will stay on to supply power for the crew because not many ports have shoreside electricity that ships can plug into. 

三级成人视频P&O Cruises says its vessels being returned to Southampton will use less than half the power they normally would, with all non-essential services shut down. 

Addressing concerns about air pollution from engines running around the clock, a spokeswoman said the fleet is fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems – known as ‘scrubbers’ – to remove almost all the sulphur and “a high percentage” of particulates from the emissions.

“These systems exceed the regulatory emissions standards for both air and water quality and ensure that all our cruise ships remain in compliance with all relevant environmental regulations,” she added.

To spot the ships at Southampton, go to Mayflower Park, Town Quay or take the ferry to Hythe – but bear in mind the Government advice against ‘non-essential’ travel

There's no need to attend to passengers' cabins for a while Credit: Getty

What about the crew?

M三级成人视频ost responses on the Crew Center Facebook page seem positive, with cruise workers thanking the lines for providing free Wi-Fi, allowing them to use passenger spaces, and supplying good food. However, some staff are unable to fly home because of borders closing and flights being cancelled. 

On Celebrity Edge, Captain Kate McCue was cheered when she told crew they would be staying in balcony cabins until passengers return. In an Instagram video post, she said: “We have 1,400 staterooms and 1,300 crew.” Pointing around the audience, she said in : “You will be staying in a balcony stateroom, and you will be staying in a balcony stateroom...’

On another ship in the fleet, Celebrity Summit, heading towards Tampa, Florida, one worker wrote: “All guest facilities are open to the crew, and Wi-Fi is being opened for free social media usage and calls. Morale is very high and everyone is looking forward to the next 30 days.”

三级成人视频Chris Wong, a casino worker on Oasis of the Seas, currently anchored in the Bahamas, said in his daily YouTube video on March 18 that he and other crew members were spending time “chilling by the pool”. “We are having fun. Life isn’t too bad and I feel I’m in the safest place in the world.”

三级成人视频Crew members are having their temperatures checked daily for at least the next fortnight, Mr Wong added. Cleaning of the ship is continuing, training is being arranged and crew are taking it “one day at a time”. 

Crew have a chance to enjoy their ship's facilities as passengers would

On Facebook, a worker on Liberty of the Seas said: “We are anchored somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, about 12 miles from shore. We’re very happy with how Royal Caribbean are managing this situation. We have free and fast Wi-Fi, access to the pool and hot tubs. All meals in Windjammer [passenger buffet restaurant]. And the weather is very nice.”

One of the 700 crew on board Carnival Fantasy wrote: “In the beginning of this situation I was so sad because I can’t go home after seven months on board, and not allowed to go out of the ship (for health and safety). But what Carnival Cruise Lines is doing for us, giving support, still paying our salary, restaurant department preparing amazing food, free internet (not only social), changed my mind. 

“Because I can take care of my business back home using and answering emails. I can call my family, friends and watch movies on YouTube, and some activities on board are on the way. Thanks Carnival for providing support and taking care of us.”

三级成人视频A crew member on Sky Princess wrote: “So far we’re allowed to use all facilities on board, the food is amazing, they’re organising daily activities for the crew. Yes, we are working but not as many hours as before. They're really treating us great here. The spa is also open for us.”

Finally, one worker on Norwegian Sun wrote: “We’re in our fourth day in Port Canaveral without guests. We have free internet and free use of the arcade. Good food, good life. Thank you, NCL, for taking care of us.”

A spokesman for NCL said: “During the temporary suspension until April 11 contracted crew will remain on board. For those whose contracts were scheduled to expire during this period, arrangements will be made for their return home.”