Seasoned speakers on cruise ships need to keep up with the industry. Passengers will expect you to know what’s going on. Remember, they are taking a special vacation and it means a lot to them.
What’s with all the passengers falling off of Cruise ships lately? Royal Caribbean has had three passengers fall off their cruise ships in the last 2 weeks.
1. Rhapsody of the Seas in Australia
2. Adventure of the Seas near San Juan
3. Independence of the Seas near the Caymans
Something’s off here. While 200 people have splashed since 2000, about 20 go over on average each year. Statistics show that men tend to bail out more than women and have an average age of 41. Seems the last night is the most popular with many being drunk and going over the railings or off patios.
The 2012 Cruise Vessel Safety & Security Act requires ships to have an automatic “man-overboard” system to notice people going over. This or a device to send an alarm signal to the bridge is mandated. Word is that Royal Caribbean has not implemented theirs.
To be balanced, these ships are now like small cities. 3,000 – 4,000 people is a lot. You can expect child births and even some deaths on cruises. Seems likely that a bozo will jump (or be pushed over). It’s an easy way to have a troublesome spouse meet with an “untimely accident” with no trace of a perp. That’s why the FBI gets involved.
When you think about it, it’s actually pretty hard to go over a railing – you have to do some dedicated climbing to get over it – and there are many horizontal bars to keep all but small mice from going through. The Act says that ships must be equipped with rails not less than 42 inches above the deck.
Three in less than 2 weeks….hmmm, that could work out to nearly 80 a year at that rate.
You will get a free cruise for two when you get an enrichment or destination speaking gig. But where will you stay? Each line is different so there is no general rule. Remember, you travel on a Space Available basis. The line is more interested in gaining revenue that keeping you living in high style. They are very considerate of speakers, however. In my career, I have been treated very well. I have never had an inside cabin. I have been given a porthole.
Your room doesn’t really matter, as you are only sleeping in it. On several high end lines, there are no inside cabins. And many are suites only. Try to get a job on those! I once had a 300 sq ft suite all to myself. I traveled alone and loved it. That was with two HD TV sets and a bathtub. One line even had a butler for every 4 rooms! A call on the tele and I could get a bowl of popcorn sent up.
Usually you will not get the choice rooms – upper deck middle. No, plan on a forward (or rear) room down low. Yes, you will feel most of the ship motion; better you than a paying guest. Some lines will indeed put you into an inside room or even in what they call “Crew.” In general, you are not allowed in the crew parts of the ship. It’s kinda like Disneyland where the staff can let down their down hair in private.
Since you are the expert on a speaking gig a major cruise ship, you need to be able to respond to all questions with authority. First, REPEAT the questions into the mic. Many venues are too big for the audience to hear the little woman in the front row’s question.
Now 4 ways you can handle “tough ones.”
1. Answer it.
2. Indicate that you don’t know the answer but that is a great topic you’d like to include in your talk and can the asker meet you after to chat.
3. Admit you don’t know but you WILL find out the answer and let them know.
4. If the question is really dumb (yes there are some dumb questions) OR if you answer it would take a whole lot of time to give, say that you are out of time, but would love to continue with the person in the hallway.
You must get out of the room at the agreed to time. The passengers want to get to Bingo and the room might be used after you for mahjong class. Be the expert during your talk and during the Q&A.