Las Vegas-style shows and casinos, on-board romances above and below decks, passengers from hell and a singing diva heading for fame - all aboard a passenger ship and they can't escape the cameras. Jane McDonald and the characters who made The Cruise the big hit of the late 90s look back on their maiden voyage.

Return to... The Cruise - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 30 minutes

Premier: 2008-08-11

Return to... The Cruise - Cruise ship - Netflix

A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, when the voyage itself, the ship's amenities, and sometimes the different destinations along the way (i.e., ports of call), are part of the experience. Transportation is not the only purpose of cruising, particularly on cruises that return passengers to their originating port (known as “closed-loop cruises”). On “cruises to nowhere” or “nowhere voyages”, the ship makes 2–3 night round trips without any ports of call. In contrast, dedicated transport oriented ocean liners do “line voyages” and typically transport passengers from one point to another, rather than on round trips. Traditionally, a liner for the transoceanic trade will be built to a higher standard than a typical cruise ship, including higher freeboard and stronger plating to withstand rough seas and adverse conditions encountered in the open ocean, such as the North Atlantic. Ocean liners also usually have larger capacities for fuel, food, and other stores for consumption on long voyages, compared to dedicated cruise ships, but few are still in existence, such as the preserved liners and Queen Mary 2, which makes scheduled North Atlantic voyages. Although often luxurious, ocean liners had characteristics that made them unsuitable for cruising, such as high fuel consumption, deep draughts that prevented their entering shallow ports, enclosed weatherproof decks that were not appropriate for tropical weather, and cabins designed to maximize passenger numbers rather than comfort (such as a high proportion of windowless suites). The gradual evolution of passenger ship design from ocean liners to cruise ships has seen passenger cabins shifted from inside the hull to the superstructure with private verandas. The modern cruise ships, while sacrificing some qualities of seaworthiness, have added amenities to cater to water tourists, and recent vessels have been described as “balcony-laden floating condominiums”.

The distinction between ocean liners and cruise ships has blurred, particularly with respect to deployment, although differences in construction remain. Larger cruise ships have also engaged in longer trips, such as transoceanic voyages which may not return to the same port for months (longer round trips). Some former ocean liners operate as cruise ships, such as Marco Polo, although this number is diminishing. The only dedicated transatlantic ocean liner in operation as a liner of December 2013 is Queen Mary 2 of the Cunard Line. She also has the amenities of contemporary cruise ships and sees significant service on cruises Cruising has become a major part of the tourism industry, accounting for U.S.$29.4 billion with over 19 million passengers carried worldwide in 2011. The industry's rapid growth has seen nine or more newly built ships catering to a North American clientele added every year since 2001, as well as others servicing European clientele. Smaller markets, such as the Asia-Pacific region, are generally serviced by older ships. These are displaced by new ships in the high growth areas. The world's largest cruise ship is currently Royal Caribbean International's Symphony of the Seas.

Return to... The Cruise - Security - Netflix

As most of the passengers on a cruise are affluent and have considerable ransom potential, not to mention a considerable amount of cash and jewelry on board (casino and shops), there have been several high-profile pirate attacks on cruise ships, such as on the Seabourn Spirit and MSC Melody. As a result, cruise ships have implemented various security measures. While most merchant shipping firms have generally avoided arming crew or security guards for reasons of safety, liability and conformity with the laws of the countries where they dock, cruise ships have small arms (usually semi-automatic pistols) stored in a safe accessible only by the captain who distributes them to authorized personnel such as security or the master-at-arms. The ship's high-pressure fire hoses can be used to keep boarders at bay, and often the vessel itself can be maneuvered to ram pirate craft. A recent technology to deter pirates has been the LRAD or sonic cannon which was used in the successful defense of Seabourn Spirit. Passengers entering the cruise ship are screened by metal detectors. Explosive detection machines used include X-ray machines and explosives trace-detection portal machines (a.k.a. “puffer machines”), to prevent weapons and contraband on board. Security has been considerably tightened since September 11, 2001, such that these measures are similar to airport security. In addition to security checkpoints, passengers are often given a ship-specific identification card, which must be shown in order to get on or off the ship. This prevents people boarding who are not entitled to do so, and also ensures the ship's crew are aware of who is on the ship. The Cruise Ship ID cards are also used as the passenger's room key. CCTV cameras are mounted frequently throughout the ship.

Return to... The Cruise - References - Netflix