And family-prone spring break cruises require three times as many chicken nuggets. Nothing is scarier to cruisers than a norovirus outbreak – which ship doctor De La Rosa says is almost always caused by a passenger who has brought the illness aboard rather than poor sanitary conditions on the ship. On Harmony, regular sanitary conditions are called “OPP1,” and they get ratcheted up to “OPP2” when there’s a “6 in 6,” or six passengers reported ill in six hours.The one thing that never changes no matter who is on board? (You’ll know OPP2 is in full gear when the crew gets less subliminal about its “wash your hands” messaging.) If the incidence rate escalates and the situation reaches OPP3, guests lose the ability to handle their own food.(The total cost, including such other consumables as paper towels, is about 0,000.) Overestimate the order, and the voyage becomes less-profitable (and wasteful); underestimate, and you’ll risk a riot over coconut shrimp.Luckily, passengers’ eating habits are fairly predictable.: Dru Pavlov, veteran cruise director and my mentor during this Royal Caribbean stint, keeps a hallowed book of stupid comments and questions; passed down from one cruise director to the next as a right of passage, it makes great vamping material for event emcees.The book Pavlov bequeathed to me included such doozies as: “Where’s the elevator to get to the front of the ship? ” and “How long does it take the crew to get home every night?Only 8 percent to 10 percent of passengers purchase unlimited booze packages – Royal Caribbean’s guests are largely family travelers – and those who do are carefully monitored.
If casino revenue is low, for instance, senior management might host a raffle or karaoke event at the far side of the slots to drive foot traffic and encourage passengers to linger (or better yet, play) a while.So when the cruise line invited me to join the ranks as temporary director of its largest ship, Harmony of the Seas – which is as big as five Titanics – I knew I was signing up for the most manic week of my life.As cruise director, my primarily responsibility was seeing to the happiness of 6,322 passengers and 2,200-plus crew.On the average weeklong cruise, Royal Caribbean estimates its guests will be 80 percent American, consuming around 3,000 bottles of wine, 7,000 pounds of chicken breast, and almost 100,000 eggs.If more than 80 percent of the guests are American, the crew orders extra ketchup.