When you board a cruise, you've got to make a couple of statements about your health, on one of those forms pretty much everyone ignores. One: You can't be knowingly, contagiously sick -- guts blowing up, coughing up cruds, that sort of thing. Two: You can't be so far into a pregnancy that you might just, like, give birth on board. Nice part about the start of life, actually -- within a reasonable timeframe, we all pretty much know when we're going to be born.
Fast forward a few decades, perhaps, and that hour of death is anyone’s guess, a dark game of musical chairs. And for the dozens, possibly hundreds of people who die each year while aboard a cruise, those chairs are probably weatherproof and fold out flat as a board.
Cruise lines aren't exactly jazzed to talk about how many people die while at sea, but it's enough that they've got to have some protocols in place for the inevitable. Popular rumors among former employees and interested cruisers, meanwhile, tilt positively lurid. Time to parse through the fact and fiction of what happens when someone dies on a cruise.