Cruises are supposed to be relaxing (with the exception of overeating at the midnight buffet).

There also was that one time my wife and I were on a ship that smelled like sewage the entire time. I'll just assume that was an isolated incident.

The point is you're on a cruise to escape the stresses of everyday life. You're surrounded by fun activities, fruity drinks and what seems like a never-ending bounty of food.

The cruise line at least wants you to believe this. That's why they have a secret codes for emergency announcements that their guests often miss.

Secret Codes On Cruise Ships

If you've ever been on a cruise, you probably participated in what is known as a muster drill. The mandatory safety exercise is held for all passengers before the ship leaves port.

It may seem like a hassle, but it's also good to know in case something awful happens while you're floating in the middle of the ocean.

More times than not, this is the only time there is any hint that something could possible go wrong on your cruise. That's unless you are listening closely to the cruise line's announcements and know their secret code.

Cruise Ship Waiter Serving Coffee to a Passengers
Getty Images

Industry website says the meaning behind the codes can change depending on the cruise line. Common codes include:

  • Echo (high winds)
  • Oscar (someone has gone overboard)
  • PVI (vomit in public area)
  • Zulu (Fight on the ship)

One code, however, is of great concern no matter what cruise line you're on.

What Code Bravo Means On A Cruise Line

Code Bravo has two rather serious meanings regardless of the company behind the cruise.

The Telegraph says hearing "Bravo" on a cruise could mean either a fire or another disturbance on the ship, such as pirates.

A viral TikTok video posted earlier this month claimed a Code Bravo was announced on a recent cruise for a threat of pirates. The authenticity of the video has been questioned due to its lack of footage showing a potential threat.

Outsiders boarding the ship is actually fairly rare according to The website says there have been less than 10 reported incidents of pirates attacking cruise ships in the past decade.

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