Skip to content Skip to footer

Carnival to Cruisers: You Know We Can See You Naked, Right?

Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald is paid to take lots of Carnival cruises and spend his days responding to cruise nuts on Facebook. You’ll see that as either the best job in the world or a living hell.

Heald is known for peppering his possibly infernal professional duties with amusingly frank discussions with his 572,000 followers about topics such as smoking pot in cabins, elevator etiquette, and the best comedy club seating location for Karens.

On March 11, Heald broached a new subject altogether: cruising in the altogether.

Many cruise passengers among us—and we won’t bother with a head count here, just take our word for it—have been known to step out of their cabins and onto their balconies while in the nude. The reasons for doing so begin with curating an even tan and descend from there, but rest assured it’s a thing. Especially when ships are at sea and there’s no land nearby, some cruisers figure there’s no harm in getting a little sunshine in the nuddy.

Carnival’s Heald has an important bulletin for those folks.

“If you’re naked on your balcony drinking your morning coffee and enjoying your morning coffee and your neighbors can’t see you, it’s fine,” Heald wrote. “But remember, the officers on the bridge can see it all.”

In other words, if you’ve ever gone onto a cruise balcony in your birthday suit, you gave an unrequested gift to the people steering the ship. It’s a chilling thought to go along with that chilly ocean breeze.

For a lot of reasons, including watching out for fires and passenger safety, the control room located atop all cruise ships is designed to obtain side views of the vessel through a variety of ways, including multiple security cameras.

Cruise ship bridges are usually built with what’s called bridge wings, sections of the wheelhouse that jut out over the water expressly to give crews a better view of the ship’s sides.

If you think your cabin is safe from officers’ patrolling eyes because it’s located directly below the bridge, you might be interested to know that many bridge wings also have clear floors that enable crew to peer at the balconies directly underneath.

Although it was thoughtful of Carnival to confirm the prevalence of balcony nudity, many cruise passengers won’t be surprised. In fact, some have documented sightings of their own, such as this (mercifully) censored one on YouTube.

Heald also reminded would-be streakers that even if the watchful eyes of the crew don’t deter nudity, there’s always the chance that there will be a boat nearby.

“If you wake up [and] pull the curtains open from your Ocean View window, 100 plus people getting on the tender boat can see it all,” warned Heald.

Heald wrote that a commenter he called “L” experienced just such an exposure recently on the Carnival Magic in Belize.

Heald’s followers piped up with their own eyeball-scorching experiences of surprise nudity during cruise vacations. More than a few added that most cruise ship balconies are also visible to neighboring units through narrow gaps next to dividing screens. When you peer through those cracks, it’s sometimes possible to see a reflection of your neighbors in window glass or in the glass on the balcony balustrade.

Though Carnival’s warning seems to urge balcony-goers to cover up, lovebirds might find it interesting to note that rival Royal Caribbean put out a press release in 2012 touting a survey of cruise passengers that found that “24% cite their balcony as the place onboard where they would most like to be intimate.” And Royal Caribbean didn’t discourage that temptation in the slightest.

Come to think of it, neither did Carnival’s Heald—he only pointed out that you could be seen in all your glory. 

So what if you don’t mind that?

(Bridge wings on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas)