Cruise ships are not like petri dishes. You can’t just hop on a cruise ship and expect to find pathogens in the hallways or pools. When you board, your chances of getting sick are quite low. However, you should still take precautions so that if an outbreak does occur it doesn’t affect too many people at once.,

The “cruise ship sinking 2021” is a common misconception that cruise ships are like petri dishes. In reality, the passengers on a cruise ship are not in close proximity to each other and they do not share any resources with each other. The food is prepared and served by different people, there is no need for the passengers to interact with one another, and they are not even in the same time zone.

7 Reasons Cruise Ships Are Not Like Petri Dishes

It’s almost impossible to read an article about cruising in the mainstream media without coming across the term “floating petri dish.”

Usually, lazy journalists use it to quickly communicate to the reader that the ships are breeding grounds for every illness known to man.

The only issue? It’s part of a wholly false narrative, as are other stereotype-based buzzwords.


Do you think this is a cruise ship?

We chose to handle the comparison head-on since we’d had it up to this point (picture us using many fingers to dramatically illustrate our degree of fed-upness, which is somewhere about the top of our eyes).

So, for any ostensible journalists out there planning to utilize the parallel in a future story, here’s a quick (and, yes, amusing) explanation of why cruise ships and petri dishes have about as much in common as a dingy and a mega-ship.

1. Julius Petri did not create cruise ships.


Around 1888, photography of participants in bacteriological courses at the RKI (including Dr. Julius Richard Petri), at the time Petri produced his eponymous dish (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Though the designation of “first cruise ship” is debatable, with practically every major contemporary cruise company claiming to have invented the cruise phenomenon in some way, the first pleasure cruise clearly took place in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Between 1877 and 1879, a German physicist named Julius Richard Petri devised the dish that carries his name. Furthermore, Petri died in 1921, rendering him incapable of inventing a cruise ship or even imagining what a contemporary cruiseliner may look like.

2. There is hardly little physical resemblance between them.

harmony of the seas

The Harmony of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean, is far larger than a Petri dish. (Royal Caribbean provided this image.)

Petri dishes are spherical containers with a diameter of 200 millimeters or less. Most cruise ships are rectangular in design, with most being over 1,000 feet long (304,800 millimeters).

Glass and, more recently, plastic have been used to make petri dishes. Despite the fact that cruise ships have glass and plastic embellishments, the ship is always composed of steel.

Anyone who compares a cruise ship to a Petri dish should get their eyes examined.

3. Petri dishes are low-cost.



Petri dishes at a low price may be found on

On, 50 Petri dishes may be purchased for as low as $15.95. A cruise ship, on the other hand, is far more expensive. A beverage at Carnival Cruise Line’s Alchemy Bar has the most similarities to a petri dish and something you’ll find on a ship that’s similarly priced.

Their mixologists are very close to scientists, and they could well have the cure for whatever ails you, exactly like what’s developed in petri dishes.

4. A cruise ship’s floor isn’t covered with agar.


Agar is the pink or blue coating that forms on the bottom of a Petri dish. A cruise ship’s floor is usually covered with tile or carpet.

To enable germs to develop, the bottom of a Petri dish is commonly covered with a thin layer of agar or agarose gel and left undisturbed for an extended period of time.

The flooring of cruise ships are often constructed of tile or carpet, and they are cleaned many times every day.

5. Cruise ships are not laboratories.


Cruise ships go to some of the world’s most famous cities. Petri dishes spend their whole lives in a drab laboratory. (Norwegian Cruise Line provided this image.)

Petri plates are seldom seen outside of the lab, where scientists spend hours performing tests and investigations. Cruise ships, on the other hand, spend their time traveling around the globe, visiting a new port every day and, as an additional benefit, transporting a large number of joyful passengers.

6. Since its invention, there has been no notable advancement in Petri dishes.


A SkyRide is not possible in a Petri dish, but it is possible aboard a cruise ship.

Andrea Sella, an award-winning chemist, presenter, and traditional scientific gear and equipment aficionado, remarked, “The Petri dish has pretty much always kept the same — there aren’t a lot of alterations that you can make.”

Every new contemporary cruise ship, on the other hand, adds something fresh to the mix.

Cruise ships are continuously developing, whether it’s the go-karts speeding around the top deck on Norwegian Bliss, the BOLT roller coaster thrilling passengers on Mardi Gras, or the North Star observation pod truly taking Anthem of the Seas visitors to new heights.

7. No one ever criticizes petri dishes.

What a case of irony! While cruise ships are often referred to as “floating petri dishes,” petri dishes are never referred to as laboratory-locked cruise ships. Shouldn’t the opposite be true as well for the first analogy to work? Despite this, we’ve never heard anybody — from CEOs of major cruise lines to passengers — make a critical comment about petri dishes in all the years we’ve covered the cruise business.

READ NEXT: Should You Take a Short Cruise? 5 Reasons to Make a Reservation

The original version of this story was published on December 29, 2020.

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The “which cruise line does not require vaccine” is a question that is asked often. There are many reasons why cruise ships are not like petri dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How environmentally damaging are cruise ships?

A: A cruise ship uses around 1,100 gallons of fuel a day. This is equal to the amount used by one car in six days.

Are cruise ships sanitary?

A: That depends on where you have been. If the cruise ships themselves are in a country with strict sanitation laws, then they are likely to be clean. But if you cant trust what people put into their own mouths, then its best not go near any cruise ship ever again!

What are the dirtiest cruise ships?

A: Any cruise ship that has been in a port primarily for dirty work is likely to be the dirtiest.

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