The truth is that there are easy jobs and there are hard jobs, but the point is that when you live and work on a ship you see the workers in real life on a daily basis and the entire concept of these people being "exploited" and "miserable" is just not true.
Almost none of those people would quit that job even if you cut their pay, because it is better than anything they can get at home and although the work is hard it is more than made up for by the easy lifestyle.
Think about this - what if all you had to do was work - but you never had to pay a utility bill, balance your checkbook, cook or drive to a meal, go grocery shopping, mow your lawn, repair a broken driveway, etc.
Add to that you wake up every morning in a new, exotic location and you are constantly surrounded by friends.
How bad can it possibly be? Especially when the work is not stressful. It is boring and redundant being a waiter or room steward, but it isnt stressful.
And there are hundreds of other positions where you never work when the ship is in port: shoppies, casino, entertainment.
Only certain jobs have it truly "bad" on a cruise ship - engine workers, dishwashers, etc. Those are the entry level jobs third world people take in order to move up. That have a chance to improve their English and really make something out of themselves.
Working on a cruise ship is a real opportunity for considering the fact that jobs are tailored to go to the people who find them most appealing (for their national income). It makes a tremendous amount of sense.
The joke is when people from the U.S. who have never been on a cruise ship write articles about "slave labor" where waiters work a"100 hours/week for $5.00 day." Yeah, that is on the once/year transatlantic cruise and it doesn't count the money they make in tips or that every other expense is paid for.