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Old January 13th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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Default cruise crew-members slaves??

I saw this intresting topic on another post on this site, and that the cruise lines only pays them usd 50 p/m , and they depend on their tips. I'm going to give my opinion: I really think that they do work hard, but most of these people come from countries where the wages are so low, that they do the prefer to work on cruise ship, than work at home, where maybe they will work even harder and earn a fraction of what they get on the ship.

when i was in sept> on the C.Destiny we met this waiter from Suriname, and we start talking to him because of the language (dutch) and he told us that indeed they work very hard, but if he has to work at home, maybe his salary was around usd 200. Now he said he has between 3500 and 4000 every month, when he is on the ship.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this topic
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:29 PM
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Hey where'd my posts go? I didn't do anything bad? I've been a good beenie!
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:33 PM
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Will the person who deleted my posts please pM me and explain why? I am pretty sure I did not violate any TOS.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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gfleo, I had heard the $3500 to $4000 range before, too. Definitely, more than a decent wage for many from both undeveloped and even developed countries (many of our stewardesses have been European). If you figure they work eight to ten months a year, that is a pretty good salary.

I agree with many, though, that these employees should not be dependent on the whims of passengers to get their money though. Just raise prices and include tips.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:38 PM
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:40 PM
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OK I'll buy that then.... I was pretty sure that I had been fairly well behaved, However I cannot guarantee that will continue into the future, but I am putting out an effort.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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it's always the good ones that get punished beenie, but your post was definitely the answer I was looking for. As a matter of fact I don''t see the problem with this post. It's good to see, what other people are thinking

Marc: that is the other point, working very hard, but for most of them Mission impossible in their country to work so hard (or even harder) and earn that amount of money

Btw Beenie, I think you were the only one, they were agreeing with...Job well done !!
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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Have fun Kuki, have a cocktail and a lobster tail and beef wellington for me. Soon as these kids go to bed, I'll pop a cork and have a glass of wine and toast to you and your tux! Or flip flops if you're determined to be a trendsetter tonight!
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:53 PM
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gfleo I will be in your neck of the woods April 7th, so where shall we be meeting up with you so you can buy us a drink lol!

I dont think the "Animal Rights" will be making goo goo eyes at any of the crew members anymore after she/he reads my post, that was unbelievable.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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give me the details, and no problem , i'll buy you as many drinks as you want...people like you deserve it!!
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Old January 13th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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Truthfully it would be fun to get together for a drink while we're there. There is a possibility they may cancel this cruise though. The ship has engine troubles right now, hopefully if they can fix it on the fly all will be well, but if it needs a dry dock we are all concerned they will cancel our cruise since they have notified passengers of all the cruises prior to ours of changes to the itinerary, and we have the only two week long itinerary. So time will tell, but I think it would be great fun.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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can I ask you which ship it is?

btw I think we were on the same cruise last November; the Norwegian Pearl from nov 25-30
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Old January 13th, 2008, 08:26 PM
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Close! I was on Pearl last month lol! Nope it's the Spirit.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 10:02 PM
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gfleo, I had to think about it, we were two ships passing in the night lol! I had to go look at the dates.You are right, we were on the Pearl at the same time. It must be nice to live on the Islands, someday I would love to retire and go live somewhere tranquil and remote. I actually have an island in mind, but it won't be for quite a while. I haveto wait to get the kiddos through University and all that first and since they are only 5 and 7 we have a ways to go.lol!
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Old January 13th, 2008, 10:27 PM
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Yes, because you invited me to the "meeting"on Monday morning(first day at sea) at 10 am, but I forgot completely
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Old January 13th, 2008, 10:49 PM
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That's OK, it was a good meeting though, lot's of ship's officer's came and shook our hands. The one thing that was nice, was the last day of the cruise, they took us on a guided tour of the Garden and Courtyard Villa and Owner's Suite. They were really nice and spacious, but not nearly as nice as what I would expect if I were spending that kind of money. I think they would be great for someone famous who just wanted to go somewhere very quiet and private to relax.

I was surprised we had a pretty lively group turn out. I am really sorry I didn't get to meet you, but hey if they get my ship fixed and all goes as planned, we'll be in Curacao April 7th.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 06:21 AM
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Ok, just let me know in advance (because I travel a lot) so we can have some pina colada's
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Old January 14th, 2008, 07:36 AM
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Its a deal!
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Old January 14th, 2008, 11:15 PM
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$4,000/mo is $48,000/yr. And even if it's only for 10 months it's $40,000. That's not a shabby salary, even after taxes. Many people in this country live on a lot less. And the work environment is nothing to sneeze at (sure beats being in a tiny cubicle buried in paperwork and trying to meet court deadlines). Oh to be young and free with no responsibilities.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 07:16 PM
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BornToCruise,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
$4,000/mo is $48,000/yr. And even if it's only for 10 months it's $40,000. That's not a shabby salary, even after taxes. Many people in this country live on a lot less. And the work environment is nothing to sneeze at (sure beats being in a tiny cubicle buried in paperwork and trying to meet court deadlines). Oh to be young and free with no responsibilities.
Yes, and it's also important to remember that the cruise line also provides room and board for the crew while they are aboard ship. Their only expenses are for clothes, laundry, toiletries, and perhaps a few souvenirs of the ports of call. Thus, single crew members typically can save and invest about 90% to 95% of their net pay while aboard ship with very little effort.

Norm.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 12:12 AM
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I could survive on that.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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Believe me, not all the crew members make that kind of money. We were on a Princess ship in May and spent a lot of time talking to crew members. One girl who worked on the Lido deck restaurant told us she was going home at the end of her contract because she worked 10+ hours a day and made only $700 a month. (She worked only in the Lido restaurant, though, and didn't get to work in the dining room at all.) She wanted to work in the dining room so she could make more money, but for some reason wasn't allowed to.

I think everyone on the ship should be required to pay the gratuities, and they should be charged to the original price of the cruise. We have been on ships where people have signed a form stating they weren't paying the gratuities because of poor service, etc. I think if the service is poor, then make a complaint at the service desk, but don't "not pay" gratuities. Some people will make unjustified complaints if they think they can get out of paying the gratuities.

Just my opinion!!

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Old January 17th, 2008, 07:39 PM
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Libragirl,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Believe me, not all the crew members make that kind of money. We were on a Princess ship in May and spent a lot of time talking to crew members. One girl who worked on the Lido deck restaurant told us she was going home at the end of her contract because she worked 10+ hours a day and made only $700 a month. (She worked only in the Lido restaurant, though, and didn't get to work in the dining room at all.) She wanted to work in the dining room so she could make more money, but for some reason wasn't allowed to.
Yes, "entry level" employees like this young lady get paid salaries that seem low to us and do not get tips. Nonetheless, let's put this into context. This young lady could live on the ship for less than $100 per month because the cruise line also supplies her room and board, so she could save over $600 per month -- over $6,000 over her ten month contract. Additionally, the cruise line pays her air fare to and from the ship at the start and end of her contract. When she returns home, probably to a developing nation such as Mexico or Romania, she will be able to live on a small fraction of that savings during the period between contracts and put the balance into investments. Further, the cruise line has provided her with a clear path of promotion -- typically from buffet steward to assistant waiter to waiter to head waiter (or assistant maitre d'hotel) to maitre d'hotel -- and with training and resources to achieve that promotion.

So why is she "still" a buffet steward? There are several possible reasons.

>> 1. It's possible that she has not yet completed the training necessary for promotion.

>> 2. It's possible that she has not shown the initiative and motivation that's necessary to be a good assistant waiter.

>> 3. It's possible that she is ready for promotion but that the ship does not have an opening for another assistant waiter, and thus that the promotion will come with her next contract (if she returns).

>> 4. It's possible that she is one of the few crew members who has displayed marginal performance or a bad attitude toward her supervisors and that they consequently have not only denied her promotion, but also will recommend against another contract. If this is the case, though, she made her own bed and thus does not deserve our sympathy.

And this list is by no means complete. Nonetheless, the fact that the ship has not promoted her (yet) does not mean that she will not receive a promotion. And in the meantime, she is doing quite well for somebody at her level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I think everyone on the ship should be required to pay the gratuities, and they should be charged to the original price of the cruise.
Backing up a step, we can debate the merit of the custom of tipping if you wish. Several years ago, my inclination was that restaurants should pay their waitstaff a just wage and include the full cost of service in the bill, as is customary in many countries of Europe and in the South Pacific. The custom really made sense to me only when a friend who had recently taken a position as a waitress pointed out to me that she really worked for her customers because her tips were her real compensation. As a result of the practice, waiters and waitresses have real incentive to provide extraordinary service to earn additional tips. This happens not only because the customer may increase the percentage of the tip above the customary 15% if service is truly exceptional, but also because responsive service often leads to sale of more beverages, coffee and dessert in addition to dinner, and/or higher turnover of tables -- netting both more in tips for the server and higher sales (and thus greater profits) for the business.

But any debate not withstanding, the fact is that tipping is the established social custom both in restaurants in North America and on cruise ships. There are many adjectives that fit people who don't follow established social custom -- boorish, rude, ignorant, thoughtless, arrogant, self-centered, or worse -- but I really doubt that the percentage of such individuals is any higher on cruise ships than it is in restaurants ashore. Unless service is legitimately unacceptable, the customary gratuity is NOT optional and those who fail to leave it show themselves to be swindlers and scoundrels. The cost of a gratuity in a restaurant is part of the cost of dining out, and the cost of customary gratuities on a cruise ship is part of the cost of the cruise. On traditional cruise lines, tipping scofflaws usually make themselves very obvious by either not coming to dinner or excusing themselves from dinner before dessert and not returning to the table on the last evening of the cruise, when it's customary to give gratuities to the dining staff, so that they don't experience the personal embarrassment of not having envelopes to hand out at the end of the meal when the waitstaff are expecting them. If only they knew how obvious this ploy is, not only to their waitstaff but also to their tablemates and to those seated at other nearby tables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
We have been on ships where people have signed a form stating they weren't paying the gratuities because of poor service, etc. I think if the service is poor, then make a complaint at the service desk, but don't "not pay" gratuities. Some people will make unjustified complaints if they think they can get out of paying the gratuities.
This behavior is obviously inexcusable. If one's service seems deficient, one ought to start by asking the respective individual (waiter, assistant waither, cabin steward, etc.) to correct the deficiency. Nearly all members of ships' crews are eager to please their passengers, and will correct deficiencies as soon as passengers bring the deficiencies to their attention. If a simple request fails to correct a problem, one should go to the individual's immediate supervisor if possible (and this is always possible in the dining room) or to the pursor's desk ("Guest Relations" desk on Celebrity) if the supervisor is not accessible. In the case of substandard service in the dining room, one can always ask for reassignment to a different table if one's head waiter (called an "assistant maitre d'hotel" on some lines) cannot solve the problem. It's rather low to allow a deficiency to persist for a week and then use it as a pretext for withholding a gratuity from somebody whose primary income is gratuities.

That said, I should also point out that a cruise line's tipping guidance should conform to the accepted custom of the industry. Here, Celebrity deviates from the accepted custom by suggesting a gratuity to an "Assistant Chief Housekeeper" whom most passengers never meet during the course of a cruise. There's no obligation to pay a gratuity that is not "usual and customary" in the industry, as this gratuity is not.

Norm.
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