Moved in error - from "slaves" thread... moderatin
Without a doubt the people who work on cruise ships are a special breed who somehow are able, for the good of their families, to leave their loved ones behind to go out to sea and make a living wage so they can have provide a better life for their children. Some of these people get to go home for a short period of time in between contracts and then right back to work. The sacrifices they are making are enormous.
On our Triumph cruise our room steward and I had several chances for some great conversations. We talked about his children who were the same ages as mine and his aspirations to work hard enough and save enough money to start their own family business. He thought that if he could work one or two more contracts he could do it. We both realized in some ways how different our lives are, and in others how similar. The hours that he worked and the fact he ALWAYS had a smile on his face was amazing to me. He asked what we did for a living, and I told him how our lives in some ways paralelled his. That d/h is gone frequently to do his job, often home only a few days at a time and I stayed home to run my business and home school and take care of the kids while d/h was away. We both agreed that sometimes these short term sacrifices have to be made so the quality and stability of your life improves in the long term and just look at it as a short term investment.
People are the same no matter where you go, we all want to be happy and be successful and provide a better life for our children. For many, the cruise ships offer an opportunity that otherwise would not be possible. Of course some may say they exploit their cheap labor. But these people really want a chance at a better life, so if they are willing to work hard and make the sacrifices to work on the ships, I'll keep giving them my business and gratuities.