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Old October 2nd, 2008, 01:52 PM
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Default Thoughts on Fraternizing with the Crew

All cruise lines seem to have policies against fraternizing with the crew, yet it seems to run rampant if you browse the posts. Hooking up with room stewards, waiters, jr. officers. Do the cruise lines just turn a blind eye to it? They can't be so naive as to think it is not happening.

I was also curious as to why the room stewards are mostly men? Even in the finer 5 start hotels they are always women. I have never seen a male chamber maid. If they want to stop some of the fraternization, why don't they exclusively have women stewardess'? The room stewards seem to be the biggest offenders. Just wondering..... any thoughts?
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Thoughts on Fraternizing with the Crew

Quote:
Originally Posted by athos129
All cruise lines seem to have policies against fraternizing with the crew, yet it seems to run rampant if you browse the posts. Hooking up with room stewards, waiters, jr. officers. Do the cruise lines just turn a blind eye to it? They can't be so naive as to think it is not happening.

I was also curious as to why the room stewards are mostly men? Even in the finer 5 start hotels they are always women. I have never seen a male chamber maid. If they want to stop some of the fraternization, why don't they exclusively have women stewardess'? The room stewards seem to be the biggest offenders. Just wondering..... any thoughts?
To be honest, I'm not sure when most of them have much time for fraternnizing. Most of them work more hours in 3 days than most of us do in 2 weeks. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it happens but not sure when most of them find the time.

On our last cruise, my wife made good friends with another young lady from her native country. They really hit it off and enjoyed each other's company...But she really never had any time to get together with us off of work...I beleive her day started around 6 am and often ended at midnight or even after. Maybe some of the "higher end" staff/crew such as officers etc have a bit more time for it. To me it's no big deal as long as they do their jobs and don't do something stupid.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 02:45 PM
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I agree with Ready, I really don't believe it is that rampant, especially with the room stewards. I have had both male and female stewards and generally the stewards work as a team, generally speaking when they are in a passenger's room the door to that room is open. With all the cameras and video surveilance, I think it would be very difficult for them to carry on with a passenger unless they could go off the ship and rendevous.

One poster I recall here had some sort of a fling with a waiter.

But really most of what I have seen and observed has been very professional. Now with regard to the crew vs. crew, there are a lot of hot and heavy hormonal action going on there and that should not surprise anyone. My favorite was every morning we'd wait to see how many hickies our concierge had and what creative fashion accesory she had attempted to employ to conceal her love bites. She was a doll and really made our cruise special and cute as could be, I understood she was seeing one of the ships officers and it was obvious they were getting along famously

Honestly my opinion is that I would never think of putting a crew members (non-officers)livelyhood in jeopardy just to get my jollies, if you know what I mean. They are there to do a job. They are probably lonely, tired, overworked and a bit vulnerable, so it would be wrong to even go there. With regard to the officer's of the ship... well a good looking man in a uniform is mighty hard to resist and some of these guys know it and use it to their benefit and I am sure could charm a lady or vice versa.

As far as utilizing female room stewards...they already do that. It doesn't matter whether they're male or female if they have hot pants, they'll find a way to put the fire out
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 03:36 PM
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I agree with Ready too. The crew works so hard and very long hours. Many also have wives/husbands/kids back home that are missed very much.
Alot of the crew date among the crew some are serious and even end up getting married.

Yep most room stewards are men I had a woman once. They all did their job and were friendly.

It is a tough life for those crew members with families back home. They go 6 months on a contract before going home.

Captain has it better 10 weeks on 10 weeks off plus his wife and kids cruise along.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 04:01 PM
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I am sure we have all seen the documentaries, that show how. some of the crew does fraternize with the passengers, and how sometimes it can end badly...One show I remember, they took the woman to Norway to try and get back the huge amount of money that she gave this man..I watched shaking my head...

I was witness to, as I waited for an elevator, a girl running by us crying. She was young, in her teens..next thing we knew, a crew member ran by us, and we said uh oh! As we left the ship, the broward County Sherriffs car was waiting, and the crew member was taken off....

Bless the few that find true romance, for sure, but usually they are glad to see the new passengers embarking, and the fling disembarking.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 04:56 PM
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In reply to Athos129's question as to why the room stewards seem to be mostly male. That may be because "steward" is a male term. While as time progressed, there were increasing numbers of "stewardesses" I believe the reason why there were previously so few females employed in that capacity was due to sea faring tradition dictating that virtually all crew positions be filled by males.

This is only a guess, but today's Stewards and Stewardesses are probably refereed to as Cabin Attendants because (a) it is a gender neutral term and (b) people so closely affiliate a "stewardess" with an aircraft. As a matter of fact (it's been an extended period since I've flown) but I believe they too are all now referred to as Cabin Attendants for what could be much the same reasons, i.e.: gender neutrality and what appears to be an increasing number of males entering the profession.

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Old October 2nd, 2008, 06:29 PM
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We've had quite a number of female cabin attendants, and they too do a wonderful job. I can't imagine when they'd have time to "fool around" with any of the passengers, but I suppose it could happen.
As much as we cruise, I've never personally witnessed a problem with fraternization. I've gotten to know quite a number of folks in the ships crew, as I sometimes work aboard myself, and even there, haven't heard of a problem along these lines. As mentioned above, most of them have family back home, and they are simply anxious to get back there.

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Old October 3rd, 2008, 09:40 AM
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Thanks to Todd for the reply on why the "cabin attendants" are mostly male.

The reason I was questioning the fraternization part was that on my cruise to Alaska this past summer my roomate ran into a cabin attendant she had sailed with previously. This fellow seemed to be done with his morning's work by about 1pm and then had the rest of the afternoon off until 4:30. He would come by our cabin and hang out and chit chat. He was also finished in the evenings by about 8:30 - 9 and once again came back to visit with my roomate. He wasn't even assigned to our deck.

Another thing I noticed was that there were crew members dressed in civilian clothing, but wearing name tags, that would be on the Promenade Deck enjoying the Glacier Bay cruising with the other passengers and making out and fondeling each other. I also had some crew on an excursion I took which I paid $159 for and I heard crew goes for free.

Maybe depending on the ports, I thought the crew had their own gangway. In Alaska they used the same gangway as the passengers. There were always lots of them getting off, pushing ahead of the elderly folks who might have had trouble walking. I found this to be rather rude.

Maybe it depends on the ship and its particular itinerary but I found on this trip the crew seemed to be having more fun than the passengers.

It's not just crew that have long hours and supposed low pay. My boyfriend works anywhere from 60 to 90 hours a week and almost every weekend. He is on salary and is not being compensated for his time, nor is he receiving a bonus aka tips nor is he getting to enjoy traveling the globe.

If the work was so hard, and the conditions so miserable you wouldn't find so many crew who continue to come back year after year. Many countries these crew members come from are not all 3rd world cesspools.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Athos,
I have never seen anything remotely close to what you describe. What cruiseline/ship were you on?

I know some of the cruiselines will allow the crew up top when they transit the panama canal and other sorts of interesting viewing opportunities, but never have I witnessed crew making out or fondling each other. I have never encountered crew on excursions either. Once I did take a water taxi from Belize City to Caye Caulker with an Assistant Cruise Director, but she was a lovely young lady who was going out to visit her best friend who ran a dive shop out there. Honestly I think it would be fine if the crew had the opportunity to go on ship excursions (as long as they behave appropriately, same goes for the guests lol), but I would say it sounds as though you were really on the "LOVE BOAT", and I'm not sure that experience is typical, or geez louise, maybe I'm not paying enough attention. I am known for being a "people watcher" and stuff like what your describing probably would not escape my attention.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 03:04 PM
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I echo your sentiments BeenieWeenie. I absolutely cannot comprehend the egregious displays Athos witnessed nor that the cabin attendant hung out in their room between shifts!!!!

On what ship and with what line, Athos, were you cruising? I can well understand a minor incident here, an overfamiliarity there but that's it. If there were crew members allowed topside in civilian dress, I would think they could well have been not crewmembers per se, but staff (contract workers working shops, etc.) that were, as you've described, allowed topside occasionally for unusual views you've described. But to be engaged in "fondling" ... that's nothing short of incredible! Now while I've only been on two cruises and am going on our third, I've been researching this industry (including reading hundreds and hundreds of reviews) and the different lines, etc., far more than does probably even a whole lot of cruisers with a goodly number of cruises under their belts and what you describe I've never come across, with the exception of blatantly anti-cruise websites, even reading about such behavior. Your descriptions supercede even some of those and one knows those people have an ax to grind and the webmasters play everything up to and beyond the nth degree.

Athos, unless your boyfriend loves his job and if he's not making a level of remuneration pretty typical of someone putting in the hours he does nor if he minds being gone from home six to ten months out of every year, then maybe he'd even do better to himself to apply for a position on a cruise ship. And I'm not being sarcastic, either. I just personally don't know of a whole lot of Americans (other than of course those in the military and at least they get far better benefits) that would work the hours of a cruise ship crew member (10 hours a day, seven days a week without a full day off for possibly even up to six months). This is not even taking into consideration being away from home that much year after year for what could prove to be less (sometimes much less) than 20 grand a year, tips included. But there are still those who would relish such a life. Maybe this would be a life he may very well enjoy. Afterall, there is a huge industry out there when it comes to all facets of merchant marine where folks have tremendous careers. It's not only on cruise ships.

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Old October 3rd, 2008, 03:52 PM
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I have seen in every Royal cruise crew members (contract workers) in regular clothes with a name badge in the Disco, Twenty and Deck Party. They are harmless and keep to themselves.

On my cruise last month there were a bunch of the dancers with name badges in the disco in the early am hours. They were having fun laughing, talking and dancing. None of them were kissing or fondling or anything like that. I don't know for sure if they were the dancers but I'm guessing they were because the whole group men and women had bodies to die for. :evil:

The bar supervisors are always walking around I can't see how a crew member would be kissing and fondling anyone.

OP what ship is this going on in???
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 06:46 PM
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All this took place on the Coral Princess in June 2008. It was the most horrible cruise of my life. The only redeeming feature was my Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour. If you are a fan of the Deadliest Catch you must go on this.

I don't know what this young couples jobs were on the ship but we were in Glacier Bay and they were standing close to me at the rail and they were making out barely even looking at the scenery.

I remember reading some other posts where folks were complaing about the crew pushing and shoving getting on and off the Coral in Alaska this summer.

I celebrated my birthday aboard on this trip. We were dining with a group of 6 folks and my friend told the waiter it was my birthday right as we sat down. She mentioned it again when he came around to take the dessert order. Guess what? NOTHING He totally ignored us. I have never experienced anything like this ever.

This was the first time I went and had the auto tip removed. Our room stewardess was the only bright spot on the entire ship. (And yes, she saw this other steward coming and going from our room.) I handed her a very generous tip as we disembarked. I just hope she kept it for herself and didn't have to share it with these other chuckleheads.

As far as my boyfriend and his job. If you can recommend something that a 56 year old guy from the US who is a court reporter can do on a cruise ship, please let me know. I don't remember seeing a single US citizen working aboard the ship.

One last thing, I did write a letter to Princess Customer Service after telling my travel agent about the trip. There were a few other things that went on as well. He read the letter before I sent it and said it was very well written. I don't want you to get the impression that I wrote some ranting diatribe. The response from Princess was underwhelming to say the least. They really didn't give a flying you know what.

I am distressed over the fact that I had booked a Panama Canal trip next year on the Coral before taking my Alaska trip. I just hope the entire crew has turned over by then. I hate the thought of 2 weeks with those same folks.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 07:57 PM
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Athos, I can sure understand what you're saying, I would not be comfortable with that scene either. It sounds like things were a little out of control on that ship at that time. I doubt you will encounter the same issues twice, They probably sent the "chuckleheads" packing a long time ago.
I really think this cruise was atypical and far from the norm.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 08:13 PM
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Athos,

I don't know where you live but I know that court reporters up where I spent thirty years made a heck of a lot more than 20K a year. But I'm sure it varies.

Anyway it sounds as if your Alaska trip was anything but a good experience. That is very unusual from what I have heard from those who routinely cruise Princess. I personally never have so I can't make any comment.

May I suggest however, that on your upcoming cruise try keeping that thin "wall" between you and the crew and/or staff. By that I don't mean you can't be kind and complimentary and so forth. I only mean that you keep that distance. I think you'll find the other guy/gal will be much more comfortable. I would be VERY leery of any crew member who attached themselves so much to a passenger that they visited them in their stateroom almost at will. That Athos, can be very dangerous indeed, even if you do nothing whatever untoward. Take that from one who had a 27 year career in law enforcement and taught courses dealing with the reasons for the actions and behavior of the criminal element.

Such conduct "just isn't done" and if it is, the crewmember should be informed that such conduct is not tolerated. If they persist, they should be immediately reported. I am not being heartless. Believe me, I am fully cognizant of what I'm saying. If you'll ask a crewmember themselves what they think of a crewmember visiting a passenger in their stateroom I pretty much think the crewmember's reaction will be one of shock. Yes it happens and yes, it can be innocent. That being said, it's these types of incidents that can evolve into a passenger claiming to have been attacked by a crewmember in their stateroom. Even if the crewmember is new on the job and you know he/she may be homesick, don't encourage them because even if their intentions are entirely honorable, you could nevertheless cause someone, innocent though they may be, to lose their job and I know you wouldn't want that on your conscience.

As a matter of fact, unbeknownst to you maybe your crewmember friend's conduct was observed and they were put on the next plane home after you left the ship. It happens all the time.

Todd
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 11:35 PM
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I happen to personally know two (no longer) young ladies who had ship-board flings with the staff, thinking it was "more than it actually was".
Apparently the crew know just how to dodge regulations. These guys spent nights in these ladies' cabins, went on shore excursions with them etc...
For several years afterward, these ladies would talk about their lovers, attempt to write and call them, and even try to book more cruises to meet up again.
Eventually they grew up and moved on.
I guess the point of this is to say, yes, it DOES happen.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 02:08 AM
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Crew are officially forbidden from being in guest cabins, other than when working (such as cabin stewards, maintenance etc)... and if caught WILL be dismissed.

However, it does happen.... and quite possibly fairly frequently. I've known several incidents myself, involving dining room staff, casino staff. Most often it's just a physical attraction, not real romance (though I know there are exceptions).

I think the staff view it as somewhat of a game, not getting caught. And just as often it can be the passenger initiating it, because they are on a cruise, and want "some fun".

Just as crew should rethink these situations, so to should passengers realize that they're "fun" can cost the crew their jobs.

To clear one thing up... crew are allowed to do excursions when they are off duty, though most don't because they are expensive. Some lines have begun offering discounts on shore excursions to the staff. Some also allow crew to go free, if they are assisting the tour escorts with the tour groups.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
Crew are officially forbidden from being in guest cabins, other than when working (such as cabin stewards, maintenance etc)... and if caught WILL be dismissed.

However, it does happen.... and quite possibly fairly frequently. I've known several incidents myself, involving dining room staff, casino staff. Most often it's just a physical attraction, not real romance (though I know there are exceptions).

I think the staff view it as somewhat of a game, not getting caught. And just as often it can be the passenger initiating it, because they are on a cruise, and want "some fun".

Just as crew should rethink these situations, so to should passengers realize that they're "fun" can cost the crew their jobs.

To clear one thing up... crew are allowed to do excursions when they are off duty, though most don't because they are expensive. Some lines have begun offering discounts on shore excursions to the staff. Some also allow crew to go free, if they are assisting the tour escorts with the tour groups.
Does anyone know how I go about getting an application as a dining room or casino staff worker?
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Old October 4th, 2008, 08:48 AM
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Athos,

Enjoy your next Princess cruise. And keep in mind if any of the staff is acting unprofessional don't hesitate to report them right away.

Hopefully that was a one time thing and won't happen again.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 09:32 AM
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Ready.... now that there was funny!
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Old October 4th, 2008, 10:49 AM
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I appreciate everyone's input. I have traveled with Princess 4 times prior to the Alaska trip and never had a problem, it was always wonderful. If it weren't I wouldn't have kept going back. Maybe it was the fact that it was one of the first cruises in Alaska and the crew was anxious to get off and see it. Maybe in late August they are not so rambunxious.

I did speak several times with my room stewdardess. Sometimes I would be there when she was cleaning. She was of the opinion that most of the male crew were pretty much dogs when it came to women and their thoughts on them. She led me to believe this type of behavior was pretty common.

Personally I think the male crew look at it like a game also, like someone previously mentioned. Maybe they make bets amongst themselves as to who can bag the most POW's. A term I find really offensive and would never want to be called.

My roommate is an adult and she is certainly free to do whatever she wants without me passing judgement. From what I observed it was definitely all his initiating and suggesting coming to the room. There were two nights the "do not disturb" card was in the door. The signal he was there. I had to go entertain myself a bit longer. Ug

Another thing that bothered me about this fellow was the way he spoke about the passengers and even other crew members. He would bad mouth them to us and then smile and kiss their asses. He told stories of the girls who work on the ship and prostitute themselves to the crew. I found him to be unconscionable.

He said he has worked for Princess for 7 years. Yet he kept saying what a lousy company they were and what a sh*t job his was. I could say nothing but "then why do you come back?" He was from a lovely European country where he said he worked at a bank previously. Maybe it is these other "perks" of the job he enjoys so much. He said he wasn't married, but I wouldn't put much stock in it.

I know for a fact he is still on the ship as my friend mentioned he called her a couple of weeks ago.

At least I won't be traveling with her on my Panama Canal cruise, so I hope all goes well. Maybe it's time to branch out and try another cruise line. Does anyone have a suggestion for a 50 year old single woman? Do any of the lines still have dance hosts? I love to ballroom dance. It's tough for a woman my age to conjure up a partner on most ships.

Yes, my boyfriend does make more than 20K in a year, but I would think most crew make more than 20K in a 12 month period also. This is going by what this fellow spoke of. He told a story about getting a $2,000 tip from a Japanese businessman who never wanted him to come to his room unless he summonded him for something. He was bragging about how it was the easiest money he ever made. Somehow I don't think that tip went into a pool!
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Old October 5th, 2008, 02:47 PM
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I must say from personal experience that casino staff have more freedom such as using the gym, outside lounges, dining, etc. So there are opportunities to chat and become friendly.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 03:19 PM
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We have fraternized with the crew before.... but perhaps not in the way you think.

We were on a cruise of the Hawaiian Islands, and the ship was overnighting in Honolulu. Since many guests would likely be dining on land, while they were out touring, we spoke to the Maitre 'd and got permission for our terrific server and assistant to get the dinner hour off, then we took them out for dinner on land. They were one of the best pair of service staff we'd had and they were great fun. They were very bashful about accepting our invitation, but we had a fantastically fun evening dining together, as opposed to being passengers and staff.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 04:47 PM
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Kuki, excellent and very kind.
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