On another thread I saw this, which made me wonder...
"I was happy to see Peter reveal how much a room steward gets paid. We at Cruisemates have always contended that these people are well paid by the standards of their nations of origin, and that they are very happy in their jobs, although many cruise industry critics try to paint the practice of hiring third world workers as exploitation. Peter reveals that their monthly salary is even higher than I estimated, and he doesn't mention that the cruise line pays all their rent, food, medical care and utilities. He does confirm that their salary is almost pure profit, and that many of these people are supporting entire families on their paychecks."
This is in reference to an upcoming program revealing cruise line finances.
When I was onboard a Carnival ship recently, I saw a busboy who appeared not terribly motivated, to say the least. (He wasn't the only one, I later noticed) On a hunch, I asked him, "Are you a Cruise Line Employee, or do you work for someone else?" He said he, and many like him on the ship, work for an agency which recruited him in India, trained him, and sent him to work on the ship. There were indeed a TON of Indians working on this ship.
I seriously doubt this "contract worker" is paid the same as a bon-fide employee of the Cruise Line, and his lack of interest in his job seemed to bear this out. Being recruited in India, I bet his salary would be more along Indian standards: pennies an hour. The "agency" keeps the dollars.
In my opinion, this point is FAR from put to rest.