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Old March 25th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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Default What most surprised you after watching Cruise Inc.

Hope all of you statesiders were able to watch the CNBC documentary, Cruise Inc., hosted by Peter Greenberg.

The issues that most surprised me was crew income and a revelation concerning reflagging the two ships pulled from Hawaii service and reflagged.

The first concerned the approximate income of $2,500 a month for the Senior Steward. I would have guessed it to be much less. Ten hour days, seven day weeks, are the average for cruise ship employees and are similiar to those worked by most merchange seamen (not to mention military). Even though that included tips and keeping in mind that all stewards don't make that much, if the income is fairly indicative across the industry, it iremains much more than I would have ever guessed.

I guess that pretty much puts book to the claim of some that most cruise ship employees have incomes that are akin to what indentured servants receive. As in all businesses everywhere around the world who engage service personnel who receive tips, there are going to be those who work harder and therefore gain a higher income. From many of the countries represented by cruise ship personnel, $2,500 a month means the employee's family enjoys a relative in most of the countries represented by crusie ship employees and even a very upscale lifestyle in others. Of course there are of course, those who make much less, etc. but still, I was quite surprised.

I knew that as a result of flying the American Flag (and therefore adhering to American pay scales, etc.) NCL had to pull two of their three American Flagged vessels from Hawaii and re-register them. What stunned me was that they lost an astounding $100,000,000 by the venture!

Todd
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Old March 25th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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I was surprised by the extremely high number of security cameras reported to be on the Pearl.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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What surprised me the most is the preview clips that were on HULU were cut for the most part from the show. I thought they were some of the most intersting.

I also felt dragging the Norway incident into the show not necessary. Added nothing to the business of cruise lines today.

$2500 a month. I was not surprised. since they work 9 month contracts that is only $22,500 a year. Anyone want that job ? You sure won't be cruising or seeing much of your family.

As far as NCLA that same job paid about $2000 a month for 60 hour week (20 hours as time and haldf overtime) before tips.

One thing it did make clear that many don't believe is if a ship is sold out the price of the cruise does not cover the cost.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Shoreguy,

Don't know where you live, but $22,500 a year in this part of upper East Tennessee is far more than a lot of folks make. Most have to work one full time and sometimes one or even two part time jobs to earn that amount. But then again, they are home at least part of the day or night.

Todd
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Old March 25th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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Default What Most Surprised You after Watching Cruises, Inc.

I forgot to watch it, Todd!

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Old March 25th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: What Most Surprised You after Watching Cruises, Inc.

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I forgot to watch it, Todd!

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Set your DVR

Cruise, Inc.: Big Money on the High Seas
In a special one-hour report, CNBC takes a look inside the multi-billion-dollar cruise industry, as it sails through some of the toughtest economic waters in its history.

— Premieres Mar. 24 at 9p | 10p | 1a ET
— Re-airs Mar. 29 at 10pm ET
— Apr. 5 at 1a ET
— Apr. 7 at 9p | 1a ET
— Apr. 10 Noon ET
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Old March 25th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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I didn't see any major revelations from the show but it was nice to see a cruise related program that wasn't just a "wow" travelogue. I was impressed that NCL was as open as they were about revenue and that revenue was the bottom line. I think it made many people realize that the number one priority is to raise revenue and giving people a fun vacation is number 2 or 3.

They never mentioned the Photo department as being a source of revenue and the photo department is a significant revenue producer.

In terms of earnings for cabin stewards and waiters, that information is fairly easy to find and not a real revelation. I know I wouldn't want a $6 - $7 an hour job where I had to work 12 - 16 hours a day, almost seven days a week for ten months. The average portion of their salary that the cruise line provides is around $50/month. Tips account for the rest of it.

The NCLA (Hawaii) venture was a debacle from the start. They over saturated the market, underestimated their training costs, the amount of attrition, the pay required to retain service personnel and the number of people who booked the cruises. They also gained a bad reputation after a number of seasoned cruisers cruised the Hawaiian market and found service less than a regular cruise and more of a floating hotel rather than a "destination".

Take care,
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Old March 25th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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I know the figure mentioned re/income is probably an average--some maybe a little more--some maybe a little less. There was no mention as to what a good waiter makes--probably averages more than a cabin attendant.
But a couple of things here--there's no taxes taken out so it's clear money--the areas of the world these people come from usually have a much lower cost of living than here in the U.S. and too, they don't have to pay rent, house payments, buy gas to get to and from work, etc. They get free food, free housing and what they do buy as far as personal items is at a discount so all in all, as I've always said, they do pretty darn well.

What would a person have to earn here in the U.S. to bring home , after all the taxes, $ 2500. per month? Then how much would they have to spend just to get to and from work, lunch, etc. and then buy their own food, pay for their housing, etc., etc.?
Not a bad job in my opinion, especially for someone young and single!
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Old March 25th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddDH
Shoreguy,

Don't know where you live, but $22,500 a year in this part of upper East Tennessee is far more than a lot of folks make. Most have to work one full time and sometimes one or even two part time jobs to earn that amount. But then again, they are home at least part of the day or night.

Todd
Wow in California you cuoldn't afford to live on so little. Everything is overpriced over here.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 03:19 PM
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Katlady,

My gosh, I don't know how someone with an income of 50 grand a year can consider themselves much above low income in extremely significant sections of both California and New York.

Mike M,

The minimum wage for waitstaff in this country is only around $2.15 an hour. Everything else is tips. Admittedly this has been augmented by local and state legislation in some (albeit few) areas of the country.

Anyhow, everything is relative. There are huge areas throughout the United States where the Federal Minimum wage or somewhat above is what the average blue collar worker is paid. There again, a house in many of these areas (before the housing collapse) that sold for 60 or 70 grand, you couldn't touch in other areas of the country (those with average higher income levels) for less than double that amount or even far more. I.E: the home that I currently own, a brick ranch on a realtor's acre worth before the housing market collapse around 130k; whereas in Hyde Park, New York the exact same house would cost you over $425k on a lot less than half the size of mine, and which I should add, in NY would come with commensurate taxes of probably around 700 a month escrow. My taxes are less than 1/10th that amount!

So as you can see, while probably not in your area nor many others and certainly not in California and New York, nevertheless $2,500 a month without any taxes or housing/food costs for an average 10 hour day/ seven day week for even ten months a year, is a pretty darned good wage in many parts of even this country, much less a third world nation.

Todd
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Old March 25th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Income is very relative. My counterparts in China make about $20K per year total. A married couple on two incomes can live in a very nice apartment in Shanghai with hardwood floors, 3 bdr., beautiful teak dining room with teak built-ins, two terraces, full European style kitchen, 2 baths, park and gated community with undergraound parking. They hire cooks and maids for 50 cents a day and belong to health clubs with pools. It is all relative.

I cannot afford housecleaning service or a health club and I certainly couldn't afford such a beautiful apartment in one of our major cities, but I make 5 times their salary. Yes, I will say their medical standards, dental standards and pollution control are below ours, but that is about it.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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Debp,

I don't think that's quite "about it." Although I know you didn't think of this ; but I somehow don't think you'd trade the "freedoms" you have in this country to become a citizen of mainland China in order to obtain such a lavish lifestyle. But of course i 'reckon you could go over there as an American business person and get pretty much the same results, as long as of course, your profession wasn't investigative journalism.

Todd
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Old March 25th, 2009, 04:57 PM
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Todd, you are quite right that I have absolutely no desire to live in China. I was just pointing out that salary is relative and many can give there family a good life on $20K in other parts of the world - not traditional EU or North America, but certainly Eastern Europe and parts of Asia. No way would I trade my freedoms and my knowledge of the world as a whole.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debp
Income is very relative. My counterparts in China make about $20K per year total. A married couple on two incomes can live in a very nice apartment in Shanghai with hardwood floors, 3 bdr., beautiful teak dining room with teak built-ins, two terraces, full European style kitchen, 2 baths, park and gated community with underground parking. They hire cooks and maids for 50 cents a day and belong to health clubs with pools. It is all relative.

I cannot afford housecleaning service or a health club and I certainly couldn't afford such a beautiful apartment in one of our major cities, but I make 5 times their salary. Yes, I will say their medical standards, dental standards and pollution control are below ours, but that is about it.
Debp,

You are correct: "It is all relative" and it's why there are many people around the world who want a job on a cruise ship. It is a "good" living but it isn't what an AIG (AIU) executive steals, I mean earns.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 25th, 2009, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddDH
Shoreguy,

Don't know where you live, but $22,500 a year in this part of upper East Tennessee is far more than a lot of folks make. Most have to work one full time and sometimes one or even two part time jobs to earn that amount. But then again, they are home at least part of the day or night.

Todd
Well maybe they need to go back to school. I think unemployement in NJ pays that much. You can work 70 hours at Burger king and make more.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 07:36 PM
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Yes, but a cruise ship job is legal. You can't come to America to get a job a Burger King legally, you are supposed to be qualified in a way that no American is before you can get a job here.

Or am I missing something.....? (duh, illegal immigration). Obviously, a LOT of people world wide want to earn that kind of money even if they do it illegally and have to pay all their expenses out of it.

The show made it clear trhose workers are not exploited.

I think it is great that they make $2500 FREE AND CLEAR on a cruise ship. That is take home pay with no rent, food, utilities, dental or medical care deducted. You could not say that about a Burger King job even if they DID get it legally.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 07:52 PM
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Mike, I was waiting for them to mention the overpriced photos too..that family of 5 that they showed, eating in the pay restaurants, on several nights,I could bet they racked up a hefty photo bill as well.

They lose money on the alcohol for Bruce and myself....that they managed to get the $21,000.00 they needed in 24 hours amazed me....

I wonder how many times the ship sails in just breaking even though, that we will never know....Andy was at one of the seminars I was at on the Gem....he has quite the interesting job....
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Old March 25th, 2009, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
They lose money on the alcohol for Bruce and myself....that they managed to get the $21,000.00 they needed in 24 hours amazed me....

....
$10 a head and the have it. A few sodas for kids, some wine, a few drinks of the day, some buckets of beer, and you got it.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 08:49 PM
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Thanks for the reminder. I have set the Tivo.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 09:23 PM
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I loved sailing on the Pearl. She is a beautiful ship. One thing I couldn't believe was how "large" Simon the cruise director has become!!! We saw him on the Norwegian Sun a few years ago when he was a newbie. I guess the food on NCL isn't that bad after all!!!!!
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Old March 25th, 2009, 09:52 PM
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My personal opinion is that photos have gone down as a income earner. It used to be that most people bought a few, back when getting them developed was normal (not digital) and the price was reasonable.

In my opinion, a once very profitable idea has gone way downhill. Everyone has a digital camera today (not everyone carried film cameras - too complicated), and the price of prints on ships has gone insane. I trhink they price them way to make more money from the few left who still buy prints onboard, but that number has shrunken by so much it just isn't what it used to be.

I'll bet they make a lot more money from the souvenir DVDs than they used to, though.

The art auctions have really gone down in revenue as well. To the point where Celebrity Solstice doesn't have Park West anymore.

You have to hand it to Silversea; they don't have photographers or art auctions onboard - and drinks and tips are included in the cruise fare. So not only is it more inclusive, they don't insult your intelligence with overpriced gimmickes to make even more revenue onboard.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter

You have to hand it to Silversea; they don't have photographers or art auctions onboard - and drinks and tips are included in the cruise fare. So not only is it more inclusive, they don't insult your intelligence with overpriced gimmickes to make even more revenue onboard.
I all fairness they don't have to. I could buy every picture, spend money at the art auction, eat in every specialty venue, drink until my liver quit, and still not cover the difference in fares.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 07:06 AM
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Of course one gets far more than merely free booze when it comes to the high end cruise lines. I've read very few (if any) passenger reviews of the ultra high end cruiselines concerning poor cuisine, loud and obnoxious drunks, non stop hype and sales pitches on the intercom, the constant pushing of extra cost beverages not to mention Park West auctions, inconsiderate and ill mannered shipmates cutting into lines, poor quality excursions, insufficient lounge chairs at the pools to accomodate cruisers on sea days, of getting the feeling of being treated as just so much cattle while in the process of embarkation or disembarkation of the vessel at port stops, etc; just to mention the more prevalent ones. Yet one can read thousands of those and similar complaints when it comes to the mass market lines.

As you can see, one receives a far higher level of cuisine, service and general ambience in return for those vary expensive fares. Of course whether or not it's all worth those fares depends upon the ability and even the willingness to part with that significant larger sum to enjoy such an experience and that's if one would even enjoy such an experience. Then there are those who while they could afford such a cruise once a year or every other year, prefer to sail more frequently on the mass market lines.

While I'd certainly love to experience that level of cruising offered by lines such as Silverseas, I'm more than happy to stick with, in my case, RCL.

Todd
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Old March 27th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
I was impressed that NCL was as open as they were about revenue and that revenue was the bottom line. I think it made many people realize that the number one priority is to raise revenue and giving people a fun vacation is number 2 or 3.
Take care,
Mike
That's OK by me. If they lose money, they won't be there for me in the future. Besides, as long as they let me on the ship, they do not have to "give" me a fun vacation. In that environment, I can make my own.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeythyme
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
I was impressed that NCL was as open as they were about revenue and that revenue was the bottom line. I think it made many people realize that the number one priority is to raise revenue and giving people a fun vacation is number 2 or 3.
Take care,
Mike
That's OK by me. If they lose money, they won't be there for me in the future. Besides, as long as they let me on the ship, they do not have to "give" me a fun vacation. In that environment, I can make my own.
But Mike they have to do #2 or #3 in order achieve #1. As stated by Tony Lockett in the show, " We have to give value for money and we have to make money".
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Old March 27th, 2009, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoreguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeythyme
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
I was impressed that NCL was as open as they were about revenue and that revenue was the bottom line. I think it made many people realize that the number one priority is to raise revenue and giving people a fun vacation is number 2 or 3.
Take care,
Mike
That's OK by me. If they lose money, they won't be there for me in the future. Besides, as long as they let me on the ship, they do not have to "give" me a fun vacation. In that environment, I can make my own.
But Mike they have to do #2 or #3 in order achieve #1. As stated by Tony Lockett in the show, " We have to give value for money and we have to make money".
Yep: That's the key to any successful business. The point I alluded to was that many cruisers feel that it is "evil" or "underhanded" for the cruise lines to generate revenue. Basically they feel that a cruise should be "all inclusive" for the $399 they paid. :o

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 27th, 2009, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoreguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeythyme
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
I was impressed that NCL was as open as they were about revenue and that revenue was the bottom line. I think it made many people realize that the number one priority is to raise revenue and giving people a fun vacation is number 2 or 3.
Take care,
Mike
That's OK by me. If they lose money, they won't be there for me in the future. Besides, as long as they let me on the ship, they do not have to "give" me a fun vacation. In that environment, I can make my own.
But Mike they have to do #2 or #3 in order achieve #1. As stated by Tony Lockett in the show, " We have to give value for money and we have to make money".
Yep: That's the key to any successful business. The point I alluded to was that many cruisers feel that it is "evil" or "underhanded" for the cruise lines to generate revenue. Basically they feel that a cruise should be "all inclusive" for the $399 they paid. :o

Take care,
Mike
I am with you 100%. If they don't make money we have no ships to enjoy.
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