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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 8th, 2005, 06:44 PM
upper14
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Default Pride of America, an American Gulag?

My grandson, age 21, signed on the NCL America for dining staff for the new Pride of America. After 4 weeks training with the Coast Guard in Maryland, they flew to Germany to make the ship ready. After the cross Atlantic shakedown cruise, hundreds walked off in New York, more in Miami, maybe another 100-200 will leave in Los Angeles. Pay is dismal, morale is low, working conditions harsh, supervisors ignorant and arrogant. Before anyone starts whining about American kids not wanting to work these days, this kid is and always has been a very hard, conscientous worker. He has put in 70-80 hour weeks for less than minimum wage. The last two weeks he put in 130 hours, his paycheck was $350, with no stub, no explanations. The attitude of the supervisors is take it or leave it. Well, they are leaving it in droves. If you want to motivate your workers, you need to take care of them. Maybe foreign workers wiil work for buttwipes for $3.00 an hour, but not our kids.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 8th, 2005, 07:06 PM
Scott Blake
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

That might explain why on my recent Dawn cruise (6/26) I was most disappointed by the service in the dining areas. I had the feeling most of the wait staff had no experience at all. I assumed they had just rotated staff on June 1 or something.

Otherwise , the shore excursion coordination seemed to be a new shocking idea to the people who were running it on shore. Not at all what I expected from a ship celebrating its 70th trip. A little signage would have been helpful.

Overall, my wife was upset the itinerary was modified to skip Nassau, but long before that I had decided that the Dawn experience had not lived up to my expections which were not really that high. I compared the cruise I selected and room (a mini-suite on Deck 11) to a typical Disney vacation in a high end disney resort that we have done and was let down a bit (the food was better on the dawn though)

Oh and I don't recommend a room on Deck 11 midships on the Dawn. They straighten the deck chairs around the pool at 6:15 AM and the dragging noise is pretty loud over your bed!!!

Scott
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Old July 8th, 2005, 08:31 PM
Bruce Chafkin
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?



Here we go again............................................. ............................................
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old July 8th, 2005, 11:38 PM
Hot_Momma
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

The original post does not mention the fact that there have been no paying passengers on The Pride of America and thus no gratuities which are a large part of the paycheck. So im sure that 350.00 does not reflect the considerable gratuities paid to dining room staff on a cruise ship.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 02:11 AM
American Pride
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

It also doesnt reflect the truth. As I have stated in earlier posts on other related threads, back at the shipyard in Bremerhaven my desk was right next to the personnel managers. Now that we are on the ship, we are still friends. I just showed this to her and she pulled up her files in the computer and this is the actual counts.New York City 21 resignations 8 terminations and 3 medical leaves. Miami 33 resignations 11 terminations.Cabo San Lucas 3 terminations. And finally in LA today there were 7 resignations 1 sick leave and 45 vacations. Now as far as wages go. The ship is bound by both US and Hawaiian labor laws. ANY EMPLOYEE WHO WORKS OVER 40 HOURS IS PAID OVERTIME. Are there people working 70 - 80 hours per week? yes... it's the nature of this business! Are they paid for it? yes ITS THE LAW! Turnover rates in this business have always been high whether its an American or foreign ship, whether its NCL, Carnival, or anyone else.
Wake up and see this post as a crank or possibly even posted by one of the folks who has been terminated from either the Aloha or the America.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 02:31 AM
American Pride
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

Another thing I need to add....All onboard crew purchases are automatically deducted from their paychecks ( which are direct deposit in most cases) So maybe junior can fess up and explain that he only recieved $350 for 2 weeks work AFTER deductions from his nightly forays into the crew bar. We have not had all that many port days since we left Germany so the crew bar has been extremely busy.....................
Now another fact about little johnny and suzy here..... Most of these kids are good kids. They work hard and they play hard. But, the Pride of Aloha has more reported cases of STD's each month than the ENTIRE rest of the NCL fleet. Another fact junior wont fess up to. The America is now a close second. And yes.....before you ask.....condoms are available and free..but underutilized....remember at that age we all felt invincible......
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Old July 9th, 2005, 02:52 PM
hombre
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

it is all just what you expect from ncl. they just 'don't get it' at any level. this is a rust-bucket cruise line trying to be something it is not. stay away.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 04:41 PM
American Pride
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

Ya know Doug..... You made me think about the days when I was with Star Cruises working in the Orient. I spent a lot of my time defending America and Americans from the idea of Americans being self centered, egotistical, whiners. After reading your expert opinion ( after cruising with us once in 2000 ) I realize how wrong I was.............
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Old July 9th, 2005, 10:48 PM
BlancheTheSeaMaven
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

But I really liked Kelly Rippa's shoes, were those Minolos?
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Old July 10th, 2005, 06:13 AM
Capt Matt
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

Perhaps Doug needs some cheese to go with his whine........
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old July 20th, 2005, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

Another voice chimes in. We had taken a Freestyle cruise in December 2003, our first of this type. We checked with a few of the wait staff and were told that most of them would rather not go the Freestyle route with "prepaid tips." The better waiters reap tips based on service and personality. By going the socialistic route with all being tipped the same, if in fact the $10 per passenger per day actually reaches the intended staff, there is no incentive for the good service and winning personalities many of the crew have.

One of our servers asked us to look around the room and see how many "older" servers we saw. We saw few. That's because they took their experience and personalities to the other cruise lines where they garnered more than the "recommended" gratituty.

Ralph Leftwich
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Old July 22nd, 2005, 06:38 PM
Bruce MurrayOnHawaii.com
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

Aloha, Since I'm based in Honolulu and write about the NCL ships that cruise the Hawaiian Islands, I tried to contact the original poster of this message. I wanted to interview the "grandson". So far no response. I did speak today directly with crew members of the PRIDE OF AMERICA and was told that some crew did jump ship, but it didn't sound like hundreds quit. Passenger interviews showed no signs of the ship being short handed.

Aloha,
Bruce MurrayOnHawaii.com
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old July 24th, 2005, 03:10 PM
Bruce MurrayOnHawaii.com
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

During my one night overnight charity cruise I spoke with several crew members that confirmed that they had lost many employees.

They did state that NCLA had prepared for the loss and had overstaffed the ship and had brought on additional crew as she hit ports across the US. Some of the crew seemed very new, the young woman who took us to our seats for breakfast wasn't sure where our table was located.

Some of the dinning staff were nervous about having to support a full passenger load, others were very secure in saying they were ready.

I also got the sense that comments that have been expressed here in the past were true that many crew members who were trained on the ALOHA and moved to the AMERICA while it was in Germany were planning to leave the ship soon. They wanted to see Europe, enjoy the repositioning and are now ready to move on. This seemed especially true for Kamaaina/local residents. I also got the impression that NCLA didn't have much of an incentive plan to get past employees to sign new contracts.

Bruce MurrayOnHawaii.com
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old July 25th, 2005, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

I agree with American Pride all the way. Except maybe the STD count of the crew. I remember an article that was published in one of the Hawaiian newspapers about a girl that claimed alot of stuff against NCL - I can't remember specifics. It later turned out that most of her statement s were false. The author of this post is basically doing the same thing.

Upper14, your grandson is incorrect. Under U.S. Coast Guard regulations, a ship is required to maintain a certain minimum crew compliment to sail. With the figures you have stated in this post there would be maybe a half of the normal crew count. THE SHIP WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO SAIL. As far as the pay is concerned, the lowest paid position on the Pride of Aloha was $6.50 per hour. The minimum wage in hawaii right now is $6.25. Want proof? Go to http://www.dol.gov/esa/minwage/america.htm#Hawaii. I know this from personal experience. Yes the crew does tipically work 70 - 80 hours a week. With the time and a half overtime rate you are not making $350. You are making alot more than that. No check stub you say? The law requires that any and all deductions be reported to the employee. As far as the "take it or leave it" attitude is concerned, any employed would have that same attitude. If you don't like your job then leave, there's the door.

Also please keep one very important thing in mind, no one pays rent on the ship and they get free meals.

Having personally worked with both an international crew and an american crew I can honestly say that americans are lazy slobs in contrast to internationals. Internationals do their jobs and they do them with little or no complaint and they take pride in their work. Americans, on the other hand, want to party, complain, and vandalize and destroy things. So yes I am "whining about American kids not wanting to work these days." Please keep in mind that I am 24 years of age so I am still an "American kid." Maybe you don't know your grandson as well as you think you do.

Post Edited (07-25-05 02:58)
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old July 25th, 2005, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

Boy, I wonder why people complain of NCL's customer service?

You really need to take back the "Americans are lazy slobs" comment and the comment that "American kids do not want to work". Yes, perhaps the young people on the NCL ships are lazy but that does not have anything to do with the work ethic of "Americans" in general. In fact, at the age of 24 my spouse was paying his own way through medical school, which he continued to do until he was 34 years old. I will chalk up your comments to that of "another irresponsible 24 year old". If you are representing the NCL cruise line you'd better stop talking, and fast. Personally I think NCL needs to stop letting employees speak on message boards, it only makes them look worse.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old July 25th, 2005, 02:14 PM
American Pride
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

Cnmiranda if we follow your logic then maybe we should get rid of CNN, the newspapers, the constitution and everything else. Or how about we have your employer take away your phone, lock you in the building, remove all the doors and windows so you cant communicate with the outside world. Sound ridiculous? You bet! Just as ridiculous as your comment. Just because we work for a company doesnt mean we lose our right or ability to speak our minds. If you take your blinders off and read the posts youll see that a lot of us who post try to be biased but fair.I personnaly have blasted NCL when they deserved it and defended them from people who dont have a clue. Now I will say that I dont agree 100 percent with the lazy American thing, but they do have a long way to go to meet international standards. I also personally dont think they ever will get there, but not because of the kids, because of the salaries. $6.50 an hour is minimum wage to Americans, but in some countries its a weeks pay or more so therefore you get a different mentality in the worker. Not better or worse per say just different. The kids we have on the America are trying really hard and learning fast. Eventually we will have a top notch product but it will take some time to perfect it.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old July 25th, 2005, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

American Pride, keep talking that way . And you wonder why people complain about this ship...... you know nothing about me, epecially about what "blinders" I may or may not have. By all means, please continue talking to people as you do. I only know that more venom is about to follow so slam, slam, away at the paying public.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old July 26th, 2005, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

First of all, it should be pointed out that the person who made the "lazy slobs" comment is a FORMER officer for NCL, so he is speaking for himself, not for NCL.

Second, American Pride is probably correct in noting that foreign workers are IN GENERAL more motivated to do minimum wage work than Americans. Foreigners by and large can make much more on a cruise ship than at home, not so for Americans. In addition, American workers who haven't done cruise ship work previously may go into it with unrealistic expectations, thinking that it's going to be more glamorous and exciting than it actually is.

Finally, I note with interest that more than two weeks have gone by and the person who started this discussion hasn't returned to answer any of the questions which have been raised by others to his claims. That usually tells you something.

__________________
Rich
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old July 27th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

The only reason I commented on this thread in the first place is because the NCL Officer kept making comments over and over that "American workers" are lazy. That is a completely false statement. And considering the NCL America ships are mostly made up of American consumers I am miffed by how the employees continue to talk negatively about their American co workers. Not to mention when one talks about how their coworkers are drunks and have std's(previous thread)..... will that really make consumers want to sail these ships?

I never have spoken directly to American Pride before but he felt the need to attack what I said, so I guess it's okay that the NCL officer calls American workers lazy, the people that are paying his wages.

One thing is certain, I think the NCL employees that post here have attitude problems.

I swore off this board for a reason, and I regret I came back in the first place. It is now completely overrun with NCL cheerleaders and look out when someone does not post something in praise of the cruise line. Good luck to all of you.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old July 27th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

The lazy slobs comment was a generalized comment to compare americans to internationals. On the Aloha someone got pissed off and decided it would be nice to use a permanent marker to "express their feelings" on the walls of the public crew restrooms - all of them. This was an american that did it. Also incinerator fires drastically rose on the Aloha because someone was too lazy to seperate their trash and an aerosol can ended up being incinerated with the paper. That last incident alone poses serious safety risks to the entire ship. Let's look at the constant plumbing issues that could have been avoided. On a cruise ship there is a vacuum toilet system. There are only 2 things that can go into the toilets on the ship; human waste and toilet paper. If you flush anything else down the toilets, you end up clogging the whole system. Crew are informed of this and know the consequences of flushing foreign objects yet the ships plumber was so overbooked pulling crap out of the vacuum lines. Why? Because someone was too lazy to throw their garbage in the trash can.

Now don't get me wrong, the crew that was there to work did a great job but compared to international crew members, americans are lazy. Do I consider myself lazy? No. But that's just my perspective and I'm sure the next guy would think otherwise but in contrast to an international doing the same job I would have to say they would do it with more conviction and for less money.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old July 27th, 2005, 01:31 PM
Punch_Drunk
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

As for Americans work ethic, Perhaps if we had 2 months off work every year like Europeans we would have more energy.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old July 27th, 2005, 06:54 PM
AmericInsider
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

Been a while since I posted...

Just for the record, NOBODY is getting 350 dollar paychecks. I am a crew member, my last check was for $1600, the check before was for $1800. This is after taxes, my friends. Between wages, OT, minimal service charge dividends, and actual, earned tips, I will make close to six thousand dollars a month. Yes, I work my tail off to get that, but so what?

I started on internatiional ships, I was with the Aloha from the beginning, as well as the America since April. This ship is doing much better than the Aloha did, and there is a different feel among the crew. Very soon, it will be time to staff the Pride of HI, and we will learn from the mistakes of this ship, just as we learned from the Aloha, and make that launch even more successful.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old July 27th, 2005, 07:50 PM
American Pride
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

Weel here you heard it.... People who have been there and know what they talk about. Is everything perfect here at the POA? Nope...Is it getting better? Yep.......
I dont think defending my right to speak when you want to shut me up is spewing venom. Just like you have the right to post your opinions here. This board is for everyones opinions and we all have the right to disagree. Remember YOU fired the first shot across my bow so dont be so defensive when you hang comments out there. You might want to consider taking a cruise...they say they are very relaxing.......
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old July 27th, 2005, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

American Pride, if you reread this post again you will see I never adressed you, I was talking to NCL Officer. Again, you know nothing about me, especially whether or not I should consider taking a cruise. I just returned from 2 1/2 weeks in Europe, thank you for asking and will departing again for another cruise in 3 weeks. So please stop saying I shot venom, I never spoke to you but you responded with venom towards me.

Thank you NCL Officer for restating your comments. I felt those generalizations were very inflamitory. It felt as though you were saying Americans were lazy. Thank you for rephrasing that. Good luck.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old July 29th, 2005, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Pride of America, an American Gulag?

We sailed on the Pride of America Miami to LA. The number of crew members who left the ship was higher than stated in the previous post. We saw two escorted form the ship by security in Porto Limon.
BUT the crew members who stuck it our are hard working and trying to become as proficent as any staff. As all workers must be American HAL had few experienced worker to hire. Most of kids have never dinned execpt at Mac Donalds.
Most of waiters we spoke to were very happy with their job so it's unfair to knock all American kids because of a few spoiled adventure seekers.

Steve
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