I have watched many of the shows, but thought this one was the weakest.
I thought Mr. Sheehan literally "missed the boat" in his resolutions (which were mostly vague solutions) to problems/issues he encountered. Every single employee mentioned that he/she missed his/her family during their long tours of duty. Since many ships now have "Internet", it would be a simple thing to provide free Skype telephone calls or some other way for employees to communicate regularly with their families. What a simple way to boost crew morale!
I also think that many issues were white-washed or edited out or ignored. For example, re-thinking how the dining rooms and kitchen are set up. Why should waiters have to hand carry the trays such a long distance? Shouldn't there be some sort of conveyor system? How about the waiters having to find the food themselves? Why not have a way to notify the kitchen what is needed, so it can be assembled in a central place for the waiters to pick up the food. Granted that a perfect solution may have to wait until a new ship is constructed, but certainly there could be some process improvements that could be implemented to streamline the waiters' jobs.
I much preferred an earlier show in which there was a problem employee who was dealt with appropriately. That seemed a bit more realistic than the fantasy we were shown in the last show.
Ok I watched this show and thought it was stupid and it pissed me off.
I am an American and, I have worked on Princess cruises for 8 years and Carnival for 2 years and Norwegian for 1 year. I'm now off ships and this show was all wrong.
1) the cabin thing: That was not a crew cabin most crew cabins are bunk beds and are very small and the bathrooms do not look like that. There are some crew that have there own rooms like singers, top Officers, cruise director, and art directors, but they are still not that nice. this was a passenger cabin. Yes there are passenger cabins used sometimes, from fly on and fly off guest Entertainers, or special lecturers, but that is in there contract.
2) The reason the Hawaiian ship has all American crew is because of the Jones Act it is an old trade act which stats that ships can not do all American ports, that's why most ships go to ensenada, Vancouver, or fanny Island. The way they get around that is they hire all American Crew for the 2 ships that do just the Hawaiian Islands. Which is why they have a big turn over rate, because they are trying to get the American crew to do the same work for the same money they pay the non American crew.
3) The Deck hands do alot of work more then that, and yes Hawaii is great but they do most of there work when the ship is in port so they don't get to see most of it.
4) Most contracts are 10 or 11 months on ships. Unless you are crew staff which is 6 months or senior officers which can be 4 months. Or guest entertainers or lectures.
5) Sports staff which are crew staff usually. yes this girl made me a little happy. Most of the Activity's are like that and there is alot of the complaining from passengers. Most passengers don't really care about the fun of the game they just want to be entertained, or they want the stupid prizes. There alot of Activity's that are on the ships that don't work. The land office comes up with Activity's they have seen other places and just expects the staff to handle all the work on board. On princess we had ceramics at sea. Yes it sounds nice but the cruise staff with all the other stuff they do are made to run this. On land the have lifts to move the big boxes around the store. On the ship the staff have to move all the boxes from lower decks to the upper decks and the kilns never fired right on a moving ship and all that work a passenger spent making a plate would break in the kiln. The Corporate Office dosen't follow threw whith how it affects the staff on the ship and if you say something they say well it works on all the other ships in the fleet. But the staff has worked on the other ships and is friends with other staff on other ships, and they no that is a lie. They just want a yes sire attitude untill someone gets hurt and they get sued.
6) Crew staff Which is what I did, before that I was a dancer. yes he had to learn a dance but there is several dances that you have to learn and teach passengers. He only did the Party, what about the other part of the day when you do all the activities through out the day starting at 8, then have to decorate for the party and take it down after till Midnight or later. If they are going to put him through the job then he needs to see all aspects of the job.
7) The server thing was a joke and he only did dinner. though server work there buts off, That is why you will never find an American in the Dinning room. Most Americans couldn't do the Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 7 days a week. The servers get lunch off some days but they work alot. and have a room in the bottom of the ship and are not allowed up on decks unless they are working.
The whole show just really upset me being an ex crew member they didn't show anything, it was more of a comercial about the ship.
Thanks for the perspective sacdbill. Welcome and I hope you'll continue to comment here on Cruisemates.
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman
My Personal Cruise Blog: My Cruise Blog
Future Cruises: Carnival Triumph-Caribbean-7/28/2014, Carnival Legend-South Pacific-8/30/2014, MSC Preziosa-Mediterranean-10/25/2014, MSC Fantasia-Mediterranean-11/2/2014, Navigator of the Seas-12/14/2013, Norwegian Jewel-1/3/2015, Emerald Princess-1/11/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/2/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/15/2015.
I also worked on ships as a cruise staff member and I basically agree with everything you said. It didn't tick me off because I as a cruise reporter I now know how the business works - they are basically disingenuous about things they dont want people to know, and all it does is create unnecessary rumors about how bad the cruise industry is. It is really a very good industry.
Everything about that show was pre-planned PR, even though NCL says that had no creative control they still were able to manage what the producers saw - and Sheehan was very clever about how he characterized everything he said.
The only part of the show which was true is that most crewmembers really are happy and like their jobs a lot. But the hardest part is the long contracts and missing your family. Obviously.
When I worked on ships even waiters had 8-month contracts. They have gotten longer over the years on all cruise lines which is why I was skeptical that Sheehan would shorten them.
What I don't understand is this - they have NOTHING TO HIDE. The crew is happy, the real crew quarters are great (I have seen the ones on Epic and I also worked for NCL). There is no reason to misrepresent what they give the crew.
I also thought the show was all about the crew - why didnt he see anything wrong with the ship itself he could improve - lines for shows, etc.
I also wonder exactly how the workers were picked to be the ones to work with Sheehan. My guess is they are the cream of their departments crop and were suggested by their dept heads. God forbid you get a bad worker to be on the show and promote negatively. So common sense says that the show and NCL knew going in what type of employees they were going to expolit for the best PR and ratings.
2008-Valor and Glory
2009-Spirit and Splendor
2010-Freedom of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas
2012-Allure of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas
I have watched the show a few times. They are all the same where they are trying to teach the boss/ owner a lesson and bring them back to reality. What they show me is that the "boss's" seem like bafoons :-). Obviously they wont know or be able to do the work for the reasons you mentioned. However, many dont seem powerful and in charge when they introduce themselves as who they really are. That is when the confident boss personality shines. I think some people find this a "feel good" show. I dont have the desire to watch as its a lot of BS.
My mian problem with this show was the work given to the CEO. On the Epic, he should have had to do a full week at Customer Relations on the ship, to see how his corporate policys effect the customer. I think being yelled at for 15 hour days, for a full week would leave an impression. I really think NCL is 3rd for a reason and that they are a difficult future based on their stronger and more inovative competiors! I sure would not invest in the new NCL IPO, I mean good money after bad??
I think I said this before... the cabin they show him living in is NOT a crew cabin. He says something like "I stayed in a cabin which is the same size as those some of our crewmembers live in" But HIS was a standard inside passenger cabin.
In fact they do have a few people living in such cabins, every ship usually has a few staff people living in passenger cabins for various reasons - but for him to widely suggest his cabin was a typical crew cabin was disingenuous to say the least. They did not show the real crew area on that ship - which I have seen. They should have shown it, it really is one of the nicer crew areas on any cruise ship. But you didn't see it.
The show is mostly fluff and it didn't show anything about NCL as a company that made me respect them any more or less. I agree, he should have been in a positrion where he was dealing with passengers. Every CEO should already know the things he claimed he "learned" on that show, and I suspect the show was heavily coached by the PR department for them to think of things to change that wouldn't change their image one bit.