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Old September 6th, 2008, 01:10 PM
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Default give crew-members a day off

i have read many of these gripes, and am horrified at what the guests think of our lives on board. yes, it is not for everyone, but anyone that has done it for any period of time enjoys it. I am disgusted how so many people think how badly we are mis-treated. Trust me, i would not have worked there for 7 years if this was the case.

yes, we work hard, but don't you work hard too? no, i don't get underpaid, i might not have the same salary as you, but take away your tax, your mortgage, your bills, your expenses, i'm probably left with the same, if not more. i'm 26, and my husband and i own 1 house, 1 apartment, i car....and we have no debt, credits, mortgages, nothing. how many people can say that? if i had not worked for carnival for years, i would have none of that. i also wake up every morning in a new place, i spend my time off in some of the most beautiful places in the world....oh and i get paid to do it.

as for days off, if your dining room staff/cabin staff had the day off, who would service your cabin/bring your dinner. that would lead to one more thing for people to complain about.
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Old September 6th, 2008, 02:54 PM
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Just curious, is your husband in the cruiseline industry also?
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Old September 6th, 2008, 02:59 PM
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yes, we met working on the ship. why? does it make a difference?
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Old September 6th, 2008, 11:25 PM
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I don't think it matters if your husband works for the cruise industry or not, you sound like a well-centered, smart, contented woman who has made the best choices for yourself and your husband.

After 30+ cruises, I marvel at the attitudes of the staff and crew each time I'm aboard a ship. As with any job in life, it's what you make of it! Some people would be unhappy with ANYTHING they were doing and others would view the same job with enthusiasm and a sense of opportunity.

I think perhaps your upbringing has made you the adventurous, curious, never bored type of person that others envy. More people should think like you do and my hat's off to you and your husband for your accomplishments and attitude! Thanks for all you do!
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Old September 7th, 2008, 01:21 AM
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You would be a good person to ask. I would like to know the best gift Etc. would be for above average service. I have heard phone cards, but I wondering what you would have appericated? I have been pleased with the service.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 02:49 AM
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Default re:gift

that's a tricky one. unless you know the person well, it can always be hard to know what they like. i used to work in the onboard shops, and many cruises guests would come to buy a small gift for a crewmember, and many time....not all....the next cruise the crewmember would come to the store asking to exchange it!!

so it's hard to say this without sounding selfish or greedy.....but most would probably prefer a monetary gift. or, failing that, a nice bottle of wine is always good, we almost all drink alcohol, probably too much of it, but who doesnt!! hope this helps a little.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: re:gift

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-crewmember
that's a tricky one. unless you know the person well, it can always be hard to know what they like. i used to work in the onboard shops, and many cruises guests would come to buy a small gift for a crewmember, and many time....not all....the next cruise the crewmember would come to the store asking to exchange it!!

so it's hard to say this without sounding selfish or greedy.....but most would probably prefer a monetary gift. or, failing that, a nice bottle of wine is always good, we almost all drink alcohol, probably too much of it, but who doesnt!! hope this helps a little.
I cruise Carnival and live near Napa Valley California. So a nice bottle of wine is right up my alley. Carnival lets you bring on one bottle of wine per person. I think I will do that next cruise, thanks for the advice.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 05:21 PM
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Default wine gift

glad to have helped!!

any questions, i will answer, any opinions wanted...i'm full of them!!!!

enjoy your next cruise
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Old September 9th, 2008, 06:23 AM
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I will say that one of my few regrets in life is that I didn't discover cruising until I got older. I would have loved to work on a ship when I was younger, and had more stamnia. While the work is hard ... of that I have no doubt, the rewards I can see would be plentiful.

Today, though, at age 53, I am a bit too spoiled to be able to put in those long hours. My hat's off to those who do.

Blue skies ...

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Old September 9th, 2008, 09:16 AM
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We have a very good friend who is the First Officer on a large Princess ship (I better not say which one). He loves his job! Maybe it's because he is an officer and has nicer quarters, etc.

He lives with my brother-in-law (who is single) back here in the states when he's not on the ship. His view is work hard, play hard, enjoy it all. It has been hard on him, he is divorced as his wife was not in the cruise industry, but all in all he would not trade his life for anyone elses. Now, his cruise stories are amazing!
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Old September 9th, 2008, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
I will say that one of my few regrets in life is that I didn't discover cruising until I got older. I would have loved to work on a ship when I was younger, and had more stamnia. While the work is hard ... of that I have no doubt, the rewards I can see would be plentiful.

Today, though, at age 53, I am a bit too spoiled to be able to put in those long hours. My hat's off to those who do.

Blue skies ...

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I identify. In 1988, I was offered a job in a 50's band to play on cruise ships and turned it down. Can you beat that for stupid?
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Old September 12th, 2008, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeythyme
I identify. In 1988, I was offered a job in a 50's band to play on cruise ships and turned it down. Can you beat that for stupid?
If I had a nickle for every stupid decision I made in life, I'd be a rich woman today ... sailing year-round in the penthouse suite.

Blue skies ...

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Old September 12th, 2008, 10:58 AM
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I would be content working on land on the phones for the cruise lines. Customer service is fine with me. One would sure have to get some decent discounts on the cruises.
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Old September 12th, 2008, 03:45 PM
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The crew from cleaning to dining to engineering are just doing a job, just that. Respect them for it and don’t look at them like someone who needs charity in any form. If you want to give extra gifts for their service, fine.

But, far too much is made of the countries or conditions that the ships crew 'appears' to come from, I find that actually quite rude towards them as people doing a job that if you are good at it, you can make more money per annum than some of the people they are serving.

Service does not always mean servitude; I bet it would burst a lot of peoples bubbles in how they react to staff, to know that their waiter or room cleaner was earning 2 or 3 times as much as they did a year.

And good on them they work for it, respect
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Old September 13th, 2008, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DayvidB
Service does not always mean servitude; I bet it would burst a lot of peoples bubbles in how they react to staff, to know that their waiter or room cleaner was earning 2 or 3 times as much as they did a year.

And good on them they work for it, respect
Amen!

Lots of people think the service workers on the ship are basically "dumb," and doing a service job on the ship simply because that's all they are qualified to do. Well, guess what? You'd be shocked at how much some of them know about computers, and how capable they are in a whole range of disciplines.

They do that job on the ship because it pays well ... plain and simple. What with their tips, the fact that they have no real living expenses, and their base salaries, many of those cabin stewards and waiters that a lot of people think are barely scratching out a living are, in fact, doing better than many of the passengers on a yearly basis. They take those jobs on the ship because working on the ship often means a good life for their families. They send most of their money home, and it provides security for the family living back in their homeland. When they finally retire from working on the ship, they and their families enjoy a high standard of living because of the nestegg they built up while working. So that's the reason they will put up with contracts that run as long as a year, never seeing their families ... including babies they fathered on their last between contract break ... while working their butts off in the process.

Believe me, they are not stupid by any means ... not to be pitied. They make a choice, and probably a wise one. And if they make more money than me in a year (which I don't doubt considering the living expenses I have compared to their's), I too say good on them. They work hard, so they deserve it.

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Old September 13th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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I too could appear dumb, naive and a very nice person every 7 to 14 days for the dollars left behind each time,,,,a scenical view, well maybe it is. I would not be doing it for the people I meet or the personal experience I may gain from it, that’s for sure.

We are numbers that give out dollars, that’s key to them doing the job, simple.
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Old September 13th, 2008, 11:52 PM
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Davy Darling: Who among us would be doing the work we do if there were not someone paying the money for us to do it?

Can't speak for you, but I'm no Mother Teresa. Yes, I love my work, but I do it to get paid.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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As an ex=crew-menber myself I agree that most people who work on ships love it. You get to talk to a lot of crewpeople, and only 1 in 100 is not happy on the ship.

Naturally, people complain about this and that at times. They want different food or more privavcy. But you very very rarely hear someone say "I want out of this job and I am never coming back" - and you meet far more people who have been doing it for years and consider themselves lucky to be there.

I AM very fortunate that I discovered cruise ships and got my first job on one way back in 1983. I was even more lucky that it was the top luxury cruise line of its time, Royal Viking Line. In 1993 I also worked for NCL and Holland America.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 09:27 PM
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The staff and crew know what they are getting into when they sign up for working on the ship. I keep thinking that if they were in their homeland they would not be better off and working longer hours for less pay. That is why we are encouraged to tip extra if we feel we got good service.

I gave the cabin attended extra because she was wonderful and was always friendly. The Maitre D of the dining room gets paid more, but he (or she on some ships) also has a difficult job because they have to deal with petty moaning and graoning to serious problems and do it all to please the passenger. I tipped one of the maitre d's because he bent over backwards to get us a better table than what we were given, the fact that he was amazingly handsome and charming also contributed...I noted that in a 10 minute span at least a dozen or more WOMEN handed him the tip envelopes...

Keep up your good work and do what you love to do....
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Old October 8th, 2008, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiseNOID
I would be content working on land on the phones for the cruise lines. Customer service is fine with me. One would sure have to get some decent discounts on the cruises.

Yes working in the Reservations call center has it's perks. I worked for Carnival for 5 years in the call center and we got 2 free cruises a year. Stand by. But most people make it onboard. Plus they offer overtime incentives. For ex amount of overtime you can earn a free confirmed cruise.
I wish I had worked onboard before I had a family. LOVE CRUISES.
Everytime we cruise we make friends with crew members.
I just hate to see certain people treat the crew members badly for no reason. I see it everytime I cruise.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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"I just hate to see certain people treat the crew members badly for no reason. I see it everytime I cruise."

And it does not just happen in cruising, it happens every day in the other things in life that people do everyday.

The checkout assistant in the supermarket, the server in a restaurant, any job that SOME see as below them and,,,suddenly they are MR or MRS BIG NOISE.

Question: Do they do it with their banker, lawyer or boss in the work place, I guess not.

But for some reason, some sad folks, because they have managed to scrape together the money to be in certain places including ships. They now feel a need to be arrogant towards others, as if its part of the experience.

In life, I expect to meet the arrogant people, I see them and experience them everyday, in work, in the coffee shop or supermarket, and on the street of my neighbourhood

So am I just seeing them reflected on ship as they would be at home, or am I seeing the "delusional" and arrogant pain in the arse, that only seems to appear in them when they are on a ship?

I think some folks go overboard either in action or reaction,,,because they are on ship,,, as its different and so is their expectation. However the majority are just selfish, up their A folks that will also do this at home.

I would rather talk to Bin Laden , than give them the time of day or the fact that I have "noticed them" in their "act" and that’s either in real life or on a vacation.

But walking past I may drop quietly to them, your a pain in the [__]
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Old October 12th, 2008, 05:03 PM
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I can tell you from the experience of several friends and relatives that cruise ship workers do okay. I have one cousin who spent 10 years as a Dealer with Carnival, her and her husband (an Officer with Carnival with about 15 years at sea) have "retired", bought a house and are raising a family, and she works as a travel agent from home. With her experience of foreign ports, she is a natural at it, and does quite well.
Another friend of mine spent 12 years with Princess and left with enough savings to buy a little bar in Valencia, Spain, which her and her husband own and run.
And my step-daughter has worked for NCLA now for 4 years, and despite all the bad press, she loves her job, and plans to quit in a few years, and stay in Hawaii. Her experience will probably get her an entry-level management position at any nice hotel there.
So, I never look down on or patronize cruise staff, any more than I would my mechanic or my tax guy. They are doing the job, for whatever reason, and they must like it at some level, or they would go do something else.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 07:42 AM
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First cruise this last Sept. on Golden Princess in Alaska. It was great and the crew were 110% IMHO.

Though there is an "automatic" gratuity added, we popped cash daily to the crew members who took our care very personal. I suspect this is the best present.

And as for the a___les that just have to try to feel upiddy and talk down to folks in the service industries we made sure both our kids did time in a restaurant and sacked groceries. Kinda gave them some perspective on life. Now they think of service folks of sisters and brothers.

I too could have done this early in life but I was cruising when I was 19-21 years old on a ship that had only one color and my stateroom had bunks 5-6 high with 60-70 men(no women at all) total. There were no bars but gambling every evening if not caught. Shore excursions were usually one-way and there were bunk openings all too often. Tips? Don't volunteer for anything and keep your head down!
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Old October 13th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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I can't tell you how excited I was to get my first job on a cruise ship, and once I got a taste of the life I wanted to keep that job more than anything I had ever done. For most Americans or Brits, we end up in the cruise staff and interacting with passengers all day, so it really is not like work, it is a permanent vacation.

That reminds me of that book that is out now by a Mischa Berman called "permanent passenger" where he talks about ship life as cruise staff being two-faced and saying rude things about the passengers behind their backs, etc. Yes, that happens when a passenger is rude, but for the most part you enjoy the passengers and make friends with someone on almost every cruise.

I got into a big argument with Ross Klein once about employees on ships being exploited as he widely suggests in his cruise industry "expose" books. He has written that crewmembers are practically treated like slaves and they have no idea what they ar egetting into when they sign up. I asked him how he knows that and if he ever worked on ship ( "no" ), I also told him most crewmembers love their jobs and are very happy people.

Think about this - besides the obvious lack of expenses; no rent, car payment, food costs, utilities, health care costs, dental costs....

Yes, the work hours may be long, but in your off time you don't have to do the logistical chores of life all of us regular folks have to do constantly. There is no preparing dinner, ever. There is no house-cleaning (every crew cabin has a room steward), there is no sitting down and paying bills, there is no required shopping for food. Anything you need to buy is available in the crew store at great prices. There is no painting the house, fixing the roof, buying gasoline, washing the car, taking out the garbage, mowing the grass. In other words, all of your free time is very relaxing. The most off-line work you ever have to do is wash your clothes.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 03:45 PM
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Paul

All very true and it seems a great life for a lot of people. My problem is with those passengers that decide because they are "on a ship" they expect or demand from those people only doing that job, to such a level or degree that its not acceptable for the person trying to do the job.

You must have seen that in your time onboard, when passengers step over the line, and take onboard with them arrogance that most of us not would accept or expect to deal with in our workplace.

That’s the people I am talking about the real "snobs" and the real "trash" that do not know how to deal with those that are trying their best to make someone’s vacation special. And as people they don’t expect to be treated like a 1700’s serf or servant. And from people that nothing you can do,, is good enough in their eyes. How hard is that in your job 8)

And I've heard them and seen them on ship, God help the staff and my respect for not shoving some of them off the ship if they got the chance. The arrogance of some people towards either crew or fellow passengers, still amazes me

We cruise with some arrogant, dysfunctional people,, unfortunately the crew have to put up with them, as do the passengers, but as a passenger at least I can say to them F.. off idiot Who do you think you are talking to
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Old October 13th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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i wish i could tell some of the people to f**k off for me too, but i'd get fired for saying it!!! I once had an older gentleman (using that word very loosely!!_tell me to shut up, and only speak to him when he spoke to me, as he was carnival (flashing his platinum S$S card) and i had to do whatever he said!! On the other hand, I've had some guests, who when they see another guest being obnoxiously rude, have stepped in and said something on my behalf, knowing i can't. Which in todays society i have found overwhelming, cos not many people would do that. So thank-you to those of you who do say something, it's nice to know most people appreciate us!!
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Old October 14th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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One of the only times I lost my temper big time was on a cruise. Got caught between 2 hurricanes and the captain took us out to sea to keep us safe. I LIKE being safe! But I needed to go to the purser's desk for some bonine and the couple ahead of me were giving this poor crew member H&*LL for the inconvenience of not being able to get back to port. (The port was closed!) I lost it. Gave my fellow passengers a good tongue lashing, as grandma used to call it. They went away with tails betwen their legs and the crew member thanked me profusely. I don't take any credit for it, as I simply got angry and took out my own nervous feelings on them.
BUT, not sorry I did it.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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well done you.
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