Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Cruise Ship Employees Want You to Know

Many 20-somethings head off to cruise ships in search of adventure, romance, and a little cash. What they get is not often what they expect, though. Life working on a cruise ship is far from glamorous, and there is much that gets hidden from passengers' view.

Here's a taste of the truth from someone who worked as a musician on cruise ships for 11 years, letting you know what cruise ship employees want you to know:

What are your living conditions like?
Living conditions are... bearable. You are on a ship, so space is at a premium. Most of the crew live below decks, sometimes four to a small cabin, and occasionally with a shared bathroom. The officer and guest entertainer cabins are fairly spacious—usually featuring a porthole and a double bed. Generally, for staff (musicians, casino workers, cruise staff, boutique workers, etc.) it's two to an inside (i.e. no porthole) cabin. The cabin is functional—bunk beds, desk, and a bathroom. On some cruise lines, the staff have "deck privileges" (i.e., they're free to be in passenger areas when off-duty), which means they're not obliged to return to their cabin or crew areas after work. On other lines, not.

What’s staff members’ biggest gripe about passengers?
I suppose the biggest gripe of any crew member would be the occasional passenger's attitude. By and large, passengers are very sweet, and are polite and considerate.
Unfortunately, you also get the ones with the attitude "I paid for this cruise, and this is now my ship!" These passengers can be very abrasive, arrogant, and rude, but they are more the exception than the rule.
I wouldn't say we 'make fun' of passengers, but it's hard not to laugh at a lot of passenger "bon mots." Such as:
"What time does the midnight buffet start?"
"Does this elevator go to the front of the ship?"
"Do these stairs go up or down?"
In Greece: "Why did they build so many ruins?"
Also in Greece: "Nobody here spoke English!"
In Turkey: "They don't take American money here!"
"I love France. That's in Spain, isn't it?"

What piece of advice would you give someone taking a cruise for the first time?
Make sure you choose a cruise line appropriate to your demographic. Sometimes young passengers are uncomfortable with the activities and entertainment of a line that caters to an older crowd, and vice versa. And do say "please" and "thank you" to the crew. They work very hard for you!

Read the rest at Travelpost.com.

Image, and more about working on cruise ships, from CorinneWyatt123.com.

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