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Cruise Ship Documentary

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    Cruise Ship Documentary

    Ok to start the post off. Who saw the documentary regarding Celebrity Cruises and how they pay the staff ?

    There were also other inconsistencies eg we were told they were going to the Norwegian fjords but strangely we saw Copenhagen (Denmark ) and I think Tallinn (Estonia) so how much credence can we give this as a factual programme?

    It's a well accepted fact by most of us, that cruise crew are poorly paid (by our standards) and work very hard indeed, for long shifts. It's no coincidence that they are almost entirely drawn form the third world.
    See my cruise blog: HERE


      I saw it and found it very disturbing indeed. Perhaps it's what results when a large congolomerate based in the USA takes over so many other cruise companies, though I'm not sure that this is the case with Celebrity Cruises. Staff find out the truth about their employment contracts only when they board the ship. They have no possible legal redress which does not automatically put their present and future employment in the industry in danger. The Dispatches reporter was working undercover, but a genuine whistleblower would have no chance whatsoever to do this and still be employed.
      Last edited by Kath57, Redcar; 1st October 2012, 08:28 PM.


        Who cares about the discrepancy in the destination!!!What is blatantly obvious is the appalling way the staff are treated.The hours they work and the pittance they are payed!No wonder the passengers on this cruise line are charged so much in gratuities.What an eye opener!


          Feel extremely guilty now. I've always known how hard they work for little pay but to be honest I thought they had more free time. It was only on my last cruise that I discovered they do not get any days off during their contract. I wonder if there is a way to find out which companies offer the best employee care. That would definately sway who I travel with.


            We know the crew work long unsocial hours as you see the same faces during the day and evening throughout the ship. It is also obvious that cabin staff have extra workload on changeover day. It is clear that the flags of convenience are an excuse for the lines to use staff exactly as they see fit, safe in the knowledge that there is no mechanism for them to object. Money being withheld from them or paid in arrears also means they are unlikely to leave. A sorry state of affairs.


              I knew conditions weren't good for workers on cruise ships. After watching this programme tonight, if I cruise again (and it really is a big IF) I think I will feel I'm exploiting people. Taken the edge off the whole thing for me, especially after hearing about the fracas on the Arcadia where several staff didn't have their contracts renewed after daring to complain about pay, and then were blacklisted by the only agency in India who recruit for cruise ships. I'm really appalled by the whole thing.


                Cruise Undercover

                As someone who has always paid gratuities up front for every cruise, I am now in a quandary. It appears from the programme that the tips are paid to staff to make up their wages; if they are short the company has to make them up. But as the wages are so low in the first place, is it better to pay them or not? I am appalled at the situation and as previous post, would love to know if there are cruise lines who pay decent wages. I suspect NOT!! How do others feel about paying their tips?

                Originally posted by Clowi, Oxfordshire View Post
                We know the crew work long unsocial hours as you see the same faces during the day and evening throughout the ship. It is also obvious that cabin staff have extra workload on changeover day. It is clear that the flags of convenience are an excuse for the lines to use staff exactly as they see fit, safe in the knowledge that there is no mechanism for them to object. Money being withheld from them or paid in arrears also means they are unlikely to leave. A sorry state of affairs.


                  Well, that's just thrown away any credibility the programme-makers might have claimed to have ...

                  An attention-grabbing $20 for 12 days' work? Do me a favour!!
                  No time off? BUT they can still find time to help colleagues for $80? At those pay rates their colleagues couldn't afford it
                  30 minutes needed to clean a bathroom, when whole rooms are serviced in far less?
                  Agencies lying about basic pay - and where was the proof?
                  Obscured faces required in order to protect jobs which aren't worth having?

                  And despite this horror, vacancies are still massively oversubscribed ..... all in all, a bit of an insult to the intelligence, I'm afraid!!!


                  PS Sorry - I put this on the wrong thread first time round


                    I was absolutely disgusted with the way the staff are treated long hours, hard work, not even a day off and even have to pay for their own uniforms and even have to pay agencies to get them a job on the ships and on top of that are promised a wage only to find too late they are getting less than what they were told once on ship and only getting a tiny wage. Those cruise lines should be made to give them decent wages and hours. Its put me off cruising knowing how badly treated the staff are. Yes they get free bed and board but that does not make up for the long hours and tiny wages they deserve respect. I have always marvelled at how hard they work with smiles on their faces but are exhausted and not really happy themselves.
                    I have always tipped them well but that does not make up for the disgusting way they are treated like slaves.


                      There were a few facts that will raise concern,but I found it strange that a chap can be recruited from the UK and be on table service the first night,did he lie and say he was a fully trained ships waiter.

                      Tips what was the program talking about?the official one that are payed up front by the cruisers or the private ones that are given directly to the member of staff?

                      I know it was in a different century but my first trip on a ship at age 17 lasted 18 months away from the uk and only got 14 days leave afterwards and on later ships I was away for 2 years and worked 7 days a week AND never had a day off in my sea going career,so I wont be shedding a tear for the poor chaps who had to be away for 5 /10 months.

                      I was a little confused by the statement that cabin staff had to hire someone to help them out,the program made it seem that the helpers were brought in from outside wheras celebrity say that it was a completely unoffical system,so the cabin staff must have been making enough money to operate this system.

                      People must realise that if these people from India and points east did not take on this work they and their families would be destitute and no doubt starving,so of course they will take on this work.



                        Just watched the programme and was not surprised with the content. It was obvious that that the main subject would be the level of pay made to staff in the cruise industry. We sailed on the Eclipse on the 1/09/12 and must admit the service was second to none. We also asked our Head Waiter how long he had been working on the cruise lines which was 11 years. When asked why so long his reply being "it's good money" which tends to contradict the programme. We are all aware of the arguments put forward about the poor wages paid to staff and the conditions they have to put up with and why we should always pay the full recommended gratuities. At the end of the day we have no control over wages and working conditions of the staff. The one thing we do even though we are fully aware of the so called poor wages and conditions is "BOOK CRUISES". We also expect to receive the level of service to which we have become accustomed. I must ask the question:- Can you honestly say that during the cruise your thoughts are with the staff and their pay and working conditions. Be honest your main objective is to have a great cruise.


                          I agree with points made by Little Red Rouster . We do cruise to have a good time and we dont consider staff arrangements. As regular cruisers we are aware that the staff work hard and rely on tips. Most regular cruisers are aware of how the cruise lines operate and are content to still cruise. I would be quite happy to pay more money for a cruise if the staff were to paid a salary but I wonder how may other people would ? The documentary never raised new issues as I was expecting to be shown shabby accommodation , poor food for the staff and deplorable working conditions .


                            Originally posted by Cruiser, Fife View Post
                            I believe in order to compete with each other, all cruise ships use the same 'model'.
                            See my cruise blog: HERE


                              For those who think cruise ship crew secretly earn a small fortune, the story of 'NCL American' throws some light on the economic realities:

                              NCL set-up 'NCL America' in 2005: Three ships exclusively cruising the Hawaiian Islands.

                              The US government insisted that the three ships were US Flagged and had American crew. However NCL had to pay those US crew a lot more that they normally do their third-world crew, just to be able to attract them and to retain them.

                              NCL quickly found that the increased labour costs meant that the cruises did not generate enough income, so they had to re-deployed two of the ships elsewhere! Now they are down to just one ship, 'Pride of America'. NCL persuaded the US Government to allow this ship to have at least some non-us (lower paid) crew working on-board in an attempt to reduce the overheads and make money.

                              When on of the ships, 'Pride of Hawaii' left Hawaiian waters in 2008, she became the 'Norwegian Jade' . She had been operating with US crew as per the rules. However when she left US waters, NCL re-flagged her and dropped the crews wages to the normal cruise third-world rate (very low).

                              I cruised on Jade soon after her redeployment to Europe. Amazingly, there were only TWO US crew left on-board. I asked a US waiter in the Steak-house how come that he was one of the few US crew still there. He said it was certainly not there for the money any-more, he just wanted to see a little of Europe - they he would fly home to get a 'proper' paid job!
                              Last edited by Malcolm, Essex; 1st October 2012, 10:47 PM.
                              See my cruise blog: HERE


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