Originally Posted by Thomas76
My fiancée is a crew member on the Disney Fantasy ship. He works as a chef in the galleys. I am really appalled at the amount of time he has to work and the pay he gets. He is a Philippine citizen, we have been engaged to marry for four months and have begun the process to have him come here on a K 1 visa. In the meantime he sails out of Cape Canaveral and the ship is only at harbor there for about 12 hours every Saturday.
I met him off ship one Saturday and we had five hours together which was as long as he could get off.
I just have lots of questions and am looking for support too while we wait for the end of his contract on September 22.
The reason why cruises are affordable is because they are staffed by predominantly cheap labor. If the cruise line industry paid the same amount that every North American or Western European expected, a cruise would probably be 5 to 6 times the price it currently is and unaffordable to the point that the industry would go out of business.
Where would that leave your Filipino fiancee ? Out of work and back in the Philippines in a far worse position. Having worked on cruise ships, I can say that the pay is poor by western standards, unless you are an engineer, bridge officer or senior hotel management where the pay is good.
However by the standards of most of the countries where the bulk of the crew come from, India, Caribbean, Far East, the pay is well above their local market rates.
Most crew members from these countries have a standard of life higher than their compatriots back home. I am not defending the cruise lines pay, they should pay more, but at the end of the day, shareholders want profit and customers want cheap prices. What crew members want, comes last.
I know hours are long, but 5 hours off on an Embarkation day would be a dream for most crew members. Its the busiest day of the week and most crew get enough time for a quick shop and then back on board to carry out duties. To expect any more time than that is very unrealistic based on the huge amount of things that need doing.
Cruise ships have limited space for crew so they need to get people who are willing to work hard, and long hours because the logistics of the operation will simply not work if you had crew who just wanted to work a regular 8 hour shift. The ship would need to be three times the size just to accommodate all the crew to do the work across more shifts.
Cruise lines profit from cheap labor, but in return they offer employment opportunities that are far better than that which is available in their home land. If the cruise lines were not there these people wouldn't even have the chance for employment.
Sorry if this sounds like a rant, but sometimes people are a little naive to how thing work on-board. It reminds me of when passengers complain why the internet isn't as fast as my home connection. No thought goes into the question. Well there are 2500 passengers most of which have an Ipad, a laptop, and iphone and then there is one single internet connection on the ship......