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  #61 (permalink)  
Old July 22nd, 2011, 02:48 PM
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Default Paul, is Carnival Unfair to onboard American workers??

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I know this thread is a little "stale" but I wanted to add my 2 cents worth.....

I'm basically easy going and tend to go with the flow.....you live longer that way....

With that said, I also read the book, "Cruise Confidential: A Hit Below The Waterline" when it first came out. Ever since reading that book and seeing what all the crew goes thru from the first day they sign up with the cruiseline, I have a new understanding about how hard they work and why. Their lives are not the easiest during their 6 month contracts, I would have gone AWOL on the rare first day I had off, in the first port my feet landed on.

Many, if not most, are working for their families back home. I'm sure that is the only thing that drives them to "keep on" some days.

If I can make THEIR job any easier by being polite, tip additionally than what is applied to our accounts, smile at them first, and not be a PIA, then both of us will truly enjoy being on the same cruise together.

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Paul,

I just finishes reading this book this week and had a few questions. This impressive man, is the only American (in over 35+ years) to ever finish a full 8 month Dinning Room Carnival Contract. The author was promised to be made an Assistant Maître d’ after finishing his departmental training. He got good reviews from his departmental superiors; however due to bigoted actions by one individual he was denied his promotion. being that Carnival is based here in Florida and mainly services the American market, I thought this full episode was outrageous.

This man, with 10 years plus experience was discriminated against due to his national origin: i.e. being an American. I really feel the author should have (I know would have) brought this the attention of media outlets, such as 60 Minutes and Fox News. In addition, I would have had a meeting with my congressman and local State Senator on this matter. The author was much nicer than I would have been! To say I was truly discussed by this level of outright discrimination, is an understatement!!
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Old July 24th, 2011, 07:40 AM
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Paul,

I just finishes reading this book this week and had a few questions. This impressive man, is the only American (in over 35+ years) to ever finish a full 8 month Dinning Room Carnival Contract. The author was promised to be made an Assistant Maître d’ after finishing his departmental training. He got good reviews from his departmental superiors; however due to bigoted actions by one individual he was denied his promotion. being that Carnival is based here in Florida and mainly services the American market, I thought this full episode was outrageous.

This man, with 10 years plus experience was discriminated against due to his national origin: i.e. being an American. I really feel the author should have (I know would have) brought this the attention of media outlets, such as 60 Minutes and Fox News. In addition, I would have had a meeting with my congressman and local State Senator on this matter. The author was much nicer than I would have been! To say I was truly discussed by this level of outright discrimination, is an understatement!!
The most amazing thing about this story is that this American was hired at all.
I should know. I am an American Citizen who has worked on cruise ships all my life. My fellow countrymen have been quite a bit less than impressive whenever my employers have decided to take one more chance after being burned by far too many American cruise line employees in the past.
In his book, this fellow freely admits doing many things that would get me fired on my ship. Why would any good cruise line want him?

Over the past 30 years I often pulled strings, called in favors, and stuck my neck out to get fellow Americans hired on ships.
I was burned by them EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Never again.
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old July 24th, 2011, 11:49 AM
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I also read this book (it was sent to me to review for free). i found nothing impressive ab out this guy, and in fact ai didn't like him.

The first thing you have to remember is that cruise ships are not subject to American hiring laws, and an American on a cruise ship is going to face the same the issues and American would face overseas working in a country with a heavy tradiitonal of bosses looking out for their own etc.

I thought the author only included that stuff to seem sensationalistic - I don't think we got the whole truth in that situation. Plus I am sure there were people who were there longer and worked harder who deserved to be promoted ahead of him.

One thing I have learned about foreign cultures is that "lying" - as in saying what they think someone wants to hear, is done all the time. The don't do it seriously, its like a cultural thing - like always saying your cousin is pretty. The guy was trying to ask for special favors based on being an American, and cruise ships never give special favors for any reason.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 02:56 PM
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Paul,

This guy was hired in the US (as well as promised this job, based on his experience, while on US soil) and promised the job of Assistant Maître d’ upon completion of the training position. In fact at least one of his meetings was at Carnival headquarters itself. He did this and was announced in front of a group of employees that he was to be promoted and assigned to this position of his next ship. This is what really bothered me, was he did his end of the bargain and was stopped by a superiors personal bigotry for Americans. Had the previous managers been where had transferred to, he would have been promoted as promised.

True, I am taking this guys facts in the book as true. In many ways I am being a Devils Advocate here. I am not saying that he may have given an account that favors himself: however, much of what is described nevertheless, is quite shady!! Also, it seems to me, that 10+ years experience/education in this field; he was well qualified, which one would presume, is why Carnival hired him in the first place. It does say something that the man finished his contract, many Americans would not have. When they would find out, they had been lied to, they would leave. In the end this guy ends up being an auctioneer (I am NOT saying I like the Auction Company, he most likely worked at, or how the Auctioneers do their craft aboard ships) for three years. Thus, he must have had some good qualities to fall back on.

Last edited by gkbii; July 24th, 2011 at 03:06 PM.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old July 24th, 2011, 04:40 PM
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I am a bit biased solely because I have now read three similar books "inside the cruise industry" by three different Americans who worked on cruise ships. Keep in mind I also worked on five different cruise ships.

Any American who would take a job as a waiter on a cruise ship already has onew strike against him in terms of credibility. Americans have access to the best cruise ships jobs - why would he join as a waiter?

Well - he said it was so he could write this sensationalized book.

All three books are the same - they talk about their sexual conquests and try to make the crews and especially bosses appear corrupt and self-serving. If he didn't what would he have to write about?

The other books are similarly titled = "The truth about the cruise industry" etc...

They are all amateurish, quickly written, self-published dribble. Sorry, just no respect from me.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 02:13 PM
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Paul,

Your points are well taken, on all fronts. I did wonder why he wanted to work at Carnival, in the first place. With his experience, why not Cunard, Chrystal, Seaborn, etc.?? Why he wanted to be a waiter, is a mystery to me as well. I have met people with jobs, like what you had on the five ships. Most people (managers & others) seem to have liked their jobs in entertainment. So I learn from this, that their are departments that are better for Americans than others. From my observations I wouls say that the Casinos, retail stores, auctions, entertainment, cruise director/staff, front desk, the spa, shore excursions, etc.; are best suited for Americans.

Thus the other jobs that are truly demanding, would be quite a challenge! By the way, is it true that the Art Auctioneer has the highest paid job aboard ship?
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Old September 11th, 2011, 03:34 PM
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Wish I could afford a jazz cruise. Love the music.
On the general topic of how crew and pax interact, I think that some of it is just the normal variation in how people perceive each other. Sometimes we relate to each other, sometimes not. The crew is almost always too professional to show it if the answer is "not". But, sometimes a small connection is formed. Not talking friends for life, but just a true interest in each other. When we took our 2 nephews on a cruise several years ago, our waiter was from Russia and had been in their special forces in the military. The boys (19 yrs old), and my husband and I, were truly fascinated by some of his stories and he did spend some extra time talking with them. I think he liked their interest and sharing his stories. Who doesn't like talking about themselves to someone who really wants to hear it?
On some of our longer, more expensive cruises, we have run into some true repeat passengers. Some were very nice to the staff and tipped well, as far as we could tell. But, others were so elitist that they were an obvious pain. Used to having servants perhaps. Don't need to tip them if you are their employer! We even ran into a tablemate who raised hell when a hurricane delayed our cruise an extra day. We were happy to have a free bonus day at sea, but he obviously blamed the staff. Did everything but stamp his feet like a child. Pathetic, in my book.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 12:47 PM
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We are repeat cruisers not 3- 4 times a year, but 400 plus days on Hal alone. Hal started a new tipping policy a few years ago. X dollars a day per person. Which is then divided up amongst the crew. In my book service on HAL has always been exceptional and we have not noticed a change since the new tip policy makes the tip pretty much secure. A truer fact might be you get what you give. We have encountered the same room steward on another cruise and received the same warm welcome we received the first time.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 02:24 PM
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I am one of the lucky one's soon to be off on my third cruise this year, each cruise is different. I have been on a few back to backs so I can confirm even from one week to the next the whole atmosphere of the ship can change.
To me the best line for consistent level of service is Royal Caribbean, I have even had the same waiter on three cruises on two different ships how lucky is that.
She even remembered what wine I like and that my wife only drinks occasionally and then its Asti.
I hear this argument about tips across many forums the crew have different wage structures on different shipping lines. There are lines that include tips others don't so when you book a cruise it is for you to factor the tips into the price if you can't afford the cruise with tips then look for another don't fleece the people who make your holiday special.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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The Magic will be my 3rd cruise this year and just because I cruise multiple times a year doesn't mean I cheat service staff out of their tips. In fact, I generally tip well above and beyond the base-- especially to my dining room waitstaff and cabin stewards.

I have also cruised the same ship multiple times in the past and have often had the same waiters on those cruises and they were more than happy to see us back.

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Old October 13th, 2011, 08:16 AM
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We have done a few cruises but except for one couple we have never seen anyone we have met, nor have we seen any crew members. When you look at that & think that once we were chatting to a family in the departure area of Barbados Airport, & some years later we were on a catamaran sailing the Grenadines & a couple said "didn't we meet you in Barbados airport!!!''...you would think meeting on a cruise would be almost unavoidable.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 03:43 PM
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just because I cruise multiple times a year doesn't mean I cheat service staff out of their tips. In fact, I generally tip well above and beyond the base-- especially to my dining room waitstaff and cabin stewards.
Beth
Hi Beth.
What a wonderful approach to your wait staff. I too tip above the rate, and the hard working crew always know who is going to "Stiff them".

Some pax who cruise frequently, sometimes are of the belief that they own the ship. For Gods Sake !!! (Especially P&O ships)

For example,I have seen big big women flirt, with the Wait staff, and eat eat and eat until there is no tomorrow, and then not tip...:evil:
.
I have seen (On the Legend,)The same big huge women, often give the pretense to run around the lido deck at dawn, whilst muching several danish pastries, and in the process drawing attention to themselves with their loud body noises.( Most of it can be attributed to internal gas escaping)

Whilst I enjoy others company at meal times, my Dinner reservations are for myself, my Kids and their nanny. Tipping from me, is always, always higher than the rate recommended by the cruise line.
I applaud you Beth for your sincere comments, and am so happy that both You and I are in appreciation and agreement of the hard working Wait Staff.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 07:41 PM
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Interesting point made here that some people seem to imagine that the staff actually care about people, some do maybe, but just think back to the last morning onboard when they just can't wait to get you off the ship! People say to me that because I don't interact with the room steward & chat for ages that I am missing something, maybe I am but the last thing a busy cabin steward wants is an old gasbag going on & on & patronising them about where they live & how little they get paid.
John,
I'm quite sure you are a nice person even though we might have to deflate you.
Your point though is valid, say goodbye nicely and let then get ready for the next person as changeover day is a very time consuming event.
The original posting is not based on an exact poll of hundreds of staff so it reflects only a few staff who encountered the veery few who out of hundreds of thousands are mean spirited with monies and attitude.

I guess we now fall into the cracks of frequent cruisers as we cruised in November 2010 , May 2011 and September 2011 with next for MAy 2012. WE are not like those described at all and we did see some of the same staff but they had been rotated between the three different Princess ships we were on.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 08:58 PM
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I really tried to pay attention to how the staff was the last day....Pretty much the same as the first, many friendly safe travels home and the same from our cabin guy...Yea, they are busy that morning, getting ready for the next bunch, but still as friendly as day one....
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