“The Crew Are Glorified Slaves” 10 Cruise Ship Secrets Told By Current and Former Crewmembers

Current and former crewmembers of cruise ships share secrets.

1. Boozy Confessions at Sea

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A user confessed that crew members on the cruise ship would frequently engage in nightly drinking sessions, leading to severe hangovers the next morning. Their appearance would mirror the aftermath of a wild night, resembling someone who had just stumbled out of bed after an excessive party.

2. Love and Ships: Fleeting Connections

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Living and working on a cruise ship creates a unique microcosm where crew members form relationships that are often fleeting. These connections, commonly known as “a ship thing,” are not expected to endure beyond the individual’s contract on the ship. The intimate and transient nature of life onboard gives rise to a distinctive perspective on romantic involvements.

3. Class Divide on Cruise Ships

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Another seaman expressed strong disapproval of the class system prevalent on cruise ships. They highlighted the hierarchical structure comprising three levels: crew, staff, and officers. The user acknowledged their privileged position as an officer, particularly as an American.

In contrast, crew members faced a different experience, with their own designated mess hall and no access to the other dining areas available to staff and officers. They found this segregation based on job roles and rank within the ship’s hierarchy abhorrent.

4. Grueling Conditions for Ship Staff

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The demanding and exhausting work conditions endured by room stewards and assistant waiters onboard cruise ships were brought to light by a mariner. These crew members regularly worked long hours, often exceeding 14 to 16 hours a day.

The user, who happened to be an officer, admitted to instructions to manipulate time cards to comply with maritime labor laws. Furthermore, the user disclosed that the room stewards and assistant waiters received meager monthly wages ranging from $200 to $300, barely covering their travel expenses and uniform costs.

5. Dancing Through Pain at Sea

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One seafarer revealed the challenging conditions faced by the dancers onboard cruise ships. These performers were expected to showcase their talent every single night, often performing 2-3 shows per night, regardless of any physical discomfort or pain they might be enduring. Additionally, the user mentioned that every show had to be recorded and sent to the corporate headquarters for evaluation. Even in the face of injuries, such as a severe high ankle sprain causing significant swelling, dancers risked termination if they were perceived as not giving their best effort.

6. Dissatisfaction and Living Conditions

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Dissatisfaction with the compensation and living conditions onboard cruise ships was expressed by an individual. They remarked that the wages received by crew members were inadequate, making it difficult to find solace in the provided food and accommodations. The user further emphasized their disappointment by stating that the quality of these amenities fell short of their expectations.

7. Affordable Alcohol for Crew Members

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Another individual highlighted the affordability of alcoholic beverages for crew members on cruise ships. They noted that ordering a Coors Light at the crew bar cost less than purchasing a water bottle, emphasizing the significant price difference. The user cautioned about alcohol consumption during the initial weeks onboard but admitted to enjoying a few six-packs of Corona with fellow theater colleagues on their first night.

8. Haunting Incident at Sea

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A commenter shared a chilling experience from a cruise vacation in January. They recounted being onboard a Princess cruise ship traveling from San Francisco to Hawaii for a 15-day journey when a crew member made the shocking decision to jump off the ship in the vast Pacific Ocean. Despite search efforts, the crew member was never found.

9. Musical Melodies on Cruise Ships

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Another member of the crew undertook an exploration of the musical aspects of cruise ship entertainment. They noted that the musical performances varied depending on the ship and the specific show. In most cases, production shows involving singers, dancers, musicians, and catchy hooks were accompanied by pre-recorded tracks with synchronized clicks.

10. Extensive Surveillance on Board

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One user shared an interesting observation about the surveillance system onboard cruise ships. They pointed out that cameras were present throughout the ship, monitoring various areas except for the privacy of passengers’ staterooms. The user mentioned that this extensive camera coverage facilitated the review of footage and the verification of instances when a crew member entered a passenger’s room.

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