Posted September 16th, 2017, 09:32 AM
During that same lunch, the host said, in addition, that TUI overall was having challenges with staffing. He said that Mein Schiff 6 was delayed in launching due to difficulty finding enough German speaking, qualified staff, which leads me to believe that English Voyager is right in saying that they appear to be supplied by a single agency company.
Actually TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises use Sea Chefs
for the hotel management (as many other cruise lines).
But... your host did tell you a lot of .... Neither was Hapag-Lloyd recently "bought" bei TUI Group nor was the Mein Schiff 6 in any way delayed (actually they added cruises prior to the naming ceremony and the official maiden voyage).
It´s correct that it is getting more and more difficult to find German speaking staff. Especially with the growth of TUI Cruises. But that´s mainly the staff in the restaurants and there mainly the waiters. TUI Cruises does hire Asian crew too as buy boys. They might advance to waiter as soon as they´ve learned enough German. But the upfront people are either German or from Eastern Europe. As you know you need a 3 year training in Germany to become a Restaurantfachkraft oder Hotelfachkraft. Most of the German staff stays only for one or two contracts as having worked on a ship is good in the CV and then they move on to hotels or restaurants of a higher level.
Usually the people working as restaurant manager, Maitre.. the higher ranks ... are experienced folks who work for the cruise line for several years (or have worked for other cruise lines).
But that´s just the upfront folks in the restaurants.
Actually all cruise lines do have problems finding crew as the whole cruise business is growing.
Changes in the crew are also a normal thing. Contracts end and new crew is coming onboard. Even when you have a crew member returning the person needs some time to get back into routine. For a person being totally new onboard it´s even harder. Also experienced crew members do have to get aquainted with the routine when the change ships. This is absolutely normal. Of course the expectations are higher on H-L ships and you expect a perfect service from the first minute.
You also mentioned the food... There´s not that much change in staff in the galley as it is in the restaurant. And actually German is not needed in the galley. There English is the main language. Traditionally the executive chefs are either German, Austrian or Swiss but in the meantime you can find any nation in cruise ship galleys as executive chefs (maybe not with a German cruise line as a German chef knows the taste of his customers better than a non German chef - in that case German, Austrian or Swiss equals).