Q&A: "Cruise Confidential" Author on the Life of a Crewmember

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#3
Napa Valley
26 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Wow, the article about the American (Brian David Bruns) working on a cruise ship was so fascinating. I'm gonna get the book (hopefully from my local library) and have a good read. Thanks for publishing the article.
--Brian
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Celebrity Infinity 5-22-2009
#4
SW Florida
2,347 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
In the article it is mentioned that BDB was Leo's trainer. How was this demeaning? Could this have been a typo and was he Leo's trainnee, instead?
I just ordered the book...it sounds facinating for anyone who wants to know more about the crew's life. Thank you
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#5
Southern California
37,421 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Fighterone
In the article it is mentioned that BDB was Leo's trainer. How was this demeaning? Could this have been a typo and was he Leo's trainnee, instead?
I just ordered the book...it sounds facinating for anyone who wants to know more about the crew's life. Thank you
The book has a few mistakes in it. For example, when the Conquest was built, it was not the biggest cruise ship in the world (the Voyager of the Seas was built in 1999, the Conquest in 2002 and the Voyager is bigger). It was however, the biggest Carnival ship.

There are other small errors. And so far I have not noticed anything that makes it seem the author is full of himself. However, I am only up to about page 100.

I do find the stories interesting and humorous. The book is well written. Very entertaining.
#6
71 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Cuizer2
The book has a few mistakes in it. For example, when the Conquest was built, it was not the biggest cruise ship in the world (the Voyager of the Seas was built in 1999, the Conquest in 2002 and the Voyager is bigger). It was however, the biggest Carnival ship.

There are other small errors. And so far I have not noticed anything that makes it seem the author is full of himself. However, I am only up to about page 100.

I do find the stories interesting and humorous. The book is well written. Very entertaining.
You are quite correct about the Voyager of the Seas. There is another little slip in there, too, when at the end I mistakenly refer to the Carnival Miracle as the Glory. I'm not aware of any others, so you're welcome to email me! And, to answer the previous comment, the demeaning aspect of me training my friend Leo was that he was given full trainee status, whereas I was not. But that was all part of the ship-board politics.
#7
Southern California
37,421 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Brian David Bruns
You are quite correct about the Voyager of the Seas. There is another little slip in there, too, when at the end I mistakenly refer to the Carnival Miracle as the Glory. I'm not aware of any others, so you're welcome to email me! And, to answer the previous comment, the demeaning aspect of me training my friend Leo was that he was given full trainee status, whereas I was not. But that was all part of the ship-board politics.
Well, I am glad you are posting. I am about half way through the book. I do enjoy it. I enjoy the humor you inject into the stories. Now I am going to spend a good part of my next cruise looking for the purple circles under the crew member's eyes.
#8
Pittsburgh, PA
1,771 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
I just finished reading the Q&A article and found it very interesting. Most of what I read we can relate to a crew member we know. He told us of how politics play a very important part on getting ahead. In fact, he could have made head waiter way before he did IF he would have done some things that went against his principles. He didn't go into detail!!

Thank you for going into detail with your answers. We love cruising and appreciate the crew members who work so hard to make our cruise a great time. We always auto tip and now we know that is the best way. Thanks for telling us how that is divided.

Good luck and Happy New Year.
Carol
#9
SW Florida
2,347 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by Brian David Bruns
And, to answer the previous comment, the demeaning aspect of me training my friend Leo was that he was given full trainee status, whereas I was not. But that was all part of the ship-board politics.
Thank you for taking the time to read this thread and for the clarification. I look forward to reading your book and can't wait to get it...should be just in time for our mini vacation on the Ecstasy.
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#10
27 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Hey Brian,

Just wanted to drop by and let you know that I, too, worked for Carnival as an American, and based on the article, find it amazing how different, but equally amazing, our experiences were. I was a social host, then I worked my way up to ACD. Thanks for taking the time to share. I too, would love to share some of my stories.

Take Care,

Kyle
#11
San Bernardino County, CA
351 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Very interesting Brian. Looking forward to reading the book.

Mary
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#12
Ontario, Canada
18 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Wow. It's amazing how different 2 lines owned by the same company can be. I worked for Princess for 4 years and had such a great experience. Princess also went way out of their way to put my husband and I on the same ships each contract. The only time we were seperated was when they couldn't get me on the one he was on right away - I instead went to another ship and they flew me from Ft. Lauderdale to Sydney after 6 weeks when a position opened.

I'll look for the book in the new year. Can't wait to read it. I liked the reference to the "Maifa". On Princess its the Filipinos that run the place. We were able to get trays of food delivered to our rooms after a night of partying if we asked nicely and had a few extra dollars to spare. I still miss it occasionally.
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#14
Ma. between Boston and Cape Cod
537 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
I read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I will never look at the crew in the same way again. They really work hard and deserve way more than what they earn. I have recommended the book to so many people.
#15
Wasilla, Alaska
57 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I have been on cruises, to the Dominican Republic and to Mexico numerous times. These people work their butts off for very little pay! We always tip well, or at least try to tip well.

My only complaint is............in Mexico, they love us because we TIP, on the ships I have noticed a bit of an attitude even when I tip these folks. Is it because I am an American? Is it because I am white, blond hair, blues eyes? What is it? This is one of the main reasons my husband prefers Mexico. He has only been on one cruise with me. His first and apparently his last.

I am wondering if Brian can fill us in on "what is a good tip" for dinner and especially drinks. I don't want to insult anybody but on the other hand is one drink worth a five dollar tip? That would make it way to expensive to drink or go on a cruise.

I just want to be fair to hard working people.
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#16
Southern California
37,421 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Atlastalady
I have been on cruises, to the Dominican Republic and to Mexico numerous times. These people work their butts off for very little pay! We always tip well, or at least try to tip well.

My only complaint is............in Mexico, they love us because we TIP, on the ships I have noticed a bit of an attitude even when I tip these folks. Is it because I am an American? Is it because I am white, blond hair, blues eyes? What is it? This is one of the main reasons my husband prefers Mexico. He has only been on one cruise with me. His first and apparently his last.

I am wondering if Brian can fill us in on "what is a good tip" for dinner and especially drinks. I don't want to insult anybody but on the other hand is one drink worth a five dollar tip? That would make it way to expensive to drink or go on a cruise.

I just want to be fair to hard working people.
Typically cruise lines add a 15% tip to your drink order. So if you order a $6.00 drink the cruise line will add 90 cents. 15% is fair, but you could round it up to $1.00 or even $1.25 if you wanted to.
#17
71 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Cuizer2
Typically cruise lines add a 15% tip to your drink order. So if you order a $6.00 drink the cruise line will add 90 cents. 15% is fair, but you could round it up to $1.00 or even $1.25 if you wanted to.
I concur. Auto-tips take care of everyone, and anything else is gravy.
#18
Waco, Texas
866 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
... and will read the book....

Just got off the Island Princess. Our waiter, Alvin, was incredibly good natured. We asked about his schedule and he said he slept a few hours after the dinner shift and took a nap between breakfast and lunch. He has worked on ships for 10 years. He said he gets to his station early, because to be on time is to be late.

We noticed a lot of the staff was Filapino, like Alvin. The staff looked a bit bleary-eyed one morning, I suspected there had been a crew Christmas party the night before.

It's fascinating, I hope you'll post more. I love to hear about the crew's experiences.
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#19
SW Florida
2,347 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
My book Cruise Confidential should have been here 2 days ago and I am about to panic! Is it lost? UPS come on!!!
Brian, can I download and print a copy. I am leaving on 1/9 and wanted SO Bad to take it with me. The trace feature didn't work yesterday so will try again today.
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Booked: MSC Seaside 12/17, Viking Sky 1/18, Symphony 11/18, Veendam 4/18, Sirena, 1/19, Edge 4/19