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Any routine posts/threads from RCL crew members?


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Would be super interesting to hear ongoing updates of daily life from the bare bones crew who remain on the ships.  I always enjoyed the YouToob Chris fellow, who was most recently a casino host on Oasis.  Are there any sources for lore/photos from what ship life is like these days?

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4 hours ago, Hogbay said:

Were were the other 98 people ? Would be great to do some real interview.s of staff 🙂 

I can go entire days without seeing another person.  The only time I usually see other crew members is in the mess when we're eating.  Other than that, I rarely ever see anyone else.

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Jeff , could you do a video on people in the mess /galley ? It's is like a ghost ship 😱.Are the crew in the crew cabins or in the pax cabins spread out ? Do you get any info on start up date ? is Radiance near by? Thanks 

 

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The teen has said there are lots of crew made videos "out there". 

She said just do a search for crew videos on ghost ships and on empty ships and on locked down ships. 

I haven't but am passing her advise on. 

I want to see the reopening videos not the locked down videos. 

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3 hours ago, miraflores said:

I can go entire days without seeing another person.  The only time I usually see other crew members is in the mess when we're eating.  Other than that, I rarely ever see anyone else.

 

 

Have the officers from the bridge managed to rotate off yet.  I guess whomever comes on has it rather easy with such a small gang of people?  Ovation is a nice ship so try to enjoy walking around as much as you can.  I see the ship is heading to Manila. 

 

 

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Hogbay, I will try to answer your questions as well as I can.

 

- I would shoot some video in the mess, but it's hard to answer questions with food in your mouth, and we only get an hour to eat each meal...so I'm usually with the crew eating at that time, and not sticking a camera in people's faces.  Outside of that, it's really hard to catch people working...because most of the people onboard right now are only out if they're really busy, and I really don't want to get in their way while they're working.  It's also hard to actually catch people out right now...I really don't know when/where people are going to be, so it's kind of hit or miss.  Like I said, I hardly ever see anyone!  Plus, I am really busy with my job duties day-to-day, so I don't have a lot of time to chase people down to ask them questions...especially if I don't know if they're going to be around or not.  Everyone here is essential, so we all just have our list of stuff we have to get done for the day, and get down to it.  Keeping a ship like this ready-for-service is a lot of work, and I have a full day, everyday.

 

- We're all assigned to guest balcony staterooms right now.  On a ship like this, it's possible to do that, and it gives us a chance to be outside, while still being safe.  This ship has tons of balconies...so we all have one right now.  We're all grouped together in one fire-zone, so most of the ship is totally empty right now.  We have returning crew in quarantine as well, and they're all assigned to another fire-zone, in another isolated A/C area of the ship.  They're managing the cabins really well right now, and this ship is a "green" ship, so we have no sick crew members onboard...but they've planned for that, in case it happens.

 

- No info on startup dates.  We know as much as you do.  Today's press release was big news for all of us.  We know as much as you know.  We hear rumours, but they're no more valid than the rumours you all hear.  We all want to get back to it as soon as possible though...but that's really not up to us.

 

- The OV is in Manila right now, and we're picking up swap-out essential crew for the rest of the Asia/Pacific ships (RCL/Celebrity) that are in Singapore OPL (Outside Port Limits).  We're the Asia/Pacific "mothership" and it's kind of nice having a purpose again.  The crew are our guests, and we're feeling like a 5-star hotel again.  We're pulling out all the stops for the crew coming on here, and it's really charged the crew up to have people to serve.  This doesn't mean we're coming back into service though...this just means that essential crew who need to go home, can go home.

 

- The Radiance (RD) is in Singapore OPL and we're delivering essential crew to them as well, but no info on start up dates.  I talk to them everyday though.  The person there, in my position, was my assistant on the QN when I was there, so we talk all the time.  In Singapore, we anchor right next to them.

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14 minutes ago, Oceansaway17 said:

 

 

Have the officers from the bridge managed to rotate off yet.  I guess whomever comes on has it rather easy with such a small gang of people?  Ovation is a nice ship so try to enjoy walking around as much as you can.  I see the ship is heading to Manila. 

 

 

 

Yes, bridge crews have been able to rotate out.  We have to be a bit flexible with sign-on/sign-off dates, but essential crew members are swapping in/out. 

 

I walk A LOT.  We all have checklists of areas we have to inspect every day, and I average about 12000 steps a day checking up on things.

 

The ship is in Manila...for one more day.  Then, it's back to Singapore OPL.

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5 hours ago, miraflores said:

Hogbay, I will try to answer your questions as well as I can.

 

- I would shoot some video in the mess, but it's hard to answer questions with food in your mouth, and we only get an hour to eat each meal...so I'm usually with the crew eating at that time, and not sticking a camera in people's faces.  Outside of that, it's really hard to catch people working...because most of the people onboard right now are only out if they're really busy, and I really don't want to get in their way while they're working.  It's also hard to actually catch people out right now...I really don't know when/where people are going to be, so it's kind of hit or miss.  Like I said, I hardly ever see anyone!  Plus, I am really busy with my job duties day-to-day, so I don't have a lot of time to chase people down to ask them questions...especially if I don't know if they're going to be around or not.  Everyone here is essential, so we all just have our list of stuff we have to get done for the day, and get down to it.  Keeping a ship like this ready-for-service is a lot of work, and I have a full day, everyday.

 

- We're all assigned to guest balcony staterooms right now.  On a ship like this, it's possible to do that, and it gives us a chance to be outside, while still being safe.  This ship has tons of balconies...so we all have one right now.  We're all grouped together in one fire-zone, so most of the ship is totally empty right now.  We have returning crew in quarantine as well, and they're all assigned to another fire-zone, in another isolated A/C area of the ship.  They're managing the cabins really well right now, and this ship is a "green" ship, so we have no sick crew members onboard...but they've planned for that, in case it happens.

 

- No info on startup dates.  We know as much as you do.  Today's press release was big news for all of us.  We know as much as you know.  We hear rumours, but they're no more valid than the rumours you all hear.  We all want to get back to it as soon as possible though...but that's really not up to us.

 

- The OV is in Manila right now, and we're picking up swap-out essential crew for the rest of the Asia/Pacific ships (RCL/Celebrity) that are in Singapore OPL (Outside Port Limits).  We're the Asia/Pacific "mothership" and it's kind of nice having a purpose again.  The crew are our guests, and we're feeling like a 5-star hotel again.  We're pulling out all the stops for the crew coming on here, and it's really charged the crew up to have people to serve.  This doesn't mean we're coming back into service though...this just means that essential crew who need to go home, can go home.

 

- The Radiance (RD) is in Singapore OPL and we're delivering essential crew to them as well, but no info on start up dates.  I talk to them everyday though.  The person there, in my position, was my assistant on the QN when I was there, so we talk all the time.  In Singapore, we anchor right next to them.

So happy to hear from a crew member!  If you don't mind me asking, what are your  daily duties? With an empty ship, I am curious what the crew that is there would be doing.  From your description, you sound so isolated that it is basically quarantine.  Have you been on the ship this entire time?  What is your job during a regular cruise?  Are you receiving the same wages as before?  Are you getting stir-crazy or enjoying the respite from demanding passengers? Do they make the crew pay for their food? Do you have to wear a mask? Sorry--some silly questions but I'm very curious and hope that you & your fellow crew members are taken care of as you guys are the only reason us travelers enjoy cruising so much because you all go above & beyond to make our time special while we're on board. 

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5 hours ago, miraflores said:

 

Yes, bridge crews have been able to rotate out.  We have to be a bit flexible with sign-on/sign-off dates, but essential crew members are swapping in/out. 

 

I walk A LOT.  We all have checklists of areas we have to inspect every day, and I average about 12000 steps a day checking up on things.

 

The ship is in Manila...for one more day.  Then, it's back to Singapore OPL.

Sorry Miraflores..I just read your interview with Vice---it answered many of my questions but not all.  I hadn't even considered The Shining aspect!  If you start typing "All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy"--go slap on "It's a Wonderful Life" to get you in a better frame of mind!

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18 hours ago, miraflores said:

I am currently onboard the Ovation of the Seas, and was recently interviewed by Vice.  Here's a link:

https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/v7g8k3/what-its-like-maintaining-an-empty-cruise-ship-liner-during-covid

 

I also made a video ship tour that you can see here:

 

good idea to click on link and read interview first and watch video first .lots of info 😇

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Miraflores, thanks for taking the time to respond. Hopefully you and your fellow crew mates are doing as best as possible. We all look forward to the day we can board again, but until then stay safe out there. 

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Strange seeing things in the dark on the ship.  It must be eery.   I spoke with a csr in the phillipines today.  He said it is very sad there since they went back into 2nd lockdown in august alot of businesses permanently closed.  He is very happy to work for rcl.

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3 hours ago, catlady66 said:

So happy to hear from a crew member!  If you don't mind me asking, what are your  daily duties? With an empty ship, I am curious what the crew that is there would be doing.  From your description, you sound so isolated that it is basically quarantine.  Have you been on the ship this entire time?  What is your job during a regular cruise?  Are you receiving the same wages as before?  Are you getting stir-crazy or enjoying the respite from demanding passengers? Do they make the crew pay for their food? Do you have to wear a mask? Sorry--some silly questions but I'm very curious and hope that you & your fellow crew members are taken care of as you guys are the only reason us travelers enjoy cruising so much because you all go above & beyond to make our time special while we're on board. 

 

I am the Head Broadcast Technician onboard and am in charge of the A/V systems onboard.  As we're now in "minimum-manning" I am functioning as the entire Cruise/Entertainment Division...which is usually about 150 people.  Most of the RCL ships in minimum-manning have left the Head Broadcast Techs onboard because television is an "essential" service for the crew left onboard, and because the Head Broadcast Techs actually have the widest set of technical skills needed to be able to maintain the onboard entertainment systems, and to handle all the paperwork/admin that still needs to be done. 

 

You have to at least have a basic understanding of lighting/sound/video/production in order to do this job, and you also need to be able to manage the division, so we're the last ones standing on almost all the ships.  In the past, this company has unfortunately tended to underappreciate/understand our role/skills (you don't just plug it in and it works), but that will have to change after this...because the video aspect of the cruising experience will be very obviously front-and-centre once things go back to normal, and they won't be able to justify keeping us on the bottom of the pile, when we're clearly in charge of a massive part of the onboard experience.  Head Office has always treated our production casts/managers like they're the stars (because most of the executives in our dep't come from that background), but it's turning out the the HBT's are the ones who are really delivering right now, and will continue to be in the future.   We don't stand in the light...we're the ones holding it.  They're going to need to realize that, or we'll all be in the dark.  Nobody really knows what we do, but everyone is beginning to realize that we do a lot.  I work 10 hours a day, to make it look like I'm not working.  Usually, the only time I'm noticed is when there's a problem.  And, if I'm doing my job, then I'm virtually invisible.  That is hard for people who are used to being on stage to understand.

 

As to my daily duties...I make sure the TV system is working first off, and then do whatever maintenance is necessary to keep it running (today I'm fixing a camera that stopped working, and then repairing a satellite receiver that also stopped working).  After I'm happy with my areas, I do a walkaround of all the other entertainment venues and I do checks on the systems there.  From time to time, I'll turn on the lights/sound systems and make sure everything is okay, and I make sure the venues are in good shape.  I also do lots of inspections of non-entertainment venues.  I go around (with everyone else) to crew/guest cabins and run water in sinks and flush toilets to keep water from going stagnant.  We make notes of things that need fixing and involve maintenance when needed.  We get assigned an area of the ship every week and we have to walk it and make maintenance notes.

 

And, on some days (like today where we're signing on returning crew for other ships), I function as the Cruise Division and work on the gangway.  This afternoon, I'm checking people in and taking their temperatures.  We've all been called on to go way above and beyond our normal roles...but, we're all in it together, so it really has brought the onboard team a lot closer together.

 

We're all receiving our normal wage...well, anyone who is still working.  There are some ships that have crew onboard who are not working, and they're getting room/board...but are not allowed to lift a finger to work.  On this ship, everyone is essential, so we're all just business-as-usual.

 

We wear masks whenever inside and, when we move the ship close enough to receive supplies/crew, we wear masks inside and outside.  You get used to it.  I, for the life of me, can't figure out what the big deal about wearing masks is.  You get used to wearing it and it's helping us all get back to normal quicker. 

 

The crew doesn't pay for food.  We've never had to do that, unless we wanted to go to a speciality restaurant...and those are all closed right now.  We all eat in one of the guest dining rooms and the food's been really good.  The Executive Chef is an essential position, so he's here making awesome food for us.  We do have very limited times to eat though...so we all have to budget our time and make sure we don't miss meals.  Usually, we have a much wider range of times we can eat, but right now...it's pretty limited.  7-8am for breakfast, 12-1pm for lunch and 6-7pm for dinner.  That's it.  You miss that, you don't eat.

 

Hope that answered your questions.

Edited by miraflores
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22 hours ago, miraflores said:

I am currently onboard the Ovation of the Seas, and was recently interviewed by Vice.  Here's a link:

https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/v7g8k3/what-its-like-maintaining-an-empty-cruise-ship-liner-during-covid

 

I also made a video ship tour that you can see here:

 

 

Super cool.  Bittersweet because we were supposed to be on Ovation in Alaska last month.  Hope to make the voyage one day.

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14 hours ago, SummerBeeSweet said:

Miraflores, thanks for the video. We were supposed to be on board in May, Hawaii to Vancouver. I’ve never been on this class of ship before,

 

I signed off the OV in March, just before everything shut down, and was supposed to return to the ship in Vancouver the day you were supposed to get off.  I didn't make it back until late July, when there were a couple of days Hong Kong were allowing crew transfers.  The OV is a beautiful ship, and that is a great run.  We had some difficulties the first time we did it (bad weather in Maui, lots of boat traffic slowing tenders down as well, and the people in the terminal in Vancouver really messed up the luggage situation), but the second time we did it...we corrected all those issues and were really looking forward to this crossing.  Hawaii is amazing.

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13 minutes ago, miraflores said:

We had some difficulties the first time we did it (bad weather in Maui, lots of boat traffic slowing tenders down as well, and the people in the terminal in Vancouver really messed up the luggage situation),

It was still a great sailing.

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2 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

It was still a great sailing.

Glad you enjoyed it.  That cruise was absolutely brutal for us.  Our guest satisfaction ratings for that one cruise were so low that it brought down our average so much that it took us the entire rest of the year to just make our minimum ratings targets.

 

Usually we score around a 70 (a bunch of metrics get us an average score)...that cruise was 4.5.  Not a typo...4.5.

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