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Any thoughts on Cruise ship staffing.


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With the U.S. having trouble getting people to work, help wanted signs everywhere, do you think the cruise ships will get fully staffed when the time comes? I know they use a lot of international employees, but will they get it going by the time the US starts cruising again?

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1 hour ago, Greenhopster said:

With the U.S. having trouble getting people to work, help wanted signs everywhere, do you think the cruise ships will get fully staffed when the time comes? I know they use a lot of international employees, but will they get it going by the time the US starts cruising again?

Because the bulk of the staff come from countries with fewer employment opportunities generally, and far less generous unemployment payments than in the US, it is very unlikely that the lines would have difficulty hiring.  
 

However, it is likely that the first few cruises will have “start up” problems as newly assembled crews start working together.

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I don’t think the cruise ships will have any trouble hiring. I think a lot of the countries they hire from are really struggling with lockdowns, lack of income, lack of vaccinations, lack of tourists, etc. 

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2 hours ago, Greenhopster said:

With the U.S. having trouble getting people to work, help wanted signs everywhere, do you think the cruise ships will get fully staffed when the time comes? I know they use a lot of international employees, but will they get it going by the time the US starts cruising again?

No, they use almost exclusively foreign workers.  Those countries don't have the problems that beset first world workers, like lack of child care, and workers are more than willing to return to work.  The rest of the world does not have the US's problems.

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2 hours ago, Greenhopster said:

With the U.S. having trouble getting people to work, help wanted signs everywhere, do you think the cruise ships will get fully staffed when the time comes? I know they use a lot of international employees, but will they get it going by the time the US starts cruising again?

 

Not really seeing the correlation between US employment issues and crewing a cruise ship, as the percentage of US citizens is normally minimal.

 

Our preferred cruise line maintained almost full Deck/Engineering crews aboard throughout, with a smaller Hotel dept. However, all 6 ships are now fully crewed, 1 ship is already back in service, with another one starting next week, and the others by month's end. 

 

None of them will operate in US Waters.

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chengkp do you have any comments or ideas what is going to happen with the crew on the Evergreen as it seems they could be stuck there for years while everything is sorted out about who is paying who?

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16 minutes ago, Thecat123 said:

chengkp do you have any comments or ideas what is going to happen with the crew on the Evergreen as it seems they could be stuck there for years while everything is sorted out about who is paying who?

In my opinion, the vast majority of the crew will be free to leave, maybe in another few months, but there must be enough crew onboard to meet the legal minimum manning, so it becomes a cost factor for the owner or charterer, for the cost of repatriation and flying new crew to the ship.  The Captain will almost certainly remain onboard for the duration, as he is the owner's legal representative, and a witness to the incident.  Some other officers may also remain.  At the moment, the crew are still getting paid, which is better than many seized ships where the company goes bankrupt and leaves the crew to fend for themselves.

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16 hours ago, Greenhopster said:

With the U.S. having trouble getting people to work, help wanted signs everywhere, do you think the cruise ships will get fully staffed when the time comes? I know they use a lot of international employees, but will they get it going by the time the US starts cruising again?

 

NCL hinted at crew acquisition and deployment problems when their announced some of their ship deployments recently.  And Royal (and perhaps others) have added an extra quarantine layer to employees coming from the latest COVID-19 hot spots.  So there are hints that the re-crewing of ships is going, perhaps, a bit slower than they would like.

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32 minutes ago, Honolulu Blue said:

 

NCL hinted at crew acquisition and deployment problems when their announced some of their ship deployments recently.  And Royal (and perhaps others) have added an extra quarantine layer to employees coming from the latest COVID-19 hot spots.  So there are hints that the re-crewing of ships is going, perhaps, a bit slower than they would like.

And while this is true, and has been a problem throughout the pandemic, for all vessel crew, not just cruise ships, this is due to government restrictions in home countries or for travel, or unavailability of vaccines in home countries, not due to employee reluctance.

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On 6/10/2021 at 3:30 PM, navybankerteacher said:

However, it is likely that the first few cruises will have “start up” problems as newly assembled crews start working together.

 

I would not be surprised if these "start up" issues due to new staff members learning to work together again will not be a source of hundreds of future CC posts on the Message Boards of all of the cruise lines as cruising resumes.  

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4 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I would not be surprised if these "start up" issues due to new staff members learning to work together again will not be a source of hundreds of future CC posts on the Message Boards of all of the cruise lines as cruising resumes.  

Absolutely --- once COVID wanes as a topic, something(s) else will be needed to fill the complaint bag.

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7 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

Absolutely --- once COVID wanes as a topic, something(s) else will be needed to fill the complaint bag.

Of course, after all it is cruiseCRITIC.🤣

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17 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Of course, after all it is cruiseCRITIC.🤣

 

I have lost track over the years the number of times I felt the need to explain to a crew member who learned that I was a participant in this web site what the name meant.  No, I was not looking to be critical of the job he/she was doing, etc.  

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With the recent discovery of 69 lbs of drugs on a Royal Caribbean ship, the need to have security personnel (I assume) to monitor guests observing regulations on those cruises that are less than 100% vaccinated, and the seemingly increasing numbers of travelers who are causing incidents in restaurants, hotels,  airports, and on planes, will this impact the number of security personnel employed on a ship?

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On 6/11/2021 at 6:43 PM, navybankerteacher said:

Absolutely --- once COVID wanes as a topic, something(s) else will be needed to fill the complaint bag.

The newest  Ocean Medallion app. thread is off to a good start

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How many American workers would be willing to work the hours required at the salary offered under the working conditions they would experience.  No overtime after 8 hours.  No extended lunch breaks.  No morning and afternoon rest breaks.  No days off.  Being required to speak 1 or 2 foreign languages.  Being treated like sh** by passengers who think that they are entitled to abuse crew.  

 

Most of the American crew would walk off the ship at the first port.

 

DON

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1 hour ago, donaldsc said:

How many American workers would be willing to work the hours required at the salary offered under the working conditions they would experience.  No overtime after 8 hours.  No extended lunch breaks.  No morning and afternoon rest breaks.  No days off.  Being required to speak 1 or 2 foreign languages.  Being treated like sh** by passengers who think that they are entitled to abuse crew.  

 

Most of the American crew would walk off the ship at the first port.

 

DON

They would run....not walk. 

 

That is if they were not fired beforehand.

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12 hours ago, donaldsc said:

How many American workers would be willing to work the hours required at the salary offered under the working conditions they would experience.  No overtime after 8 hours.  No extended lunch breaks.  No morning and afternoon rest breaks.  No days off.  Being required to speak 1 or 2 foreign languages.  Being treated like sh** by passengers who think that they are entitled to abuse crew.  

 

Most of the American crew would walk off the ship at the first port.

 

DON

And the walking off the ship and not returning was easy for the crew on the first ships in Hawaii that received the PVSA exemptions. In addition to the US labor laws NCL had to follow, they had to deal with crew leaving.

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55 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

And the walking off the ship and not returning was easy for the crew on the first ships in Hawaii that received the PVSA exemptions. In addition to the US labor laws NCL had to follow, they had to deal with crew leaving.

While not as bad as at the start, crew quitting is still a major problem for NCL.  As US citizens in a US port, there is nothing to keep them from walking away at any time, regardless of the contract they signed.

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7 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

While not as bad as at the start, crew quitting is still a major problem for NCL.  As US citizens in a US port, there is nothing to keep them from walking away at any time, regardless of the contract they signed.

I would imagine that the crew signing on to NCL in  Hawaii now at least have a better idea of what is expected of them than the original crews. One would also hope NCL has improved on training them for what is expected of them

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59 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

I would imagine that the crew signing on to NCL in  Hawaii now at least have a better idea of what is expected of them than the original crews. One would also hope NCL has improved on training them for what is expected of them

in the beginning, there was a 2 month "school" at the union headquarters in Maryland that had the recruits living in dormitories (a new experience for most), and eating in cafeterias, while learning housekeeping and restaurant duties.  Then there was the 2 week Basic Safety Training course, before going to the ship.  Now, most of the BST is done in Honolulu at a union facility there, so I'm not sure whether the "hotel school" is still in existence.  The documentation and certification (they all have to receive a uSCG merchant mariner credential and a TWIC which requires an FBI background check) adds to the cost and the time required before the recruit can join the ship.  While the "immdeiate" walk-offs have lessened (the record was 45 minutes), the number that don't come back after a 4 month contract, or quit after a couple months, is still significant. 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, donaldsc said:

How many American workers would be willing to work the hours required at the salary offered under the working conditions they would experience.  No overtime after 8 hours.  No extended lunch breaks.  No morning and afternoon rest breaks.  No days off.  Being required to speak 1 or 2 foreign languages.  Being treated like sh** by passengers who think that they are entitled to abuse crew.  

 

Most of the American crew would walk off the ship at the first port.

 

DON

 

I think you are painting American workers in a inaccurate and negative light. 

 

Not everyone gets overtime after 8 hours - plenty of people are salaried and get no overtime

No everyone gets extended lunch breaks, or even lunch breaks at all - I know I never have

No everyone gets morning and afternoon rest breaks - I know I never have 

Being treated like sh** by people who think they are entitled to abuse you - yes, I get that every day. As in people in my profession get cussed out and called every hateful name in the book so often that it's part of the training. You get regularly verbally abused during training to desensitize you to it.

 

And I'm union, so my working conditions are better than most. 

 

Now I get days off - think labor laws guarantee that.  But, I actually think crew do get some days off, even if it's not two per week.  And I don't speak multiple languages, though I'm sure some jobs do require that. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, sanger727 said:

 

I think you are painting American workers in a inaccurate and negative light. 

 

Not everyone gets overtime after 8 hours - plenty of people are salaried and get no overtime

No everyone gets extended lunch breaks, or even lunch breaks at all - I know I never have

No everyone gets morning and afternoon rest breaks - I know I never have 

Being treated like sh** by people who think they are entitled to abuse you - yes, I get that every day. As in people in my profession get cussed out and called every hateful name in the book so often that it's part of the training. You get regularly verbally abused during training to desensitize you to it.

 

And I'm union, so my working conditions are better than most. 

 

Now I get days off - think labor laws guarantee that.  But, I actually think crew do get some days off, even if it's not two per week.  And I don't speak multiple languages, though I'm sure some jobs do require that. 

 

 

Well, yes and no.  Compared to international cruise ship crew, US crew are a negative in terms of service.

 

Actually, the crew, both US and foreign, get "overtime", it is merely worked into the wage scale on a per day basis.  It's an international law.  Many hotel department crew work "split shifts", where they may get 2-4 hours between work shifts, so that is their "rest breaks", and the deck/engine crew all get a morning and afternoon "coffee break".  As for days off, the crew are entitled to one day of "rest" each week, and rest on holidays, unless their collective bargaining agreements say they will work and get paid in lieu of, or unless the crew decides to work 7 days a week to get the pay.  No paid days off.  Generally, the crew may get one or two afternoons a month off, but dayworkers (0600-1800 shift) like deck/engine do not get time off to go ashore.  Holidays are paid at 200% of base pay, but that again is figured into the annual wage, and divided into monthly payments.

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50 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Well, yes and no.  Compared to international cruise ship crew, US crew are a negative in terms of service.

 

 

Sure. I don't really mean to imply that US workers would like to staff cruise ships and endure the working conditions/pay that they get. 

 

But implying that American workers won't do a job without overtime, long lunch break, and morning and afternoon breaks is insulting. Of course they will, millions do now. 

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