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View Full Version : Working Hours of Crew - I would not want to do it, no matter what!


seema
03-26-2006, 04:18 PM
The basic crew members (including servers and stateroom host/hostesses) work 10-12 + hrs a day, every day - continuously for 6 months on, 2 months off. They may get a half day break, during port days.

The officers' work 3 months on, and 2 months off.

Obviously, the crew has room and board, during the time they work on the ship.

Since the Disney ships are registered in the Bahamas, and there is no income tax - I believe that all Disney crew are paid a full salary (I am not sure if payment by cash is an option, rather than by cheque/check) - therefore, no source deductions. My assistant server (from England) stated that he did not report his income to the English authorities - so he kept the full income.

This posting is related, in part, to my other thread, related to recommended (in my parlance, mandatory) tipping - see link below:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=12043616&posted=1#post12043616

Putting these 2 threads together, I believe that the 4 people (the 3 servers, and the stateroom host/hostess) need to be paid a salary (that does not rely on tipping), just like the other (almost) 1000 crew members.


PS-Because of the working hour requirements, that is why there are very few US or Canadian employees, especially at these lower levels - there are more US/Canadian employees, at the higher (officer or equivalent) levels. A secondary or tertiary reason to register in the Bahamas - one is not bound by the stricter North American laws governing manximum work hours allowable per week.

mommasita
03-26-2006, 04:44 PM
I would not want it either...I have spoken to a few of thew crew members, and most were glad for the opportunity to be able to support their families.

Some have goals and are doing only a one time thing(several months i mean), others have said their families getting used to the arrangement, and makes the homecoming worthwhile....

Personally, I could never do it if I had a spouse and/or children, IF I were using the money solely for education or something else, I think it is like anything else, a matter of getting used to..

lbgraves
03-26-2006, 05:25 PM
The CMs who I have personally talked to in the dining rooms & kid's club work more like 16-17 hour days. The servers all work breakfast, lunch, & dinner along with rotating staffing of the snack bars during the day.

BethA
03-26-2006, 05:54 PM
It is amazing when you think about the number of hours put in. I could never work everyday from 7am to midnight and get up the next day and do it again.

On RCL the stewards have time off in the afternoon for several hours, but I can't say I've seen that on DCL. Also I saw posted somewhere else about the stewards wanting the lower number cat--I'm not sure that is true. On our last cruise we had a cat 1 and the steward said he had that because he just got back from vacation. They still have the same number of cabins to clean, so the suites or even larger staterooms are just more work. I'm not sure how often they rotate which areas they clean.

GenieDana
03-26-2006, 05:58 PM
To work a 17 hour day, you mean if they started at 6:00 A.M. they wouldn't get off until 11:00 P.M. ? No breaks in-between? That sounds like a bit of a stretch to me? Our cabin steward said he rarely did more an 8 hour day. Do the servers put in significantly more time?

lbgraves
03-26-2006, 06:05 PM
The kid's clubs are open from 7 am until 1 am on port days. I just checked some of the pms that I have gotten with information & one says that they usually work 70+ hours per week in the club.

4formickey
03-26-2006, 06:13 PM
cruise junkie has a report out on conditions aboard ships. Some times the lower cat. cabins are the ones the get the better tips, because the rich folks book them :rotfl2: These are the cabins the sometimes the crew must pay to get assign to.http://www.cruisejunkie.com/events.html (http://) They will answer some of your questions about pay and tipping

BethA
03-26-2006, 06:18 PM
The servers work all 3 meals, along with set up and clean up and the late night food buffets or snacks. They do get an afternoon or morning off here and there. I think in port they have more free time because not as many people eat onboard.

JLMEBW
04-02-2006, 09:08 PM
One of my family members recently returned from India and he works in the human outsourcing industry and therefore they need many call center people. He said that the average salary for a call center person in India is 5,000 USD a year and they said they live an amazing life and they love doing it. So if the servers are making 25000-30000 USD a year they are like royalty over there. They might work very hard but they are used to it. Overthere they work 10-12 hour days. In my opinion the cruise industry is great and the tipping idea is amazing it helps them live an amazing life. Most of the time they are very cheerful either because they have to be or they enjoy doing it. They might have to work alot to get the money but it is similar to North America how you have to put in the time to get the money. Us North Americans might think it horrible but I come from a very good family and I think meeting the people and putting the smiles on their face would be worth it no matter how long you have to work :clown:

JLMEBW
04-02-2006, 09:11 PM
pirate: They also do it to help their families you may not want to do it but what if it was the best job to provide for your family?

JLMEBW
04-02-2006, 09:12 PM
The website for the crew expectations and other job info is at World Wide ...(WWW) dot dcljobs dot com

crzy4magic
04-02-2006, 09:46 PM
I have found that many of the crew on the Magic have been there for a long time - we have seen our assistant server from our very first Disney cruise on every cruise that we have been on. Since we have identical twins, even though we have cruised every two years we are recognized by staff from past cruises - even by a head waiter who was not in our section!

The other thing I found out chatting with the crew during the 2 week repositioning cruise - was that many had left top end lines to be with Disney - one from Crystal and one from Princess. When I asked the person how did Disney and Princess compare from a crew persons perspective, the answer was - "There is no comparison - this is the place to be!".

The Melbourne Florida newspaper did a series on Cruise Ship crews last April:

http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=NEWS07

mattmommy
04-03-2006, 10:11 AM
My ds (now 5) was in Flounders when he was 6 months old. He was in about 4 out of 7 nights for only about 2 hours at a shot. He had his own caregiver because of his age. We found out that most of the caregivers at this time were parents who were working on the ship to send money back home and take care of their family. They gave all the love they had to these kids because they missed their own. It made me very sad that they had to be away from their family.

Our servers were EVERYWHERE. And the cruise director and all those guys are EVERYWHERE. It seems these people are ricochet rabbits and everyplace at once.

mrsltg
04-03-2006, 10:23 AM
For the money they make I would have done it in a heart beat in my younger days. As it was when I graduated from college I worked three jobs. I left my house at 4:15am and didn't come home for the evening until 9:45pm. I usually had one full day off every 2-3 weeks, of course I didn't get 2 full months off every 6 months, though.

Bottom line - why not? It's good money and yeah, you're going to work hard, but probably have a lot of fun, too - especially if you're single and young.

tvguy
04-03-2006, 04:09 PM
You can't compare American culture and economic standards to other nations.

Our server on HAL was 27 years old, had been waiting tables on ships for 5 years, planned to do it for 2 more years and go home to Indonesia and retire. He was married, and had 2 kids. He said it was hard work, and that he dearly missed his family, but it was worth it because he could retire at age 29 with more money in the bank that he would ever need.

I've been working full time for the 27 years I've been out of college. I HOPE to be able to retire in another 13 years at age 62, but I may have to work another 18, to age 67 1/2. At my current age, this guy will have been RETIRED for 20 years. That certainly would make 7 years of hard work worth it to me.

sweetsue
04-03-2006, 04:56 PM
Here's the offical statement from Disney on hours:
As a Disney Cruise Line Crew Member, you would be hired for a 3, 4, 5, 6 or 8 month contract - depending on the position. After working your required contract length, you would have up to an 8 week break before the next contract begins. It is important to remember that the ship is fully functional 24 hours a day and requires constant attention. Crew Members can expect their schedules to be based on a 70-hour/7-day work week. Time off is very limited-even when the ship is in port. Overtime pay is available for non-management Crew Members - up to 24 hours per week.

Whew! I'm exhausted just reading about the work week. I think I need to take that 8 week break....

Sweet Sue

crisi
04-04-2006, 08:01 AM
You can't compare American culture and economic standards to other nations.

Our server on HAL was 27 years old, had been waiting tables on ships for 5 years, planned to do it for 2 more years and go home to Indonesia and retire. He was married, and had 2 kids. He said it was hard work, and that he dearly missed his family, but it was worth it because he could retire at age 29 with more money in the bank that he would ever need.

I've been working full time for the 27 years I've been out of college. I HOPE to be able to retire in another 13 years at age 62, but I may have to work another 18, to age 67 1/2. At my current age, this guy will have been RETIRED for 20 years. That certainly would make 7 years of hard work worth it to me.

On of my coworkers packed up and retired to the Far East at 40. If you are happy living in Indonesia, it isn't too hard to save up enough money to live fairly well there.

(Health Care can be a problem)

lorrainesy
05-04-2006, 12:17 AM
I could never do their job, they work way too many hours and too see theway some passangers treat them...well I have a hard time not saying something to them, I don't know how the crew manages to be so nice all the time.

professorandmom
05-04-2006, 07:42 AM
I agree with lorrainesy, I don't know how so many CMs manage to be pleasant - for example, after days and days, magic tricks at dinner? Just getting the drinks would be an accomplishment....I know they are hoping for good tips but still...

There was a thread a while ago about what special things you could do for CMs - that is, what do they really want? I guess the answer is sleep.

That said, when I was young, I worked two full-time jobs (including one which needed overtime)...never was home and the money poured in. Only lasted for about a year but it was an adventure!

Sure adds a new perspective to my CM interactions!

Barb

kplatt
05-04-2006, 07:49 AM
Check out the DCL HR website -- www.dcljobs.com
One of the featured CMs on the videos is Shawn from South Africa -- I remember him from our first cruise on the Magic. He was new to DCL and so PROUD to be there. He spent a long time telling us about his experience with the hiring process. We saw him on one subsequent cruise, but not since.

If I were 30 years younger and single I'd sign up in a heartbeat!! (At least for one contract...then a second if the first didn't kill me!)

pearlieq
05-04-2006, 08:25 AM
I would totally do it if I were young and lived in one of their recruiting areas.

The nationalities of the ship's staff are no accident. They're recruited from economically depressed developing nations--usually nations with poor employment prospects and very high unemployment.

DCL might be hard work, but it's a guaranteed place to sleep, 3 meals per day, and more money than most of the crew members could ever dream of!

Here are 2003 World Bank annual per capita income figures from countries where DCL recruits:

India - $530
Indonesia - $910
Vietnam - $480
Phillipines - $1080
South Africa - $2780

As you can see, the amount made on the ships is astronomical compared to the average income at home. Say you're a server on DCL and you work 8 months out of the year. At $1,000 per week average X 32 weeks, you're pulling in $32,000 per year. If you hail from India you're making 60 times the average salary!! If you're from Indonesia it's 30 times the average salary.

For comparison's sake, the chart shows the US average salary at $37,500. If someone offered you a job that pays 30 times the average salary, which would be $1,125,000, wouldn't you be willing to work 70 hours a week and smile like a maniac while you're doing it? :teeth:

Trixiezzz
05-04-2006, 09:23 AM
That website was very interesting!

Especially the crew's quarters. Woooa, and I thought the Cat. 12 were the smallest!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/trixiezzz/DCLCrewQuarters3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/trixiezzz/DCLCrewQuarters.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/trixiezzz/DCLCrewQuarters2.gif


And here's what the website says about their pay. It says it's by check, not cash:

Crew Pay
Crew Members are paid bi-weekly in US dollars by check. All Crew Members are responsible for paying their own taxes. US citizens or residents have Federal taxes withheld from their checks. Other Crew Members must check with their own country's tax service to find out what guidelines they should follow.
Crew Benefits
Crew benefits include medical coverage while on contract. GAP insurance is available for purchase for coverage between contracts. Crew accommodations, meals, and costumes/uniforms (except shoes) are provided to the Crew at no expense.

As a Crew Member of Disney Cruise Line, you will receive complimentary admission to most of the Disney Theme Parks and other discounts on Disney merchandise at most Disney locations (check with your Human Resources Representative - restrictions apply).


from: http://www.dcljobs.com/benefits.asp