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Old 12-09-2012, 07:25 PM   #46
neg58
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Originally Posted by mom2d&b View Post
When we cruise DS10 and Dd13 head to Target to pick out some snacks to pass out to the crew. On our last cruise (non DCL) our dinner server cried. He told us no one had ever given him any gifts. Something so small and simple can make a huge difference.
We are going over Christmas, and I'm trying to think of things for our servers and host to give them something to have for Christmas. Since I don't know if they will be women or men, it's rather difficult.

Any ideas? I'm thinking a small box for each, with an ornament or Christmas item, some candy, a card. Anything else?

Nancy
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:57 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by neg58 View Post
We are going over Christmas, and I'm trying to think of things for our servers and host to give them something to have for Christmas. Since I don't know if they will be women or men, it's rather difficult.

Any ideas? I'm thinking a small box for each, with an ornament or Christmas item, some candy, a card. Anything else?

Nancy
While your intentions are good, please consider the fact that those you plan to give the gifts to may not celebrate Christmas.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:23 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by neg58 View Post
We are going over Christmas, and I'm trying to think of things for our servers and host to give them something to have for Christmas. Since I don't know if they will be women or men, it's rather difficult.

Any ideas? I'm thinking a small box for each, with an ornament or Christmas item, some candy, a card. Anything else?

Nancy
Over the years, we have brought international phone cards, candy bars, gum, salt water taffy and gift cards to the mall the crew shops at in Florida. One year we brought full size York peppermint patties and gave them to them with their tip envelopes. You would think I gave them gold! It was a great reaction.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:43 PM   #49
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We are in the process of planning our first cruise, so I'm lurking around the DCL boards to learn about various aspects. I'm just surprised at this thread. I never would have thought that members of the crew don't see the light of day. I understand that they work 7 days a week. But, I'm surprised to learn that those in room service don't get to go up on deck at all. I was also surprised that they need to trade for things (someone mentioned trading gum). I assumed they bought things like we did. There must be some bartering system instead of being paid? Sounds so archaic to me, I'm just surprised. The other thing that shocked me is the PP who mentioned giving them fruit. I would have bet my life that their provisions included such basic items as fruit. I'm literally floored that they need to get fruit from a customer. It actually makes me question whether I want to financially support an entity that treats its employees so poorly that they aren't given basic nutritious food and opportunity to see daylight.
I have to agree. The fruit thing blew my mind. They don't have access to fruit in the employee dining room? The passengers have to take some from the buffet to give to the employees?

Disney sounds like they treat their employees worse than zoo animals, depending on their customer base to feed their employees the basics and to provide short minutes of sunshine.

Reading this thread just brings to mind high school history and the slaves chained to their benches, rowing the galleons, with minimal food and locked in the bowels of the ship with no fresh air and sunlight.

I am going to have to do more research to see if passengers on other lines are so concerned about the employees that they need to bring fruit and invite the employees on deck for glimpses of the outside.

I am with you Mari. I don't know if I can support a cruise line where the passengers are so concerned about the workers not receiving adequate treatment that they feel compelled to bring fruit and sunshine to the employees. It bothers me to no end that the employees are so grateful for that quick glimpse of outdoors.

I am sure in my research, I remember reading about cruise lines with private employee decks, even employee pools and decent cafeterias for the employees. Humane employee treatment is an important criteria for selecting our first cruise line.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:53 PM   #50
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I have to agree. The fruit thing blew my mind. They don't have access to fruit in the employee dining room? The passengers have to take some from the buffet to give to the employees?

Disney sounds like they treat their employees worse than zoo animals, depending on their customer base to feed their employees the basics and to provide short minutes of sunshine.

Reading this thread just brings to mind high school history and the slaves chained to their benches, rowing the galleons, with minimal food and locked in the bowels of the ship with no fresh air and sunlight.

I am going to have to do more research to see if passengers on other lines are so concerned about the employees that they need to bring fruit and invite the employees on deck for glimpses of the outside.

I am with you Mari. I don't know if I can support a cruise line where the passengers are so concerned about the workers not receiving adequate treatment that they feel compelled to bring fruit and sunshine to the employees. It bothers me to no end that the employees are so grateful for that quick glimpse of outdoors.

I am sure in my research, I remember reading about cruise lines with private employee decks, even employee pools and decent cafeterias for the employees. Humane employee treatment is an important criteria for selecting our first cruise line.
An absolute eye-opening book is Cruise Confidential by Brian David Bruns. The behind the scenes comments of their 18 hour work days, 6 month contracts and poor scheduling that prevents them from getting more than one decent meal a day in their dining hall are stunning. At most, they may get a half day off every few weeks, sometimes only 2-4 hours. And those short breaks are usually spent sleeping in their rooms. And yes, they get very little time to see the sights from the ship or even use the crew area much. It is not a life I envy in any way.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:25 PM   #51
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An absolute eye-opening book is Cruise Confidential by Brian David Bruns. The behind the scenes comments of their 18 hour work days, 6 month contracts and poor scheduling that prevents them from getting more than one decent meal a day in their dining hall are stunning. At most, they may get a half day off every few weeks, sometimes only 2-4 hours. And those short breaks are usually spent sleeping in their rooms. And yes, they get very little time to see the sights from the ship or even use the crew area much. It is not a life I envy in any way.
Well then, I may have to reconsider cruising. If employee treatment is so horrendous, on par with child labor factories, then I would not be comfortable eating at a fancy restaurant, knowing my server may have only had one meal. Or sitting in my fancy cabin knowing my server had not seen daylight for several days.

Thank you for enlightening me. If Disney treats their employees so shabbily, then that is out for me.

Off to research cruise lines and employee treatment. See if there is one where the customers don't feel compelled to provide basics for the employees because they live such a miserable existence.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:33 PM   #52
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It is the cruise industry in general rather than Disney "treating employees this way." There will be nothing different on any other cruise line as far as I know from people who have worked on many different lines in many different positions.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:36 PM   #53
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It is the cruise industry in general rather than Disney "treating employees this way." There will be nothing different on any other cruise line as far as I know from people who have worked on many different lines in many different positions.
I guess my question is whether it's really so bad that they don't have access to a variety of food such as fruit and if they really need things like gum to trade for other goods. Is there not a crew store? I understand the long hours and crew quarters are part of the job, but the fruit and gum thing just is unimaginable to me.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:41 PM   #54
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While your intentions are good, please consider the fact that those you plan to give the gifts to may not celebrate Christmas.
If they don't, they can just give away the items; I've received many ornaments and other decorations given to me by Jewish or atheist friends who received them over the years. I've found the CMs to be very gracious when receiving anything. I really don't think the crew member are over the moon to receive jolly rancher candies or tootsie rolls, but they always seem like they are.

If even one of them has a happier day after receiving a small gift, I think it is worth it for me to make the effort.

Nancy
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:20 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by MariDisney

I guess my question is whether it's really so bad that they don't have access to a variety of food such as fruit and if they really need things like gum to trade for other goods. Is there not a crew store? I understand the long hours and crew quarters are part of the job, but the fruit and gum thing just is unimaginable to me.
I think the main thing is that they appreciate someone thinking of them when they hardly have time to think of themselves. Having access to something doesn't necessarily mean a crew member will use it. I'm sure there are many, cruise crew or otherwise, who would skip a meal or time outside for some precious sleep
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:35 PM   #56
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I think the main thing is that they appreciate someone thinking of them when they hardly have time to think of themselves. Having access to something doesn't necessarily mean a crew member will use it. I'm sure there are many, cruise crew or otherwise, who would skip a meal or time outside for some precious sleep
Well then, wouldn't a better appreciation be to give a larger tip (what you would have spent on gum or the gift) so that the employee could quickly buy what they want/need at the crew store? (looked it up and Disney cruise ships do have onboard crew stores and employees get discounts at other stores)

That way they are not wasting precious sleep time trading gum or other silly things. They can go to the store, buy what they need and then get some much needed sleep or meals.

Seems like giving actual gifts like gum would be counter productive as the employee would have to waste precious time bartering, finding places to stow things or giving things away.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:44 PM   #57
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Ok...I think people have a skewed perception of crew life. Yes they work very hard and yes they work very long hours. But... they are NOT treated like zoo animals. They are not slave labor. They get three or more meals a day. They do have fruit available to them as well as other nutritious foods. They have a crew store, a crew nightclub, they have access to the internet (for a fee), they have a crew gym, they have crew parties. DCL pays for their airfare when they fly home (if they are returning after their time off) and pay for their return. They get about 2 months off after each contract. They get recognized for a job well done. They DO NOT HAVE to barter for things but just like in any other society people trade things if they want (trade you pack of cigarettes for a few packs of gum, etc.).

Please remember...nobody kidnapped the crew. They decided to work in the cruise industry by choice. In fact, many make more working onboard then they could in their home countries. Many work a few years and can retire in their home countries.

We have cruised DCL 28 times already and spoken with many, many crew members from officers on down. The vast majority have told us that they enjoy working for Disney more than other lines (of the ones they have worked on other cruise line).

So please, appreciate how hard all the crew works onboard but I don't think they want you to pity them. They take pride in their jobs and it shows.

If you want to find out more about crew life on DCL you can check out their jobs website...if lists job requirements and the duties involved in many of the positions onboard.

www.dcljobs.com

MJ
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:01 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by mmouse37
Ok...I think people have a skewed perception of crew life. Yes they work very hard and yes they work very long hours. But... they are NOT treated like zoo animals. They are not slave labor. They get three or more meals a day. They do have fruit available to them as well as other nutritious foods. They have a crew store, a crew nightclub, they have access to the internet (for a fee), they have a crew gym, they have crew parties. DCL pays for their airfare when they fly home (if they are returning after their time off) and pay for their return. They get about 2 months off after each contract. They get recognized for a job well done. They DO NOT HAVE to barter for things but just like in any other society people trade things if they want (trade you pack of cigarettes for a few packs of gum, etc.).

Please remember...nobody kidnapped the crew. They decided to work in the cruise industry by choice. In fact, many make more working onboard then they could in their home countries. Many work a few years and can retire in their home countries.

We have cruised DCL 28 times already and spoken with many, many crew members from officers on down. The vast majority have told us that they enjoy working for Disney more than other lines (of the ones they have worked on other cruise line).

So please, appreciate how hard all the crew works onboard but I don't think they want you to pity them. They take pride in their jobs and it shows.

If you want to find out more about crew life on DCL you can check out their jobs website...if lists job requirements and the duties involved in many of the positions onboard.

www.dcljobs.com

MJ
This is a great post on the topic. Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:18 AM   #59
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Ok...I think people have a skewed perception of crew life. Yes they work very hard and yes they work very long hours. But... they are NOT treated like zoo animals. They are not slave labor. They get three or more meals a day. They do have fruit available to them as well as other nutritious foods. They have a crew store, a crew nightclub, they have access to the internet (for a fee), they have a crew gym, they have crew parties. DCL pays for their airfare when they fly home (if they are returning after their time off) and pay for their return. They get about 2 months off after each contract. They get recognized for a job well done. They DO NOT HAVE to barter for things but just like in any other society people trade things if they want (trade you pack of cigarettes for a few packs of gum, etc.).

Please remember...nobody kidnapped the crew. They decided to work in the cruise industry by choice. In fact, many make more working onboard then they could in their home countries. Many work a few years and can retire in their home countries.

We have cruised DCL 28 times already and spoken with many, many crew members from officers on down. The vast majority have told us that they enjoy working for Disney more than other lines (of the ones they have worked on other cruise line).

So please, appreciate how hard all the crew works onboard but I don't think they want you to pity them. They take pride in their jobs and it shows.

If you want to find out more about crew life on DCL you can check out their jobs website...if lists job requirements and the duties involved in many of the positions onboard.

www.dcljobs.com

MJ
That is what I was thinking when I read this thread. Which brings me right back to my original thoughts...that inviting a crew member onto your cabin verandah for a moment of sunshine is condescending to the crew member.

We are back again to the "oh here poor server, come stand on our verandah because Disney keeps you locked away from sunshine." It seems to come across high and mighty, the mighty lord of the cabin showing pity for the poor serf bringing their room service and "allowing" the serf to experience a minute of their lifestyle.

Bringing fruit from the breakfast buffet onboard would seem especially presumptuous and insulting, insinuating they cannot get fruit on their own in their own dining room and need the passengers to pilfer fruit from their own breakfasts as a charitable act. I don't think the crew wants or needs the passenger's pity by throwing them an orange or two from breakfast.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:01 AM   #60
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There are a lot of good and a lot of bad things about working on a ship and many books and articles on the internet describing the life. The thing to remember is that the jobs are in demand and those crew workers come back after their contracts are over. So no, they are not treated like zoo animals. They choose to do those jobs and I don't feel sorry for them.

But I also have a LOT of respect for them because I could never do it. Their cabin rooms are crazy small. As one of my books descibes them, you can pee and brush your teeth all at the same time, lol. They do have a pool, but it's not much bigger than a hot tub. They do get to see the sun, have a deck, a bar, etc....but they work crazy long hours. They do have nutritious foods to eat, but they don't get to eat what the guests eat. Everything I have read describes it as a buffet with a lot of curries and different soups (which I'd probably love). They tend to eat the same things over and over which makes sense why getting something different, like a candy bar, might be exciting.

But I also imagine, that sometimes they are likely just being polite. I have read on these boards where people order two desserts and bring them back. I would never want to eat food (even fruit) brought to me by guests. How would they know it wasn't tampered with, left at room temp too long, etc? That's just wierd to me. Unopened candy is different. But that's just my 2 cents

Money is always the best thing you can give. But I don't see the harm in handing out candy, gum, or whatever you want. Nor do I see it condensending that the OP invited the room service guy to come out and have a view. I don't think anyone is suggesting you do any of that in lieu of money.



ETA found a couple pics:

Crew member cabin (No idea which cruise line this is, but it gives you the idea of how small it is. Sharing that tiny space with a roomate would make me cringe, but I'm not young and single :P)


Employee crew member deck and pool on the Wonder
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Last edited by Bonniec; 12-10-2012 at 05:08 AM.
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