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Old 12-10-2012, 06:22 AM   #61
cruisecrasher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonniec
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
I'm going to ask a slightly off topic question. Has anyone ever seen anyone at the crew pool outside of the travel channel "Secrets Behind Disney Cruise Line". I've never seen anyone on that deck except to withdraw the flag as we were setting out from Cozumel.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:49 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by cruisecrasher View Post
I'm going to ask a slightly off topic question. Has anyone ever seen anyone at the crew pool outside of the travel channel "Secrets Behind Disney Cruise Line". I've never seen anyone on that deck except to withdraw the flag as we were setting out from Cozumel.
When we cruised on the Magic, we would occasionally see a crew member spending time out there....maybe once per cruise if that.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:31 AM   #63
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Do people really do things like this? I am just now planning our very first cruise, so I have no experience to draw from.

But to me, it sounds a bit condescending. "Here you poor soul who is locked up in darkness 24/7, come out on us rich people's verandah so you can see the light of day for a minute."

Maybe I don't understand the job these guys do, but it would feel a bit pretentious inviting staff into our room to look at the view. Are the Disney workers so overworked, they never have a minute or a day off to look out a window?

I liken it to somebody inviting a minimum wage worker to come see their Mercedes because the minimum wage worker would never be able to afford one, so "here, come sit in mine." It just seems condescending.

But again, I have no experience. Maybe my view will change after I cruise for the first time.
For us it was a whole different concept...it was the inaugural Alaskan and therefore not only our first time, but the CM's on the ship as well. The sights were AMAZING. It wasn't the light of day, but the sights themselves. Many of them had not been out of the carribbean in several years and this was exciting for them as well.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:40 AM   #64
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they don't want to be in our room... too much chaos and looks like a bomb went off most of the time!
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:20 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by engle View Post
For us it was a whole different concept...it was the inaugural Alaskan and therefore not only our first time, but the CM's on the ship as well. The sights were AMAZING. It wasn't the light of day, but the sights themselves. Many of them had not been out of the carribbean in several years and this was exciting for them as well.
I understand this. I can't wait to see the sights of Alaska myself. I think the OP did a wonderful thing for this crew member, being the first time the ship was sailing to AK.

I'm sure after a few sailings, the sights would not be quite so impressive, you would eventually get used to them.

Let's also remember that the crew members are not locked in the dungeon, even while they are in your cabin cleaning, they can still catch a glimpse outdoors, even if they don't actually step out onto the balcony.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:25 AM   #66
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I understand this. I can't wait to see the sights of Alaska myself. I think the OP did a wonderful thing for this crew member, being the first time the ship was sailing to AK.

I'm sure after a few sailings, the sights would not be quite so impressive, you would eventually get used to them.

Let's also remember that the crew members are not locked in the dungeon, even while they are in your cabin cleaning, they can still catch a glimpse outdoors, even if they don't actually step out onto the balcony.
Imagine being onboard and not having the time to stop and look around... and being squished into tight living quarters when you're off....
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:51 AM   #67
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This is such a good idea! I love getting to know the attendants on cruises. If only we had a room with a balcony........
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:27 AM   #68
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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.
This book was written about the one year employment the author spent working for Carnival Cruise Line.

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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.
DCL does not have a poor reputation in the industry as to how they treat their employees. Please remember many of the CM's come from countries where their condition of living is far below the standard of living they experience working on board DCL ships.

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Originally Posted by mmouse37 View Post
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
Well said, MJ!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:37 PM   #69
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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
Cute chirstmas socks or fuzzy socks are something nice and gender neutral. Another good think would be chapstick or hand lotion.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:43 PM   #70
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We did small things each night that the kids had hand made. I am sure they were thrown away after the initial smile for the gesture. But the gesture counts. Then on the last night instead of giving extra cash on top of their tip, we gave American Express Gift Cards. That way it'd be safe and they could choose to send directly home to relatives to turn into cash, or cash it out themselves.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:52 PM   #71
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Handmade cards can be the best gift of all!
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:31 PM   #72
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This book was written about the one year employment the author spent working for Carnival Cruise Line.
This book has been mentioned many times on this board. I never said it was about Disney -- it is a single person's accounting of his time working on a cruise ship. He has a sequel which is about his time working for the auction houses on the cruise ship - another eye opener of behind the scenes
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:21 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisecrasher

I'm going to ask a slightly off topic question. Has anyone ever seen anyone at the crew pool outside of the travel channel "Secrets Behind Disney Cruise Line". I've never seen anyone on that deck except to withdraw the flag as we were setting out from Cozumel.
Yes. On the classic ships, I'm at the gym waiting for it to open before 6:30. I've seen several crew using the area; not the pool, but the deck around it. One was running, and one looked to be doing some martial arts.

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Old 12-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #74
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Tic tacs are good little extras -sorry if mentioned already
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:54 PM   #75
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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.
The CM's on the Magic must see the light of day....the forward pool is a CM only pool
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