Originally posted by RayS:
We've been cruising for some time and really enjoy meeting the crew members from around the world. But on our last cruise someone told us they get paid only $100 a week and that they have to pay the cruise lines for room and board plus laundry leaving them with only about $10 per week over the tips we give them. I can't believe that's true and I'm wondering if there is some place where I can get more information about how this really works. I love cruising, but not on the backs of people being oppressed.
As most of you know my daughter dances for Carnival. Without giving you specifics of amounts she can bank more on her cruise salary then when she danced in New York City. She has a contract for 8 months this time but has had longer and shorter. She does not pay for room or board and her room is cleaned by the housekeeping staff, but she does not get room service or the stuff you get being a guest. She gets longevity pay over her regular pay, having danced 5 years for the company. Her longevity continues as long as she does not take more than 6 mo off at a time (the number of months may not be exact). She gets extra if she takes on extra work, like dance captain, or Seamstress, or an exta show like dancing in the magic show. The entertainers do other work, in the library, bingo, embarkation etc. This is all part of the contract but if they sell enough scratch tickets and bingo tickets they get a bonus. It takes a lot of sales and they don't usually get it. All in all properly managed it is fair pay. She makes more than the assistant CD, all things considered. However she is paid in cash and the corporation will NOT do a direct deposit because the rank of a dancer does not qualify for it. This makes it very difficult for her to bank, especially as she never sees mainline US on this cruise. She is able to handle it by Money orders but that costs her. She banks the maximum in a Individual Retirement account but Carnival does not provide for her retirment with a 401k or anything. She can buy some Carnival Stock at a diso****ed broker fee. Investing in your own company is not always a good place to put a lot of your money but she has a small amount of CCL. She does not qualify for tips and assists guests without the expectation of tipping. She has qualified as a Life Boat Captain but I don't think she gets any pay for this.
All in all it is pretty good considerig she needs no apartment and no car. She could go abck to NY but doesn't. From time to time talks about going to another cruise line.