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Old 11-04-2006, 09:24 PM
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Hey all,

This is especially for former Navy (of either the USA or another G7 country) people who have taken cruises. This also relates to the thread about bad experiences, but tell me if this is correct: the officers, crew, and owners of a ship registered in a given country are subject to the laws of said country with regard to labor standards, criminal liability, enviornmental issues, etc.? For example a ship registered in Britain, that is to say, a "UK flagged" vessel, would be subject to British labor laws and British common law etc.? And the crew has to be people who could legally work for a British company on British soil?

The reason I ask is, I have recently seen articles on the web talking about the crew being treated poorly on cruise ships. I suspect this would ONLY be true on ships not registered in G7 countries. Like, if the ship is registered in the Bahamas, that country is probably more relaxed (that is to say, less civilized) with regard to such things than Britain or the United States.

So, has anyone whitnessed crew being treated badly on a cruise ship? We're talking about working long hours (hours that civilians would normally not have to work), being beaten, etc. I once had to stay up for four days doing "operations involving national security" on a submarine, but submarines are elite military vessels, and I would not expect civilian cruise ship crews to be subjected to this. Perhaps the passengers are not allowed access to the Engine Room or crew lounges where they might whitness and/or hear about such things. But, I would especially be interested if any of my fellow Navy veterans have seen this, as Navy people know what life is like on a ship for an enlisted man, and if a Navy person percieves a crew member being treated badly, then you know it's pretty bad.

As to the person who heard about rape on a ship on the Montel Williams show, was that ship registered in a G7 country, or some 3rd world country? The G7 would be the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan. For our purposes we can include The Netherlands in that group, as they are a civilized nation as well (with a long seafairing history, I might add), just not as prosperous as the G7. I imagine the Netherlands has similar labor laws to the G7.

thanks...
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--Brian, Former USN submarine sonar tech (not speaking for the USN or the United States of America)
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:46 PM
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I don't know how to answer you but will give it a shot.
Most cruise ship are foreign registry to do with tax laws.
Most of the cruiseships we have been on have Philipino or international crew.
They do work long hours and living quarters are not what the passengers get ...I have seen on one ship (we took a wrong turn) the cabin was shared ...had bunks and very little space, it may have been 5-6' wide there was just enough room for the crew member to stand between the bunk and shelving.

They often work split shifts so get only a couple hours off in the day.
One waiter we had worked the breakfast buffet then dining room lunch & dinner shift.
They also have to clean up and re-set the tables after the passengers leave the dining room so they don't just get to leave at 10:30 when the dining room closes.

We have know idea how they are treated below deck.
Some earn more money than they would back in their own country so endure being away from family for 6-8 months at a time.
I think the only line that has to pay more is NCL America because they have to hire American crew and they would not work for the lower wages others get.

I am sure there are other people with more insight into your query.
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:11 PM
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As with anything in life, the further up in the food chain you are, the better the perks. We had a cruise director on one of our shore excursions, he had a balcony room, laundry service and dry cleaning service for free. He could take his wife on any cruise he was on for $50. He worked a 6 month contract, and would take a month off in between. A bartender we talked to did not have those accomodations, but he did get dry cleaning and laundry service. He also got 2 days off for a 10 day cruise and some hours off during the time we were docked. He could bring a family member with him for $50 as well. The wait staff and room stewards don't get the same perks. They can bring family members on board for $50 as well. They do have to share a room and they do get laundry/dry cleaning service. They do not get to eat in the dining rooms. They do have a crew pool and crew lounge with a bar that they do get charged for. Different lines give different perks, this is from the people I've talked to on Princess. Best wishes!
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:02 AM
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I've been on 10 cruises so far and have had nothing but very happy crew and staff members serve me. Never have I heard of crew being beaten below or mistreated. I have read of incidents where crew members have gotten into fights and been dismissed. Those types of incidents can happen anywhere, in any country and in any place of employment.

From what I understand from the crew I've spoken with, they are very happy to get jobs on cruise ships, they are making far more money working on a cruise ship than would be possible at home.

The passengers are not allowed into the engine room nor the bridge for security reasons. Passengers are not allowed into crew areas (although some will sneak in) because, quite frankly, I think they deserve privacy. The ship is their home, would you enjoy it if curious people felt they were within their rights to come and check out your house? It's none of our business.

I have met many crew and staff who have signed many contracts, returning after their leave is over. No one is forcing them to work on a cruise ship, it is their own choice.
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:14 AM
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Happy K's

Welcome to Cruise-Chat!

I could not agree more with your post.
 
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