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Old 11-15-2007, 04:09 PM
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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.
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:09 PM
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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.
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:37 PM
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There is no exact answer to your question as different crew members are paid in different ways depending on their job and which cruiseline. Most of those in the service sector jobs make most or all their income from your gratuities. That obviously does not extend to the Captain, Cruise Director, First Mate, etc. Some cruiselines withhold a portion of gratuities and some pass the entire sum to those performing services for you. Some lines combine all tips and distribute them evenly among the staff. With many of the new freestyle dining options now available that's really the only way they can. You're served onboard by many, many different waiters, and other dining room staff during your cruise.

Some lines also have generous bonus structures in place for those crew members who consistently get very high ratings from passenger on those silly surveys they ask you to fill in and turn in. These are also often used for who will be promoted. Anytime you have exceptional service anywhere in a service oriented industry, the survey card may be of far more value to the person you're tipping than any monetary reward you may give. But please, still give 'em some cash as a thank you.

I don't think you have to worry about cruising being a source for oppression. The staff of these ships are generally in a much better financial position than many of their extended families and countrymen, at least in many of the countries they're predominantly from. Those who choose to be crew members from more affluent areas of the world do so for the experience to travel, the social oppt'y with the rest of the crew and other reasons. Nobody is held onboard against their will or forced to take these positions. They are sought after oppty's for many. One of my favorite waiters ever on a cruiseship (a Filipino) told me his brother had been trying fror over a year to get a cruiseship job and would continue until he was accepted. He was working hard on his english written and verbal skills, the reason he was initially given for being denied the job.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:50 PM
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Just to add to what Neil said....don't assume the rest of the world subscribes to your personal definition of oppression. Cruise ship jobs are considered lucrative in many countries, and nobody is being shanghaied to join the crew. They all sign contracts. I have lived in many poor countries, albeit for no more than 6 months in one place, but learned that what may seem bad to me is considered an opportunity to others.

So I don't dwell on it. I tip well when cruising, treat the crew with respect, befriend as many as I can, and have a good time. Leave the social baggage at home.
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:51 PM
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Who was this "someone" that told you this? A crew member or another passenger? In all my years of cruising I have never heard of a crew member having to pay for room and board. They receive room and board and a small stipend from the cruise line. The rest of their pay comes from the tips.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:32 PM
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Thanks to all of you for your informative and very helpful answers. It's appreciated.
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Old 11-20-2007, 03:51 PM
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No crew member pay forroom and board.
However, it veries from company to company wether or not if they get their travel expenses covered.
The salaries also varies a lot, and for some positions the basic salary is quite low and the rest is based on tips.

As Dave and others have mentioned, nobody is onboard against their will and compared to a land job in some countries they are making much more money sailing.
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:41 PM
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I was on the Valor last week and we took the galley tour given by the Matre D. The question was asked what do they get paid and do they get to keep their tips. This is what he said. The wait staff is quaranteed a certain salery based on their tips. If at any time they do not make that amount Carnival will make up the differance. Otherwise Carnival does NOT pay them. I assume Carnival gives them their room and board and does not deduct this from their salery.
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Old 11-22-2007, 11:41 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by SanDee:
I was on the Valor last week and we took the galley tour given by the Matre D. The question was asked what do they get paid and do they get to keep their tips. This is what he said. The wait staff is quaranteed a certain salery based on their tips. If at any time they do not make that amount Carnival will make up the differance. Otherwise Carnival does NOT pay them. I assume Carnival gives them their room and board and does not deduct this from their salery.


No, Carnival does not deduct room and board from their salary.
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Old 11-22-2007, 02:40 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave Beers:
Just to add to what Neil said....don't assume the rest of the world subscribes to your personal definition of oppression. Cruise ship jobs are considered lucrative in many countries, and nobody is being shanghaied to join the crew. They all sign contracts. I have lived in many poor countries, albeit for no more than 6 months in one place, but learned that what may seem bad to me is considered an opportunity to others.

So I don't dwell on it. I tip well when cruising, treat the crew with respect, befriend as many as I can, and have a good time. Leave the social baggage at home.


Hi Dave, just wondering if you know how the lounge bands and piano bar players get paid as well. Is it separate from the others? Mary49
 
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