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Old 02-07-2006, 12:57 AM
js js is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1
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NCL, The WORST Company I have EVER worked for…..

I boarded NCL’s Pride of America on Sept 3rd and shortly left on Oct 1st with the WORST experience of my life!!!

First off let me say that the recruiters lie through their teeth to get you on the ship… They will take someone with YEARS of experience in one field and then throw them into a position that they never expressed any interest in, promising that as soon as they get to training in Piney Point, MD they will get the position that they initially wanted. If only that were true…

I applied for a front desk position and a youth counselor. I have had many years experience in both positions and felt that this would be something that I would be excellent at. My recruiter placed me as a stateroom steward stating that I would be able to change job titles as soon as I got to the training facility. Once you arrive at the training facility you realize what you have signed up for…. They get you there really late at night after several hours of flying and no food and ask you to sign a million different contracts. Needless to say… you basically sign your life away for 20 weeks. Several days after arriving you realize that this is perhaps something that you may have seriously looked over….

• No, you will not be able to change positions. What you were hired as… you will stay as… I choose to try to stick out my position hoping that I would be able to apply for another position once on ship.
• They tell you that the training is 3 weeks long but they don’t know when you will be leaving… I knew people who had been there for 7 and 8 weeks with no hope of leaving any time soon. If you choose to go home and not wait at the facility after training is over… kiss your job good bye… they won’t bring you back….
• They also inform you to look around at your fellow coworkers and kiss them all goodbye… you may be lucky to be 1 of the 3 out of your whole class of 60 + that may actually stick with this job for the whole contract.

Once you Graduate training and they randomly select you to go to Hawaii, you are informed on a Thursday evening at 7pm that you will be leaving at 3am and to get ready now. Then be prepared for one long boring buss ride and then 6 hours of waiting for your flight. After several delays, I got to Honolulu at 9pm and went straight to the hotel. We are then woken up VERY early in the morning and asked to get our stuff together once again that SOME of us will be leaving to go on the Pride of America. Yup, that’s right folks… only SOME of us. The select few of us boarded the buss and went towards port.

I would like to say that this part of my journey was by FAR the easiest and least stressful…Once might say partially bearable. The first day on the ship was a breeze. You are comforted by your friends that you have come very close to over the past couple of weeks, after being tossed into this huge ship with no direction. Our co-worker that gave us a tour of the ship was a former stateroom steward that had demoted herself to a hotel utility position. She informed me that I should prepare myself to be treated like crap and to not have ANY time off. I was a little worried but up for a challenge.

Aside from being a little sea sick the first couple of days weren’t bad at all. After being on the ship for almost a week, I was given my own section of 15 rooms on a Friday morning. I was assigned a section on deck 8, aft, port side. I was surprised to see that most of my rooms were Do Not Disturb. Once I finally found a room that a guest wanted service… the guest stated “Oh, so it does take a week to get service here.” Unfortunately the section I took over was VERY dirty and was full of disgusted guests. I was very appalled at the room’s cleanliness and the service that was NOT provided to these guests. I brought these issues up to the Assistant Hotel Director shortly after my shift. He stated that he knew the rooms were dirty and that the guests were unhappy but that I would be getting new guests on Saturday so “stick with it and do what you can do”. So, when I went for turndown that evening I went in and tried to do my best, apologizing for the extreme dissatisfaction and poor service that a fellow co-worker had done. Unfortunately I was assigned too late into the cruise to do any repair for these guests.

Turnover day was HELL. Now, for those of you that complain about the rooms initially being dirty… this will explain A LOT!!! We start our shift at 6am. We get prepared before entering any rooms. Starting at 8am our supervisors tell us to start knocking on doors regardless of a Do Not Disturb sign. (I was informed by a supervisor, “DND doesn’t exist on turnover days”) So, we go in hoping to GOD that we don’t upset anyone too much by doing what we were asked to do. Once we have our section cleared… All hell breaks loose…. I had the pleasure of working from 6am that day until 11pm with no break. The rooms that I had “inherited” were the worst I had seen in my life… Therefore I had to spend hours upon hours trying to get them even livable. I felt horrid that when embarkation had started that I actually had to let guests into their rooms knowing their condition. No amount of apologies was going to save these rooms. After working several days on these rooms for 12 hours straight with no breaks… I was finally able to get the rooms up to an “okay” condition. I can definitely understand why guests are complaining about the cleanliness of these rooms if they were anything like the rooms I had.

Unfortunately, by the end of the month, I had been moved to 3 other sections that was the exact same scenario as before. I was getting burned out… between getting yelled at by the guests for the condition of the rooms (understandable) and not being able to get any breaks… not even to use the restroom… I eventually had the joyous experience of obtaining a parasite at the end of the month. I was extremely sick and had to beg my supervisor to see a Doctor… even though it was on my own time. After having poor care and virtually no treatment from the Medical facility, I choose to exit my contract while in port in Honolulu, on Oct 1st. I would have to say that this was BY FAR the best decision I had ever made when it came to this company.

Since then, I have many friends and co-workers that were on the ship contact me with their own horror stories of the poor treatment received by NCL. Unfortunately, the trainers were correct in saying that a good portion of us would be gone… by December, 2005 I know of only 2 people remaining on the ship who coincidentally plan on getting off before the months end.

For those of you who felt that you received poor service, I would like to apologize for the dissatisfaction. On the other hand though, I hope this will shed a little light into why the Pride of America and Pride of Aloha are run with very little pride at all… It’s hard to have pride in this company as an employee and I would not encourage ANYONE to join NCL in their American flagged ships!
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-07-2006, 12:57 AM
js js is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1
Default
NCL, The WORST Company I have EVER worked for…..

I boarded NCL’s Pride of America on Sept 3rd and shortly left on Oct 1st with the WORST experience of my life!!!

First off let me say that the recruiters lie through their teeth to get you on the ship… They will take someone with YEARS of experience in one field and then throw them into a position that they never expressed any interest in, promising that as soon as they get to training in Piney Point, MD they will get the position that they initially wanted. If only that were true…

I applied for a front desk position and a youth counselor. I have had many years experience in both positions and felt that this would be something that I would be excellent at. My recruiter placed me as a stateroom steward stating that I would be able to change job titles as soon as I got to the training facility. Once you arrive at the training facility you realize what you have signed up for…. They get you there really late at night after several hours of flying and no food and ask you to sign a million different contracts. Needless to say… you basically sign your life away for 20 weeks. Several days after arriving you realize that this is perhaps something that you may have seriously looked over….

• No, you will not be able to change positions. What you were hired as… you will stay as… I choose to try to stick out my position hoping that I would be able to apply for another position once on ship.
• They tell you that the training is 3 weeks long but they don’t know when you will be leaving… I knew people who had been there for 7 and 8 weeks with no hope of leaving any time soon. If you choose to go home and not wait at the facility after training is over… kiss your job good bye… they won’t bring you back….
• They also inform you to look around at your fellow coworkers and kiss them all goodbye… you may be lucky to be 1 of the 3 out of your whole class of 60 + that may actually stick with this job for the whole contract.

Once you Graduate training and they randomly select you to go to Hawaii, you are informed on a Thursday evening at 7pm that you will be leaving at 3am and to get ready now. Then be prepared for one long boring buss ride and then 6 hours of waiting for your flight. After several delays, I got to Honolulu at 9pm and went straight to the hotel. We are then woken up VERY early in the morning and asked to get our stuff together once again that SOME of us will be leaving to go on the Pride of America. Yup, that’s right folks… only SOME of us. The select few of us boarded the buss and went towards port.

I would like to say that this part of my journey was by FAR the easiest and least stressful…Once might say partially bearable. The first day on the ship was a breeze. You are comforted by your friends that you have come very close to over the past couple of weeks, after being tossed into this huge ship with no direction. Our co-worker that gave us a tour of the ship was a former stateroom steward that had demoted herself to a hotel utility position. She informed me that I should prepare myself to be treated like crap and to not have ANY time off. I was a little worried but up for a challenge.

Aside from being a little sea sick the first couple of days weren’t bad at all. After being on the ship for almost a week, I was given my own section of 15 rooms on a Friday morning. I was assigned a section on deck 8, aft, port side. I was surprised to see that most of my rooms were Do Not Disturb. Once I finally found a room that a guest wanted service… the guest stated “Oh, so it does take a week to get service here.” Unfortunately the section I took over was VERY dirty and was full of disgusted guests. I was very appalled at the room’s cleanliness and the service that was NOT provided to these guests. I brought these issues up to the Assistant Hotel Director shortly after my shift. He stated that he knew the rooms were dirty and that the guests were unhappy but that I would be getting new guests on Saturday so “stick with it and do what you can do”. So, when I went for turndown that evening I went in and tried to do my best, apologizing for the extreme dissatisfaction and poor service that a fellow co-worker had done. Unfortunately I was assigned too late into the cruise to do any repair for these guests.

Turnover day was HELL. Now, for those of you that complain about the rooms initially being dirty… this will explain A LOT!!! We start our shift at 6am. We get prepared before entering any rooms. Starting at 8am our supervisors tell us to start knocking on doors regardless of a Do Not Disturb sign. (I was informed by a supervisor, “DND doesn’t exist on turnover days”) So, we go in hoping to GOD that we don’t upset anyone too much by doing what we were asked to do. Once we have our section cleared… All hell breaks loose…. I had the pleasure of working from 6am that day until 11pm with no break. The rooms that I had “inherited” were the worst I had seen in my life… Therefore I had to spend hours upon hours trying to get them even livable. I felt horrid that when embarkation had started that I actually had to let guests into their rooms knowing their condition. No amount of apologies was going to save these rooms. After working several days on these rooms for 12 hours straight with no breaks… I was finally able to get the rooms up to an “okay” condition. I can definitely understand why guests are complaining about the cleanliness of these rooms if they were anything like the rooms I had.

Unfortunately, by the end of the month, I had been moved to 3 other sections that was the exact same scenario as before. I was getting burned out… between getting yelled at by the guests for the condition of the rooms (understandable) and not being able to get any breaks… not even to use the restroom… I eventually had the joyous experience of obtaining a parasite at the end of the month. I was extremely sick and had to beg my supervisor to see a Doctor… even though it was on my own time. After having poor care and virtually no treatment from the Medical facility, I choose to exit my contract while in port in Honolulu, on Oct 1st. I would have to say that this was BY FAR the best decision I had ever made when it came to this company.

Since then, I have many friends and co-workers that were on the ship contact me with their own horror stories of the poor treatment received by NCL. Unfortunately, the trainers were correct in saying that a good portion of us would be gone… by December, 2005 I know of only 2 people remaining on the ship who coincidentally plan on getting off before the months end.

For those of you who felt that you received poor service, I would like to apologize for the dissatisfaction. On the other hand though, I hope this will shed a little light into why the Pride of America and Pride of Aloha are run with very little pride at all… It’s hard to have pride in this company as an employee and I would not encourage ANYONE to join NCL in their American flagged ships!
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02-07-2006, 04:33 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 73
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Hi,

very intersting - but I have only one question - these kind of problems only exist on the NCL America Ships. How do you explain, that all the servicestaff from the Philipines or Romania ob the NCL International ships can do that job?

They have a lot of rooms to clean too, they have turnover day too...

Best regards

Wendy
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09/11 - 09/18 2005 NCL Norwegian Dawn

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 09-16-2006, 02:17 PM
Svein's Avatar  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tonsberg, Norway
Posts: 547
Default
I could predict these kind of problems already when I first heard about the whole NCL America thing. Crewing a ship with 100% pampered westerners (in this case Americans, but I think Norwegian or any other western crew is causing just as much trouble) is not an easy task, compared to the NCL ships which is manned with hard working, smiling and dedicated international crew with up to ten month contracts. As an officer I often get impressed by these people and wonder how they can meet every day with a smile to needy passengers and fellow crewmembers.

I don't know the reason for this, but in Norway we are not used to "dirty" work anymore. We import labour from eastern Europe to do the things we don't feel doing. At sea most norwegian crew were kicked ashore in the 80's so we have lost a generation of seamen.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 09-21-2006, 05:38 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1
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Hi. I've just returned from a cruise on board the ' NOrwegian Wind' It was fantastic and the steward were awesome, i made friends with them- we became GREAT friends in fact. They were so friendly, handsome and always joking and smiling
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 09-21-2006, 06:12 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,370
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Wendy and Svein make very good points. A good part of the problem is that Americans are, in general, not used to dealing with the kind of work and the kind of hours that exist on cruise ships. Add to that the way that many - but not all! - cruise passengers regard and treat the crew members, and conditions seem unbearable. At the same time, those from countries who do not enjoy the standard of living, freedom and other benefits we in the "western" world do (U.S., Canada, and most of the countries in western Europe) probably see their working conditions as hard but worthwhile. Good efforts are still eventually rewarded (not always so in the corporate world these days) and a good attitude goes a long way.

JS, I think some of your problem comes from not having been prepared for what you would face. This is not entirely the cruise line's fault - there's a lot to be said for doing your homework before signing on the dotted line, whether buying a car or contracting for a unique type of job. Perhaps a little more research might have helped you be ready for very long hours, complaints by the guests, etc.
 
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