So what did everybody think of the show? I have enormous respect for Mr. Sheehan; he not only put himself into some awkward situations, but used his position to fix some of the problems he saw. I especially liked the segment on the ice rink; the employee told him in the nicest way possible that the idea was stupid and a complete waste of time. I wonder what was said to the exec. that signed off on that in the first place. All-in-all a nice look behind-the-scenes.
I hope you don't think less of me after you read my review of the show!
Kevin Sheehan seems like a nice guy to me, certainly more respected by the NCL employees than his predecessor. I always appreciate seeing someone in management who has held "regular" jobs, in Sheehan's case being a NYC cab driver. Talk about a job that gives you some perspective on humanity! I remember when I was in the military if I saw a Good Conduct Medal being worn by an officer, I knew he or she had walked in my shoes as an enlisted person.
Okay, now for the cynical Dave:
I've not watched Undercover Boss before, but now that I have it seems a bit contrived to me. Someone on the ship had to know he was there and what the video crews actual mission was, and therefore that information had to have made it's way to the crew quarters. So I think many among the crew knew he was aboard but didn't know which person was him. This would explain why the waitress ID'd him so quickly. She remembered him from serving him earlier this year when the Epic was rolled out, and was now on the lookout for him.
The thing with the paper climbing waivers where he acted shocked at the bureaucracy also was pushing things a bit. He knows RCI went to on-line waivers well over a year ago. He knew that in the fall of 2009. I saw somewhere today that NCL is now going to have on-line waivers. That isn't something that suddenly happens so they have to have been working on it for a while.
NCL is preparing for an IPO and they want as much good publicity as they can get. I'll know more tomorrow after I attend a wed conference with them. Mr. Sheehan is scheduled to be there.
I've watched the show since it first started. I like the concept behind it. I always have questioned though how the employees so freely talk about their private lives to supposedly a total stranger. Last nights episode no one talked about anything overly personal, but some of the past episodes the employees have freely told this "stranger" some personal information that most people wouldn't talk about until they knew someone better. It seems like every episode has someone with the sad story. So you can't help but wonder if much of the show is planned out for ratings. But it's still an interesting show to see some of the behind the scene things that employees have to do in companies.
It's okay, "cynical Dave;" I felt some segments were "suspect" too, especially where he was being "trained" as an assistant waiter while people were actually dining--it just is not done that way. And of course because of the cameras, the employees were on their best behavior, even if they didn't know who he really was. But even though the show felt scripted, as Jan said, it was an interesting look behind-the-scenes.
Perhaps Norwegian Epic has better crew cabins than other ships in the fleet? Still, I don't think NCL (or any cruise line, for that matter) would want to show off the crew accommodations. I'm reading a book right now by a former crew member of another line (a waiter) and the differences are stark.
BTW, did anyone else notice the model of SS Norway in his office at the beginning of the show?
When I went on the NCL Epic inaugural I sat in on the Executive talk. If I remember right, they said on the NCL Epic the crew actually have their own cabin with a shared bath. It would stand to reason that cabin would be very small. If it wasn't a crew cabin then it could have been one of the new Solo cabins. But they didn't show enough of the cabin for me to tell if it was one of the Solo cabins.
Paul got a tour of the Epic crew quarters but was not allowed to take photos. He said they were the best he's ever seen, so it does appear he was in a crew cabin. I know on the Oasis class the crew also has private cabins with a shared bathroom but a crewman I know told me they were VERY tiny cabins. He actually preferred older ships where he shared a cabin.
The NCL web conference just ended and we now know more about the Undercover Boss episode.
Kevin Sheehan actually did many other jobs including cleaning cabins and working in the crew laundry issuing uniforms. CBS decided not to use that footage and it was the show's producers who made the call on what segments were used, and NCL didn't know which segments would be used until the show aired.
The cabin on the Epic was "on the periphery" of the crew area and was a single cabin with private bathroom. They have some of these cabins and use them for guest entertainers, although some full-time crew do use them, so technically he was staying in "crew quarters".
The guy who was promoted to Assistant CD...well, he was already scheduled to be promoted but as the ACD on another ship. So the fact is he was promoted but just not transferred.