16 Cruise Ship Employees Reveal The Truth About Life At Sea.
All aboard that's going ashore!
Cruise ship employees on Reddit were asked: "What are some things that we may not know about your job? What happens belowdecks?" These are some of the best answers.
1/16 It's such a small microcosm to live in - everyone is having sex and when people do get into relationships, they call it "a ship thing", meaning the relationship's life expectancy isn't expected to last past the cruise ship contract.
2/16 We don't want you to know that we actually have more fun than the guests. Sure we'll work the big white hot party that you're all going to, but once we finish our shift all hell is breaking loose in the crew bar.
3/16 Every crew member hates The Black Eyed Peas' "Tonight's Going to be a Good Night." We're forced to listen and dance to it multiple times a week. We hate the song and you for loving it.
4/16 I was a backstage technician. Looking back, the food was awful. Generally, the chefs who work topside get trained in the galley down below. They were pretty random on what was good or bad, honestly. Mostly, it got monotonous, since the menu didn't seem to change up very often. I was considered "staff" (halfway between officers and crew), so I was able to get food to order, such as eggs or a chicken breast, hamburger, etc, and we came up with college-style recipes and ways to combine foods to make them new. Most didn't work.
Some of the darker stuff...let's see...for starters, I hear that nearly all the live music is gone from my ships due to it not bringing in any money . It's kind of heartbreaking, I knew a lot of excellent musicians that likely were laid off, only to be replaced by canned music and karaoke. I don't have anything against karaoke, of course, but they also got rid of the karaoke host and the aft lounge technician, and just lumped those jobs onto the main lounge technician and social hosts.
5/16 Everyone f*cks each other, all over the ship. My girlfriend at the time and I had a competition with an officer and his lady for the riskiest place to have sex. I thought we had won with the bow of the ship in the middle of the night. Nope, him being an officer stopped the elevator midway, his lady and him jumped on top of the elevator while it was stopped and proceeded to ride the elevator and get it on as guests were getting on and off the elevator beneath them.
6/16 Belowdecks is where the belowjobs happen.
7/16 There are morgues below deck and a jail cell. We get at least 3 deaths onboard a month. Some people go on a cruise to die.
8/16 DJ for 2 years. Staff food is like someone saw a picture of a buffet, and said "I can make that!" but only had access to dumpster leavings. Many a night I'd wander to the staff mess and ask someone along the way what was for dinner. Many a night the reply was "Toast and cereal". They had think pink "dessert" that we called "Pepto Bismol surprise". The surprise was that it didn't taste like Pepto Bismol, or anything else you'd put in your mouth. It was served in little metal cups, and if there was any left over, it would appear upside down, sans la cup, on a small plate the next day. If it was still uneaten on the third day, it became "Boob Food". Someone squirted a little areola of a whipped-cream like, edible oil product on the top, and placed a single raspberry on top. They disappeared after the 4th day.
9/16 I did a 6 month contract on a pretty popular cruise line. I was appalled at the way that employees were treated.
The class system is abhorrent. There is crew, then staff, then officer. I had it easy because I was an officer (and being American also helped a lot). Crew members had their own mess hall... and could not go to any of the other ones. Staff could go to their own or go "down" to the crew mess. Officers had free range. The differences in food between the three were impressive. The crew mess had mostly rice and left over meat, whereas the officer's mess had all kinds of great food and variety.
10/16 No I do not know where Jack/Rose is... They're not real people.
11/16 The food has an extra bit of oil and fat in it to make your sh*t soft. This is done to reduce the strain on the ship's plumbing.
12/16 It was the worst job I've ever had in my life. If you get fired the line I worked for would kick you off on whatever island they docked at next. Sounds fair- but some of these kids had just started working and had no money saved up that could get them home.
13/16 I had a solid gig playing on a cruise line for a couple summers as a jazz musician. I played with a house quartet every night for three months. Disease spreads incredibly fast. There were a couple episodes of a stomach flu taking over the ship. It was so bad I thought we were going to have to get the CDC to disinfect the ship.
14/16 The companies are allocated $X/per employee per day, and it's something like $.30. They buy in bulk, they cook in bulk, they feed us in bulk. It's a win-win for the company. The employees are really just a number to the company. And it's getting worse and worse by the year.
Cruise ships are cutting corners and investors will threaten to sell of their shares if X amount of money doesn't get saved every month, so we're becoming more and more of a commodity. "Can this position net us X amount of money? No? Okay, get rid of them. Oh and by the way, to compensate, we need to make this position do their work." Which is why a lot of the time you'll see casino staff greeting guests as they come back onboard, a position originally set for cruise staff, but if there are three less cruise staff per ship, and they are busy with onboard activities, then they need to fill the gaps. Truth be told, it's an ugly business.
15/16 I don't want to talk to you in port. I don't f*cking know you. This is the only time off we have all week, and you're forcing me to smile and pretend I give a sh*t about your twelve year old getting her hair braided or your husband getting "lost" while you were shopping in Mexico. We both know he was at a brothel.
16/16 We don't want you to know that all those funny jokes we tell you at bingo? Yeah... Same ones are said every. Single. Cruise. That really funny answer you gave us about your wife during the happy couples game? Heard it. It was said last cruise and the one before that, and the one before that...
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It's hard working in customer service, especially with irate customers. You need to be able to empathize and understand where your customers are coming from, show sympathy, and be willing to help them with their problem. However, if they come at you ranting and raving about an issue which clearly has nothing to do with you, well, then you're free to rant about them on the internet.