Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
CelebrationFlCruiser

Does Royal Caribbean hire Americans on their ships?

Recommended Posts

Why is it you rarely or never see an American cleaning your room or serving in the dining room, or painting the ship? Is it that they don’t hire Americans?

 

Why is it that in certain areas of the Ship, the workers seem to be from specific countries.

 

But there are exceptions. Like in the shops, casino, taking photos, musicians, entertainers, or in the high end restaurants.

 

Possibly those areas that are farmed out to other companies that are more likely to have more Americans on staff?

 

Am I the only one that has noticed this?

 

Two cruises ago on Royal Caribbean our stateroom attendant was great however, he spoke very little English. We ended up just pointing at things. It actually worked quite well.

 

Does anyone have any insight into this intriguing dilemma?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, they do and I've met several onboard.  However, they are few and far between and have mostly been in front-of-house positions either as Hotel Manager, Cruise Director, Cruise Director Staff, and/or Adventure Ocean, besides some of the onboard entertainers.  I actually work with a former manager of the kids club aboard Princess Cruises.

 

I think the six to nine month contracts and the pay that is gratuity dependent in most positions discourages many from the U.S. and Canada for taking on positions other than those mentioned above.  However, I've talked to staff from developing countries who, by comparison, can make much more onboard in a few months than they can make in a year or two (sometimes more) at home.  This had given them the ability to buy better homes, send their kids to private schools and/or college, as well as care for aging parents.  However, it is very hard work and something I couldn't personally do.

 

Part of the reason that the ships are flagged in foreign ports is labor law related.  There are several interesting books on this issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The English as a second language thing sometimes doesn't work out well.

 

Like during the announcements at the the mandatory lifeboat drill. And the periodic overhead speaker announcements from the Captain. We can hardly understand them.

 

"I think the six to nine month contracts and the pay that is gratuity dependent in most positions discourages many from the U.S. and Canada for taking on positions other than those mentioned above. "

 

On the contrary, the free food, free housing, free medical services, and lack of places to spend your money, makes working on cruise ships and cruise ship islands very appealing. And let"s not forget cruising to exotic ports of call and if you do your job well, you can transfer to anyother ship in the fleet. We keep seeing the same crew on the new and bigger ships.

 

They all seem to want to be on the newer, bigger ships. Just like us.

 

I know a person that teaches non-certifed scuba diving on one of Royal Caribbean islands. They do very well, the bank most, if not all, the salary and when the cruise ships are gone, get to live on a "somewhat" deserted island alone with about 15 others.

 

If I wasn't married with grown up kids, with kids, and about 30-40 years younger, I might go for it. Sounds FUN.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read an article, in which it talked about salaries of the staff on cruise ships. Room stewards earn between $1600 and $2600 per month for "up to" 9 months per year. That works out to be 7.50 to 12.50 per hour given their 48 hour (usually) work week, for only 9 months. That is A LOT of money for most of the people who do these jobs. One of my favorite things about cruising is getting to know some of the staff and it really is incredible to hear their stories and how impoverished the places they come from are. For us spoiled Americans(referring to myself), $19000 to $32000 annually, working 48 to 60 hours per week, for 9 months at sea, away from family and friends. No thanks. I would reference the artical, but it is on a competing site.

 

Also a good quick read is the book "Cruise Confidential" a behind the scenes look of a crew member (American I think)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering all of the above, I think it all comes down to pay. I know of few people personally who would take a partial year contract besides k-12 teachers. Add to that making sub 10/hr when accounting for all 12 months again I know of no one that would do it for that. By U.S. standards, its not much above a hotel or fast food equivilent pay.I think in this case it just boils down to pay, time worked per week and seperation from pretty much everything you know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FloatMe, yes, and considering they don't have to pay for food and lodging, that's a lot of money. I don't care what country your from.

 

Also, being that these ships are not registered in the US, no taxes.

 

The person that I touched on in a post, "non-certifed scuba diving on one of Royal Caribbean islands". She said that after 3 years she figured she was making $50K per year. And she was able to put most of it in the Bank because her living expenses were almost non-existent.

 

 

Not to say that some of the workers are making much less than the US minimum wage, they are.. I have been told, that many can make the average salary in their country in a few months while on-board a cruise ship. At least that is the company line, when they are pressed to pay higher salaries.

 

And the higher ups, and adminstration jobs are paid extremely well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get your calculator out and you do the figures. Now these ships carry thousands of people per cruise. And the room occupancy is being reported at 104%+.

 

So, Take the number of cruisers, people (every man, woman and child) and then X the new, raised gratuity fee = the cruise ship's take.

 

What ever you call it, it amounts to a great deal of money. And keep in mind, their ships are filled to capasity, and they do this, week, after week, after week.

 

I personally think, that all this is, a way for the cruise line to add a charge on your bill and by having the stateroom charge separate, make it appear that you are paying less. And saying that we, the cruisers, were not giving enough to those providing the service, they make a manditory charge for everyone.

 

They also separate the drink, photo, spa, casino, and ancillary expences from the stateroom charge.

 

I would venture to say that, when everyone figures out that they are already paying gratuities, that most, to all, tipping ceases to exist.

 

If everyone is made to tip the same amount to those that get tips, it no longer becomes a tip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it's about a very, very successful industry that keeps providing top-notch service. They do what they have to do.

 

Sometimes we need to point out, or at least voice our concerns.

 

My point is, why are they playing these games, and why even get involved in some practices, when they know it is irritating to those cruisers that are loyal. Just because the other cruise lines do it, is not a valid answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience, all the crew members I have encountered on a Royal Caribbean ship have had excellent English.

 

Why aren't there more Americans? Probably has more to do with global economics and opportunities than I think anything else.  

 

Personally, I enjoy meeting the crews from all over the world and talking to them about their home life.  We had a phenomenal Romanian worker who told me about a "delicacy" at home of combining coca-cola and wine.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point, Matt. It's also important to note how difficult it is to crew a staff with American workers. NCL America struggled with this with their U.S. Flagged ship in Hawaii to the point that they removed the service charges as one point because of so many service complaints. I sailed them during this time and had a good experience, but the service staff was noticeably younger and few that I talked to planned on renewing their contracts.

 

If I were single and younger, I'd consider doing a contract on a ship just for the experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone read Cruise Confidenial? I started reading it, and if for nothing else, it's entertaining.

 

It's about an American crewmember and his experiences working on a cruise ship.

 

If anyone is interested, Amazon has a free Kindel version that gives you a taste of the book (and then they want you to buy it).

 

Here's a link to the free portion of the book:

 

https://read.amazon.com/?asin=B0056IJJY4

 

It is for a kindel, but it worked on my computer. So, I think anyone can view it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone read Cruise Confidenial? I started reading it, and if for nothing else, it's entertaining.

 

It's about an American crewmember and his experiences working on a cruise ship.

 

If anyone is interested, Amazon has a free Kindel version that gives you a taste of the book (and then they want you to buy it).

 

Here's a link to the free portion of the book:

 

https://read.amazon.com/?asin=B0056IJJY4

 

It is for a kindel, but it worked on my computer. So, I think anyone can view it.

I read it and quite enjoyed it as it gave a behind the scenes view of the cruise industry.  However, I've also heard others suggest that it was somewhat exaggerated and/or dramatized.  Even so, I spoke to a server on Disney Cruise Line that previously worked for Carnival, as the author of the book, and he confirmed some of the allegations made by the author.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have met a few US Crew onboard, they tend to be in positions like the kids club or sports management.

 

I would suspect that very few americans are willing to work the hard jobs like cabin attendant or waiter for the money offered whereas individuals from eastern Europe / Asia that tend to dominate those slots view it as a great paycheck.

 

With that said, we had a great chat with an Aussie couple that were married and had done several contracts together onboard. They explained how they had put away almost all their money for several years and were looking forward to buying a house (for cash) on their next break back in Australia, etc. so I think the money is decent if you have the discipline to bank it instead of partying it away :)

 

Its one of those things that I would have been interested in trying 20 years ago if I had known the opportunity existed !!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this isn't quite the same thing, but I once spoke to an American couple who played and sang every night in one of the small lounge bars. They did not get paid.  But they cruised for free and only worked nights, so they spent their days doing all the different excursions or hiking, exploring or beaching.  Their contract was somewhere from 6 weeks to 3 months -  don't remember exactly.  Their cabin was one of the lower, interior staff cabins the size of a closet with 2 bunk beds.  Because they were "entertainment" they could eat in the big constant buffet if they wanted (similar to Windjammer) or down with the staff.  I never saw them in the dining room.  I never saw them on the pool deck either so they may not have been allowed to mingle around.  Not sure.

 

They were really horrible and nobody was ever in their bar.  It was way off in some obscure corner (but with an ocean view).  But they thought it was a great gig.  I would too.  They had to pay for their own excursions but they probably got some kind of company discount, I'm guessing, because they went on a lot of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suspect that very few americans are willing to work the hard jobs like cabin attendant or waiter for the money offered whereas individuals from eastern Europe / Asia that tend to dominate those slots view it as a great paycheck.

I think this statement is pretty accurate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I could tell RCL of an issue I have (after many, many sailings) is "Why can I tell you with reasonable certainty what the nationality is of crew members based on job position???" I think this is wrong-- for a lot of reasons.

 

The most glaring example: That syndicate called Head Waiters. I can with 99% certainty guarantee your future head waiter will be a male of Indian decent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've actually not had an Indian head waiter in over 20 cruises. Mine have been mostly Eastern European. I've yet to have a male host in MTD, though, on any cruise line. You are correct that certain position ions draw extensively from certain nationalities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...