Love Boat Not

A cruise ship activities director is a glorified cheerleader cheering on a sad team.

I took a cruise once.

The confined space on a ship is great for virus promotion. Storms can endanger the ship or at least rock you about until you are green.  Due to bad weather, foul play, or too many beers, one can easily tilt over the railing and never be heard from again. And of course there’s the Titanic, you saw the movie, remember what happened to it.

But the real downer to cruise travel is the caste system.

The ship’s crew gets paid little and works long hours.  Many of the crew depend on the kindness of strangers when they give out a generous tip at the end of the trip.  The cruise brochures spell it out; a great deal of the crew’s wages come from a well-defined hierarchy of gratuities.

The crew moves through the underbelly of the ship.  In and out of the hidden corridors, the false wall panels, they move through the ship but not alongside the well-heeled passengers.

Upon exiting the cruise ship, a disgruntled employee yelled out obscenities at a middle-aged woman who apparently left no tip for his labors.

At dinnertime, our waiter was friendly, talkative, and seemed happy.  Even though he cruised ten months of the year while his wife worked as a teacher in India.

After our table paid the waiter at the end of the cruise, his smiles and fawning stopped.  Either someone in our group tipped too low for his standards or he no longer needed to hide his disdain for his work.

That explains the hard, humorless stares from some of the workers.

A cruise ship sells a life of luxury. Is the cost too great?  I think I would rather spend my time bird watching in my backyard.  The drinks are cheaper and the grill is hot.

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2 responses to “Love Boat Not

  1. My two daughters once thought they wanted to work on a cruise ship to have the chance to perform in the nightly shows. When they found out the hours, living conditions, and pay, there was a quick “No, Thanks” from both.

    Too bad more people aren’t aware of the horrible conditions these employees endure to guarantee the passangers a dream trip.

    • Thanks for your nice words on my love boat post. Rather than experiencing a dream cruise, I felt the inequities emanating from the staff. Having fun at other’s expense is not fun. I’m moving toward a simpler life where I am in charge of creating my own fun. I’m glad your daughters missed out on this experience.

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