We learned A LOT on this trip. Norwegian Cruise-line really educated us about ship life and the different positions offered on cruise ships.
One crew member really stood out to the FIU crew during our whole time on the ship.
Our server: Rico.
Rico is from the Philippines. He has been on the ship for 8-9 years because he is supporting his family back home. He told us he is married and has one child. We could tell how extremely difficult it was for him to be away from his family.
Although, Rico was very positive and loved to be the best at his job every single day. Being a waiter on the ships is a difficult job with long hours. Rico started off as a Food Runner. He was promoted to an Assistant Waiter. Shortly after, he was promoted to a Waiter. Now, he is a trainer and one of the head servers. There are some pros and cons to being promoted. If one wants to switch ships, they have to start at the bottom of their department and of course, if one is promoted they make more money!
Rico, along with many other crew members, work on the ships so they are able to travel and make good money to support their families. Of course, because of the free meals and rent too!
RECOMMENDATION: As you can see, it is extremely hard for one to work multiple contracts on a cruise ship. Crew members work very hard all day and everyday. They are not able to see/speak to their families often. They’re human beings just like us and a lot of passengers seem to forget that! I have seen so many passengers treat their stewards/servers like complete garbage. As future Hospitality professionals, it is our job to change this.
Every ship has Comment Cards, which gives bonuses and rates employees to put them into qualification for a promotion. So I recommend you tell everyone you know about these little cards and remind future cruisers to be kind!