Working onboard a cruise line you would be surprised the number of questions a crewmember gets every single day. Some questions are pretty much understandable (we get it that our home is confusing sometimes), some are not so intelligent (it’s crazy to believe, but yes stairs go up AND down), and some questions are just plain rude. Before you head out on your cruise vacation, check out this list and make sure to avoid asking a crewmember these top ten questions.
1. How much money do you make?
I don’t know if you walk around going from cubicle to cubicle asking your colleagues how much money they rake in. Maybe, when you stop for your Starbucks you ask the barista how many tips they made this week, but whether you’re on land or at sea, this is a rude question. Unless you’re seriously inquiring or interested in a job and have built a relationship with a person, it’s better to just not ask. The truth of the matter is it’s not a black and white answer anyways. Working on the sea means you’re not paying for rent or food and you have other advantages (and disadvantages-talk about expensive Wi-Fi) to factor into the matter. So maybe they make more than you, maybe they make less. Let them do your job and help you enjoy your vacation.
2. Do you live onboard?
It might surprise you how often we get this question and if you decide to ask you might get a sarcastic reply anyways. Yes. We live onboard. We are not flown in by helicopter every morning.
3. Can you get off the ship?
We are not prisoners. We are employees. Yes, we can get off the ship whenever we’re not working just like you. No, just because you see us out for drinks during a break doesn’t mean we’re never working. It just means you caught us enjoying one of the perks of our job.
4. Can you get me a discount on my next cruise?
I don’t care how close of a friend you became with whatever employee during your vacation. I don’t care if you became best friends with the Captain. It’s a long process to get family and friends on board, especially with a discount. Not to mention you can probably find just as good of a deal online if you put in a little Google effort. Would you walk into a restaurant, order some drinks and then ask the bartender to discount your bill? If you’re good to the crew they’ll treat you well and slip you bonuses when they can.
5. Can you take me to the bridge?
If I am not the captain, I will not be able to take you on the bridge. See if your ship offers an excursion to see it. Or marry a cadet in training, then maybe one day you’ll be able to see the bridge. Most of us haven’t either.
6. Can you sneak me into the crew bar?
Not only can I not because security will notice you’re not crewmember in like .5 seconds, but I don’t want to. Nothing personal, but the crew bar is a place for the CREW where we can all just chill and vent and finally be in one of the only places on the ship designated for us. We need time to recover from work and life too.
7. Do you sleep in the same cabins/eat the same food/have the same perks as us?
No. Unless we’re officers, we probably share a cabin, they are smaller than yours and we clean them ourselves. We do our own laundry unless we want to pay, just like at home. We have our own messes for food and we do not eat in the buffet every day. As a matter of fact, a lot of us can’t be in guest areas out of work at all. Yes, perks come with our job, but we really don’t need to hear you say how easy it must be to live on a cruise ship because you never have. You’ve vacationed on one, and trust me, the difference is substantial.
8. Why is the ship moving?
You wouldn’t ask a flight attendant why a plane shakes as it’s taking off. Maybe, you would ask why there is turbulence during your flight. But the thing is, you shouldn’t. Turbulence is a totally natural thing that happens when cold air and hot air create different airflows in the sky that you just so happen to be soaring through at the current time. Turbulence hasn’t wrecked a plane for years either. In the same sense, the ship is shaking because it’s leaving port, or hit a rough spot or just because no matter how big your cruise liner is, it’s still quite a bit smaller than the sea and oceans surrounding it outside. Yes, the ship is moving. Yes, you can get seasickness pills if you don’t have the same sea legs like us, and no, you don’t have to worry about it unless we tell you to.
9. Why don’t you get a job back home?
This one may not be so obvious to you, but it is quite personal. People go out to sea to work for many reasons. Some of them love it; some want to travel and some prefer the sea to land. However, "some" isn’t the majority. Most cannot get work back home for a variety of reasons. Most don’t make enough money back home to provide for their family, which means they have to leave them for months at a time. Most would prefer to stay on land but have a sad or difficult story that keeps them coming back to the ships. If you develop a relationship with a crewmember, ask this one with respect and cautiously. Don’t assume working on ships and being away from family was an easy decision to make.
10. When do you sleep?
We don’t. We drink coffee. Yes, you can buy us a Red bull.
Have you worked on a cruise line before? What are the questions that you constantly get asked? Make sure to comment below and I might create a second addition to this post!
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