I always suspected that anecdotes and facts like the following would be true, and easy to uncover with only a little digging. I’ve taken around five holidays on cruise-ships with family over the past decade, and every time, whatever the cruise line or ocean, it’s non-Westerners grafting away, and there’s always a handful that can’t help but give away the immense stress they work under. One horror story, again from Newsweek:
Jamaican native Noel Everett spent 13 years as a senior stateroom steward for Norwegian Cruise Lines, working nine-month tours with three days off. Now he is part of a multiplaintiff lawsuit alleging that he and his co-workers had to hire and pay helpers out of their own salaries to meet unrealistic workloads. “There was no way two of us could clean 34 rooms between 10:15 and 11:30 a.m.,” he says.
P&O pays its crew 75p an hour, and Costa staff speak of 14+ hour days.
Krishnan, the Concordia cook, has plenty to say about the care cruise lines provide to the injured and sick. The 27-year-old, who supported five family members back home in India on his $1,580-a-month job as “first cook for soups and pastas,” recalls how he was handed antibiotics but “was forced to work even when I had fevers” in order to avoid losing his job or having his pay severely docked.