Celebrations International Travel Blog

Here Comes the Crew: Diverse Crew Members and Opportunity

Posted on: October 20, 2009

An update just published on Cruise Critic caught my attention:

Oasis of the Seas Update:  Here Comes the Crew!

The article says that crew members of Royal Caribbean’s new Oasis of the Seas have begun arriving in Turku, Finland to prepare for the ship’s maiden voyage.   These crew members are being flown in from Miami, Manila, and Mumbai.

Seeing Mumbai mentioned in the article reminded me of a young chauffeur who drove us around in Kolkata, India one day during our last trip.  Towards the end of the day, the driver glanced into the rear-view mirror and addressed my husband.

“Sir,” he said hestitantly, “May I ask if your wife is from Thailand?”  Agni responded no, that I am American.  A short conversation ensued, and the driver told Agni that he was curious because he wanted to go overseas to find work, and he was considering Thailand.

Once Agni translated their conversation (It was in Hindi.), my gut reaction was to advise the young man to seek out a job onboard a cruise ship.  I asked if he spoke any English, and he was able to tell me “Yes, I speak some English.”  I went on to explain that there are all types of jobs onboard cruise ships, depending on what his skills were (prep cooks, dishwashers, busboys, waiters, stateroom hosts, deck hands, maintenance workers, etc.). 

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas now adds to the list of traditional cruise staff jobs the need for horticulturalists and zip line instructors.

When he asked how to get a job, I, armed with my modern-minded American ideas, told Agni to tell him to go to an Internet cafe and look on the cruise line Web sites.  What was so awful about it (that I later realized and still regret) was that it completely slipped my mind that Mumbai was the closest cruise terminal, and I should have just told him to go there and talk to anyone he could.

I am a firm believer in giving people a chance, especially those willing to work hard.  I applaud the cruise lines for hiring crew members from all over the world, which not only gives those individuals a chance to make a decent living, but often gives someone who wouldn’t otherwise be able to the opportunity to see the world.

From the cruise passenger’s perspective, I am always amazed at how many different languages and nationalities are represented aboard most oceanliners.  I think it enriches the guest experience to meet such diverse people, many of whom can share their insights into the ports of call.   In the case of international passengers, a culturally diverse crew can be essential to ensuring that the guests’ cruise experience is smooth and enjoyable.

Information on oceanliner cruises is available on the Celebrations International Travel Web site.

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This is blog based on the experiences and interests of travel agency owners Adrienne and Agni Mitra. Through our blog entries, we will share our travel experience and expertise. We will also have other entries of interest to inspire your travels.

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