Forget everything you’ve heard, seen, or read about cruise ships so far. This book is not about glitz and glamour and the always smiling people you might have seen on TV or in print ads. You know the ones trying to give the impression that life at sea is always fun and relaxing. If everything goes according to plan it might!
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This book is dedicated to crews working on international cruise ships. We had good, great and fabulous times and laughed a lot but for the most part it was hard work. People from all different walks of life come together to work on a cruise ship. People of fifty-eight+ nationalities and religious backgrounds bring their experiences and ethnicities to work. All with different expectations; some want to see the world whereas others need to support their families.
Most people think that working at sea is always exciting and full of adventure. Why? Does the ‘Love Boat’ have something to do with it? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of fun working with fabulous people, people you’d probably never meet on land. However, the hierarchy implemented is strict and probably best compared with the army. If you can’t adjust, you’d better start packing.
My years working on the high seas with the best known international cruise lines come together in this book. Not to compromise anybody, names, destinations, and routes have been changed. The cruise line ‘Star Cruises Holidays’ only exists on paper and the vessel ‘Star Rise’ is a work of fiction, too. The stories you are about to enjoy come from my personal experience and those of my colleagues. All good soldiers in the ‘Army of the Sea’ I tell you, nothing and nobody can prepare you for working on a cruise ship. You’re experiencing levels of stress that reach new dimensions. I’ve tried to put my experience into two fictional cruises and hope to give you an idea about working and living at sea. It is a regular job to many men and women with regular lives, loves and all the ups and downs that life brings to us. That’s why the people you work with are so very important, more important than on land.
A human resources manager of a major cruise line once told me: ‘Picture the job like being on stage, when the curtain rises you ‘smile’. Nobody is interested if you just quarreled with your boyfriend or have family problems. The guests are there to experience the vacation of a life time that is what they paid for.’
So get ready, get set...we’re off to sea! Enjoy!