Discussion in 'Know Before You Go' started by dereckbc, Mar 6, 2011.
Beautiful & Thank you
My DH and I had the pleasure of talking with a sweet young crew member who worked at the Piano Bar. We noticed that she had a slight limp. I inquired if she had hurt herself. The waitress explained that she just got her cast taken off her foot. That made me curious, and I asked if the cruise company paid for her medical expenses.
She explained that the ship doctor took care of them for general illnesses or shots needed. However, if they had an accident like she did, and had to go to the hospital, she had to pay the hospital expense out of her own pocket.
Mind you, that while she is telling us this, there was a big smile on her face. She proceeded to say that this was the first time she ever needed to pay medical expenses, and she has been on the ship for a few yrs. She said that she loved her job and felt so fortunate to be working on the ship. At home where she was from there were very few good jobs, and none that paid well.
We just returned from a short five day round trip from San Diego to Cabo, had probably hands down one of the best cabin steward we have ever had, he was from St Vincent, has been with Carnival for fifteen years, started when he was 18. I asked him, after 15 years why he wasn't higher up in Housekeeping as say, a supervisor or some other position, and he told me two reasons, first, when you go into management you have to become an ass and people you have known for years start to dislike you, he enjoys being liked and having friends so has actually turned down several promotions, he was VERY happy right where he was. Second, he makes good money right where he is at. He owns a nice home free and clear on St Vincent, he has enough in savings to buy other property for rentals to supplement his retirement when he does decide to retire. His wife, also a Carnival employee will be going home in about two months because she is pregnant and will probably take two years off, when he goes home between contracts he does absolutely nothing, well except drink beer and visit friends and relatives.
So for fun, let's do some math. Not totally accurate but close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades...............
Average tip for a cabin steward is $3.50 pppd, all cruise lines for the most part require double occupancy so we start with $7 a day, his block is 25 cabins so that is $175 per day if all his cabins are full, he is on an 8 month contract, let's average that at 30 days a month to keep it simple, so we have a contract of 240 days, yes 7 days a week but a cabin steward usually starts a shift around 8-9 in the morning, works till they are done, around 4-5 hours, comes back early evening maybe around 5, works till they are done, 4-5 hours, goes home has dinner and spends the rest of the night drinking beer and watching TV, ya they really do enjoy their free time. Anyway back to the math, we have $175 times 240 days, either non or minimal taxable as all ships are of foreign registry, so he now has an income of $42,000 a year with a 4 month vacation, and this does not include his salary, ya they do get paid a salary, even if it is a small one, this still ballparks them around $50,000 a year. Plus free basic medical, dental and room and board.
Now, not every cabin is full on every cruise so realistically the numbers will probably be less over all, but the point is..............
There is no abuse here, it may be a little rough in the beginning but that is true with any job, any industry, once they settle in, they are there because they want to be, they are there because the potential to make money is there. I think I could do OK on $42k a year with room and board, and medical.
as an added interest, our cabin steward and his wife both work in housekeeping, so I asked him, who is stuck with making up the bed every day.....................
he said neither of us, we have a cabin steward.
it costs them a dollar a day, $30 a month, and their cabin is kept just as nice as ours, cept he said he doesn't get any chocolates on his pillow..........
Very well put, bob. And let's not forget about the cash the cruisers are giving them as well. On our last cruise our steward had 18 cabins, for kicks and giggles lets say that every cabin gave him a $10 bill...that is $180 p/wk, times 4 wks = $720 p/mth on top of his salary, and per day tips. Not a bad living at all.
When we've talked to workers on the ships, they tell us how competitive and hard it is to get hired. These are the cream of the crops kids the cruise lines are hiring. Not just anyone gets hired.
For the most part we've always had great service. The workers are happy, the passengers are happy. The world goes round and round. :clap:
Mary Ann- Your thanks have been passed along to DH and he says, You're welcome.
I am surprised this wasn't mentioned. I have been told by several stewards over the years that they are paid $90.00/month by the cruiseline as their salary......That is all the money they are guaranteed They will be getting a raise soon if the work for RCCL. I don't know if other cruise lines are raising their recommended tip amounts, but if not, they sure are making NICE money anyhow.
Re: the $1.00/day for room service........holy smoke...who do they get to take on this job? my guess........Newbies!
The bottom line though is these guys/gals bust their butts to make sure you have an enjoyable trip
I like this forum....good