Our law firm receives anywhere from a dozen to several dozen e-mails a day from people complaining about every imaginable problem on the high seas.
We divide the complaints into two general categories - complaints by passengers and complaints by crew members.
Cruise passengers complain about all types of things, like the food was bad, they missed a port of call because of bad weather, the cabins next to them were too loud, the service was bad, or they object to automatic gratuities being deducted from their accounts. It drives me crazy.
Yes, there are legitimate complaints too, like being seriously injured or being a victim of a crime during a cruise. But the petty "I-was-inconvenienced-and-I-want-a-free-cruise" complainers out number the legitimately injured by 10 to 1.
Crew members, on the other hand, are a different breed. They are inconvenienced every day. That goes without saying. Long hours, low pay, shrinking tips and having to deal with whiny guests are just a normal day at sea. Who are they going to complain to anyway? There are no true unions. There are no legitimate maritime oversight bodies that can do anything. And if they complain about the hard work or excessive hours or minimal pay to their supervisors, they are likely to be fired.
And the true seafarers working on tankers, bulk carriers and large freighters? They are the bravest of the brave. Subject to the hazards of the sea, the largely Indian and Filipino seafarers are the backbone of the maritime community.
So when you come home from a cruise vacation and are about to write a harsh review to Cruise Critic and bitch & whine about the crew members, keep in mind that your worst cruise is probably better than the best day a crew member may experience on the same ship.
Video Credit: Seafarers Facebook page.