A Comment from a Reader: Discrimination on the High Seas?

Cruise ShipLast week I wrote a short article about the difficult working condition on the Royal Princess: Extreme Work Load & Grueling Hours Exhaust Royal Princess Crew Members. It was a short article but it struck a nerve with crew members. Over 950 readers have liked, shared or tweeted the article so far.

Today we received an interesting comment to the article:

"I worked for Princess for 7 years and the worst part for me is the blatant discrimination against certain ethnic groups. Few people know that crew from countries like Philippines, India, Mexico receive significantly lower wages for doing exactly the same job and working exactly the same hours as crew from European countries.

My roommate was from the Philippines and we were both photographers on the same level with same job description. My salary was $2000 a month and his was $1200.

The company's defense: The cost of living is cheaper in their countries! This is so unfair in every way, even though things might be cheaper in their countries, they are still away from their countries for 8 months at a time where they have to pay the same normal western prices as us . . ." 

Have you faced discrimination while working on cruise ships operated by Carnival, Holland America Line, Princess, or Royal Caribbean?

Please leave a comment below below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

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Comments (15) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
murtri - October 18, 2013 11:56 AM

check out on AIDA cruise,they are worst in meal and salary discrimination,specially for Indonesian,mostly they having pork in any meal,and they knew it,mostly we are muslim

JORGE E. GLZ. RICO - October 18, 2013 12:18 PM

HELLO I DID WORKING FOR PRINCESS CRUISES DURING 4 YEARS AS ASSISTENT CRUISE DIRECTOR AND I DID HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM WITH THE COMPANY AND ON SEVERAL TIMES WHEN I DID HAVE A HEAD OFFICE MANAGERS ON BOARD I DID ASK THEM ABOUT WHY WHEN I DO THE SAME JOB AND THE SAME OURS IM STILL GETTING PAY 40% LESS THAN THE OTHER CRUISE DIRECTOR STAFF AND THEIR ANSWER WAS BECAUSE OF THE COST OF LEAVING ON MY COUNTRY AND MY ANSWER TO THAT WAS THATS SOUNDS WEIRD BECAUSE I SPEND 6 MONTHS ON BOARD OF A CRUISE SHIP THEN 2 MONTHS AT HOME AND THEN ANOTHER 6 MONTHS ON A SHIPS SOO THAT MENAS I SPEND 10 MONTHS OF THE YEAR ON BOARD OF A SHIP AND WHEN I NEED TO PAY THE EXTRA UNIFORMS TO YOU, HYGENE PRODUCTS OR WHATEVER I NEED ON THE DAYLY BASES YOU STILL CHA5RGING ME THE SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE NO MATTER WHERE I COME FROM.
THEIR ANSWER AS ALWAYS WAS LET ME CHECK ABOUT IT!!!
BY THE WAY I WAS CONCIDER AS A OFFICER ON BOARD AND THEY USE THE EXTRA 2 LENGUAGUES THE I KNOW ON SEVERAL CASES WITH OUT GIVING ME BACK ANYTHING, NOT EVEN RESPECT, THATS WHY I DONT WORK ON CRUISE SHIPS ANYMORE!!!

Suzanne - October 18, 2013 6:51 PM

Jim...the same in the Entertainment Departments. I have fought tirelessly to keep the pay rates for entertainers the same no matter what country they hail from. My brother recently walked away from a possible contract because those hiring him wanted to hire European talent, because they're 'cheaper' than American talent.

I have worked with Producers during my career who swore Russian dancers were the best to hire because their training was superb (absolutely) AND they will work for less than half what American dancers will work for. I have heard this about British dancers as well.

However, all that said, don't even get me started on the pay inequalities for women doing the same job as men! That really makes my blood boil. ;-)

Tzeitel - October 18, 2013 8:43 PM

I totally agree, I worked for NCL 3 years. I have some beautiful memories from friends but is terrible how this industry works and treats human beings, terrible living conditions. They should pay more attention when promote people. It was surreal for me to have such kind of bosses
I only have one word to describe that industry DIRTY.

the amount of stress and low of work is just ridiculous
I'm from Lima.

Jean - October 18, 2013 9:34 PM

Better to be Italian on Princess Cruises with "godfather Contract"...I from CE country with can I get this contract???
From the position, same working hours... too much difference
3rd cook Filipino 500 usd 8 to 9 month contract
3rd cook Brasilian 900 usd 6 month contract
3rd cook Ukrainan 1300 usd 6month contract
When you have this kind of team is tricky to work in this conditions due to the tension between them.

ravi - October 18, 2013 9:54 PM

that crew member absloutley right. i also worked in the miami based ship. in the galley all asian people giving the good woking output. indian philpino both r hard worker . and the opposiet side the europien they come in the only for entertenment like disco, party zym,.and their agency sending them in higher post at the first time. but they r not capable for that job. every ship have the same problem .but in the ship managment nobody care who is dieing who is living who is sick belive me in the ship everybody come only for the mony specially supervisers.some people they r not getting permotion after four years and the same position europien people getting in their first contract. thats why i left that company. because of this problem. because i was doing my job good performence but no promotion and one day one europien crew member came int same same position. but their nobody making the system. everysuperwiser counting theier days.they dont care.in the ship everyday crew member talking about this matter. but the results is nothings

Anitta - October 19, 2013 4:30 AM

Let me tell you someting. Everything is true. I have been working on a Carnival Cruise Line which is the same. We worked so many hourse 13-14 crew positions and guess what happens. Ordered by office from Miami all Supervisors must correct our time, meaning if you worked more than allowed they will correct it which is against the law. Wjen I asked my Supervisor why he corrected my time and this is not fair becaus eI worked and will not be paid he replied to me if you dont like it leave!! Can you imagine. The Management is the worst and I changed 5 ships its the same on every. Also guest have n idea that they are leaving the tips to company not to us. If you give us in envelope this we receive but nothing beside that. Comapny is stealing from the guest!!!! You can find here everything

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Truth-About-Cruise-Ships-CCL/580650041976431?fref=ts

Schäfer - October 20, 2013 6:25 AM

I may not be liked by some when saying this but you could have negotiated your sallary as I've done. With respect to the pay of certain ethnic groups; It's my experience that those groups consume for example a lot of alcahol and that is expensive...in addition many indian, indonesian, and phillipino are known for their illigal gambling. I agree that certain labour conditions could be improved however one shlould also look at the otherside of the coin. ~former JW purser

john - October 21, 2013 10:48 AM

Have worked for rccl for years and things are not and will not get better I was doing a eight myths contract on the ship since start up from finland the extended my contract without my convent my grand mother died and I couldn't even attend her funeral I did not even get a dollar extra or a thank you for going above and beyond for the company to the amount of hrs each person has to put out each day without a day off the salary should have been better.modern day slavery.

robby - October 21, 2013 11:40 AM

been working for cruise industry for more than 20 years
It's quite normal that the salaries are different by country

So there's no discrimination at all.

It's an old issue

Best regards to all

Fca. - October 23, 2013 7:45 AM

And usually filipino and indians are the worst co workers and managers. They are willing to do ANYTHIN for money, no respect, no education and no pride at all. Specially indians, they can betray their own people and are VERY sexist. They shouldn't hire this people. That is my experience. Cannot say the same about mexicans though.

Fran - October 23, 2013 8:27 AM

Negotiate your salary? On a cruise ship?? I've been a sales assistant and a purser in three different companies and that was NEVER an option.

Bob Mac - October 23, 2013 8:07 PM

Discrimination? No It's called Globalization and the same reason most manufacturing is now done in Asia often in conditions that would never be tolerated elsewhere. Cruise ships are not the only ones where crew work long hard hours and it is a fact that most Traditional maritime nationalities on cargo ships have been replaced by Eastern Block and Asian Officers and crew purely on the grounds of cost. Could say we westerners are the ones being discriminated against as the Asians have taken our jobs.

So Jimbo next time you buy something just remember how it was made and how it was transported. Guess you won't as unlike Dishwashers off a Cruise Ship these other people aren't likely to hire you since they don't go near Miami.

Jill - October 24, 2013 4:38 AM

Schafer, I'm a USC and was a staff member working with children and even when I had simple questions about my salary I was given the runaround...therefore I believe these experiences from others without a doubt, I can only imagine how difficult and frustrating it is for them!

And even if those certain ethnic groups consume a lot of alcohol...the alcohol isn't FREE! Thats money going from the company to the crew member (paycheck) and right back to the company (crew bar). Combine that with the triple or quadruple priced drinks the guests consume and I'm sure the lost is not all that tragic for them.

And please explain how crew members gambling should be cause for the company to pay certain people less. What people DO with the money they earn is no one else's business. It should have no effect on pay scale. Ridiculous!

andrea - March 12, 2014 11:41 PM

Who in the hell are you to say that Filipinos are the worst coworker and manager?! hey you moron, we are the hardest working people that you could ever get, plus the fact that we are the best English Speaker in Asia. I don't know where you are from but i bet, you're one of those filthy stinking bastard who doesn't know anything about us Filipinos and yet you have the balls to give such comment. shame on you!

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