Costa Fascinosa Ten days ago, the Costa Fascinosa was hit by 90 knot winds after the cruise ship left Venice. The captain failed to give any warnings to the passengers and crew members before the storm struck. The cruise ship listed heavily and plates and glasses crashed to the decks and floors throughout the galleys and bars on the ship. Passengers experienced widespread panic.

A Filipino pastry chef working aboard the Fascinosa posted his accounts of the storm on Facebook and included photographs and video of considerable damage in the galley where he worked.

Other crew members shared his account on Facebook. Several Italian newspapers published his photos and video accounts. Cruise bloggers (such as Cruise Fever, Cruise Hive, Cruise Currents, etc.) also recounted the story and included his images of the mishap in their publications.  We were the first blogger here in the U.S. to link to the crew member’s Facebook posts and to cover the story of the violent storm and the Costa officers’ poor response to the incident.

Costa issued a press release, downplaying the incident, after the photos and video were widely distributed on the internet. You can still see the video below, via the Cruise Fever website.

Today, we learned that Costa terminated the pastry chef’s employment for mentioning the incident on Facebook. Costa flew the crew member back to the Philippines where he remains currently jobless, unable to support his family.

This is how Costa and parent company, Carnival Corporation, treat their employees. Embarrassed by the scene of a thousand plates and covers on the galley floor, Costa retaliated against the chef for simply recording what happened and saying it was the most terrifying experience of his life. Meanwhile, the Costa captain remains at the helm.

Concordia-plagued Costa has a culture of cover-ups.

When the Costa Europa slammed into a pier in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, ripping a hole in the ship’s hull and killing three crew members, Costa was tight lipped. It didn’t mention the casualties until photographs were leaked to the press in the U.K. Neither Costa nor flag state Italy refuse to release reports on the deadly accident to this day.

This is business as usual for Costa’s owner, Carnival Corporation. Carnival terminated and black-Costa Fascinosaballed 150 Indian waiters who quietly protested low pay when the P&O Arcadia cruise ship was in Seattle. The captain promised that there would be no reprisals if the crew members would return to the ship and wait on the guests. But Carnival quickly fired them all and made certain that the hiring agency would never consider rehiring the men on another Carnival owned cruise line.

We have seen the same vindictive, retaliatory conduct by other cruise lines.

When the MSC Magnifica smashed into a pier at the entrance to the port in Piraeus Greece, the cruise line issued a statement claiming that the damage was minor and that the vessel’s itinerary was not affected. However, a crew member photographed widespread damage to the ship and extensive repairs needed to repair a large hole in the hull which delayed the ship’s departure. After the photos appeared on Facebook, MSC quickly terminated the crew member’s employment for releasing the photos.

The cruise lines rely on carefully crafted images of idyllic vacations at sea. But when crew members complain about unsafe conditions or merely take photographs showing the truth of the matter, the company views them as expendable.

Like Vegas, what happens on the ships is supposed to stay on the ships. It’s an unwritten rule that a crew member who airs the cruise line’s dirty laundry risks immediate termination and a one-way ticket back to Manila.

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  • fastfoodmaitred

    if USPH only had photos of all the stuff that is happening.
    their inspection is a joke. they are expected, and everything possible that may compromise cruise ship is closed or out of service during these few hours.

    check this – standard procedure for bacon storage:

    btw. this is not specific for only one cruise line.. don’t think some of them are not doing things that way.


    i was working in p and o cruises and the are treating there crew members like animals.they dont follow ILO CREW MEMBERS DOING DUTY MORE THAN 14 HOURS

  • guttenflax

    The same thing happened to me in 2010…

  • Rommel Temones

    I also work in a Cruise Line and I do symphatize with the crew member who lost his job. But I hope this would serve as a lesson to all crew members to be responsible in times like this. There might not be an specific law that says what happen to the ship should stay on the ship. But in our company, we have a signed document which is called ” The Ethical Code of Business Conduct” which states that crew members should be tactful regarding company issues, specially when it affects the reputation of the company. It’s fine to take videos, may be for record purposes. But to post it in a social media, where it can cause panic to future and even previous guests, can hurt the Cruise Line in general. In every Cruise Line, there is a designated spokesperson who is responsible to release this kind of issues in the social world. As crew members, we should always remember that we have the bill of our own rights, and we should always fight for it. But we must also be careful in releasing information that could hurt the image of our company, and even other Cruise Lines in general. Afterall, the company where you are unawarely damaging the reputation is the company that gives you a living. If you are unhappy, and the company is not fair to the crew members, there’s a maritime law, the MLC of 2006 which is currently in effect across the board. I wish Costa Cruises will reinstate the crew member and make it clear to their crew members on how to handle this kind of situation. Thanks.

  • Alina

    Why I am not surprised for the conclusion of the story and the comment above? Because i worked on the cruise ship. I’ve seen enough. Employees are treated like chess pieces and whatever happens smart HR’s will turn every situation against them. And in every paper of the smart conducts or whatever will say between the lines that in any situation company is right and the employer is not.

  • hotdogstandmaitred

    @Rommel so that means that even if company is playing around with your rights and interpreting them in any way that suits them, taking every possible advantage of you, putting pressure from on you from your immediate supervisor up… that you should hold on to ‘The Ethical Code of Business Conduct’, or whatever they call this document that protects their a$$, and be a ‘good employee’? you gonna become a Team member of the month or what? you’ll get to work next 20 years for 12 hours a day, 10 months in a year with no day off?
    they do pretty good job brainwashing crew and media, but no one should keep quiet about what’s going on.

    they are lucky that most crew members are from the countries where workers union are unknown term and concept

  • Les Hartung

    I used to work on liners myslef, for a number of years. I used to “fix” things left and right as I know the company treats their staff like shit. I must say, I did have a great time on ships but you can not live a life onboard for months on end. My main concern was, motivate your staff with decsent food, we all know how bad the crew mess food was on all the ships ( onluy with a the exceptions of special occasions like xmas or thanksgiving) but, feed the staff properly with proper food and that will lift their morale, not just occasionally….having said that, managemnet have the right to eat at guests ares and crew memebers will get a warning for “fixing”food from there!!! No wonder Management had a good life, they never ate in the crew mess!!

  • John

    To Rommel…. you hope this would serve as a lesson ? is that a nice way to scare people? to tell them. behave or you gonna get fired? your comment is not but a diplomatic way to treaty people. hope you are aware of that. do you work in Training, or Hr departments ? is a very common answer form people in those departments. This video si nothing but a pice of journalism. believe it or not. is the truth . is what happened. fire people for posting something like this is the same solution like dictatorship governments use to censor media when they don’t like what they post. Im a crew also. and i know that we are not supposed to reveal company secrets. but this is not a secret rommel. is what happened because of bad weather and it can happens to any ship anytime. You know what should Your company do in this situations? admit the facts, and deal with them. and after that show to the world how professional they where dealing with the problem. that way people would respect them more. for how they react in order to continue providing good service even in difficult situations. but firing people for this? they are losing respect form everyone.

  • unknown cool

    I am one of the costa concordia survivors..we did not get the right amount of compensations from the company. And some of the survivors are removed feom the company regardless of our dedication and life threatening experience. I hope you can overview this.

  • Kisha

    I worked on this company 1 year ago, and I didn’t come back there anymore. This is one of the worst company! They don’t pay proper salary, give you more hours to work (14), 1 day off per 2/3 months (it was with me), behavior of managers very bad and they talking to you like you are slave or nothing for them (with me it was even in front of guest without reason). There are a lot of situations when managers humiliate crew members and etc. Even they doctors we used to call veterinarians because they behavior to us was like with animals. Costa never treats about crew in proper way and really have bad attitude to them. Too much not good information about them. So nothing strange in they act with that poor sacked crew member . Very pity that all bad situations which happened with Costa ships never teach this company to became better in any case, anyway with anybody!

  • ndumiso


  • Bing Orcollo

    So sad but I thank God that everything/ everybody is alright in spites of what they encountered during that time. God is good all the time. Goodluck all sailors out their. God Bless in every way.

  • Linda

    I feel so sad about this. Hope this man will find another job. I hope it won’t be on a cruise ship. My friend is also working there and I hardly can’t stop crying now. The conditions are more than bad. They are really treated like slaves. I don’t think something will ever change…