A newspaper in the Netherlands reports that Royal Caribbean has to pay at least €600,000 in fines for violating labor rules and regulations while the Oasis of the Seas was in the Netherlands. The newspaper says that ship employees lacked proper residence papers and worked excessive hours. Some of the crew members worked "up to 16 hours per day" the inspectors found.

The newspaper explains that the Oasis was undergoing maintenance and repairs while in dry-dock in in Rotterdam last month. Inspectors at the Netherlands labor department informed Royal Caribbean Cruises in advance that when its cruise ship would be in Rotterdam it would have to adhere to Dutch Oasis of the Seasrules and legislation.

According to the newspaper, when ten inspectors boarded the Oasis they found certain working conditions to be in violation of Dutch law. This led to a second visit by 45 inspectors.

The inspections reportedly revealed that at least 48 crew members did not have proper Dutch work permits. The majority of these crewmembers were from the Philippines and South America.

The reported fine of at least €600,000 turns out to be over $760,000.The inspectors can access a fine of €12,000 per violation. The precise fine will be determined when the investigation is completed.

This fine may be an eye-opener for many people who are unfamiliar with the inner-working of the cruise industry. But it is business as usual as far as we are concerned.

When we interview Royal Caribbean crew members, without exception they tell us that the cruise line requires them to work in excess of the hours permitted by the Maritime Labour Convention. The ship employees have to arrive at work early and attend meetings but they are not permitted to clock in. When they work over 10 hours, they have to clock out and keep working. When they are pressed to work extra hours preparing for USPH inspections, they are required to work off the clock.

It remains to be seen whether Rotterdam receives any more work from Royal Caribbean in the future. Royal Caribbean has decided that the dry-dock repairs needed for sister ship Allure of the Seas will be performed in Cadiz, Spain.

Royal Caribbean has not responded to our request for a statement. 

October 15 2014 Update: A Dutch law firm indicates that 77 Philippines and 8 South-Americans worked on the Oasis without a permit. With a €12,000 fine per person, the fine could amount to one million euro’s. The Dutch firm is urging Royal Caribbean to appeal the fine, claiming that there is an exception for crew members working aboard sea going vessels.

October 16 2014 Update:  There is a very active discussion about this story on our Facebook page. Over 1,600 people have liked it, over 500 shared it and over 400 people have commented.  Most seem to be crew members. As the cruise line overworks and underpays its crew members, the cruise executives at Royal Caribbean enjoy over $100,000,000 in cruise stock. Read: The Rich Get Richer.  

If you have a thought, please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.  

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Baldwin040 Creative Commons 3.0  

  • Its not only RCL, its all of the cruisers, every single one of them. Crew members are not your slaves, they are alive and human, although not treated humanely at all. Make an effort to change maritime laws for greedy cruise line industry and cut the working hours of crew members. Most of the work can be organized not to even have extra crew to fill in, but rather be sensible with working hours duties and organization. For instance, a crew member can work 8 hours per day 7 days a week, without changing a single thing. How? Stop using crewmembers as toys and stop using them when they are completely not needed for some duties.

  • Ehurov Adrian Ionut

    it is hard but check out on Disney the crew members are working every single day like 12 to 14 hour Per day

  • burger king

    same story on Carnival. I’m glad at least somebody reacted, and I hope there are more of those inspections coming.
    those who say that ‘you agreed to work’ like that by signing your contract are talking nonsense. inspections in normal countries WOULDN’T ALLOW you to work in such conditions.
    and that is only concerning the hours.
    when you add pay to the equation you get SLAVE LABOUR.

    even in rare occasions when there is NOTHING to do, or at least normal person would think so, then supervisors, like loyal corporate dogs, wouldn’t let you go.
    e.g. in some ports with late departure, in the afternoon there can be literally more waiters than guests on lido.. can you go take rest because you still have 5+ hours of work for dinner? hell no.

    for 6pm dinner you have to come at least 1 hour in advance. Maitred will play smart and repeat ‘don’t come before 5:30’, just to protect his ass.
    after dinner guests usually stay later than it’s ‘anticipated’ in our schedule, so instead of 10:15, if there is a ‘special cleaning’ before US port, you can be done close to midnight.
    ALL for FUN, FUN for ALL.

    God I’m so happy I have a job at Carnival Cruise Lines!

  • Jack

    It’s very simple. No one is forcing them to work there. If you don’t like the working conditions, leave. This is no different than the McDonald’s employees protesting for higher wages (way too high). If you don’t like the working conditions, leave.

  • john

    i worked in oasis, and is real history, the work is to hard every day, don’t have a day off, and the payment is very low, and the condition is tired, I know many Crewmembers are crying in their room, because they feel the work is a too much for the 650 dollars. many people are working extra to cover all your money to go.

  • Crew Member

    I am a crew member working for the carnival corporation and I had been in this industry for over 17 years. Yes it is true, we worked hard and long hours but it is encouraged by all our managers to log the working hours correctly. As per the MLC 2006 every crew member have the right to rest 10 hours within 24 hours period. Out of those 10 hours 6 of them have to be of continues rest (one block) and then the second one could be of 4 hours. Any ways at the end of the day, it is the responsibility of every single crew member to log their working hours, Sometimes they are just lazy and do not want to do so, so they just confirmed 10 hours of work per day and then they are complaining. As a crew member, I have done a lot within the last 17 years. If you work hard, you can see the money. Now if in RCI (worked 10 years) I was able to be promoted but in Carnival there is still ethnic issues and it depends where you are coming from (Holland) you will get promoted

  • jack turner

    Its is surprising that most of the cruise company operate from USA . And there is no justice for crew member done even after some cruise line were sued in the past but the situation remains the same.

  • Sylvia

    I agree that the majority of cruise lines do treat their staff like slaves. They are under constant scrutinization from their supervisors and work odd hours. They could be called to work the early morning breakfast tour, then have a few hours off, but back to work the evening dinner hours. This means up early around 5:30/6 a.m. until approximately 11/11:30 and then called back for dinner from 5 to midnight or even later and this is 7 days in a row for anywhere from 6 to 9 months.

    Yes, they know that they will be working many straight days/evenings in a row when they sign up. But working anyone over 10 hours a day is terrible.

    I’m glad the Dutch have fined Royal for abusing their work force. The Maritime Laws need to be reviewed and cruise lines need to adhere to the laws!!!!!

  • Kaycee

    Actually most are practically being forced to work there. Some of the crew come from very poor foreign countries. At home there is no work that will allow them to survive. Some have multiple generations of family members to take care of. They may be the only male in their household other than the elders, and yes in their culture the males are the only ones that work. Their wages are very low, only 300-400 a week, but to them that wage is like $1000. So they desperately need this job and there is no other job at home that can provide as much as a cruise ship. So they must play nice on the ship and do as they are told. Clocking out so that they are working off the clocking is illegal. It is slavery since they are not being compensated for that extra time. By maritime law their salary is based on the max that they are legally allowed to work. So any time worked after the legal time is slavery because they aren’t getting paid and they can’t say no for fear of losing their job and not being able to then provide for their family.
    I worked cruise ships for 4 years but as an American I had a choice, if they asked me to work more than the legal amount I’d tell them to F off. I didn’t fear losing my job because if they did fire me I could totally find another job at home that would pay the same. Also I would have the option to sue them for wrongful termination. I never worked more than 10hours a day ( below legal maritime limit) I rarely even worked 8 hours a day but did watch several crew members almost work 16-18hrs in a day.
    In short it is slavery since the other options don’t leave them a life for them or the families and the cruise ships know that and take advantage of it.

  • cook at royal Caribbean

    its about time! !! ! crewmembers especially food and beverage department face horrendous working hours and most we are forced to work off the clock! ! especially with this USPH cleaning! ! ! whenyou do work over time your supervisor will be on your back for it. alot more needs to come under the microscope with these cruise line companies.

  • Capt. Ed Enos

    As noted above, the new international regulations in MLC2006 were pushed through by many European countries and 3rd world states as well. Now they are actually having to live up to the requirements, surprise?! NOT! I’m grateful that the Dutch have actually lived up to the requirement with respect to CONDUCTING the needed inspections. The Brits have been doing the same. Sadly and wholly expected, RCCL has decided to take their business elswhere…Cadiz, Spain. I hope the Spaniards have the professional integrity to step up to the plate and conduct inspections just like the Dutch. Sadly, I don’t expect they will. With an economy in the dump, a big shipyard job will be MORE important to them and their government than the “discomfort” of a handful of ship crewmembers. I’m quite certain the execs at RCCL have already made that condition part of the contract for their next shipyard job and waving all that money around in their faces. It’s worked before, it’ll work again. it’s what they do and how they operate.

  • zed

    It’s so sad that many big companies have no regard for the well-being of their workforce. I hope that bosses and owners who do this gets karma.

  • Holding the knife’s edge.

    RCI Shipboard bosses we’ll just say “Take it or Leave” there’s a lot of people who are jobless in your country who will replace you, when you’re gone.

    This is the reality aboard the cruise ship. Only the officers are getting good money than the ratings. “The rich gets richer while the poor gets poorer”.

  • nestor molina

    that is tru in celebrity cruises was the same 16 18 hours everyday why???

  • nestor molina

    that is tru in celebrity cruises was the same 16 18 hours everyday why???

  • Del

    It’s the USPH cleanings that are hurting the crew. The Restaurant and Bar work their prep and service hours, and then are told to clock out to do USPS cleanings until 1:00am and sometimes as late as 3:00am (Bar Dept.) The Cruise Lines are emphasizing the USPH inspections too much and blatantly lie to the crew telling them that a low USPH score will result in the ship not being able to sail. 100% Not True, you can look this up at the CDC Government website. They do not have the authority to stop the ship from sailing, even with a failing USPH inspection score. Experienced crew members are no longer working several contracts due to the numerous additional USPH cleanings. Less experienced crew results in lower service standards and a more dangerous ship environment due to the younger, inexperienced crew. The USPH cleanings are the result of this and until the international regulations (i.e. MLC2006) makes it mandatory for the crew to be clocked in for ALL requested work including cleanings and safety trainings, it is only going to get worse. USPH could also be supportive from their side and instruct the cruise line to take it easy on the late night cleanings or at least give them a window of when they will be inspected. All of us that work on cruise ships know that the dirtiest things on a cruise ship is what the guests bring on with them.

  • burger king

    @Crew Member, out of those rest hours, how many are spent waiting in line for the sh*tty food in crew mess, taking a shower, or doing laundry when only 5 out of 8-10 machines which crew(~1300) is allowed to use actually WORK? or just preparing for the work so you can even start on time without causing major drama? or trying to fall asleep next to your roommate , or people in cabins next to you being loud?

    I really wonder what is your position. you must think you are some kind of ‘manager’. if you haven’t figured out already, and you haven’t, cruise lines are highly systemized and idiot proof (SOP’s and supervisors for everyone) – everyone is instantly replaceable, and individually worth next to nothing.

    I tip my hat to Micky Arison, because he owns one hell of a business.
    rest of us should not fool ourselves about what is our real and only purpose on board.

  • Luis Freile

    No offense all the crew I met on ships that worked at positions with low income and long hours were there because with the set of skills they had back home they will get an even lower salary work also long hours and then have to worry about paying bills, buying groceries and having to commute. Nobody is forced to stay on board and if u r a good worker and have medium drive at least u will find yourself getting promoted to better positions fairly quick. The other group are people that are there just gaining experience to get something better at home so to complain about working a lot when u wouldnt be able to get the same job or experience at home seems like a lot of whining. There will always be people that can cope and people that cant. Some are mentally stronger and some are not. Thats life. To end it up you will find that people will complain about everything they can whenever they can

  • William

    I worked for Royal Caribbean for 2 contracts. could not bare to do more. 12 hour days 7 days a week, constantly being hassled by management because you’re not full of energy and cheerful to the guest, despite the fact that you only had 5 hours between finishing the night shift and working the morning shift to sleep.

    Thank you Netherlands for promoting the awareness of these issues. As someone else mentioned, this IS the case on every ship in every cruise line. people are working sometimes over 90 hours a week. I was lucky only averaging 70-80 hours.

  • shelly johnson allen

    I’ve been working with this company for five years and they fired me without giving me a dollar and my two weeks pay they took it away n said I have to pay my own plane fair also I have been through some injures with my foot n I was doing some theoropy and they send me home just the same and I’m still having the pain in my foot …. I need a lawyer to give some assistant with this issue…. send me a email to let me know what can be done… looking forward for your assistance.

  • shelly johnson allen

    I’ve been working with this company for five years and they fired me without giving me a dollar and my two weeks pay they took it away n said I have to pay my own plane fair also I have been through some injures with my foot n I was doing some theoropy and they send me home just the same and I’m still having the pain in my foot …. I need a lawyer to give some assistant with this issue…. send me a email to let me know what can be done… looking forward for your assistance.

  • R2D2

    “Nobody forced you to come work on board” they say. Wasn’t that same argument used in 19th-century England?

    Stories of overworked crew members abound and this has never prevented people from buying cruises. They sanction this situation as necessary to keep cruises cheap. At the end of the cruise they’ll tip the waiter and wash their hands.

    But what about all the people working back of the house?
    “They weren’t nice to me, therefore they don’t deserve my money.”

    If people want a glimpse of what the invisible-self-regulating hand of a free-market economy looks like, look no further from the cruise industry. It really is invisible, but not so much as “subtle” than as “non-existent.”

  • steph

    i worked for disney… it is hard long days… and even longer for other departments.
    i read a comment saying if the crew members dont like it then leave… go work on a ship and see how easy it is… come from south america and see if you can earn that money in your counry… the answer is no!! there are good and bad point bt yes they overwork you! the ships are “American” so to speak but most of them are regisered in the bahamas so different workig rules! i worked for 2 years on disney… i am british and i met my husband who is from peru… i know about unequality on the ships… it is not fair!!

  • Douglas Hernandez

    Worked on ships over 30 years. It is completely senseless to place ypur staff on shifts over 11 hrs of continuos work. Fatigue will simply tak over having a domino effect of low performance and longer work hours. Now Filipino staff trend to add the meal and break hours as working hours, herefore in the exact number of hours need to be deducted. It appears there is a complete disfranchise between crew and ship management. A manager that asks from your personnel such work result will only rendered with a loss of personnel, by resignation or dismissal, with a higher cost as a result of personnel replacement.

  • Günther Stix

    Thanks to the Dutch goverment!!! From my own experience I know that this is more than true!!!
    As medic on RCCL we are e.g. not allowed to put “on call hours” in the time card even if there would be possibility to enter these hours as “on call”!!!

  • Schmedlapp

    Worked on ships for over 7 years. Left fairly recently. Everything the former crew members have posted regarding conditions is true… some lines are better than others but they’re pretty consistent in how they overwork, pay peanuts and expect their guests to make up the difference in tips.

    Admittedly, as a musician, I had far fewer working hours per day than most other jobs onboard. But even then there are other unsavory aspects of ship life to deal with. The food served to crewmembers in the mess is definitely NOT the same quality served to the guests upstairs. Picture fish heads, mystery meat and wilted vegetables… three meals a day. The cabins are about the size of your average American closet, sometimes smaller, with no window… and unless you’re management, you share it with another grown man/woman. The officers of most ships are typically military rejects/wannabes who have a huge chip on their shoulder about not being in the “real” Navy… and don’t hesitate to take it out on you. Crew emergency drills, which are ostensibly focused on keeping guests safe, become power trips as the officers make up arbitrary rules that do nothing to improve safety and fail to realize actual deficiencies in procedures and equipment. Even when they are realized, the crew typically takes the blame.

    The port days, when one can get off the ship and see parts of the world they may otherwise not, make up for all this to some extent. But even then many cruise lines institute an “In-Port Manning” system, whereby a certain number of crew must stay on board. Again, the cruise lines will tell you this is for “safety,” and to some extent it is, but it also means cheaper insurance rates for the already non-tax-paying cruise lines.

    One aspect of crew life that often goes undiscussed is the psychological difficulty. Obviously, toiling for long hours in an ultra-confined environment takes an extreme toll on people’s well-being. There is a doctor on board for physical ailments (although, as Jim has pointed out in the past, sometimes they do more harm than good). But no ship is willing to pay for a full-time crew psychiatrist. What’s a stressed-out crewmember to do? Why, head to the crew bar, of course, where liquor plentifully flows for extremely cheap (yet still profitable) prices. Gotta unwind somehow, at any cost. Of course, all ships have “random” alcohol tests in place, but in practice these are reserved only for “troublemakers” and other folks who get on the bad side of management. I freely admit that I had (and still do to some extent) a drinking problem while on ships, and yet I STILL managed to consume less than many other crew on a nightly basis. Alcoholism runs rampant among crewmembers and drunkenness is basically treated like fighting in hockey… it’s officially not allowed, but everyone does it anyway and if you can still do your job competently, they’ll look the other way.

    Sorry for the long post, but after 7 years, you can imagine I have a lot to vent about…

  • Mike

    I was on Disney and also on Royal, yes both were the same…long hours, no appreciation and don’t you dare to complain! I was two stripe officer and even my salary and work ours were shit. Cabin stewards had good life on Disney, 12 hours a day and tips like no tomorrow, they earned more than their supervisor, of course another 2 stripe officer.
    The cruise company’s start paying well for nautical department or min. 3 stripe officers, below everybody is a slave in costume!!!
    Royal and Oceana was even worse, their bar waiter work for free when they have partys,such as captains drink, loyalty guests gathering etc. And only salary is 200 dollar a month, the rest they need to earn by selling drinks and than get a percentage of the gratuities. How, if most people have packages included which they bought already online?? Sorry, but working your ass off everyday for 12 hours and more for a lousy 800 dollar a month, and on top you still need to pay for your flight tickets and uniform….!
    Only Asians can do that and survive with that wage back home!!!!
    Making cruises cheaper to fill up the ship, gets more cheap people on board, means less revenue and therefore even lower income to be earned as waiter.
    This business is going down, 8 years ago when I started on ships, the life and money on board was so much better, but with each and every contract, standards drop down and slavery becomes more and more common!!!

  • deempty

    I continue to work for a cruise line and although the work is hard the pay can be 4 to 10 times more than working at home (Asia)when a waiter is earning more than a doctor or even an assistant waiter is a doctor – these are not slave ships they are businesses that have shareholders and contribute to pensions etc. There is a governance on hours as we know with ILO and MLC – Crew members have the ability to seek guidance from HR if they are working over their hours later, there is recourse.

  • Photog

    My manager had to manually change the clocks every month because we went over all the time, He said he had to change it every month and keep it up to date other wise he could loose he’s job, the time were frequently changed for inspection, We were under staffed missing 2 team members and they still pushed us to achieve the over all targets set for a complete team. The whole cruise industry is a target driven industry. Yes they look good after the crew and they try to keep the moral high but when it comes to money and meeting targets the rich guys puffing cigars on land they don’t care if we sleep at all, an this type of labor your uniform is dripping after every shift.

  • Lucian Panescu

    Hello everyone
    8 years for RCCL in housekeeping dept.
    If you want or you need real story’s. …let me know
    more than happy to share to the world the truth.
    Modern slavery.
    Have a great day.
    It is a great news that finally someone makes them pay and also to be all over in the news.

  • angela

    I worked in oa before,but now i quit! The reason is they really treat us like slaves! U do everything and get nothing! LOW salary and HARD work!!! Always work overtime and they will tell u log out from computers first! we are human being, we are not animial even not slaves!

  • Glen

    Yes it’s absolutely true that RCCL, make employees work more than their work shifts timing to meet their guest needs. In fact they do not adhere to ILO, which was passed last year, and employees who speak for themselves are challenged & given hard time or even terminated if they speak.. This wht happens on the American ships sailing in the US. They think that employees are slaves. ILO please take strict action on them specially when it comes to attendance which are punched in the system.. They make employees change if it goes more than 300 hours at the end of the month..hope things change for the betterment of the employees working on cruise ships.

  • Cruise ship Bar Manager

  • Steve

    This has been a problem for years and cruise lines continue to work their crew like dogs – that is unless you are an officer. To the person named ‘Jack’, it’s people like you with your senseless remark that, if you don’t like it then leave, is another example of poor and worthless remarks. Some of these crew have no choice but to find jobs to offer some type of support for their families. It’s not a case of, if you don’t like it, leave….. It’s a matter of work ethics. I’ve been around the ships for over 30 years and it’s time these cruise lines that seem to always bring such negative situations, change their ways and not treat crew members as slaves. It it weren’t for them…. Where would you be? RCI has been fined MANY times in just the past year over fines, fines and fines! And these are just on areas that they got caught in.
    One day the truth will come out and show that working conditions for crew is not that far off from child labor.
    I fully support Senator Rockeflerrer and the Committee for trying to get to the bottom of some much. And that’s just here.
    Most important, just because it’s being reported that Royal continues to pull such things, it doesn’t mean that ALL their brands are the same.
    Bad thing is that there are many loop holes that cruise lines can and continue to hide behind.

  • Sara

    I have been work on board cruise ship for over 8 years and this is no surprise, Rccl is only one of the many ships that are working crew member to the ground, and remember their are company’s within company’s on board ships for eg,( Steiner spa, Colombian emerald) are just two of these company’s I can first say I have friend that works in the spa and they can work up to 12-14 hours per day sometime if their revenue is not up to their company standard their time off can be spilt in half, and yes they have this new policy call MLC, doesn’t work they still work over time. Also they have this percentage they add to the guest bill that they say are gratuity really it’s not that their pay.the company don’t pay them at all, truthfully it’s the guest that do, and if the guest don’t leave extra tip they don’t get any tips, but yet the company advise them that they off to tell the guest the 15/18 percent is a tip when it’s not, that’s why I always bring extra for the staff for massage or my hair. These company need to be look into. Some say slavry is over really company just find another way to do it without in trouble beside some of these company or from London the kingdom of Slavery. A reporter need to go undercover and bring the dark to light.

  • kim

    Working on the independence of the seas I have come to know that slavery still around all they do is over work crewmembers and no money for a 18 day cruise crewmembers working in Johnnys rockets only get pay for 10 guest for the cruise while we have to serve over 2000 guest come rccl give us back our 1.55 per guest

  • Luis Freile

    people will complain about everything all the time if you don’t like the life on board go home and find another job with your set of skills that lets you put the same amount of money in the bank and keep the life quality of you and your loved ones at the same level. Whining about the food, about the hours, about the pay if you don’t like eating at the crew mess then try working harder and getting promoted to staff or management. I’ve heard so many crew members and officers complain about things like that but when you tell ask them why don’t they go elsewhere the answer is the same MONEY AND LIFE IS HARDER OUT OF THE SHIP. Cruise lines are a business and they have to run like that period. Or try going on like NCL America and go belly up with their “american standards for work”. One more thing you’ve been a guest on board refrain from talking about things that you only heard of and never experienced. Crew will tell you things to get money from you out of pity. 99% of post by guests about ship life or incidents that I’ve personally witnessed are nothing close to reality.

  • Jen D
  • Denis Tukeric

    To hell with Cruise Lines. You guys should all quit and find life elsewhere. I did. U can do it too.

    Why working for Carnival , Royal or and other MCDonald , Wallmart type of company.

    ITs your fault for not treating yourself better then that.
    Im not saying they are right but If they would have no people working in this conditions then they would have to change things around…..

    but instead of that we still see millions of peoples in the line waiting for this “DREAM COME TRUE” job…..

    just quit, find something else… somewhere else

  • In celebrity is the same more than 12 to 14 every day..i did that why ????

  • Arnold Schwartznegger

    I can only add my name to those who are distressed by what the cruise industry does to it’s employees. The lifestyle, even when you aren’t over worked, is unhealthy to say the least. Common decency and compassion for the humanity of the backbone of the industry is severely lacking on all but the highest levels of the management organization in all cruise lines. I think the cruise industry has too much supply and not enough demand at a real cost based level. Cruise companies are cutting costs to offer low priced cruises to compete against each other in the market. That cost cutting filters down to the lowest of the low in the hierarchy which translates to the crew member working more hours for less money. At the same time the management in head office are making millions of dollars regardless of the health of the company or economy. They are the first to point fingers and lay blame at someone else and the last to take a hit financially.

    Sorry for the rant.

  • i gusti ngurah tisna wiraatmaja

    i agree with that, that’s why i quit work in cruise line because long hour working time
    the company force us to clock in 10 minute before we start working and if there offer than 10 hour we need to clock out first and than finish the job without overtime

  • Denis Tukeric

    To hell with Cruise Lines. You guys should all quit and find life elsewhere. I did. U can do it too.

    Why working for Carnival , Royal or and other MCDonald , Wallmart type of company.

    ITs your fault for not treating yourself better then that.
    Im not saying they are right but If they would have no people working in this conditions then they would have to change things around…..

    but instead of that we still see millions of peoples in the line waiting for this “DREAM COME TRUE” job…..

    just quit, find something else… somewhere else

  • Andrey

    I work on ship for 2 yyears.All comments are true. Cruise companies make money to pay for ships millions dollars every year, but they don’t have enough money to pay to crew. Awerage salary is 1200$ per month(you will get more if you lucky to get promotion). But for cook, cleaner, sailsman, photographer, laundry staff salary is less than 800$ per month. For 800 a month during full contract ( in half a year ) you will not have single day off. It is slavery.

  • danilo

    I worked for royal caribbean for 7 years, It is not only the company, the guests are use to treat crew memeber like garvage, thats the true royal caribbean and other companies are making guest teke advantage of the crew, it must stop, we all are human being, not slaves……

  • danilo

    I worked for royal caribbean for 7 years, It is not only the company, the guests are use to treat crew memeber like garvage, thats the true royal caribbean and other companies are making guest teke advantage of the crew, it must stop, we all are human being, not slaves……

  • Catherine

    I find it ironic that it was the Dutch imposing these fines. My husband (who is Indonesian) and I worked for Holland America Line for years, him much longer than I. Yes, there was a rule imposed a few years ago that you had to record your time and it could not be more than 10 hours per day. Ask any Indonesian crew member how many hours they worked EVERY day, and they will tell you it’s between 12-15 hours per day, depending on the department. You were required to sign that you worked only 10 hours – you were not allowed to report more than that even though everyone was required to work more than 10. This came directly from the Hotel Manager and Captain. They take advantage of the international staff knowing that these crew members need this job because there really isn’t any better option for them at home. They know nobody will take action against the cruise line because they don’t want to lose their jobs. Quite frankly, it’s disgusting and I wish someone would finally go after them! The Dutch are just as guilty as the rest of them.

  • Wolf

    I read these comments and all I can think is that it is complete bull. RCI has a VERY strong ethics and they monitor working hours on a daily basis. Their time tracking system KRONOS reports daily of ANY violations and ALL division heads are accountable for any issues, to the point that crew member of ANY rank can get fired over it. Furthermore, each c/m is instructed to report any requests from supervisor/manager to work over legal limit or without clocking in. You can walk into HR mgrs office and report it and it will be investigated immedietely. The best thing is that RCI also made all the revenue partners follow the same rules too. Only 2 days ago I was informed by crew payroll manager that there was a violation for one of my crew members. I checked it, found that c/m entered hours in wrong format (am/pm instead of 24 hrs), confirmed it with c/m and he updated it 5 mins later. Correction was noted in log with explanation.

    So, before you start bashing, learn your facts. RCI might not be a perfect company, but they’re lhead and shoulders above many others. I’m working for them for more than 8 years and I’m happy for being on their ships.

    And yeah, usually there are no days off, but depending on a cruise, it is possible to squeeze a day (or part of it) off. On 14 day cruises, people rarely work more than 8 hrs a day. And then, you get from 6 weeks to 3 months vacation. You can keep your day job, commute, paying for food, gas and bills – I prefer it this way.

  • zanzibar

    I was once made work 14 hrs in a row standing up with 60 min break.plus we had a training after work at like 2 am or so. When the timesheets came to submit, we were not allowed to enter actual hours worked cause my boss said if we put actual hours we will have to do more 2 am afterwork trainings (it was kind of a punishment for not reaching a target). These working hrs r totally inhumane and cruise ships should be kegally obliged to hire external inspection. There is nobody to report this to or complain. Once my boss foubd out that another employee complained against him (I know cause he shared wgat head office told him) and he made the employee work her ass off harder than anybody else (retaliation). Disgusting and humiliating…and all that for like $1200 gross or so. Whoever has tge power, please react! Thank u

  • Steven may

    Dat so true day do work us hard

  • crewmember

    I hope in one day all american company cruises lines to disappear they abuse alot for the poor peoples from Philipines and India bcs they accept all kinds of rules and salary bcs they have not another option. I worked in rccl and i will never come back bcs i saw alot of abuse of managers all are indians and philipines they are the streight guilty for this abuse bcs they dont want to loose the job. I saw a women supervisor who was fired from high position head waiter to team lead bcs of usph and she continue the contract without regret just to remaining employer in rccl company…why??? bcs 3000 $ salary beefore and 1500 $ the actually salaryes its alot of money back in her country..so she accept everythink (hard work, preasure , stress) and bcs she doesnt want to loose the job she killing psihical crewmembers with hard work just to save her ass and her boss. This is a big answer for forget of all rulles and wrigths of crewmembers (more then 12 hrs worked everydays, you break for lunch or dinner is only 20 minutes..its not enough…if you forget or not weal done you are call back from you free time to finish or what they think have to be done in that moment…stupid and idiot and unlogical thinks , you are not alowed to have opinion or to comment somethink…they want realy stupids and limited people for manipulated and abuse of them, they make you feel nobody just a robot who can bee replaced in one second…people realy dies of hard work and they dont care they know how to play with you rest hours and if you die they make in one way you to be guilty…you come seek from home..not true. ) and many many thinks happend on the ship…the life is jail…we have to accept all the complaines of guest or all the imaginations of guest allways they have right, they are alowed to do everythink they want, the ship changes some rules for gust to be happy and the company to doesnt have complaines from guest..so for them its important just and just the money nothing else…i am realy realy disappointed for my experience with rccl.God help the crewmembers.



  • Anastasia

    I worked for Carniva CL. first contract-9 month with no day off and 14-15 hours a day) So everywhere is the same. the guys who work in the galley working even more. and the great things-if something happen with crew and they have medical coz injure during the job-company just don’t give them new contract and don’t let to come back .

  • Miguel

    Same issue is with Carnival Cruise Line and many other companys…
    the should start inspection over there too. Mondern slavery beleve me.

  • jhay

    every coment iz true,but i dnt know if rci knowz what iz hapening inside the ship, a lot of managers and supervisors abusing the crew member, nd cmpany keep changing of system for our salary ang the management inside cannot explain properly,crew member loosing a lot of money,bcoz we dnt know how much the guests pays.they doing it trial and error, a lot of them dnt know how communicate to crew member.and the food is not healthy,

  • Istvan

    Well, I just would like to highlight the following. Interestingly, all cruiselines in America belong to one person, Micky Arison, son of Carnival’s founder Ted Arison. More interestingly, they are (of course) of (Romanian) Jewish origin. Ted fought with an Israeli terrorist organization in Palestine. He got in touch with the founders of Israel, the Rothschild bankers who began to finance Arison’s Carnival Cruises. It is worth noting that the Federal Reserve System
    is in the hands of Rothschild banks, and they print US dollars. Of course, if cruise industry is financed from the very same source as the US monetary system, politicians, media, congressmen, government, president, then
    we can not expect much from this legislation. The whole network is one system, we can call them the Synagogue of Satan.
    “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie”- Holy Bible, Book of Revelation 3:9.
    I hope this helps to understand the situation.

  • Melissa

    I hope every single port fines Royal Caribbean and others cruise lines ships !!

    I’m an ex- Royal Caribbean member. I got fired because I refused to clock-out while I had still a lot of work to do…

    It’s just such an abusive company ! They take advantage (specially) of people coming from non-development countries… It’s easy for the company just to hire new people. People from India, Phillipines, and Latin America…

    I’m very happy I don’t work there anymore. I got to see the world but the way they treat people is unbearable. Not even the HR managers care about the welfare of crewmembers. There are some exeptions of course, but unfortunatly the Royal Caribbean “culture” is a culture of explotaition and money makers machines…

  • elizabeth

    Crew members from housekeeping have a law sued for paying helpers to be able to finish cleaning rooms in such a short time, that money is paid from the gratuity that guests give to cabin stewards, do you know anything about that?

  • irina

    I have been working on cuise ships both on the ocean and on the river, in Europe. The situation is similar on the river, where the crew members had even up to almost 20 hours per day of working.

  • Alberto Civitella

    A)Budget for training Personnell Must be trained before get on board . Training must be a Commitment for all the Companies . Training must be done ashore in the ground and not on board during the Crew off Hours.
    B) No CUT for the Crew Manning its Habits world wide to CUT crew Numbers especially on Cruise Ships . No replacements for the hill crew members.
    C) More and Specific Survay from the Autority required the Control “Audit” should be done by expertise of the field and not only by Human Rosource

  • annonymous

    Excuse me Jack who commented on October 15th.. You must be a leader of a high organization a.k.a. a rich becoming richer and not caring what so ever about the lower class that some people ARE forced to live with. The issue mentioned above is one i strongly stand with as it is the main reason I quit my job on board a Royal Caribbean ship myself.
    These people do not necessarily have a choice to go and work there.. Put yourself in their shoes for one minute, you come from a country that allows you on monthly average to make the equivalent to $300 USD, and are working on a ship, with terrible working and living conditions (Food they served us was not edible, you work everyday with a minimum shift of 8 hours per day, and are paid not even a considerate fraction of the amount this company makes yearly. I worked in the shops, thus my condition wasn’t even near as worse as most of whom i seen; yet still, was unacceptable for my eyes coming from a wealthy or first world country myself. The system of making the less fortunate (Not by choice) work long, exhausting and terrible hours, being away from their families for 6 to 9 months at a time and having to pay their home bills which doesn’t only include America’s home rentals and car payments/insurances but also the children’s and the parents’ and the siblings’ and grandparents’ bills and so on so forth. Anything I can do to fight with this cause I will as it did not just go to not appreciating the work conditions we were put to work under, but it went above to a lady named DEBBIE MARSHALL, District Manager of Starboard Cruise Services Int. (Retail shops onboard), who I have personally seen abuse my and my team mates’ rights. No one and not any large business owner has the right to manipulate people to work for them through fear, which is exactly what this lady does. I have seen threats, she has thrown merchandise at me, has thrown books at others and has made several of my team mates cry, just before firing one who had signed, worked and obliged to contract rules in regards to ending employment during preliminary probation period if the work did not suit the worker. I am glad to see that one country has finally seen the abuse being driven toward these poor workers, whom less fortunate than I, do NOT have much a choice but to work for this corporation as, though extremely underpaid for their work services can still make at least that amount more than what they can make in their home country. Not One of these workers necessarily WANTS to do this for the entire duration of their life. Everyone is just looking and waiting for something better, for that chance away, an opportunity maybe, in another country after having enough money. And As for me now I am back home, and will not ever work on a cruise ship again.

  • phil

    It isn’t the cruise line, it is the managing officers on the ship. In all businesses, there are supervisors and managers that bend the rules in order to achieve goals. When caught, there are consequences. If you think that Royal Caribbean endorses behavior that is not in line with the labor laws that they are subject to … then think again.

  • nilesh

    yes its bad how we are been treated with RCL i m working with AZAMARA cruise line and its the same story they makes us work like dogs (punching out)and all that money goes in the exc and this teams pocket

  • well i work on carnival cruise line and on royal cruise line and the slavery sistem is the same . a nex thing if you have problem with the guest the dont give chance to defend your self. the fired you one time with out benefit. they dont care how many years you work with them. ore if you have famaly .the dont have no humanity in them they are a slave killer. that is how i consider them.

    thanks that some one make that investigation. and can see what is hapening.

  • June Abraham

    It’s about time that someone took notice of these Cruise Lines and their unfair treatment to Crew members. What I also wanted to know is, does Cruise Laws only have authority in the Netherlands, don’t they seek the interest of unfair treatment to Crew members from all Cruise Lines anywhere in the world?, Royal Caribbean has a fleet of Cruise Ships, and thousands of workers, and their policy and work ethics throughout is the same fleet wide, as I’m sure so to are other Cruise Lines, can’t Cruise Laws do something about this?I think it is rather unfair and inhumane the way their workers are treated, can you imagine, when the Cruise Ship goes into dry dock for two or three weeks, crew members are still required to work as usual, but for free as, Royal Caribbean does not pay them. These people are making a sacrifice in order to provide for their families, and they are truly treated as SLAVES in this day and age…what a pity…SHAME ON ROYAL CARIBBEAN

  • Jeanne

    I worked for RCI…voyager. I signed up for contract for 7 months, 10 hour days/7 days a week. They housed me, fed me and paid me. I needed no car and my commute was ten minutes! I was thrilled until my job went to 20 hour days 7/7. During a crossing, we adjusted clocks so I gained one hour of sleep! My spare time was spent doing laundry. I rarely had a meal uninterrupted. My boss was never going to say a kind word…. the cruise director who has a visible tattoo!!!! I have a college degree, speak two languages and loved my fellow crew members. They enjoy big profits and offered… why would a woman your age want such a job? I can run rings around the younger crew. I was constantly being inspected for cabin, appearance, yada yada yada… I jumped ship at first opportunity. I never got off ship during my contract. Oscar Oscar Oscar!

  • Mon carl

    i was a crewmember in this company for almost 10 years…the bosses of this company RCI they always threatening crewmember if
    U voice out your right they always say TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. Being a crewmember they are affraid to lost job thats why they just keep their mouth shut.and it always happen if a passenger complain the crewmember.the bosses never investigate what happen and they will just send home the crew member and lost the job…working day shift and night shift the same hourly pay and if you are sick they will not gonna pay you….i experienced moving to another country like south america and europe without travel visa in that country and immigration will hold us for how many hours in that airport…i know most crew members are affraid to voice out their right because they are affraid to lost their job….pls… Help the crew members to help this matter and plssss give attention to this matter…..GOD BLESS To all the crew members….

  • Lorena

    I am an ex crewmember.
    • RCCL takes advantage of crewmembers that need a job, people can think that is easy to leave a job if you don’t like it, but it’s not… debts, family, basic needs cannot wait until you find, if you do, another job, so, crewmembers just need to carry on and swallow hard and long working hours, in another words RCCL greedily takes advantage of these needs. It occurs for most of the positions on board. It’s so greedy that cannot even conceive one single day off during a contract that can be eight or ten long months without a resting day. The differences of currencies between the countries gives crewmembers an extra money of what they could receive in their own countries, this extra money is for what they allow the company to exploit them. RCCL exploits the poverty. How sad it is.

  • Jelka

    I am a crew member since 2004. Started with Carnival,Royal,and now I am on river ships.
    I am still addicted to ships life, and I did have my share of bad, as well as good.I was fortunate to start as youth staff, and a lot of other crew from different departments always use to say, we have a good life. True up to a point. Once you have a manager that makes you work 11 hours a day for having 250 children aboard, and about 5-6 when we have 1150…
    A lot of discrimination, injustice, favoritism. And even now,after all of that, I am still loving it. And, I have to say, that for the sake of all the working force, around the world, there should be a law, Maritime Labor Law that would be conducted on every single ship. Recession made things worse, but the law can be flexible too.
    Also, I have whitnessed on many occasions crew that stood up and demanded fairness, and got it. The law is the law, but too few people stand up for it. So, If the all crew, would to act the same, I am sure that the rules and regulations would apply to all, Management, shore and land, and the working force overall.

  • Sasa

    It’s amazing nobody mentioned NCL. This is crazy company to work for and trust me I’ve played with most of the big boys on the court!!!
    What they do to the crew it’s for death penalty.

  • M


    I am a crew member working on Celebrity from the UK

    I remember in the UK, Channel 4 made an undercover documentary about working conditions onboard Celebrity.

    If anyone would like to contact me, I have information to share about harassmemt, suicidal crew, breaching ethics policies and racism.