MSC MagnificaA Brazilian labor court ordered the payment of fines, wages, overtime and "moral damages" to eleven (11) crew of the MSC Magnifica after finding that they had been subjected to working conditions similar to "slaves." You can read the order here.

According to Defonsoria Publica Da Uniao, in 2014 eleven crew members were "rescued" from the MSC cruise ship and alleged to have been forced to work up to 16 hours a day and were subjected to abuse and sexual harassment. We wrote about these allegations in April of 2014.

The testimony of a number of crew members was taken and indicated that other Brazilian crew members reaffirmed what was described as "appalling" working conditions on the MSC cruise ship.

In a blockbuster order, the labor court determined that crew members during contracts between eight to 12 months duration, the MSC crew members were required to work excessive hours and were mistreated. In addition to suffering intense bullying, the stewards and waiters had to work excessive daily hours (13-16 hours a day) without the right to adequate rest.

One Brazilian newspaper explained the plight of a MSC room steward from São Paulo who was bullied. Even working up to 18 hours straight, the crew member was called "lazy and a slut."

The labor court awarded R$ 330,000 to the eleven crew members.

Photo credit: Globo / Henrique Mendes / G1

Article credit: OVC – Organização de Vítimas de Cruzeiros

MSC Cruises denies that it engaged in any wrongful conduct and says that it intends to appeal  the labor court’s decision.  Read MSC’s full statement at the end of this article.

  • Mary Smith

    330,000 reais= $ 85,069/11 crew members = $ 7,733 each one
    Guess won’t be able to work onboard again in that cruise line and probably in any other. These crew members should be able to keep their jobs in better conditions and MSC should be fined with big $$$$ to open a precedent with other companies.

  • ana

    Msc is the worst company i ever worked for, all that this crew members said its true, i was in shop department where we would work from 8:30pm until 1:00am with lunch and dinner break which we were given half an hour, and if you dont like their rules they just send you home for them its ok they can easily replace you. This money they were given is not even close to what they should pay them for treating crew members as they do.

  • Eduardo Saavedra

    I use to work in the Cruise ship Industry for almost 18years,Im from Spain,when I went for Interwie the agent said to me the long hours I have to work onboard and choose to go I knew in advance the long lasting hours,it was my desition,in other words you get pay you know the world and you have to work for it,I also work long hours 13 to 14 hours sometimes and next day I have to be up at 0630 AM,and no worries,you are there to work,not to have fun,if you are not ready for that kind of work stayed at home with you Mama and do the kind of job mortal people do because Cruiseship work is not for everybody is for special people who is a hard working crew member,you people just want easy money for Nothing and went to cry to a brazilian judge thinking you are going to get país.

  • Allegretti

    Surprisingly no mention to Maritime Labour Convention 2006 requirements and sanctions.

  • Guillermo Toloza

    I also worked on MSC and I can tell that MSC is the worst company to work on….by far. I was hired as Spanish Social Host even knowing that I use a walking cane to move and the Cruise Director didn’t allow me to use it whilst on board, only off the ship during shore excursions !!!

  • Maria

    I’ve worked more than 15 hours in a lot of ships, specially in Carnival and Royal Caribbean. And guess what. No rules, no fines, nada. And when I went for the initial interview they didn’t say a thing. So how could I know then? 10 hours is already long, but 16 it’s slavery.

  • Romain

    Hi everyone,
    I would like to know more about life on board as a crew member. I’m interested to try to become one of them, but Ana, Eduardo, Maria, your comments scares me a little bit. Can you ask you some questions about it by email ?
    Thank you

  • jarel c jaymalin

    yes that is true crew members are not treated well! a long hours of work 12-14 hours everyday! plus a bonus of bullying moments… its so nice to work at rccl liberty of the seas.anxiety depression what can you ask for more…

  • oscularia

    Finally arrived home from awfull MSC megaship. I dont like ships, went without knowing what would it be jist to be with family… Slavery everywhere attending arrogant people with no modals.

    I asked one crew guy… how much do you sleep? He answered 5 hours, “every day” for several moths.

    I saw him yesterday again, asked do you ever take a rest? he answered … i slept one and a half hour last night.

    The same ship was departuring the same day it arrived to Buenos Aires.

    Hope to help him, got his contact, hope to help others, please dont be part of this!!!

    Awfull organization, imposible for old people waiting 4 or 5 floors lines of people across stairs to take a tiket for a boat to go offboard.

    Excesive expensive to take their tours to have privileges to go offboard first.

    Awful tour at Rio with no logic on driving in traffic going on tree points to visit.

    Lot of black oil spreaded by their boats. Brown mud or whatever spreaded by the ship. Black toxic smoke you can easy breath on top of the ship.

    Worst of all, TONS of food wasted every time, by people, and by ship laws. And they ask you to donate 1.5% for UNICEF any time you buy something, telling you they make a kind of nutella butter for poor kids in Africa.


    Tired now, with clean mind ill try to process all of this and make something more than writing it down.

  • Guido

    Hello crew members,

    Can anyone of the crew from the msc- magnifica
    deliver this message to – JANE – of the Philippines.
    She is a waitress in the tiger bar and other bars.
    I was a passenger with my wife and friends on cruise
    date 13-11-2016 to 25-11-2016.
    Just tell her we would like to keep in contact!
    My mail adress ;
    Many thanks…

  • Guido

    To -Jane – from the Philippines ,waitress on MSC Magnifica

    Cruise 13/11/2016 My wife and I.
    We like to stay in contact.

  • Kumar nitish

    Hi, I have worked on msc armonia and I was fired from there before time becoz i had complaint about persons who used to eat and drink alcohol in the pantry area of bar I have the proof of photographs I have captured and I complaint about this to bar manager mr Keith patel assistant bar managers mr Carla and mr Alfonso Cuervo and they called me morning on 10th of January 2018 to staff capitan office and staff capitan said to me u are not supposed to do this becoz bar managers used give many liquor bottles to staff capitan free of cost and he fired me immediately without paying my money of last salary….