In past months, I have posted photographs and videos sent to me by crew members depicting life on cruise ships. 

The "ship life" photos are not the pretty images carefully arranged for the guests to see during behind-the-scene tours.

Ship Life – The Pot Wash Blues revealed the incredible amount of work required daily by the pot wash crew responsible for the non-stop cleaning of hundreds or pots and pans in the galley.  These cleaners work a minimum of 10 to 12 hours a days, 7 days a week, 30 or 31 days a month for 6 to 8 months Cruise Foodstraight, for as little as $550 a month.

Some photographs are more dramatic, like MSC crew members were ordered to throw black plastic garbage bags into the sea at night. Or when Silversea crew members were ordered to hide trolleys of food from USPH inspectors, in the Silversea crew quarters.

Some cruise passengers could care less about what life is really like for the crew. Many heartless cruise passengers justify the long hours and low pay by arguing that crew members receive "free" food and lodging. 

Today a crew member sent me photos of the food he eats on the cruise ship.  

Anyone familiar with this food like this?  Heavy gravy, mystery meat and lots of salt.  Certainly not suitable for a healthy lifestyle over the course of 6 months of hard work. Grub for the grubs?

See the photos here on our Facebook page.

If you are a crew member, feel free to send us your photos and videos of the working and living conditions you face on a daily basis.  Your name will remain confidential. 

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


Definition of "grub:"  Noun, 1. the short legless larva of certain insects, esp beetles; 2. food; 
3. a person who works hard, esp in a dull plodding way.

  • Donna Brown

    Since I am not on Facebook, were there any Holland America employees complaining? I cruise mostly on Holland America and on every cruise I get to know the room stewards and the dining stewards because they all are very friendly and they talk to us and ask us how our day is going. I always ask them how they like living on the ship for months at a time and they all have positive answers and a few of them even said that they all live like brothers. They always put on an Indonesian show towards the end of the cruise and the show is excellent. Also, towards the end of the cruise the whole dining staff comes out into the dining room and puts on a great show.. They all look happy. At the end of the cruise I feel like I am leaving family behind. I have to admit that the few times we have gone on other cruise lines, the staff was not as friendly. That is why we stick with Holland America.