The cruise ship MSC Poesia was caught in rough weather while sailing off the coast of Uruguay last week, according to an article posted by the Crew Center site and video posted on Noticias de Cruceros.

Crew Center explains that during  the December 2 – December 9 cruise, the MSC Poesia was sailing near Punta Del Este when the storm hit the cruise ship. “Due to high winds and rough seas, the vessel rocked side-to-side causing interior equipment to smash throughout the ship as it violently rolled.”

Video taken in ship’s galley show plates and saucers falling to the floor and many items loudly cracking and breaking. You can hear the cascading sound of hundreds of plates breaking. “The same happen throughout ships bars and staterooms.”

This is obviously not the first time that a cruise ship hit by rough weather experienced china breaking in a galley.

Costa Fired Crew Member Who Posted Video of Plates Breaking

The Costa Fascinosa was hit by 90 knot winds after the cruise ship left Venice four years ago. 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 (right) and video of considerable damage in the galley where he worked.

Costa issued a press release, downplaying the incident, after the photos and video were widely distributed on the internet. The video was removed from YouTube.

Costa quickly terminated the pastry chef’s employment for mentioning the incident on Facebook.

MSC Fired Crew Member Who Posted Photographs on Facebook

When the MSC Magnifica smashed into a pier at the entrance to the port in Piraeus Greece five years ago, 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.

This video on the MSC Poesia does nor appear to have been posted by the crew members in the galley and there does not appear to be any information identifying them.

What Happens on Cruise Ships Stays at Sea?

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 home.

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

Video credit: Noticias de Cruceros YouTube page

Cruise Ship Pot Wash - USPHThere are certain things you learn from crew members once they become your client. No matter whether the ship employees are from Jamaica, Serbia or India, or whether the crew members are employed by Carnival, Princess or Royal Caribbean, they all tell similar stories of "ship life."

Crew members regularly tell us that they work in excess of 12 hours a day but are prohibited from recording the actual hours they work. Waiters can’t record their time spent showing up before meals to prepare their work stations, or attending meetings, or performing "side jobs."  Once they have worked their maximum hours, they have to log out and then keep performing tasks such as polishing the silverware. Cruise lines don’t like paying overtime and the supervisor will get in trouble by the department heads if there is money spent on overtime wages for the crew. 

We also hear the same stories over and over from ship employees around the world about the tremendous amount of effort they spend trying to get the cruise ships ready for United States Public Health ("USPH") Inspections.   USPH inspections in theory are suppose to be unannounced, but in reality they are rarely a surprise.  Cruise lines routinely hire people in a supervisory position from federal agencies like the USPHS, FBI and Coast Guard. In turn, their friends in the federal government often give the cruise lines a head’s up when the ship will be met by a team of USPH inspectors.

When a USPH inspection is about to happen, the food and beverage workers will literally work 18 to 24 hours on the days right before the cruise ship arrives in the port where the inspection will take place. There are certain types of baking pans and sheets used everyday for frying greasy food which are extremely difficult to get clean and probably won’t pass inspection. There are hundreds of these pot Cruise Ship USPH Inspectionand pans which the crew try and clean in the pot wash room (top photo) but it’s difficult to get them all spotless. So what happens is that the galley cleaners are instructed to rack the pans and sheets in large trolleys and then hide the trolleys down in the crew quarters.

When the USPH inspection is truly a surprise, crew members tell us that there is often a mad scramble to dump everything dirty into boxes and cartons and then stash the stuff in crew members cabins and corridors on the bottom crew-only area on the bottom deck.

One crew members just sent me photos (right) taken of this practice. This was on the MSC Poesia during a USPH inspection in March 2011.

A bad USPH score is a kiss of death for a cruise ship F&B department head and his supervisors. Ships cut corners to pass inspection. 

When the U.S. inspectors leave the ship, the dirty pans, plates, cups and kitchen equipment are returned to the galley.  The ship cooks then get busy cooking for the next round of 3,000 passengers. 

Read the comments to the question "Do cruise ships hide dirty pot & pans from USPH inspectors?" on our facebook page. 


Photo credit:

Top –

Bottom – Anonymous