Cruising is an incredible way to holiday because it is so stress-free. Not only is there no cooking or cleaning but you needn't worry about finding your way to your destination: it's all taken care of so you can fall asleep and wake up in a foreign port. We don't often think about the people who put in all the work to make it happen, because they do such a good job of making everything go like clockwork - but it's nice to show some appreciation for those working cruise ship jobs who make our holidays amazing.
The Day of the Seafarer is an official United Nations international observance day organised by the International Maritime Organisation, marked annually on the 25th of June. Each year there is a theme which aims to promote and celebrate people who take jobs on the oceans, and this year it is maritime education. The IMO aims to showcase the many seafaring career opportunities available using the hashtag #careeratsea.
Princess shows their appreciation
Princess Cruises, of course, rely on their crew to keep the whole show running, and that's why they are joining in the celebrations! Keep a look out on their social media channels for posts about their shipboard teams and the great work that they do. They are recognising three long-serving crew members in particular:
- Tom Beck from England, an Engineer with 51 years at sea
- Alastair Calder from Italy, a Fleet Marine Inspector with 48 years at sea
- Nigel Stewart from Scotland, Hotel General Manager with 47 years at sea
The line also intends to show support for their seafaring crews by donating to organisations which promote their welfare and interests, such as Seafarers' houses and missions. Princess always auctions off the nautical charts on each cruise to raise money for charity, and in July will donate all proceeds to the Seafarers cause as well as match the auction proceeds up to USD$10,000. The line will also donate a cruise to the Mission to Seafarers in Seattle and host their annual luncheon on the Crown Princess when she docks in the port there.
Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, commented: "We are grateful for the commitment and dedication of our seafaring staff - they are truly what makes Princess Cruises special for our guests. Because of their choosing to have a career at sea, our guests enjoy a safe, meaningful and memorable cruise vacation."
What's life like for cruise crews?
While working on a ship gives one the chance to travel the world and see new places, it is certainly a lot of hard work, both for those concerned with navigation and the nautical side of things and for the hospitality staff who run the hotel facilities and entertainment.
The draw of cruise ships is, for some, the travel and exotic destinations, and for others, the chance to earn a decent amount of money faster than they could on land. Cruise ship crew members have mentioned several other highlights of the job: the family atmosphere, the crew parties and activities, and the fact that they don't have to worry about accommodation, buying food or any other such expenses and responsibilities and can just focus on work.
The vast majority of crew on a cruise work every day that they are onboard, condensing a lot of hours into the months they are afloat. During scheduled breaks, they spend their time on the crew decks which are below the passenger decks, and often below the waterline! For those working the hotel jobs, it can be rare to get ashore when the ship is in port, and of course the ship doesn't shut down at night - especially for the navigation crew and officers who must safely guide it through the dark to the next destination.
So next time you are on a cruise, take a moment to think about the crew who are making your holiday possible. It takes a special kind of person to opt for a seafaring life, and we are glad they do it!