Are you experiencing harassment cruise ship?

Nov 10, 2023

Are you experiencing harassment while working on the cruise ship? Here are a few things to consider when dealing with abusive behavior from your supervisors or colleagues at work.

One issue must be discussed to emphasize the importance of identifying and eliminating harassment on the cruise ship.

Often, while working on the cruise ship, we close our eyes when experiencing some form of harassment, either because we think it will pass or out of fear of losing our jobs and not wanting to deal with it. Sometimes, we believe that reporting certain types of harassment could jeopardize our jobs and worsen the situation. The truth is that all forms of harassment are completely unacceptable, and you have to report them immediately. Imagine walking on the street back home, and two stray dogs attack you, barking loudly and aggressively. If you pretend that othing happened and keep walking, those dogs will bark even louder and become more aggressive. The best thing to do is turn around and face the stray dogs. In my experience, just giving them a look can make them stop chasing you. If you pretend to pick up a stone from the ground as if you're about to throw it at them, they are likely to run away. In other words, sometimes, the best thing you can do is turn around and face the problem. If you keep walking, hoping the aggressive barking will stop, it will only encourage more abuse.

The same applies to cruise ship harassment. Over a decade-long career, I gained a lot of experience on the seven seas. What fascinates me is that most of the time, a crew member who experiences harassment remains quiet, hoping it will pass. In reality, it's the same as with stray dogs—harassment will not pass until you turn around and face it, report it, and follow certain steps to deal with the situation. Many crew members, especially from the Philippines, India, or Indonesia, may refuse to take action due to fear for their jobs. Sometimes, they think that being abused by a supervisor or manager is just part of the job and that it's okay to be in that situation.

Due to my rebellious personality, I fought many battles with management on the cruise ship because of problems and issues involving other crew members, not myself. I couldn't close my eyes to situations where crew members were abused, harassed, and treated with a lack of respect.

One time, after finishing my lunch in the crew mess and placing my dirty plates and cutlery in the crew mess galley, I witnessed the assistant Food Manager yelling at the Galley Steward. I don't know the reason for it. The assistant Food Manager was screaming at the Galley Steward, and the poor Indonesian crew member bowed his head and did not say a word back.

Even though it wasn't my department, I couldn't keep my mouth shut, even though I knew it would get me in trouble. Calmly, I approached the Assistant Food Manager and asked him why he was harassing the Galley Steward. He replied that it's none of my business (which I kind of agree with). Shortly after, our conversation became a heated argument, but I stood my ground, and we both ended up in the HR office and even in the Staff captain's office. Unfortunately, in the end, I got in trouble and ended up with a negative performance review from my department manager because, as my manager said, "I was painting a negative picture of our department due to my 'negative attitude' toward other department supervisors."

Sometimes, you will walk on lonely streets in life and also on the cruise ship. Regardless, do the right thing and report any kind of harassment on the cruise ship. Learn how to stand for fundamentally right values and principles because you are setting an example for others as well. Do not accept being a victim of continuous harassment during your long contracts at the Seven Seas.