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Arrival in Miami - Day 3

Submitted by kgnadmin on
Outside in the waiting area, there was an older man from Guatemala holding a sign with my name on it. He seemed like a nice person. We shook hands, greeted each other, and went to the nearby shuttle bus. From Miami airport to West Palm Beach, it took around a two-hour ride. I was the only person on the bus, so I had space to rest my legs after an exhausting flight. 

The bus driver told me that he was 67 years old and still doing two jobs to feed his family. He said that the necessity of working two jobs was never so obvious in Miami, especially after Covid-19 when prices and everything went up. While driving the bus, he mentioned that for 20 years in Miami, he never got legal rights to work there; it was more of a pickup job that he was doing, sending money back home to Guatemala. Besides the driver's interesting story, I enjoyed the side view and beautiful palms along the road. It's like a dream city; everything seems to be perfectly balanced and in order.

Through the car window, I watched beautiful palms next to the road, feeling blessed to have the opportunity to come to this magical city again. Miami is the most beautiful city in the world. I had the privilege to work with many different cruise lines before and to visit some beautiful cities across the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, Hawaii, and Alaska. For me, it's no contest. Miami is above any other city in the world with beautiful tropical weather, fabulous infrastructure, and unique city charm. Now in my forties, I am done chasing happiness and waiting for some conditions to be met so I can be lucky. While the driver was rushing through the traffic of Miami streets, I just looked through the window and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. After an almost two-hour ride, we reached the Hampton Hotel in Palm Beach. In total, I had $80 in my pocket, but as a sense of my gratitude for the driver from Guatemala, I gave him a $30 tip, leaving me with only $50. That was all I had left before joining the ship.

The driver from Guatemala looked at the money for a few seconds and said to me, "Sir, this is too much. $5 dollars will be fine; you are working hard on the ship for this money..."

"No, Sir. That is for you. I know that you are working hard for your family also. I wish I could give you more than this; please take the money," I replied.

Slowly and with obvious hesitation, he put the money in his pocket, gave me a warm hug, and left.

These moments make me happy. People should help each other more in this world. In this crazy, hectic world where we live, it's nice to make a little gesture of kindness that other people will appreciate.

Hampton Hotel, West Palm Beach

When I entered the hotel, the guy at the reception desk was not welcoming at all. There were a few more crew members beside me who were waiting to check in at the hotel. For some weird reason, most of the time, hotel staff are not really nice towards the crew members. I could sense that from the conversation with the receptionists, with each word he said, and his small gestures and arrogant facial expression. I met the guy in the suit who was also waiting in the hotel lobby; he was checking in (he was not a crew member from the ship but a corporate employee for American Airlines). The hotel staff were accommodating to him, but not for all of us workers on the ship, for some reason.

"Your name is not on the list, sir; I am afraid that reservation was not made for you to check in."

"But I have an employment letter where it says that the company booked the hotel stay for me tonight, and it says the hotel's name as well. How does that make sense?"

"Well, they should pay for the reservation upfront, and unfortunately, nobody paid for the reservation for you, sir."

I was already exhausted, and it was 17 hours; it just felt like this was an unnecessary hassle to get through; all I wanted was to go to take some rest.

"OK, I will pay for my stay, just to resolve the issue because I am tired, Sir.

Meanwhile, a co-worker of the receptionist came over with some paper, and they told me to sit in the lobby bar until he resolved the issue.

It took another three hours to finalize the issue and finally get my room key. The receptionist explained to me that it was a problem on the hotel side because of the person who forgot to "identify" my reservation.

Whatever. I just wanted a cold shower and to sleep for a while.

There was something very obvious about how the hotel staff looked down on every single crew member who came into the hotel while I was waiting for my room key in the Lobby. This is really sad because the crew members who work on the ship are among the nicest, friendliest people who live on earth. Often, there is also a misconception from the perspective of the hotel staff. They may have some assumptions that crew members from the ship will not give an extra tip. Well, that is certainly not true. Crew members are very generous people with a giving and sharing nature; they will give you the last penny from their pocket.

Finally, I was in my room and got the chance to take a rest after a long flight.

Crew Insights

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