Beautiful people that we meet on cruise ships

Apr 03, 2023

One of the most beautiful things that come with working on board the cruise ship is the fact that we meet millions of people from around the world. 

In my decade of cruise ship experience, I met some amazing people, guests, and crew, which was surely the best part of my job. If you are open-minded, every new friendship is a great opportunity to learn new things, expand your knowledge, and re-discover the beauty of human friendships. Among many people that I met, one guest stood up. His name is Eddie. It came up as an unexpected meet-up in the Sports Bar in one of the lounges of the cruise ship while I was working in Australia. Eddie is a great supporter and fan of the English Premier League. He was watching one game, and we started a friendly chat about the game itself. That was on the 10-day cruise from Sydney to Fiji. The sports bar was not really busy at that time because or selection of the live sport was limited due to satellite reception. We only had one Live Tv channel, and that was mainly about the Premier League.

Eddie was coming to visit my bar every day on the ship. He is such a kind, caring and great man. One of those guests who made you love your job, a genuine person. By the end of the 10 days cruise, we become very good friends, Eddie even promised me that he would bring his entire family on his next cruise. When you work on a cruise ship for 7-8 months straight and miss your family and friends back home, people like Eddie make a tremendous positive difference. The day the ship docked back in Sydney to complete the cruise journey, I felt really sad because Eddie left the ship, but Eddie promised me that he would bring his entire family back on the ship during my same contract. He kept his promise; only a few months apart, Eddie booked the cruise and brought his lovely family, his two gorgeous, his lovely daughter, his two sisters, and their husbands as well. This is something truly beautiful; during that cruise, I was so happy at my work, the entire family was coming every day to my Sports bar, and they had such a great time.

Away from my home, they became my expanded family. I gave them my best customer service skills, not only because it was part of the job but because I really wanted them to create an unforgettable lifetime memory. The cruise lasted ten days, from Sydney to New Zealand. At that time, I realize something important. We, the crew members, are bringing back the guests to return and sail with the same cruise line. There were millions of other examples when a guest returned to cruise because of one particular crew member. My friendship with Eddie continued even after I stopped working on the ship, and my family went to visit Eddie with his lovely family in Australia. My job allowed me to meet such a great, humble, and genuine person like Eddie. 

 American and Australian guests are by far the best customers in the world. Generally speaking, they are simple, easy-to-engage, friendly people. They always show gratitude for our hard work on board the cruise ship. European guests are more distanced and cold; they want privacy, and it's our job to recognize and meet their expectations. American and Australian guests are much more generous than Europeans when tipping crew members. It's part of the culture. 

While performing a duty, the crew member can make a technical mistake in the bar service, but the foundational rule is one exception. Always smile, and do not look serious. Ensure your smile to the guest consistently; no other rule in my job carries such importance. You could drop your bar tray full of drinks on some grumpy guest, forget someone's order and leave the guest waiting for 1 hour, make sure you smile all the time, and everything will be ok. 

Now, that sounds too perfect, but we are all humans. We all have good or bad days, sleepless nights, we don't see our family for 7 or 8 months, and sometimes it is tough to put that smile on—especially when dealing with rude and obnoxious guests, which happens daily. Sometimes I have smiled sincerely; sometimes, I have to put a fake smile on. It's not easy to wear a fake smile for a long time, but sometimes I have to protect my job. No matter who we deal with on the bar counter, we make sure that smile is on. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of my guests from cruise ships worldwide, lovely and unique people. Ninety percent of all of the guests I have ever met on board the ships were simply great folks, gorgeous people. With predominantly stormy and unfair conditions behind the crew members' life on board, you made a huge positive difference for all of us. Something that significantly helped all our families back home justified that lonely time spent at sea. With all appreciation of your tips, that was not the significant difference you created. More importantly, thank you for understanding, smiling back at us, and patiently waiting for your turn to be served. Thank you to those who went further to make good comments about our job onboard the ship. Doing that made our jobs more secure and extraordinarily contributed to the cruise ship industry. Thank you for showing us compassion and empathy. Indeed, you have paid for those cruises, and you had all right to be demanding and picky. Yet, you chose to show us an extraordinary level of respect, and therefore, you made our life on board much easier. 

Because we are mainly surrounded by those biased, untrained, arrogant managers on board the ship, our amazing guests made a tremendous positive difference for us most of the time. Our guests made us feel validated for the hard work we do. That matters more than any amount of money in this world. As a crew member on board, our purpose and legacy are to create memorable, unforgettable memories for all our guests. When we do so, the feeling of inner fulfillment is overwhelming and astonishing. 

For the minority of the guests onboard, chronically unhappy and constantly looking for things to complain about, please reconsider your options in the future. When you constantly look for a reason to complain, your life also becomes miserable before you are even aware of it. If you purposely complain about waiting for your food 2 minutes extra, a delayed tender boat to get you offshore, too many people in the swimming pool or some crew members simply did not remember your name, please pause for a second and think about it. The same rule will apply on the ships, on the land, and everywhere you go.

Those hard-working people on board the ships are already trying their best to provide you with the best possible customer service. If you only show a little respect towards the crew members, it will bounce back to you like a boomerang. We will all appreciate your gesture, and believe me; kindness never goes unnoticed! It travels millions of miles! Thank you all; great people!