Letter from a Crew Member: I was forced to resign after all the humiliation and intrigues by the Management

Nov 19, 2019

The following text is a letter we received from a crew member:

I would like to tell you a story of what happened to me and how I lost my job because of what happened just 19 days before finishing my contract. I am still confused, ashamed and furious how all of this happened.

October 17, 2019, I was working in the Pinnacle Restaurant and I had a young woman as my guest in the restaurant and it was her birthday. So I was very polite to her as usual and treated her nicely during her dinner in the restaurant. After few conversations, we find out we are actually neighbors because I was living my entire contract in a guest cabin to guest cabin per voyages so I lived in the stateroom no.4087 and she was in stateroom no. 4081.

Only because we were neighbors we had a few chats together outside of our cabins on the deck alleyway but just a friendly small talk. We were getting friends in a polite way no other intentions behind it. We were talking other day and she mention we can chat more and call her. So I did call her but unsuccessful. The following day I called her again maybe two times no more but not constantly. So we run to each other end of the day on deck 4 and we started to chat and she told me that maybe she would come to the restaurant again just for dessert cake. I told her I can bring you that after my shift so she said ok and I offered this only as friendly gesture no other reason. So I brought the dessert cake for her and I see she put on the door handle the DO NOT DISTURB door leaflet. So I didn’t want to wake her up I left the cake by her door with cover and a note like “ Bon appetite darling, smile face, xx ” my name.

I also invited her for a dinner day before on the ship because first time during my contract I requested to have dinner on the other outlets on the ship and they approved but I had no company to go with and it was her birthday cruise but eventually, they canceled my approval in the last minute.

So we didn’t went eventually anywhere at all. The next day when we met she told she might be in trouble because the guest services left a voice mail on her phone to go there to talk. She kept the note of course. She told me the housekeeping attendant found in the morning first the cake and the note.

On the same day, October 19, we were docked in Port of Dubrovnik. When I came back from shore side afternoon the security supervisor told me I need to go to the Chief Security Officer office right away. When I went to the office he discloses to me that they received a formal complaint against me that I called a guest room and left a cake by the door. Apparently they thought I live in that guest stateroom 4087 since like 2-3 weeks because someone was constantly calling that next room 4081.

I explained to him that they are wrong because I just moved there on October 17, not before and I never met with her before.

The Chief Security Officer made me write a statement about all this and also promise not to contact to the guest anymore in any form. So I did it what he asked me. He told me the Staff Captain and Captain everyone is involved in this and will see what will happen after that. The same day at night time i got called to the Restaurant Operations Office around the second seating time. He told me to go to the guest services office and they will give me a new guest cabin to move there immediately. I couldn’t say anything just do it. They moved me to Deck 1, 1001 cabin for that night.

The next day morning 20 October, I got a call from the Restaurant operations manager that please come to the Hotel Director office right now. I went there and the Captain was there along Hotel Director and Human Resources Manager and asked me what happened and did I contacted to the guest after all. I explained to him and also told him no I didn’t contacted to her at all. He told me I am under investigation and he needs to look further into it. They let me off and the HR said I can move back to my old cabin 4087 and she will move somewhere else. So I did move back right away again and the same day evening around 19:00 the Restaurant Operations Manager came to the Pinnacle Restaurant and told me to come to his office in five minutes.

I went to the office and the HR was there with him and handed me a paper that I am suspended immediately and effectively from my duty. I need to stay in my cabin and not allowed to leave at all. I can order only room service and nothing else and tomorrow morning around 09:00 am he will come to my cabin with a formal invitation for a Master hearing by the Captain.

I went to my cabin and stayed there as they told me and was not allowed to leave the cabin at all.

The next morning 21 October, we arrived in Port of Kerkyra, Corfu and the HR came to my cabin around 10:30 am and give me the formal invitation for the Master hearing and told me I have 30 minutes to come to the Captain office and if I want I can bring a witness with me. So I was thinking about how they treated me as a prisoner and humiliated me at work in front of my colleagues and HR supposed to come at 09:00 not 10:30 am. I asked the HR frankly what’s my chances and he told me “ it doesn’t look good” so after all I was so scared and hesitating and eventually I called him that I like to come to his office and give my resignation just 10 minutes before the Master hearing because i felt I have no chance at all.

When I was in his office I filled up the resignation form and he told me to go to my cabin and pack my stuff and get ready for a call from the Crew office about my flight and passport.

When I was leaving his office I asked about the guest if is she moved to a different cabin? His answers were “ She is off the ship”! So basically they made her disembark as well. So I went to my cabin and started packing, then someone was knocking on my door and when I opened the Chief Security and the Security Supervisor was there and told me NOT CONTACT TO THE GUEST AT ALL AFTER THAT OR OTHERWISE IS GONNA GO TO THE HR” I felt threatened actually because I didn’t do anything to deserve all of this!

Apparently all this how they humiliated and treated me on the ship as a prisoner and I still feel bad.

On 29 October, I decided to contact the guest since we're in contact with Instagram social media and ask her what happened. She told me that she never filed a formal complaint or talk to the security and the Guest Services Manager was actually mad because she refused to lodge anything against me. Basically they wanted to force her. So now I am asking you what kind of treatment was this and this is how the Holland America Line and Nieuw Statendam is protecting the crew members right? They basically forced me to leave the ship with their lies and especially the HR what he was lying to me that the guest just disembarked from the ship! She just said they assured her that my job will be no jeopardy at all.

The Guest Services Manager promised to her! I have the conversation encrypted from the Instagram social media. This is going to be public to the media because no crew member should be treated this way and should be protected in the future. Here is the conversation with the passenger after my dismissal. She also approved this to be shared with the public.

social media conversation transcript

  • Your Sincerely
  • Crew member
  • MS Nieuw Statendam
  • Holland America Line