Not Welcome On Board - The experience of a crew member in a book

Apr 19, 2017

Alberto Gaitan, an Argentine who worked five years in one of the most famous cruise companies, tells us his story in the book "Malvenidos a bordo" (Not welcome on board).

As he says in his book, "working for more than two years on a cruise ship already deserves special recognition", but here he wrote the five years of his experience. The idea of publishing a book came from the suggestions that many people made to Alberto when he told anecdotes about the ship life.

The book talks mainly about the abuses, disrespect, violation of labor rights, and the treatment of the passengers of the cruise ships. The behind the scene where not everything is what it seems, showing the labor exploitation to meet the demands of passengers. While the guests are "welcome", the employees are not, they are the "Not welcome ones".

"The objective of writing 140 pages about my years on board is to make known the reality of the work situation, not as revenge on the companies, but to raise awareness about the conditions of Jobs and know that behind a crew there are thousands of stories and situations they do not see, "says the author.

"Not welcome on board", it began to be written a couple of years ago and was finished in March. With a cover photo designed by the writer where his shirt, bow tie, white gloves and name tag are seen on a chair. "The picture represents the end of our work every night when we got tired in our cabins and threw all our uniform on the chair".

To avoid legal problems, the author changed the name of the company and of the ships in which it served for several years. Also, to preserve the identity of some people changed names and surnames to avoid generating problems and disputes.

The first edition was already on sale in Argentina (in Spanish) and in the rest of the world by e-book version through In May the edition will be launched in English for everyone on Amazon and can be ordered in its printed edition as well. For more information and printed book orders,, and on Facebook at Not-welcome-onboard-book


"Not welcome on board" Preface:

What are your expectations if you would be traveling on a cruise ship? What comes to mind? Luxury, landscapes, sea, sun, services, meals, drinks, fun, etc. You are not wrong and you will surely have it. Many of us remember the famous American TV series "The Love Boat", where the stories on board were always with a happy ending. But unfortunately, in this book will be told the other side of the coin. The cruise industry is very large and powerful, moves billions of dollars a year and has a well-built operating structure to capture customers, manipulate them to consume, treat them as kings and make them believe that they have their crew at their feet. Good enough, but on the other side, there is a world of hardworking people that invests hours and hours so that you do not have complaints, people that at the same time have to follow very militarized and inhuman rules of the job. A constant abuse that, combined with uprooting, creates mentally enslaved human beings, working without rest days for months, without seeing their loved ones and relatives, being punished for minor issues and not being heard when some passengers wrote a bad comment about the service you received.

The backroom of this industry goes from hiding the true nationality of companies to hiring staff from countries with poor economies, where a dollar is too much to be worth working without basic rights being respected. Crew members with a minimum wage can support up to three families, perhaps being the only income that comes to them. Taking advantage of these issues of poverty in certain parts of the world, companies hire people from third world countries knowing that paying low wages the same will conform their workers. This also generates a dependence such that they put the person between the sword of the system and the wall that supports his family. And faced with the dilemma of accepting a job on the boat to feed their own or to return to their homes and survive as they can, many give up and surrender their rights, without even trying to organize themselves internally to claim what corresponds. An added advantage for large companies that, knowing about the economic needs of their employees, do not have to deal with unions or delegates that compromise the employment relationship.

It is not my intention to go against the cruise business. On the contrary, it is to raise awareness about the working conditions of people who go out of their way to provide a good service, so that you know if you are going to cruise, if you did it or will repeat the experience, there are human beings who go To serve and need you to know better how the system works. Workers who are also in charge of your protection against an emergency and, perhaps because of fatigue when they are months without days off, cannot react in time and compromise your safety on board. Did you know it? So….Not welcome on board!!!

  • Book Index:
  • Special Thanks
  • Preface
  • Five Years, an eternity
  • The Restaurant Staff
  • The Job system on Cruise ships
  • Guests came first
  • My First Contract
  • The "Dirty China"
  • Don´t Like, Go Home
  • Seven that becomes Eight
  • The dilemma of coming back
  • The Third...will be the last one?
  • First Impression, is the last impression
  • Finally, Good Life!
  • New Year, New Ship
  • Europe, always Europe
  • Fifty-one kilograms
  • C´Est la Vie
  • Extra Sections:
  • Most common Stupid questions from cruises ship passengers.
  • Crewmember Dictionary.

For more details and orders of the book "Malvenidos a bordo" (Not welcome on board), please visit Alberto Gaitan website at and Amazon.