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Going on a Cruise? Do you still want to after you read this?

Going on a Cruise? Do you still want to after you read this?

Apr 26th, 2013, 05:19 AM
  #1  
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Going on a Cruise? Do you still want to after you read this?

In the Book Review section of the NY Time is a review of "Overbooked" by Elizabeth Becker. She talks about countries that have kept the faith as far as allowing tourism and yet protecting the environment, culture and their citizens' lives (Costa Rica) and those that have not (Cambodia - Ankgor Wat is an example).

NOW TO THE CRUISE PART: The reviewer wrote that "Giants like Royal Caribbean & Carnival Cruise Lines avoid paying minimum wages and exempt themselves from environmental scrutiny by registering their vessels under the flags of countries with lax or non-existent regulations."

I'm not a cruise person anyway, so I probably wouldn't be going on these trips in the first place, but what about you? Is this OK?
kenav is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 05:37 AM
  #2  
 
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It's on my book list. You might also have quoted:

"And they have turned certain ports of call into crowded bazaars filled with tacky merchandise and tourist hordes. “They’re like portable low-rent Hiltons,” one walking-tour executive tells Becker, “that go everywhere with little concern for the garbage they leave behind or the havoc they make in the short time they invade a place.” "

Not wanting to be part of the horde is one big reason I don't consider most cruising. I've seen the effects from being in a port town when the big ships arrive. Such a different feel when they thankfully leave. Some places, like Dubrovnik, land-based tourists are now well-advised to consult cruise ship arrivals before picking their dates.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 06:44 AM
  #3  
 
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Jumbo jets with loads of tourists don't do any harm.
Sassafrass is online now  
Apr 26th, 2013, 07:18 AM
  #4  
 
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The ships registry does not dictate environmental regulations. There are US (EPA) and international agencies that regulate this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_...nd_regulations
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 26th, 2013, 07:27 AM
  #5  
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Sassafrass - So jumbo jet PLUS cruise?
kenav is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 10:31 AM
  #6  
 
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No, not going A cruise-going on four between now and next April. And we are very careful about being clean, cordial,supporting the local economy,and never litter, just like we behave at home.
1965 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 12:42 PM
  #7  
 
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Yes, we'll cruise again too. Its the places you see, the treatment by the crew and the friendly passengers from around the world that you meet which makes it so special.
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 26th, 2013, 03:57 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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I think that it is important to not let our preferences turn into moral outrage. Virtually every human activity carries with it some negative consequence. If I eat a hearty meal, I'm probably depriving someone, somewhere a bite to eat. Everyone has rights, but rights are inherently adverserial, so that when I exercise a right, someone else may lose something. We do need to evaluate our actions, but we must be objective. Our pet problems do not set the standards for all.
Reme is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 06:19 PM
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Well said Reme.
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 26th, 2013, 07:26 PM
  #10  
 
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I have just finished reading the chapter on cruises in Becker's book. It's not a hit job by any means, although it is far from flattering. (To read a genuine hit job see David Foster Wallace's classic essay on cruises in Harpers Magazine -- freely available on the web.)

Yes, there is stuff on low worker wages, pollution, safety, and poor cost/benefit returns for local populations. The main point I took away from this chapter was that the modern cruise industry is based on making the onboard ship experience the central selling point of the industry, NOT the destination(s) themselves. Keep initial ticket costs to the consumer low through economies of scale and relentless reduction of overhead costs. Then do everything possible to maximize expenditures from your captive customers for "extras," inflated, costly shore excursions, and even selling overpriced diamonds and "fine art." The genius of Carnival and Royal Caribbean is to turn the ship into one vast floating marketing platform. So, in the end, your bargain cruise may end up costing more than a modestly upmarket stay on any given island.
heraclitus is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 06:32 AM
  #11  
 
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That could happen to novice cruisers as well as novice land vacationers too. Its easy to get carried away once or twice, then reality sets in. However most experienced cruisers know this and avoid the extras that can add up. If you read this forum you will see for example how most of us know to use private tours operators as this is a huge cost savings. You learn to steer clear of those extra costs. No big deal.
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 27th, 2013, 08:59 AM
  #12  
 
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--> "Giants like Royal Caribbean & Carnival Cruise Lines avoid paying minimum wages".

Look at what just happened in Bangladesh, will you stop buying clothing made there? All the major brand names are there. The average factory wage is around 21 cents per hour in Bangladesh and there are no shortage of people wanting to work at that rate. I am sure the cruise ships pay more than that.

Get this: Everything is relative. The crew that work at the cruise ships receiving the lower than "minimum wage" are happy to be there. Who's minimum wage are you talking about? The US? or where the crew came from? The cruise ships can pay a buck an hour and there will be no shortage of people lining up at Bangladesh for the jobs. Is it wrong for the criuse ship to pay only a buck an hour or are they doing a good thing by providing employment to improvished countries?

The high minimum wage is to be blamed for the US losing all the manufacturing jobs to other countries. All the Apple's product are made off shore. Why? $10 an hour versus a buck an hour. Almost all electronics are made off shore. As a result, you will stop buying cell phone, tablets, computers, GPS, TV, mp3 players, boom boxes, microwaves, fridges, stoves, toasters, kettles, and the list can go on and on. Including cars made in Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Japan and Canada, They all have lower minimum wages than we do. The big 3 all have plants in Mexico and Canada.

--> And they have turned certain ports of call into crowded bazaars filled with tacky merchandise and tourist hordes.

The stops provided need tourism dollars and employemnt in those places. If the ships don't stop there, it would be even worst for them. Did you hear the local people complaing about the ships? Nope. They are glad that the ships are there and would love to have more ships every day. Who are the people complaining? The self-righteous "land toursit" who felt that they got screwewd over by the cheap cruise tourists flooding the place, taking away their "space". Did you hear any tourists complaining New York or LA are too crowded? If you don't like crowds, don't go there. You can pick destination that is NOT a cruise port.

--> “that go everywhere with little concern for the garbage they leave behind or the havoc they make in the short time they invade a place.” So, I guess you have not seen people in the US littering, flicking cigarette butts on the pavement from an openned car window (and let's make that an expensive American made car), or people tossing empty cans or gum or paper or whatever.

Let's get serious.
Sally_Parker is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 09:53 AM
  #13  
 
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Lets add that whatever the crew is making in many cases is going to support their families in their home countries and they are getting far more on the ship, esp. with tips included than they would be getting back home. However as the OP is admittedly a non-cruiser she would not know this but we have spoken to many crew members on our 10 cruises with 4 different lines and they are happy to be able to
make the money they are getting as it goes much further back home. Yes the hours are long but no one forces they to stay. Most renew their contracts and try to make as much as they can.
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 27th, 2013, 11:29 AM
  #14  
 
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"Did you hear the local people complaining about the ships."

Maybe not in the Caribbean, I don't go there, but in Europe, absolutely, yes.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 12:13 PM
  #15  
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Sally_parker - Comparing an American throwing cigarette butt on the ground to cruise ships dumping sewage, etc., in the ocean is outlandishly ridiculous.

jacketwtch - Do you think the employees on these ships are going to tell you how unhappy they are and how many hours they work each day, no time off, while you're a passenger on the ship they're working? That doesn't mean that I think some aren't probably happy to have a job! But to expect people to be honest abut their jobs while they're doing it and being watched is also ridiculous.
kenav is offline  
Apr 27th, 2013, 01:41 PM
  #16  
 
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Kenav: You make it seem like big brother is watching. I suppose this is why they sign new contracts, to avoid suspicion. .

Whats ridiculous is your entire premise especialy for someone whos never cruised.

Anyway you have your answers. Us cruisers will continue as we know better than to listen to this soap opera stuff.
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 27th, 2013, 06:37 PM
  #17  
 
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After more than two dozen cruises and knowing many employees, I know that jacket watch is correct. Many cheap cruisers try to avoid paying tips, but the ships always stress the importance of gratuities and many pay extra. New promotions offer prepaid gratuities. Cruise lines work to keep married people on same ships. Crew members can make extra money on private islands, excursions, etc. people get good food, medical care and are able to send most of their salary home. They promote often and reward good customer feedback.
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Apr 28th, 2013, 07:46 AM
  #18  
 
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Suit: Thank you. I have experienced that as well in terms of being recognized for good customer feedback. I almost always write a letter post cruise which includes the names of our waiters, cabin attendants and anyone else who has given good service and in addition to the prepaid grat we give some extra as well. Happy to oblige. Cheers, Larry
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 28th, 2013, 04:02 PM
  #19  
 
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I will not stop cruising because of the article. I know that the employees work long hours but their salaries are better than they would get at home. One young man told me this job on the ship is the difference between buying his children a pair of shoes and buying them a good pair of shoes. Also my friend from the Philippinos is excited her son got a job with Princess cruise line. He has an education but can't get a job at home paying this salary. He will be able to send his children to good schools and his mom will get to cruise at a discounted rate.
tch912 is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 01:53 PM
  #20  
 
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tch912, I too echo your comments as we hear it all the time. It's not buying shoes vs buying better shoes, it could be as simple as putting decent food on the table. And yes, I have met couples working together on board and they are happy that can make enough money to send home to look after their parents who are looing after their kids. It's a tough life, but it is better than what they had.
Sally_Parker is offline  

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