Although very few guests have noticed the issue going on in the background, several cruise lines have been struggling to get replacement crew onboard the ships. As is the case for Carnival Cruise Line.
The issue lies mainly in getting enough crew members available to make the necessary crew changes possible while not jeopardizing service onboard. And it is in this area that Carnival Cruise Line and its President Christine Duffy have been making progress.
Carnival Manages To Alleviate Crewing Issues
While there were few issues crewing the vessels post-pandemic, the second and third round of crewing seems to have caught several cruise lines off guard.
It is unclear whether many crew members have taken steps to further their careers ashore or have decided to move on to different companies. It is clear that Carnival Cruise Line manages its ships with fewer crew than is the standard.
Luckily for Carnival, it has led to very few issues onboard, and the fun has continued as usual, with a few exceptions. The cruise line is now in progress to alleviate the problems as much as possible. One area that seems to be causing many issues is the renewal or issuance of visa’s for the crew to travel to the United States.
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Just in the Philippines, the most important country of residence for seafarers, the time to get a visa can run to weeks or even months. Time then for President Christine Duffy to begin talks with the US Authorities in charge.
Christine Duffy in talks with US State and US Customs
In a series of talks with the US State Department and US Customs and Border Protection, the company managed to get several agreements in place that will help alleviate the problems it has been having with crewing its ships.
As one of the biggest cruise homeports and destinations worldwide, it is a surprise that the country is also one of the most difficult to get a visa to join a cruise ship as a crew member.
In the last weeks, Christine Duffy has managed to get several agreements in place that will streamline crew members joining the ships:
Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line: “We’ve actually made great progress recently with the U.S. State Department, which is providing support for us to get visas renewed. And we’ve been very grateful to CBP [the US Customs and Border Protection] which has allowed us to even bring some crewmembers in that may have an expired visa, so that at least they can work and we can continue to operate.”
The agreements will go a long way in alleviating the pressure the cruise lines, particularly crew members, are under when dealing with crew shortages.
According to Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald, some people have gone as far as berating the crew members working onboard the ships:
“Why do some get so wound up if something doesn’t happen immediately? And has wanting ‘instant everything’ affected how we treat one another? Yesterday I answered a post from a gentleman who is on one of our ships right now.”
“He was complaining in CAPS LOCKS that the coffee shop had a long line and there were only two people working there. The guest had been a wee bit vicious as he berated the charming and always happy Baristas for serving him ‘too slowly’.”
Sadly, the crew is bearing the pressure due to a situation they do not influence on. Hopefully, the plans from Christine Duffy and the US government do have an effect as soon as possible,