Now that cruises around the world including the United States are coming to an end what will happen to the crew members?
Spare a Thought for the Crew
As cruise ships based out of North America and around the world end their sailings and come to a complete standstill there are thousands of crew members who will still remain on board.
There are still cruise ships that continue to sail their scheduled itineraries as they had already departed before the shutdown. For those guests onboard, they will be able to travel home and be with their loved ones after disembarking as normal, hopefully.
Just spare a thought for the crew members during this time. They’ll get to see the disembarking passengers while they remain on board and many will be very far away from their families. There can be around 60 nationalities of the crew onboard any one cruise ship at a time with the majority from Asia including Philipines and Indonesia.
Ship members work hard and have taken the full brunt of the coronavirus by working extra hours and making sure passengers still have a great vacation. Carnival Cruise Line Ambassador John Heald had the perfect post for this:
As far as we understand, the crew is being well looked after and we know on Carnival Cruise Line crew members are being offered the option of signing off from their contract and traveling back to their home countries for a vacation.
Another option is allowing the crew to remain on board during the entire suspension and believe it or not, is actually the better one. By staying onboard the vessel the crew will continue to be paid a salary but possibly at reduced rates like what usually happens during dry docks.
Free wifi is available and public spaces on cruise ships that are used just for passengers are being opened up for the crew to enjoy. The crew will get to eat in the dining room and even enjoy some of the entertainment venues which benefits not just the hard-working crew members but the cruise lines too as they can make money.
It’s kind of a paid vacation and being allowed access to further areas of the ship. Staff can be kept busy with the entertainment department putting on fun shows for the crew in the main show lounge, chefs cooking great food for the crew rather than for passengers. When ships sail in international waters with no guests it is also possible for the casino and shops to open up. However, that might be limited as most ships will remain in port.
There will likely be limitations for crew members going ashore but they’ll still be able to enjoy the port and surrounding area in addition to stocking up on the usual snacks from the nearby Walmart.
Even though there will be some downtime, the crew will be doing duties and one of the most important ones will be sanitizing the ship, making sure the ship is ready for service with no risk of another outbreak.
No matter what, the crew will stay strong and always have a smile on their face. As long as the crew bar is open and they get to keep in touch with their families they’ll be ready to welcome the thousands of cruise ship passengers who will head back out to sea in April and May.
We would especially like to mention those who worked aboard the Diamond Princess which was quarantined in Yokohama, Japan last month after hundreds were infected with the COVID-19 virus. They had to look after the passengers who were under quarantine and deal with the outbreak too. Also, other ships including the Grand Princess which had cases off the California coast and even the UK-based Braemar from Fred Olsen Cruises.