This was asked by the Carnival Cruiseline Brand Ambasador on Facebook, and I wonder if it's common to do, and if guests chat with crew on other lines too, about their families etc.
Do You Try To Get To Know The Crew On The Ships?
A couple of times, we've talked to our waiter in the MDR about his home and family, but that's all. The crew are always so busy doing their jobs, that we wouldn't want to detain them from getting their tasks done on time, especially the room stewards who have so many rooms to keep clean and tidy. I think that if they chatted with everyone, they'd never get finished and not have any break during their split shifts.
Several times I've chatted with staff members and gotten some good insights.
I think it's interesting finding out what is really going on with the people I interact with instead of just looking at them as another face/body I'll never see again. I think it's good to learn empathy for people and in this day and age empathy is something people don't care about.
The situation for many, IMO, is sad. No other options so took the cruise ship job to get a steady paycheck to send home to family. In some cases family means spouse and kids that they rarely see.
Or single person, not many options back home, wanted to try something exciting with a steady paycheck. For some it's great and for others not so great.
Met an older gentleman from Florida that has put his kids through college and was retired. Got on as a staff member and is having a wonderful time leading events.
Another man was on his way to a career in the entertainment world and working on the cruise ship was a stop in his journey.
After hearing so many stories I think of the staff members as people like me that are just trying to make a living and enjoy life if they can. We should treat them with respect and never ever look down on them. If one is rude he/she may be in a situation that is difficult and can't help have it affect his/her day.
This is one of our favorite things to do.We have a few "ice breaker" questions and if the crew member has time they will chat with us. If they are very busy we don't detain them. As JCOAKML said, there are some interesting stories out there. One we retell to people is the couple from Croatia... she worked at the specialty coffee shop and he was our waiter. They had worked 5 years on the ships and that cruise was their last contract. With the money they had made, they bought a vineyard. It takes 3 years before the grapes are ready to be made into wine... so they were going to also have a B&B with the year that was left before they could start producing the wine. They would own everything free and clear of debt. They had a relative managing it while they were still on the ships.
We had the chance to speak to our steward on our last cruise and got to know him a bit. He was a family man with a wife and children on Jamaica. A Very nice gentleman and he had a chance to visit his family for a few hours when we stopped in Jamaica. On our first cruise we had a few staff officers at a murder mystery dinner. As it turns out one was from our home town and was familiar with my office. Sometimes it depends upon the crew person as some will chat and some do not.
We try to get to know our steward. I’ve spoken a lot with some of the photographers, especially if they see me taking pictures with my Viewmaster camera, or using my stereo lens. We know one of the maitre d’s on Norwegian. We also get to know the cafe staff. On the Gem we know them well. The mgr has been there for 6 years. Hopefully she’ll be there next October. Getting to know a waiter is a thing of the past, as we seldom get the same one twice.
I get to know the Bartenders
I get to know the Bartenders