Harassment on Cruise Ships ...Who Draws the Line?

With much in the news about this topic and the well known policy of separation between crew and passengers, where is the line drawn and what constitutes harassment?

20 Answers

We've all seen a zillion photos of passengers in ports with arms around crew members as they disembark ... a kiss on the cheek, what could appear to be groping ... sooner or later, someone is going to yell foul.

And what about flirtatious conversations with bartenders and waitresses... all part of the fun?

How do the crew members balance being outgoing, helpful and friendly with the possible misinterpretation of an unwanted advance? I think this issue is going to become more and more volatile as time goes by ...

Tough to say. Some passengers let their guards down, and place themselves in bad situations. Alcohol often plays a part, but not always. Going below decks with a crew member is asking for trouble, and can be tough to defend. Predators exist everywhere, and with ships getting larger, recruiting companies are having trouble vetting all the applicants. There are also cultural differences. What we view as abhoring behaviour towards a minor, say 15 or 16, may be common practice in some countries.

If the attention is not requested, it is probably harassment.

I'm sure it goes both ways. How many times have passengers made inappropriate advances on the crew? Sadly, I think some of the situations (not any of the young teens that had no control) are next day regret. That would be a lot of the problem on a ship with the alcohol and "I'm on vacation" mode some folks have. Bak is also right about the different cultural norms involved. What I do know, because I've seen it first hand, is that security keeps an eye on the interactions between crew and passengers. They will walk right up to a crew member and extract them from an interaction that looks to be going awry.

I suspicion that most of the time it is not "harassment". Such problems go way back in time and will continue forever. Back in the late 1960s a friend of our family put a lot of money into a small cruise line just starting up here. Apparently some of the crew were going the gigolo route and at night were sneaking into the cabins of female guests, not uninvited I understand. Anyway, the cruise line decided to put a stop to that, so locked the access doors between compartments. The ship caught fire. Some of crew burnt alive due no exits. The company went under, our friend lost his investment.

With the current situation regarding the sexual harassment in the news--daily---. Sooner or later, any behavior even deemed slightly forward by anyone will be construed as sexual harassment.

Now, if we can just enforce the laws worldwide to stop this.

Things have really exploded on the news and Internet about harassment and advances that one party seems to be innocent and consensual, but the other party now claims, even years later, to have been non consentual. How accurate are our memories after several years?

On the ships, I think we all need to be careful with behaviour and maybe ask first "is it ok if I give you a hug? " etc, . That way there is no misinterpretation of what an innocent hug might mean.

Having said that, let it be known Debbie, AuntPinky and JCOAKML - I am a hugger and will Bret you that way when we meet in Seattle, so please let me know if you prefer I don't, in case I forget to ask. Happy

I keep it simple as always. I will lightly flirt to get good service and never cross a line in anything I do.

I'm not too much of a hugger. If I do it's usually a quick one arm hug and then a quick separation.

Flirting can be fun and innocent.

I’ll remember and respect that. Happy


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