Although we almost exclusively cruise with Princess, I’m fairly certain that all the cruise lines are basically the same when it comes to their crew. The ship is a floating United Nations. There are crew members from every country in the world. Granted, mostly all of the service staff, including waiters, assistant waiters and room stewards aren’t ‘english first language’. But these folks do amazingly well with communication. And what they lack in language skills they make up for in dedication and hard work. Now bear in mind that these people work 7 day weeks with only a few hours off. There are no days off, not one, for the entirety of their contracts. Usually 9 months.
I certainly can’t imagine having to be ‘on’ all day, every day, because pleasing the customer is your number 1 priority. I’d be sent packing after the first few hours for telling someone where to stick their baguette. So I have great appreciation for what these people do, and I try very hard to be respectful. It’s a shame not everyone feels that way.
This morning at breakfast, we couldn’t find a table for 2, so had to share. We saw an elderly couple sitting at a table for 6. I figured ‘What could go wrong? They’re a gentle old couple’. Within seconds of sitting down, the old codger bellows at the waiter that he hadn’t picked up the omelette that he ordered. The waiter tried to explain in his adequate English that the omelette wasn’t ready yet and carried on with his business. I mean, I understood what he was saying. Unfortunately, old codger did not. He got up and chased the waiter shaking the little order slip at him. When the waiter finally got it through codger’s that the eggs weren’t cooked yet, codger returned to his seat and told Mrs. Codger that ‘apparently there’s a translation issue’. Aaahun....that’s the problem....NOT! I said to him “Bad day today?” and stopped short from adding “or is it a bad day everyday?”. His reply was “I’ve had enough of Princess. Never again.” To which I replied “What part of the States are you from?” He certainly did get my subtle jab that he was a typical difficult ‘merican’ who couldn’t be pleased. Needless to say, I couldn’t get my breakfast into me fast enough. By the way, he was from Florida.
Off the ship we went for a walk-about in Curacao. It was hot, and by hot, I mean stinkin’ hot. We wandered around the town for a bit, but there really wasn’t much beyond the ‘usual tchotchke’, so back to the ship we went for some welcome pool time.
I’m happy to report that we weren’t overrun by youngsters today. Instead of the main pool, we opted for the ‘cocoon pool’. I call it that because it reminded me of the old movie. At one point I looked in the pool and saw about a dozen Q-tips bobbing. It was quite funny, actually, but a welcome change from all the loud and annoying kiddies.
Tomorrow is our last port of call. Time is just flying!