Cruise Diary Part 3 – Focusing on Positive in the Hell Ship

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To one of my life mottos belongs this one: “Everything happens for a reason.” It has been confirmed to me many times. Although not always it is visible straight when something happens, but within some time it surely does. Therefore, I started to apply my philosophy on the “hell ship” where I arrived on the 10th of May. In case you haven´t read my article how I got from heaven to hell ship, don´t hesitate and click HERE.

As I already mentioned in previous article, the first week onboard of new ship in Portugal was critically difficult.

However, after some stressful days and nights onboard I decided to start looking for something positive on this “hell ship”.

And so day by day I found something new that made me little bit happier and made me realize that not everything is so bad here. Simply I started to focus on positive things more than on the negative ones.

I had time to explore beauty of Porto during my lunch off 🙂

My conclusion of ADVANTAGES of hell ship is following:

  • at least twice a week we (waiters) have lunch off free time between breakfast and dinner as our guests are on full day excursions – I already used such free time at least 3 times to recharge my batteries by relaxing, sunbathing and having fun 🙂
  • during service time it is possible to use trays for hot plates, therefore, I don´t have to carry 3 plates on one hand and my wrists are not under such pressure as on previous ships
  • although there are some standards on this hell ship, they are not as strict as on the other ships – and this makes my life in restaurant easier
  • I am responsible for my own section in restaurant which means I am not dependant on any colleague so I can do my service as fast as I am capable of
  • from next week on we are supposed to be one extra in the restaurant, therefore, we should have at least one day off per week which can be used for going to excursions with guests – finally I will be able to explore beauty of Portugal 🙂
  • Porto (our main stop) is located at the coast of Atlantic ocean – this means that at least few hours per week I can spend some nice time on the beach enjoying SBS (sun, beach, sea) 🙂

I am the only woman in the team

This may have its pros and cons. But because I started to look at my situation from brighter side, I summarized couple of advantages of working as only female in the restaurant and bar team:

  • my men colleagues (at least for now) try to be gentlemen and don´t let me carry have stuff (especially during loading time)
  • day by day I listen to dozens of creative compliments about my beautiful blue eyes, etc … – I am afraid that my self-confidence will touch the sky within few weeks spent here 😀
  • everyone always calls me out for walk, having a drink, dinner – there is no lack of company in my free time 🙂
My first excursion with guests to fabulous Portuguesse town Favaios – wine tasting 🙂

Surely, everything has its pros and cons. And being the only woman in the department on ship represents (very frequently) many sexual hints, inappropriate “compliments”, “non-intentional” touches or direct offers of sex. Many people would call it sexual harassment. But let´s be honest. Sex is a natural human need. And when you lock group of young and healthy men on the ship where they work hard 7 days a week and have no partners with them, then the result is unambiguous. So in my case I have to be very flexible, liberal, open-minded and I have to be able to keep my ability to listen to something  in a way then I let it get in within one ear and out within another ear through seconds. And simply make fun of this and laugh at it together with my male colleagues. Otherwise, I wouldn´t be able to survive in this group of sexually greedy men even a day . 😀

PS: People from company´s HR replied to my email about my planned return to previous ship with such answer: “Dear Milada, you should come back the ship XXX on 7th of June. Kind regards, XXX.” You can imagine that the word “SHOULD” didn´t convince me, therefore, I am still waiting what will happen to me and where I spend the rest of the season. Wish me luck.

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4 Responses

  • Milá Miladka, ja som pracovala pre zaoceánsku spoločnosť Carnival Cruise Line od roku 1998 – 2006 ako headwaitres, tiež sme boli dve v dining room medzi asi 500 až 800 čašníkmi.
    Je to neskutočne fyzicky a psychicky ťažká práca, ale boli to jedny z najkrajších rokov mojho života. Videla som svet, priatelia, zdokonalíš jazyk, naučíš sa rešpektu a aj pokore. Život si ťa vyfacká z každej strany, ale ja som to milovala.
    Ďeň off neexistoval, len lunch off dva krát do týždňa, záleží aký dlhý cruise sme robili. Niekedy som zaplatila kolegovi 100 dollárov, aby vzal za mňa službu a mohli ísť napr. na catamaran. je to úžasná skúsenosť s úžasnými ľuďmi a zážitkami. Som už šťastne vydatá so synčekom, ale práca na lodi mi chýba, držím palce a všetko zlé prehoď cez hlavy, tie zážitky to zlé zatienia. Nech sa ti darí. Držím palce

    • Dakujem Helenka, mas pravdu, praca na lodi je pre mna neskutocnou zivotnou lekcoiou a mnoho sa naucim. A hlavne s odstupom casu ti zostanu na lod a ludi len tie pekne spomienky a to zle sa nejako vypari 🙂

  • Milli, your critique of “hell ship” was wonderful. When I worked, I too was in a male dominated job. My motto was “play the game” and eventually the sexual remarks tapered off and I became “one of the guys”. I believe they appreciate women who take their comments with a grain of salt and brush it off rather than going to HR, which will give you a reputation of being a b—- !
    We have wanted to do the D’ouro river cruise sometime in the future. Are you on a longship or regular size boat?
    You look amazing and very happy. Keep up the good life!

    • Hi Muffy, Thanks for you comment – at least I see there are more women dealing with only male team 🙂 I get on very well with guys and I thhink I have already become “one oth them” 😉 Right now I am on regular size ship on Douro river but from next week I go back to longship (Amsterdam to Basel). But I definitely recommend you Douro itinerary – Portugal and Spain are amazing countries – worth seeing 🙂

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