Published at Monday, June 04th 2018. by beky audrey in Cruise Ship Cabins.
Many cruise ships today have standard cabins of similar size and accoutrements with the price differential being the location. The least expensive inside standard cabins on a mainstream cruise ship run from about 120 square feet to 180 square feet. Since most cruise ships are relatively new or have been refurbished the cabins usually are tastefully decorated with twin beds that can be pushed together to make a queen-sized bed for couples. The cruise staterooms have wall-to-wall carpeting individually controlled air conditioning/heating dresser or storage space closet telephone and satellite television. The television usually has news sports local on-ship channels for broadcasting information on shore excursions or from guest lecturers and movies.
On paper it seems to make good sense to man the ship with a Philippine crew. I love the Philippines. I have been there several times. English is still widely spoken and usually spoken quite well. The people are usually friendly and happy to see foreign tourists. A large percentage of ships worldwide are manned by crews from the Philippines. The Philippine government has a pretty good structure and system to facilitate the export of Philippine labor. In spite of how attractive it seems on paper I would recommend NOT hiring a crew from the Philippines. Philippine workers tend to be envious of others and especially of everybody else`s wages. They tend to think they are getting the raw end of the deal. It is rare to find a Filipino who is happy with his employment. While I am sure there are many good employees from the Philippines there are more who are dissatisfied than satisfied with their employment. There seems to be a cultural anomaly in the Philippines where people feel that employers are bad guys. I would hesitate to recommend a crew from the Philippines in spite of the apparent advantages on paper.
A cruise passenger`s perception of onboard service is so often dependent upon who their stateroom attendant was and which waiters / waitresses served their meals. Since my wife and I started Direct Line Cruises there have been several instances in which different clients on the same exact cruise would report radically different service levels. So at best any evaluation of service should be taken only as a generalization based on limited individual experiences while onboard.
At 153000 tons with a passenger capacity of 4100 (based on double occupancy) the Norwegian Epic is by far the largest ship in the NCL fleet. In fact with the exception of Royal Caribbean`s Oasis of the Seas (which was launched in December 2009) NCL`s Epic is among the largest cruise ships at sea. It is also one of the most uniquely designed cruise ships that I have ever been on (... and I`ve been on quite a few). In most cases that uniqueness is a very positive attribute which reflects the thoughtfulness and attention that the Epic`s designers must have paid to maximizing the use of space to achieve a much bigger wide-open feel to all of the ship`s public areas. And the way that one area just seemed to flow into the next (without the cookie-cutter rigidity sometimes found on cruise ships) was truly remarkable. But in a few areas I did not perceive the unique design of the ship to be an advantage. For instance the exterior shape of the ship seemed a bit odd to me. The bow is somewhat stubby-looking and the stern is squared-off so that the ship does not have a sleek appearance from the outside. Adding to the irregular look is a massive 3-deck appendage that was seemingly plopped on top of the front section as an afterthought (or more likely to further maximize the ship`s interior space). Obviously the ship`s designers had to make some trade-off`s to accomplish everything they did inside the ship and after all from a passenger`s perspective the interior design is far more important.
There are actually some savings resulting from living aboard a ship. The ship`s executive chef buys food and kitchen supplies in bulk for the ship and can get better prices than the average shopper. Other savings result from the large freezers and the mobility of the ship giving the food service management the ability to stock up on supplies in countries where prices are low. Some crew and owners may choose to fish for leisure. This can supply some fresh food at even lower costs to the owners. Labor savings are realized when the crew is hired based upon the best global labor rates. The laws of supply and demand drive prices down in some places in the world. Proper ship management can capitalize on these disparities. All the savings would be passed on to the cabin owners resulting in an economical cost of living similar to what you could expect to spend with a conventional home. Ship management should have accounting transparency will all books (financial records) open and available for any owner to inspect. Also ship management should submit all financial records quarterly to an outside auditor for the peace of mind of the owners. Anybody in the chain who spends any of the ship`s operational funds should also be periodically audited. For example a good way to audit the executive chef would be for one or more of the live-aboard co-owners of the ship to go to the food market district of each port of call and they should try to haggle and get a better price for the same food than the price the executive chef was able to acquire. If the executive chef cannot find better deals than the ship`s co-owners then the executive chef should be given his walking papers. The executive chef position is a vital position on a cruise ship. This is a position of trust because he will bill the food he buys to the ship. He must never be tempted to accept bribes from vendors or suppliers. Therefore he should know that he will be routinely audited and any substandard performance will result in termination of his employment.
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