The company is offering support to crew members from Ukraine and Russia who are currently stranded following the recent conflict in Crimea. The cruises will take place during February 2016, so passengers considering taking these trips have time to make alternate plans.
In light of regional tensions between the two countries, Royal Caribbean International has given open communications, travel choices, counseling help, and more to its more than 700 Ukrainian and Russian crew members. This assistance is intended to help crew members maintain contact with their loved ones and to build the family-like relationships that all cruise ship crew members enjoy.
Members of the crew may choose from a variety of options.
Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley outlined possibilities for Ukrainian and Russian crew members affected by the increasing violence in a statement on his official Facebook page. Across the Royal Caribbean fleet, there are more than 500 Ukrainian crew members and more than 200 Russian crew members.
“We’ve made all of our communication channels accessible to them so they can communicate with their family,” Bayley added. “They have access to counseling, and the captains and administration of the ships are clearly in regular contact with them to give support as required.”
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While exact communication options have yet to be revealed, all Royal Caribbean ships provide WiFi for email, chatting, and video communications. Crew members may also be able to contact family and friends through mobile phones and aboard telephones.
In addition, if crew members decide to leave their ships, Royal Caribbean will help them in getting home or near to home. If prospective crew members desire to depart the area and board their ships sooner than expected, Royal Caribbean is attempting to accelerate their contracts and travel arrangements.
First and foremost, there is safety.
Royal Caribbean is contacting with customers booked on sailings with Russian ports on their itineraries in addition to assisting crew members in connecting with their families.
“At this moment, our objective is to sail to St. Petersburg; but, we have secured other ports, should we believe that modifying our schedule is the best way ahead,” Royal Caribbean noted in a letter emailed to booked passengers on February 25.
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“We appreciate that recent events in the area have made you afraid to sail to Russia,” the message read, “so here are some choices to guarantee you have the greatest experience with us,” before giving options for visitors to rebook or cancel sailings if desired.
Royal Caribbean’s emphasis on safety and communication is extremely promising, as it demonstrates how the firm tries to foster understanding and collaboration among crew members, as well as safety for everyone on board, and how everyone is cherished and appreciated.
International crews are made up of many different families.
Every cruise passenger is aware of how varied and multinational the staff of a cruise ship is. It is not uncommon for a cruise ship to have staff members from 50 or more different countries on board at the same time.
Cruise ship crew members come from all over the world, from bartenders and waiters to stateroom stewards, pursers, chefs, casino hosts, entertainers, and other crew members who interact with passengers, to ship officers, mechanics, engineers, laundry operators, and many other positions that help a ship sail smoothly.
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Hundreds of crew members are usually aboard, and the bigger ships have greater crew numbers, frequently exceeding 1,000 people. The Wonder of the Seas, the world’s biggest cruise ship, employs 2,300 foreign crew members.
While cruise passengers may not have the opportunity to meet with more than a few crew members throughout their vacation, it is clear to all guests how devoted the crew is and how effectively they work together. Each cruise ship is, in essence, a microcosm of cultures, with everyone working together to provide the greatest possible experience for tourists.
“The Royal family stands behind all of our personnel, and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by these events,” Bayley added.
Passengers may assist Ukrainian and Russian crew members simply by conversing with them, asking about their families, and listening to their experiences. The names of crew members’ home nations are written on their nametags, and even in good times, they like talking about home and family.
Knowing that cruise guests care may help crew members feel more connected to the world outside the cruise ship during these tough times and emotional occasions, especially because there is still so much uncertainty in the area.
All of Cruise Hive’s thoughts are with the affected crew members, with the hope that they will be able to contact their families and that everyone will be safe and secure.