CHARLOTTE, NC, November 2, 2017 – It is possible that the leisure cruise industry is developing solutions to some of the world’s immigration problems without knowing it. On the surface this observation might sound convoluted but if you just follow the logic.
Immigration and cruising? How cruise ships are a melting pot of multiculturalism
Truthfully, they are not as divided as it might seem and, with a little effort, they could even one day become a source for answers.
On a 2,000 passenger cruise ship, there are approximately 1,000 crew members at any given time. The ship’s crew from entertainers, medical staff, wait staff, bar personnel, housekeeping, activities managers and other workers are come to the ship from around the globe.
In a ship of this size, it is likely that 40 or more countries will be represented among the service personnel on any given cruise itinerary. Cruise lines come in all shapes and sizes, but ships that sail international waters must have staffs that speak multiple languages, especially English because of its universal nature.
It is a true melting pot of multiculturalism.
Though passengers may be monolingual, English is as close to a global language as there is, which means that cruise staff from every corner of the planet speaks it to an acceptable level.
Cruise staff work long, hard hours
But language is only a beginning. For many staffers, shipboard contracts are long and the hours can be brutal. But there is a positive aspect. Consider that working on a ship for a young person is, in many cases, a way out of the “ghettos” and “slums” of their homeland, much as sports are a “way out” for athletes in this country.
While the money may not be outstanding, a crew member receives room, board, and medical facilities. Because of the long hours and few opportunities to go ashore, a frugal person can save considerable money while interacting with an international clientele.
Cruise lines demand that staff has a high work ethic and congenial personalities, thus adding another layer to the process of individual assimilation into a broader global society that virtually any country on earth would welcome with open arms.
These are the sort of immigrants who can make a country active and viable on an international scale. They become self-educated by osmosis, knowing more about other people and cultures of the world than their non-working cruising counterparts.
Sadly, wait staff and crew members rarely come from the United States. Perhaps the reason is that cruise lines do not recruit Americans due to the long hours, low pay and perceived status of the job. But there is also time to go ashore and experience new cultures.
One could do worse.
Cruising the world while working
Traveling the world and mingling with people from all walks of life is an education all its own. The young people working on cruise staffs are vibrant, enthusiastic, and happy. They are the perfect definition of the sort of immigrants that made the America a “melting pot.”
Perhaps there is some way to use the work philosophy incorporated by cruise companies into a viable means of teaching immigrants how to become active members of their new environment.
Certainly, the process would be a far better solution than political correctness where we, as the host nation, yield our values to others.
Speaking to a young person on a cruise ship who has been to multiple countries and who can communicate in several languages is a true measure of how many people in the world have the ambition to strive for something better.
More in common than that which divides us
While their clientele may be richer, these youngsters are discovering the world while cruising the seas.
The work ethic of the young people from Romania, Bali, Malaysia, the Philippines, Jamaica and dozens of other destinations around the world, make an international cruise a lesson in what binds us together.
You might be pleasantly surprised and come away feeling good about our global future.
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people, and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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