#MyGrationStory of an Indian pastry chef aboard the Majestic Princess of Princess Cruise.

While I enjoyed my 4 days of cruise from Dubai (UAE) to Kochi (India) aboard the Majestic Princess, I came across staff of many nationalities working as one despite the difference in cultures, languages, values, habits and personalities. The staff lives away from their families and nation for months on end. They have no option but to forge new bonds aboard the cruise. They invent alternative families to satisfy their natural urge to socialize. It was sheer pleasure to see all of them working as an effective team, sharing camaraderie unique to cruise. Being a hotel management student, I have many people who have served in cruises in different departments. They had told me how exciting it is to work in cruise and interact with people of so many nations. They had told me that working in a cruise changes your world view, allow you to see many countries for free, polish the personality.

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Bradley from Goa working in the bakery section of Majestic Princess.

It sure is a challenging but exciting job. I came across many Indians amongst the staff. There was a Delhi boy Ranbir who worked in F & B service department since 11 years now. He spends 9 months in the cruise and 3 months in Delhi every year.  He told us how he can’t wait to be in Kochi, India. He had promised a local friend to show him around the cruise during the halt in Kochi. The staff from Goa showed a clear preference for Housekeeping since all of the Indians in housekeeping turned out to be from Goa. One of them found a way to the kitchen though.

Bradley, who belongs to Goa and works in the bakery section, has been working on the cruise since 7 years now. As I returned from the pool area and headed to my room, I saw him managing the bakery section around midnight. I happened to strike a conversation with him where he revealed,

“I have been working on cruise since a long time now. It has been an exciting journey. I have seen so many countries. Australia was my favourite.  I stay on ship for more than 6 months at stretch every year. The pay is good here. However, it was not a problem earlier when I was not married and had no responsibilities. I married recently and now I feel like returning back to land and find a job there. My wife misses me and I want to spend time with her. In fact, when the ship will halt in Kochi, I will meet her. She is flying all the way from Goa to Kochi just to meet me.  I will spend quality time with her and then move on to the routine and of course my next destination (China).”

Another Filipino women who worked in a specialty restaurant had similar emotions. She told us she has been working in a cruise for the last 20 years. She looked visibly tired when I asked her how the journey has been till now. She has her kids and husband in Philippines and of course she yearned for a stable life on land. She will one day find her foothold on land but many others will continue to chase their dreams aboard a cruise, maintaining their smiles and checking the calendar every few days, perhaps. Only they know how it feels to live away from family, friends and their nation for months on end. The cruise is full of such individual stories if only we dig deeper and care to look beyond those faultless smiles.

The view from my #SoulWindow is poignant!

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Goans showed a preference to housekeeping department aboard Majestic Princess. Princess Cruises.

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17 thoughts on “#MyGrationStory of an Indian pastry chef aboard the Majestic Princess of Princess Cruise.

  1. I enjoyed reading the stories of some of the staff. Sometimes, we think working on a cruise ship must be the life. I feel for the workers who are married/have children because working on the ship means that they are physically separated from their families for long periods of time. I really don’t know how that works in reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun experience it must have been to travel 6 months out of the year! But definitely better for single people, I can imagine how his wife feels not having a husband around for so many months. I feel like most people who work on cruise ships do it long-term. Hopefully all those wanting to go back to their families find other ways to support themselves on land.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s easy for many of us travelling to forget the reality of the lives of some of the people we meet along the way. However for me, I always show the courtesy and respect no matter if they’re the maid or the maitre’d! After all, travel is about education and opening up to new cultures, and that’s what these types of experiences are about!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I did think of working in a cruise ship when I was younger. I used to dance ballet and ballet classmate became a cruise ship dancer after graduation. She’s still living the dream but just like the others in your post, she’s also now planning to go back home for good. I think it’s a good career to start when you’re younger but when family comes into the picture, the lifestyle will be hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved reading this story. We’ve taken a lot of cruises and always spend time talking to the crew and learning more about them. That’s the best part of every trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great to know Bradley from Goa.
    Tell him I would like to feature him for my faces of India series! 🙂
    I have immense admiration for such people who work hard to earn their living with their talents.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have never been on a cruise but I love that you took the time to tell the stories of all these individual who have to sacrifice their time with their loved ones to make a living!
    I’m always extra kind to the waiters and cashiers, and I think that too many people forget that people who work in the service industry are real people and not just “slaves” they can disregard 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing about all thise people who make cruise vacation perfect. I always was fascinated with the way the staff lived travelling and meeting new people. It does sound like a interesting career, although I think at some point one will miss their family terribly

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is so wonderful of you to portrait people from abroad in their daily jobs. As I have been working abroad in resorts as well I kind of get the feeling too. The people seem very content with their jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What an interesting post. It must be nice at first, when one is young, to work on a ship and visit countries.. But then if they still have to do when they’re older and have a family and kids, surely it must be so very difficult. And tiring too, not to have a home for a long time… Feeling a bit sad now.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s so cool you went on the Majestic, I love Princess Cruises, I’ve been on the Sapphire for over 6 weeks. I remember I met staff from all over the world, I think it says on their badges where they are from. There were lots of Indians and Filipinos on my cruise too, supporting family back home etc… I’d quite like to work on a cruise ship, although they are working so they don’t quite get to see all the sites as tourists.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I met a lot of them on the cruise and among them I still can’t forget the smiling attendant from Goa who shared an emotional story about his life. He is also longing for his home. But he told me similar story of his love for traveling and how he have already seen half of the world only by working on cruise.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Why didn’t I ever think of cruising from Dubai to India. That is such a genius idea. When I visit Dubai, I am definitely planning a cruise aboard Princess. And I do realize how hard the staff work when they’re away from their families.

    Liked by 1 person

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