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How to Treat Guests

Guests are the bread and butter for the cruise line - and therefore for you. Without guests, the cruise line would not have any business and you would not have a job.

Guests are booking a cruise in order to be treated as such - as guests - not cargo. They spend a good amount of money to spend their holidays onboard a ship, to travel and to be surrounded by friendly and smiling crew members.

How to Treat Guests

While you are doing a job in the service industry which requires friendliness, being helpful, pampering the guests, at the same time, you represent the company you work for.

Now, of course you could say that you have no gain from that. However - you do. Because: If the guests have a wonderful cruise and enjoyable holidays they will come back. Often guests are returning to the same cruise company, often to the same ship. Additionally they will talk to their friends about what a wonderful time they had. This brings us back to the first sentence of this article.

Of course it is not always easy to be friendly all the time - but this is expected of you. And yes, you will run into guests who are not friendly, who are extremely demanding, unfriendly and rude. And the best to deal with those is - you guessed it - friendliness. It will be your shield against their behaviour. If you start to argue with guests, you will always get yourself into a difficult situation. Therefore, if there are issues, report it to your supervisor. That's what he/she is there for.

Guests onboard a cruise ship

This does not mean that guests have all rights in the world. Any advances of romantic/sexual nature should be reported by you to your supervisor as soon as possible.

On the other hand - and your book of codes of conduct will tell you so - you are not allowed to make any advances towards guests, or accept their possible invitations. And this means all kind of invitations, such as going ashore with them, visit them in their cabin, invite them to the crew area or to your cabin. Involvement with guests will bring you immediate dismissal - and maybe even worse - the accusation from the guest of sexual harassment or even rape.

While you might be ashore and therefore off duty, guests often seem not to see it the same way. They are in a, for them, foreign port, even a foreign country and when they see a familiar face, for sure they will have a question for you.

Either they ask for the best shops, the cheapest taxi, where the port is, when the ship sails or where they should have lunch. This is one of the challenges of working onboard a cruise ship - one seems to be never really off duty.

Try to be friendly and helpful; like you maybe would hope for, a person would be to you, while you are in a place you do not know.