Jul, 30 2023
Ahoy there, my landlubbing good fellows! Today, let us cast off from our usual discussions about mundane topics and embark (literally) on a journey about an adventurous and unconventional way to earn a living – working on a cruise ship. With an anecdote tucked up my sleeve, and provided I get around to that, we set sail through tempests and calm seas, navigating the question: Is it safe for women to work on a cruise ship?
Firstly, let me assure you that I'm not just pulling anecdotes out of thin air. My better half, Clarinda, spent a fair chunk of her youthful years braving the high seas. She used to work as a fitness instructor on a cruise liner. Yes, my mateys, you read that right, a fitness instructor! Where do you think she got those toned muscles that I swoon over? More on that riveting tale later (maybe)... For now, let’s plunge headfirst into our main question.
The matter of safety comes to fore when considering a job on a cruise ship, especially for women. The fear of the unknown, of being isolated miles from home on international waters, can all feel intimidating. So, is this fear warranted or is it just a fictional monster from a horror novel that lives and breathes in our minds?
For starters, let's look at hard facts here. And for those, let's turn to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). According to the ILO's Maritime Labour Convention, cruise ships are required to follow stringent safety standards. These include clearly planned escape routes, regularly drilled evacuation procedures, safety gear for every passenger and crew member, and 24/7 medical assistance onboard.
I distinctly remember Clarinda telling me about her orientation week on board. It was filled with all things safety – from sessions on how to respond during emergencies, to fire drills and rescue tasks. The ship won't tolerate any laxity in safety precautions, as it mandates frequent safety inspections and code compliance checks. So, rest assured that from a safety equipment and protocol perspective, cruise ships are required by international law to be as safe as houses, or dare I say even safer!
So, the safety paraphernalia checks off well. But what about other safety concerns, like harassment, assault, or discrimination? It's necessary to remember that a ship, in essence, is a microcosm of our society, floating in the high seas. As such, it has its share of problems. However, shipping companies today are well aware that maintaining a safe and healthy work environment is not just legally obligatory, but also crucial for maintaining a respected reputation and ensuring profitability.
Most larger cruise liners have well-defined policies on harassment and discrimination, with dedicated HR departments onboard to handle these. Any form of intimidation, harassment, definitely doesn’t fly as far as corporate rules are concerned. However, this doesn’t imply a zero possibility of such incidents. This quite mirrors our landlocked society, doesn’t it?
Then comes the question of physical safety and health. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), cruise ships are required to have a well-equipped medical facility on board, staffed by licensed practicing doctors and nurses. These healthcare professionals can handle basic to intermediate medical cases. Meaning, from minor flu to fractures, cruise staff can rest easy knowing healthcare is just a deck away.
Just as we saw the pros, it's essential to be aware of the cons too. The job demands long hours and hard work, sometimes in challenging circumstances. And of course, the good old seasickness can be brutal, especially for those new to seafaring. How do I know this? You guessed it right, Clarinda's roller-coaster encounter with seasickness was unforgettable and is much-common among first-time sailors.
Moreover, mental health is another crucial aspect to think about. Being away from family and loved ones for extended periods can induce feelings of isolation and homesickness. Not to mention, coping with erratic weather and seascape. My dachshund, Baxter is enough to cause a circus at home when I am gone for a day, imagine the ruckus when you are gone for months!
To sum up, while it’s not a cakewalk, safety onboard cruise ships is taken up with utmost seriousness. Just like any other job, it has its ups and downs - sometimes literally if you count the waves. It takes an adventurous spirit, the ability to deal with long hours and a distinct knack for handling a variety of people. You have to weigh the scales here, just like any other career choice. The serene sunsets, alluring azure waters, and the intoxication of drifting across continents might just be your calling. Smooth sailing to that!
© 2024. All rights reserved.