International Travel

Tue, 26 Mar, 2019Joanita Wibowo

Cruise workers reveal "hook-up culture" on ships

Cruise workers reveal "hook-up culture" on ships

Working within the enclosed environment of cruise ships has encouraged a hook-up culture that matches or even exceeds that of a college dorm, Business Insider reported.

Current and former cruise ship crews revealed to the website that living with their co-workers has brought about a permissive sexual culture in their workplace, with an unusual amount of intimate activity.

"There's a lot of sex on cruise ships," said a former casino manager for a cruise line.

According to former cruise line waiter Brian David Bruns, the hook-up culture is so strong that a co-worker was surprised when he had not hooked up with any colleagues during his first night onboard. "What the hell, man?" Bruns recalled the co-worker saying.

The permissive culture has also led to inappropriate behaviour at times. A former staffer said one of her managers often made comments on her sexual orientation and criticised her hairstyle, while a current employee said male co-workers made advances on her as her boyfriend’s contract was close to ending.

While living on a cruise ship might put sexual activities on fast track, many employees found it as a hindrance in building serious relationships. Taylor Sokol, a former cruise director, said working and living in such a proximity might make it difficult to maintain a healthy distance from romantic partners. "It's kind of hard to give someone their space when you live maybe 10 feet away from them."

Working on the seas also makes settling down a lot more difficult, as a lot of contracts require crews to stay onboard for months. Nina Beader, who used to work for one of the major cruise companies, said she decided to stop working on cruise ships because she wanted to build a family and have time to spend with her children. "I did not want to end up being 40 and not having a family," she said.

Some even resorted to leading double lives. "You get a lot of married people that have their own separate lives on the cruise ship," a former worker told MentalFloss. "I've worked with couples that have wives at home and a whole different relationship while they’re on the cruise ship. It’s kind of like a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy."

Former cruise singer Ruthie Darling experienced the other end of the story. "After dating an officer for about three months and practically living in his cabin with him, I discovered he had a fiancee on land," she wrote on Thrillist.

"A more experienced friend told me that this sort of behaviour wasn't unusual. You had your relationship at sea and your relationship on land. The more I looked around at career cruisers, the more I noticed it was standard practice."

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